Our Story

transcription of the Video…

We are the living experiment. This is the epic story of a band of pioneers–several families who have uprooted from comfortable suburbia & made their homes for good in one of the most blighted zip codes in the U.S.–64127, Lykins neighborhood, inner-city Kansas City. Each of us, standing with our neighbors, believe there is hope, but we know that money alone will not solve the problem.

Gunshots down the street & looks like they got our tree pretty good..right there.

We are called to put our very lives into the mix for the sake of the next generation. Our passion is to see life cultivated in the urban core. In the following episodes, you will see our journey as we dive into everything from urban fish-farming to reducing crime rates in the neighborhood, from job creation all the way to getting healthy food into the hands of every day people. We are about sharing knowledge. We are searching the ends of the earth to find the most reproducible, low-tech, self-sustaining, high-yield methods of urban farming..& we’re sharing it with you as we journey to build up our community here in the urban core. Stay tuned as we push the limits of small spaces, small budgets, & off-grid scenarios. See us try to grow 2,000 pounds of tilapia fish in a space smaller than your living room. Can we produce fish & vegetables in high yield year-round without high energy costs? Can we produce enough of our own energy on-site with bio-gas produced from our fish waste & food scraps to run our urban farm? What about a third-world country where the electricity is intermittent or nonexistent? We love the grid, but could we live without it?

Watch as we take this technology even lower as we get a prototype ready to go to India Fall of 2011. We could feed the nations with duckweed. You feed the duckweed to the fish, you eat the fish, & it’s all free. This stuff just multiples. We’re gonna take this duckweed frozen, stick it in there just like it is, & the fish just love it. It grows about 40 times faster than corn. We come & harvest half of it off, come back in two days, & it’s ready to harvest again. It’ll be gone in about 30 seconds. Right now, it’s thawing. They’re just eating it like mad. Can we produce all the feed for our livestock on site?

Come, check this out..This here is our worm bin..It has about 20,000 worms in it. And this here, is blended up food scraps, frozen. And we blend it up for a reason–so they can eat a lot faster. These worms double every three months & they eat their weight in food every day.

This is what we’re after right here, guys—worm poop—super nutrient-rich. We use it as part of our organic potting soil mix.

Could a half-acre plot in the inner city become self-sustainable & function off the grid?

These chickens here produce 20 eggs a day.

Follow us as we construct an aquaponic, food-producing machine from every day materials at a fraction of what you could buy it for. Here we are growing vegetables & fish together right in the water. This is a symbiotic relationship where the vegetables clean the water for the fish & the fish fertilize the vegetables–all without soil..& we don’t waste anything.

Every day, we get a load of manure off these tanks where the fish waste gets settled out. We come with a bucket & we get a bunch of free fertilizer. Then, we take the fish manure & pour it into the bio-digester to create methane gas as it composts over the next seven weeks. This gas can be burned to heat the greenhouse or put in a generator to create electricity.

& what about the neighborhood question? Can we come together in the inner city & lower crime rates, create jobs, & nourish a seed for the future? Can we provide a better opportunity to the 13-year old than the allure of fast money & the friendship found in a gang? Can we work together to grow our urban core into a place of hope for the hopeless? Here we purchased this run-down old school building on the block..Can we bring it back to life? Follow the story as we build on the potential & creativity of our youth. Follow us as we try to answer these tough questions as a neighborhood, grass-roots style. These videos are made to empower. They are made to actually put the technology into your hands, step-by-step. Can it be done?

We believe that you are a part of the solution. Stay tuned—Sharing knowledge, feeding nations.

39 Responses to “Our Story”

  1. Ray says:

    You guys (and the gals) rock. And Stan is The Man. Keep up the good work.

  2. admin says:

    Glad you liked it! Lots more adventure to come. Wait til you see what Stan is working on

  3. Paula says:

    I guess this blog is pretty new because I’ve only been able to find three videos. My question is, are you guys going to cover the various things you do more in depth? You’re doing a whole lot of stuff that I’d like to know more about, and maybe learn enough to be able to do it too.

  4. ROBERT says:


  5. Ben says:

    Wow! Truly inspiring! I cannot wait to see more videos and learn and replicate some of your projects. This is really cool and I’m extremely impressed with what you guys are doing.

    I featured you on my blog here:

    Can’t wait for the updates. Keep up the amazing work! Let me know if i can help.


  6. admin says:

    Thanks for the Blog post Ben!!

    Rob: Whats your situation in Reyonosa Mexico?

    Paula: Lots of videos on backlog. we are releasing them weekly. The whole idea is to help people do this in their city. Lots of adventure to come.

    Thanks for posting!!

    • Chuck says:

      Dear Friends,I am Net Work Ministry’s,
      I am working with Big Heart orphanage in Reynosa Mexico to build this fish farm project and was wondering…do you have a step by step procedure to accomplish this that we could use to avoid mistakes ?

    • empresarios_cali says:

      Thank you very much for such a great videos about aquaculture vortex filters.

      You’ve just inspired me to do something alike here in Colombia for displaced people by guerrilla and narcotrafic groups.

      I would like to know if you can tell me where can I watch a video or a document about the vortex filters to convert ammonia into nitrites and nitrates.

  7. jillE says:

    Truly inspiring.

  8. Brigette Killion says:

    Love what you’re doing. I can’t wait to see more videos and learn more. I love these stories of urban renewal, sustainability, and eco-pioneering – great stuff!!

  9. Randy Dolhanyk says:

    Hey guys,
    I love what you are doing. I am a medical missionary with Embrace and Reach to the Philippines and wondered if you have plans, or classes to teach myself and others how to replicate some of this. I am esp. intrested in the fish farm as sustainable income and food supply for the Philippines. I go back in June of this year. Im on FB too and made you a friend. Thanks lots keep up the good work. BTW, your contact page is not working

    • Dee says:

      Randy also check out “Travis Hughley” of Barrelponics web site.He has operations in the Phils,and many contact there where you are in reference to Aquaculture…….Peace,’Dee

  10. jacobgatschet says:

    WOW Jason, really cool stuff you all are doing. I am speechless… I would love to come to one of your open houses and check it out sometime. keep up the good work!

  11. Leslie says:

    This is brilliant! Truly inspiring! I can not wait to see and learn more. If any of you are giving presentations/speaking on this please post them! I would be interested in learning so much more! Thank you for doing this! I will be praying for you!

  12. Brenda says:

    Great stuff. We did similar work in Soweto, South Africa. Building community, inspiring our children and living more consciously. You go Urban Farm Guys!

  13. hi, guys – I tried to email you but it wouldn’t ‘accept’ my email —

    I’m a freelance writer for several national publications, from Outside magazine to the New York Times.

    I mentioned to an editor at the New York Times Sunday Magazine what the Urban Farming Guys are up to… and she seemed really intrigued. She’d like me to learn a lot more, and to write up a “story proposal”– in essence, a ‘story pitch” — that she can in turn show to her editor — with a possible story as the end result.

    Are there a few people — perhaps founders and active participants — that I could get on the telephone sometime soon? I’m very excited to learn more about what you guys are up to. It sounds great.
    Chris S.

  14. admin says:

    Exciting, we would be happy to do an interview for a possible story.

  15. admin says:

    Jake good to hear from you buddy!

    Randy and Brenda , i like what you guys are up to. thanks for the encouragement

  16. buy tramadol says:

    Perfect site, i like it!

  17. Gary Geraci says:

    Great work – are you guys in contact with your local Natural Resources Conservation Services (USDA) representatives? Here’s one example of how hoop-house design knowledge and incentive payments are getting out in Alabama.


    Good luck!

  18. terry stimpson says:

    Dear Friends,I am very excited about learning more about every aspect of your cause.Where do i begin ?

  19. Interesting says:

    Hi! I just want to tell you that I found this blog really useful to me. I will visit this blog regularly to read more. Thanks.

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  23. Hello from Canada!

    This gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. You are changing the world. It give me hope to know that all over the world others are on the same path. Just lovely.

    What an inspiration! I will be sharing this with everyone I know.

    Best of luck,

  24. Jeff Jones says:

    Wow what an amazing story…I live in the old South End of Toledo…we need you here. Are you guys planning on expading to differnt citys. It is already Kind of starting here…people are getting chickens and really stating to garden and self sustain. This year I started a compost for the first time and I’m getting chickens from my friend george.

    Thanks so much Jeff

  25. moisess says:

    You guys are at the “Core of the Matter”. Excellent work and outstanding ideas. Keep the show rolling, can’t wait to see more of this life changing project. God bless you all.


  26. Brent says:

    I am from Canada and am back experimenting with aquaponics. I love what you are doing, great job. It’s tough where I am to efficiently do what you do. Keep up the good work.

  27. Bernadette Tello says:

    The Urban Farming Guys are off the Hook!!!!
    What an inspiration…we can reshape our
    country, one neighborhood at a time….

  28. LFIRE says:

    Two questions>>>Have the thought to join you guys there…move to your area. How do I do that and are you interested in having others join in with you?
    Also thinking about other locations that this can be done. Are you thinking of helping others start a like project?

  29. Paige Burkes says:

    You guys ROCK!!! It’s amazing what some ingenuity and persistance can accomplish. I hope to see our government and big business fall to a country of communities like this one. The world will be a much better place!

  30. Jan Hargraves says:

    I cannot tell you what an inspiration you guys are. I look at what you are doing and think what can we do with our 10 acre farm that can impact our community. Will keep up with you and your projects and hope to incorporate into a plan of our own.

  31. Jason Childs says:

    you guys are great, im trying to do a very similar thing here in my city!!!

    Hello World!
    My name is Jason Childs, i’m currently a participating part of PEPSI COLA’s Refresh Your World project.
    Every month PEPSI has judges who pick project submissions that they feel are good ideas that can help or improve to Refresh our world. This month my project was selected :o)
    My submission is a Solar Powered Urban Aquaponics Farm, that uses abandoned homes and vacant lots for urban farming areas that will produce organically grown fish and produce and other green produced products.
    We will offer these items to the community to help improve the quality & style of current eating habits, as well as teach people to produce their own at home. This project will sustain it’s self by teaching the surrounding communities of all the techniques and procedures to sustain this project, selling and marketing the products to area Schools, Markets, and Restaurants, providing organically produced fresh food locally. Even more so we will provide jobs for people that need them. The plans are to establish our first location of many all over the city/country/world. We will offer scholarships to people who have a desire to pursue and sustain our mission & goals further.
    I am reaching out to my Friends, fellow Aquaponic farmers, teachers, or just plain old fans of this movement, to help me establish the fist one of this level in the USA, Philadelphia, PA area. You can go to PEPSI COLA’s website directly and follow links to vote for “EZ GROW GREEN” or you can go to this link directly and vote on the page they provided to me… you can vote everyday once a day! You can even power vote with special codes on pepsi products that will give you additional votes for this project!


    I have 30 days to try to make it to the top 10 , if I get there I will get the funding needed to make this a reality! I am currently ranked #170 which is ok, I know that it can happen! Thank you very much if you decide to help, even if you don’t please take the time to learn about this process as it can help you and your family and the world!
    Thank you all in advance!
    http://www.refresheverything.com/search/?q=ez+grow+green “EZ GROW GREEN”

    P.S. I am open to any and all help, and willing to work with other people and organizations!
    EZ GROW Green
    Text* 108051 to Pepsi (73774) to vote from your mobile.
    *Standard text messaging rates apply.

  32. Susan says:

    Along with your food production, are you also including teaching the skills to preserve the food produced (e.g., canning, dehydrating, etc.)? I would be interested in knowledge sharing opportunities, as I have done years of growing and preserving my own foods, but would love to learn some of the other things your group is doing.

  33. __Eagle One_ says:

    Hello it is wonderfull and greatting to find som good people around i´m not who to say this but good job.
    I just have a question and it is due to the fact that i couldn´t watch this first video in this principal page :S please some one tell me what to do to see it.
    A link on you tube may be? :S
    Thank´s for your time.

  34. I was literally in tears at the end.. I SO MUCH WANT TO DO THIS… But how do you break away from the ropes that bind you to your “normal” life…

    I will watch every video.. The 5 min intro was absolutely inspiring.

  35. JARED TURNER says:

    what kind  fish