Woven Lea Farm Master Plan
The farm plan for Woven Lea is a design that attempts to be a self-sustaining 150 acre unit, maximizing the acreage with care for the environment. Based on the principles of grass-fed animals and crop rotations the farm yard is placed in the middle of the lot, surrounded by five crop fields, and four main pastures. There are four barns, which are oriented to take advantage of natural daylighting, natural ventilation. The cows, pigs, and chickens rotate through the barns and pastures. Each animal has special traits and tendencies that are enhanced by the design. The cows graze the grass, the chickens root around in the manure of the cows, and the pigs stir the pack in the barns to make good compost. The animal/pasture rotation takes 40 days for a full cycle, the crop rotation is based on 5-years.
The farmyard itself using the principle of the bank barn to create multiple levels for efficient and ease of use. Three major earth ramps (one up, and two down), manipulate the landscape to create the farmyard. The lowest level of the farm yard contains the compost area and bio-digester. The main level has four barns placed around the yard, and accessed by the down ramps and the main pastures, making loading and moving of animals and cleaning of barns easy. The main up ramp leads to the farmhouse, which overlooks the farm yard, and features a special office space for the farmer to monitor in the silo-like tower. Contained under the main ramp is the storage for tractors, grain bins, etc.
The farm plan also add diversity by planting native fruit and nut trees for the pigs, and fence rows for insect attraction, as well as an orchard to create a wind block from the cold winter winds and snow drifting.
There are many technologies that are implemented into the Woven Lea farm, like a robotic milker, bio-diesel press, wind turbine, water cistern, radiant heat capture from the compost pile, bio-retention ponds, for water run-off, straw insulation, gabion basket foundations from picking rocks, etc. all with the idea of maximizing the resources already found on the property. (for more information of these technologies, see The Agritect Blog)