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Journal Articles

Fish Farming in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
This article is of particular interest to Biosphere Farms ...

The High Price We Pay For Cheap Food
Arthur Potts Dawson discusses the disconnect between healthy food and affordability and explores visions for sustainability

The Biology and Business of Biofuels
A 50 minute video presentation From the University of California San Diego

journal archive



Soil Definitions

Soil and Climate Change

Soil Sustainability


Oil Seed Data Spreadsheet
An Excel spreadsheet for comparing oilseed crop information for making biodiesel. Includes average yield per acre, percentage oil, crop weights, oil and mash weights, seed and oil prices, and information sources.

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Version: 2.0
(October 6, 2006)

What is this?
A Sustainable Agriculture Project:
Community-based Local Food Production

Biosphere Farms® is a controlled environment farm located in the Berkshire Hills, near the village of Sheffield, Massachusetts. We produce commercial quantities of tomatoes and other vegetable crops, and grow perennials for local sale.

In addition Biosphere Farms® is one of the only local processors on a fee basis of wood waste. Local landscapers, building contractors, and many of the surrounding towns pay Biosphere Farms® a fee to accept their trees, stumps, and other biomass.

We first process this wood "waste" into woodchips and screened topsoil. Next we create a rich organic compost from the woodchips, which we in turn use to create a nutrient rich growing medium. This healthy organic soil then is put to work productively in our own greenhouses, creating our vegetable crops. We also sell our surplus compost and topsoil.

Making the Most of a Small Footprint Farm Property

Using a holistic approach to our daily practice of sustainable agriculture, we:
  • demonstrate an economically viable model for community based farming
  • supply high quality foods to the local market
  • create skilled and evironmentally sensitive farmers, by offering training and employment that imparts the skills and concepts of sustainable agriculture
Interrelated Actions:
  • use our supply of woodchips to heat our planned multiacre greenhouse expansion
  • manufacture our own biodiesel fuel from oilseed to renewably meet our farm energy needs
  • utilize biodiesel fueled microturbines to create onsite electrical power
  • create a nutritious cattle feed by blending needed additional nutrients and roughage with the resulting seedcake
  • feed a small herd of hormone and antibiotic free beef cattle
  • sell our surplus nutritious, hormone and antibiotic-free feed to the growing local community of farmers who also engage in sustainable and community based local food production.
  • controlled environment (greenhouse) production of vegetable crops

The average New England town's food supply just doesn't come from a farm anymore- it's trucked in from a mechanized complex, often traveling 1500 miles or more to reach your table.

Can we do better?

We think so - in fact, we are learning every day better ways to create a small, smart farm, and not at the consumer's expense.

Our philosophy is one of small, community-based farming. Rather than pushing our needs down the road, we aim to supply our own energy through the correct application of technology. Instead of a corporate structure a more democratic and horizontal sharing of knowledge and efficiencies as they are discovered. Ultimately, we are concerned with the food itself - what we eat and feed to our children. Explore our site, check out our model, and read the facts. See if it makes sense to you & agrees with YOUR philosophy.