Why the Farm Exists
Our 100-acre demonstration farm is at the heart of Main Street Project’s work to build a poultry-centered regenerative agriculture system that will change the way food is produced around the world and transform the conventional landscapes.
With proof of concept firmly established through our initial small prototype facilities, we have consolidated and scaled up our production, training and research operations. Main Street Project’s farm:
- Demonstrates and documents the economic, ecological and social (triple bottom line) impacts of our model at a family-farm level.
- Increases Main Street Project’s capacity to offer our innovative agripreneur training to a new generation of free-range poultry farmers.
- Anchors a long-range plan to catalyze regional expansion of our system and related enterprises.
- Establishes a path for Latino families to participate in the food system as dignified workers or land and business owners.
- Creates food security and provides the local community with fresh eggs, meat, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
- Restores soils and creates a biodiverse, resilient permaculture system where free-roaming poultry thrive.
- Educates the next generation of consumers and investors on the benefits of eating healthy.
What Happens on the Farm
Our farm demonstrates our model of a highly efficient, poultry-centered regenerative agriculture system. Chickens range in paddocks designed to mimic their natural habitat. They provide meat, eggs and natural fertilizer. Hazelnuts and elderberries are planted inside and outside the paddock to provide perennial cover for the birds, as well as cash crops for the farmer. Annual edible crops, like beans and garlic, are planted between the rows of perennials.
The farm will have the infrastructure for comprehensive poultry operations. Perennial plants such as hazelnuts and elderberries cover significant acreage, and annual vegetable production opens up additional enterprise opportunities. The farm shows what is possible: a biodiverse system of symbiotically connected livestock and perennials, with no chemical inputs, that creates the potential to build soil, retain and clean water, and deliver economic benefits to the community.
Our training supports our triple bottom line of ecological, economic and social benefits. We don’t just refrain from worker exploitation; our system precludes it by making the workers the decision-makers. With its low initial investment, poultry-centered farming serves as a familiar and viable economic entry point for Latino immigrants who have farming experience and knowledge and have felt first-hand the inequity of the current food system. Training opens the door to the opportunity for them to develop new farm facilities with strong management and maintenance practices and achieve social and economic stability.
Research & Development
One of the farm’s primary purposes is to promote research and development of Main Street Project’s poultry-centered regenerative agriculture model. Learn more about our research and development fieldwork and priorities. On the farm, we’re focused on research that ensures that our system is centered on three factors:
- Social research is centered on the well-being of food system participants, including farmers, farm workers, consumers, and members of surrounding communities.
- Economic research quantifies the transfer and growth of economic resources among people, such as fair wages for workers, fair pricing for consumers, profitability for farmers and the economic ripple effect of our system design.
- Ecological research examines the biological, physical and chemical processes on which energy transformation depends, with special emphasis on the cycling of nutrients through air, soil, water, plants and animals, as well as keeping these cycles in balance.
The farm supports new training programs for established farmers looking to diversify their operations. It provides a living laboratory for basic and applied systems research, and it establishes the baseline economic and ecological modeling and data we need to improve the sustainability and scalability of our system over time.