Agricultural Automation

What is the future of agriculture? There is a large network of people to feed and now some limit on resources such as water. How do we continue to grow and improve. I believe the future is automation. I know that would also be the sentiment of many others as well. We can see automation impact the rest of the world in front our eyes. It is the next frontier for agriculture.

I believe that paired with the indoor growing we will see the agricultural revolution. If you look at the desire for locally grown food and growing concerns about the preservatives used in our foods, you can see the shift in thought about agriculture and where food comes from. To get food fresh and close to the source the answer is to leverage Agri-tech and our ability to harness power. You can take what is a very complex logistical problem and turn it into a much more manageable one. Think if each major city had a large or several large greenhouses that could supply food for the whole city. And they did and could grow anything you could ever want? I believe this is possible! The limit is us only.

Keto Reset Diet

The second diet review I am going to do is the Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson. I listened to this book on Audible Audio book I really enjoyed this book. It is about setting your diet up to be Ketogenic. Keto is getting a ton popularity for one simple reason. It works. I am not saying it is the only way or even the best way for you to diet, but it is most definitely worth the research. Many people mention high energy and feeling great with a ketogenic diet. There are also great results with fat loss and mental clarity. You maybe asking yourself what is a ketogenic diet?

Ketogenic diets are based on the use of fat as the main fuel source. It is called ketogenic because your body generates what are called ketones and that is what your body uses as an energy source when fat is metabolized. For those who are not familiar the main and easiest energy pathway for the human body to generate energy is the carbohydrate pathway. Your body is also very quick to store carbohydrates when there is more than you are burning in the moment. Carbohydrates are stored as either glycogen in your muscles or liver or they get converted to fat.(if you glycogen stores are full). Carbohydrates also do not generate satiety as well as fat does. So it is easy to over-consume carbs.

This can lead to increased fat storage. Where keto comes into play is that your body learns to use fat as an energy source more readily. This causes you to reduce fat and makes your appetite subside pretty substantially. I personally have experimented with this diet and I have great results. I will be 100% transparent and say that I have not made the long term keto phase that Mark discusses yet but I definitely want to try it to see how I feel. To get into what the book is about. The author Mark Sisson goes through an excellent plan to get you to a ketogenic diet. I fully support his notion that you need to ease into it! If you are interested in keto then make sure you don’t jump right in. You will crash, feel terrible, and have a bad time if you go from a carbohydrate based diet to a ketogenic diet. So his recommendation is to start by scaling back your carbs to 150 grams/day for 21 days while you work on your internal machinery to get to a time where you can go Keto.

Keto is classified as getting most of your calories from fat and staying under 50 grams/day and keeping a moderate protein level. His suggestion is .7 times lean body mass. For example a man who has 120 lbs of lean body mass(Total weight- Fat mass= lean body mass) should consume 84 grams of protein/day. His strategy tells you to get your life right in addition to the 150 grams day for the 21 day period is also setting a good exercise schedule, managing stress, work-life balance, and sleep schedule. I would tend to agree with all of this because having a solid foundation and balanced life will assure you stick to any change you are trying to make.

Mark also discusses allowed foods and gives some nice nuanced information. As an example resistance starches are great for your microbiome(the collection of microbes that live with in you, which are extremely important) and he also discusses net carbs. The idea here is the fiber counts against the carb count because of how it is used and metabolized in your body. You can subtract those from your total carb count. Intermittent fasting is discussed which is time phased eating. Essentially either not eating a couple days a week or having a feeding window like a 8 hour feeding window and 16 hour fasting window. I want to do a post just on fasting because this is one thing that I have done quite a bit with great results.

Mark gets into advanced techniques that are used once you fat and keto adapted. That time comes after your 21 day reset and another 6 weeks in Keto. It is important to stick to that because again you don’t want to crash your body. Since most people have eaten carbs as a main fuel it takes time to get your body to where it needs to be.

Overall I found the book extremely interesting and most definitely plan on trying the full Keto. I want to test those results vs a traditional Okinawan diet which is roughly 80% carbs. I would love to do a comparative study on myself. If you are interested in a great protocol for the Keto diet please give this book a read(or a listen).

As a disclaimer to any diet posts, please consult your physician prior to trying an new diet. You need to make sure there are no reasons as to why a specific diet could cause you harm. Do not try something new without that consultation. You could put yourself into danger if you don’t know all of your health background.

Sources:
The Keto Reset Diet: Mark Sisson

Diet Review: Slow Carb Diet

As I mentioned in a previous post, in my mind diet is one of the major upfront factors that should drive what I grow. If all I ate was bread(not that I would recommend that) it would make sense to just grow wheat. So knowing what you want to eat and how much of your diet it constitutes is an important thing for planning your greenhouse/growing operation.

I am going to review 3 books on diet that I have used to craft what I do for my own program. Right now my diet program is not exceptionally structured by it has some main tenants that keep me in shape. My goal is personally to get more detailed and track more. I know tracking/logging is work but it is key to getting repeatable results. The simple fact is if you are experimenting with any new process it is more than likely that you will change variables that are the driving forces and some that don’t mean anything. Without proper logging/tracking and measurement you will waste tons of time guessing when your results change from a good place to a bad place. You will also have a lot of anecdotal information on what to do but that is hard to execute on. I know this because I do not currently track and measure things very well myself. I will share how I plan on doing it.

To get back to the books I am going to review: The 4 Hour Body, The Plant Paradox, and The Keto Reset Diet. I will start with The 4 Hour Body:

The 4 Hour Body was written by one of my favorite people Tim Ferris. He is great and I admire his analytical and experimental nature. He takes breaking down skills to a new level. I totally endorse any of his books and also his podcast. It simply kicks ass. He will be able to provide you with so much value. This page will be a very small part of his work in The 4 Hour Body. It goes into so much more than diet and he tests many notions about health and fitness. As for the diet section, Tim talks about the Slow Carb Diet in this book.

The tenants of the diet are the following

1. Avoid “White” Carbs
So no white pasta, rice, cereal, tortillas, fried food(breading is generally white bread), etc.
2. Eat the same meals over and over again
This is because it is make things very easy to execute and also limits things to you know won’t make you fat. His recommendation is the following menu
Proteins
Egg whites with 1-2 whole eggs for flavor
Chicken breast or thigh
Beef(preferably grass-fed)
Fish
Pork
Legumes
Lentils
Black beans
Pinto beans
Red beans
Soybeans
Vegetables
Spinach
Mixed Veggies(broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and other cruciferous veggies)
Sauerkraut, kimchee(they are fermented so you get added probiotic benefits)
Asparagus
Peas
Green Beans

Quick Preview, the Plant Paradox diet is going to mention that legumes should be pressure cooked or fermented and that many veggies/fruits are off limits in that diet. It will seem really extreme but I will explain in my next post
3. Dont Drink Calories
That is the fastest way to add weight without noticing it. Think about the amount of sugar is a coffee drink and how not filling it is. Excess Sugar is a fast track to inflammation and weight gain. Dont forget to check labels and look at fruit juices
4. Don’t Eat Fruit
This is due to the sugar content, you can obtain your needed vitamin and mineral intake from vegetables without the extra sugar, Tim’s recommendation is having fruit 1 day/week his off day
5. Take one day off/week
Tim takes this to an extreme level and describes times where he ate amazing amounts of calories. He also eats anything he wants on that day.

Tim mentions that there is no need for calorie counting in this diet and that if you stick to the protocol you can eat the number of calories that will fill you! That is great news for anyone who is tired of being super detailed. A couple of notes are intermittent fasting has been huge for me and Tim has some protocols for that in his book Tools of Titans(another great book). I will discuss how I do it in a subsequent post. As far as the 4 Hour Body,I would totally recommend his book for more details and info to help improve your health. I will put links below for it if you are interested.

Sources:

“The 4 Hour Body” Tim Ferris

Schedule For Work

One thing I would to talk about tonight is my current schedule for making all of this happen. I am hoping to incrementally learn all I need to be an expert at growing food and greenhouses. Since this site is as much about knowledge sharing as my own personal journey to become an expert grower. I feel that it is important to share all of how I am doing it. I also feel I would be hindering anyone else who wants to do this by not sharing how I am doing it. I will make changes and adjustments as I get better/more info. I want for all of you who come onto this site to get great content and information to develop yourself. Please send me anything you would like to see. For right now I am looking to do the following:

  • Research One related Topic/wk and make 3-5 posts
  • Develop plan for the next week
  • Respond to any community comments/questions
  • Develop new forms of content to add value
  • Review Marketing and Outreach Strategy
  • Make layout for my Greenhouse

I am currently working a full time job and have a wife. So there is a balance with my side work, my family life, leisure time, my regular jobs, and exercise. So I want you all to understand that it is a lot of work but it is fun and you can do it! Just take small chunks and develop a process. Make the execution of that process your standard and except nothing less than that standard. That will push you to make it happen. I hope the best for you and hope that I can help you in your journey!