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Introduction: Jaz – Los Angeles, CA

I have spent the last couple years hiding out and researching, so I guess it is time to get more involved. I hope to return the favor and provide some resources for the grow community. My background is in mechanical engineering so I have a little different perspective and skill set than most of the growers.

I first got involved with the community years back when my brothers told me they were about to lose their CBD crop from early frost. Their bucking machine, was not working. Being an engineer, they asked me to figure it out. I build some parts to improve their machine, but much of the crop was still lost. I spent the next 2 years designing and building a machine from ground up that covered all the issues that they and others in the community were having.

As a developer, I am hoping to receiving input from the community on what problems they would like to see solved. I also have a lot of interest in aquaponics. I have 40 acres of land in Arizona that I am currently developing with my wife. We are getting a few buildings erected and hope to have some earth sheltered greenhouses built before the end of the year. My focus from a farming standpoint is primarily on growing organic food crops, but my passion is on designing high density grow systems. I like to automate the systems in the simplest way possible using readily available recycled materials when available. I am hoping to eventually be able to offer open source plans that could be implemented in poor rural areas without access to healthy food. I would love so share my experiences through this adventure.

I have started to bring together people, most of whom I have meet through Burning Man, in the hopes of creating a self-sustainable community that will be able to survive and thrive in an uncertain future. I have included a photo of the hydroponics setup that I recently put together in my shop. It is fed from worm casting that we have been collecting over the last year from our red wigglers. This is a test out system, so we will have a better idea of what will work when we build our permanent setup in Arizona. I will be looking to hook up with other like-minded individuals with similar goals.

Thanks for all the hard work keeping the forum going!

Jaz

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NICE, self sustaining community is awesome. Definetly would be good to be able to “network” and have connections to other “cells” of self sustaining individuals to communities. To expand resources available.
Wanted to be a mechanical engineer myself till i found out what classes you gotta pass 0_0 so i tried to be mechanic instead till found out not strong enough to loosen a freaking nut 0_o. So now i’ma baker lol.
Still do DIY, the average joes “engineering”

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Hi @davidjaz

Great to have you hear on GN. As an engineer you definetly do have a different skillset. Just got lost into a thinking about how much easier life would be if i had mechanical engineering skills!!!

Sounds like you have an exciting project ahead of you and your wife. I am living a similar lifestyle in a very rural setting and would love to share and learn.

Because I am in drought riddled area in South Africa we have to take our water seriously. We rely on highly salted borehole water or limited rainwater. We are also heading into the aquaponics area cause it makes so much sense. So would like to see your open source plans when available.

Talking about recycling and gardening, have you heard about a keyhole garden. Espcially good for growing herbs in hot and dry climates. I have collected hundreds of bottles to build a garden with. I still have not got there, but it should happen soonish.

Look forward to seeing your progress and updates.

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There is more to engineering then just passing a bunch of classes. I know plenty of engineers who can’t get their face out of a book. Many of them don’t know how to change the tire on a car or loosen the lug nuts either.

The ultimate goal of an engineer, is to master the simple. When people tell me they are in high tech, I tell them not to get frustrated because you will figure out the simple way to do it eventually.

I’m sure, I will figure out where I fit into this whole crazy world pretty quickly.

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Welcome @davidjaz. Nice to have your perspective on the forum!

What kinds of problems are you working on right now, or what kinds of problems are you most interested in solving when it comes to cannabis?

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Where my property is at, is pretty dry. We only get about 6 inches (15cm) of rain per year. However, my property is on a continuous 1.5 degrees slope for the most part. I also get quite a bit of mountain water runoff. I plan to swale the property to collect as much of that water as possible. This should add a lot of opportunities I would not otherwise have. I have seen the keyhole garden setups before but have not done a lot with it. I like your setup. I have not really decided what I plan to do for outdoor gardening because it is so hot and dry in the summer.

I think my focus will mostly be on aquaponics, because water will be my limiting factor, at least for now. It may turn out that I have to limit my gardening in the summer months because of the heat. However I only get a little below freezing in the winter, so I should be able to grow in a greenhouse year-round. I have some earth battery plans for maintaining the temperature in the greenhouse. Hopefully between that and some of evaporative cooling, I will be able to keep crops growing throughout the summer.

Once I get moved out there, I will probably also do a small cannabis crop, primarily because I will need it to continue to develop my harvesting machines.

Can’t wait to see how your keyhole garden develops.

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Good luck on your adventures. It sounds like your going to have alot of fun.
But I would like to state one big thing i have learned from growing veggies, fruits and cannabis for over 40 years.
And that is to keep it simple.
All the times when I would over think situations and try and implement my thoughts or something i studied. It always created multiple little problems.
So I was spending more time trying to resolve these little problems than actually growing. And the quality and yeild suffered dramatically.
Just something to think about.
Keep it simple…

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Always a good point to remember. I am a big fan of the KISS method. I do have some additional challenges in Arizona with the heat and lack of moisture. I think this is why you don’t see a lot more growing out there. However the almost unlimited sunlight is a huge resource.

I am somewhat addicted to revisiting solutions to make it been simpler and simpler. I will just have to make sure this process itself does not become complicated.

I’ll let you know what works and what doesn’t.

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