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While the physical elements of our proposed sea-change are about living on an island – in a house made from shipping containers, it’s really about reclaiming control of our circumstances in the interests of a more secure and satisfying life.

While I’m approaching the traditional retirement age for men (and knowing how Mother Nature deals with redundant organisms), retirement has no appeal for me – so we’ll be cranking up our entrepreneurial act.

Our proposed enterprise is premised on our conviction that “small is beautiful” and will be an amalgum of our various “micro” interests including

  • Micro-farming
  • Micro-housing
  • Micro-manufacturing
  • Micro-publishing

My partner and I began micro-farming over 40 years ago.  We began working with aquaponics (for practical purposes) about eight years ago.

I first described my approach to the integration of fish, plants and micro-livestock – Microponics – in 2008.  Suffice to say, we probably know a thing or two about micro-farming so its inclusion in our micro-business mix is somewhat logical.

My interest in micro-housing is almost as old as our interest in micro-farming – both having their roots in the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970’s.  It has been fuelled, more recently, by the “tiny house” revolution that is currently sweeping the world.

Micro-manufacturing earns its place in the business mix because, back in the early 1980’s, I worked as a woodturner.  I made fine craft multiples (and one-off objects) for  sale to various fine art galleries.  I sold everything I ever made – and I really enjoyed doing it.

With CNC routers, 3D printers and similar devices becoming more capable and less expensive, things have never been better for home-based manufacturers.  I intend to merge traditional hand skills with appropriate technology to produce our own line of fine craft multiples.

In 2007, I self-published “The Urban Aquaponics Manual” – the first real book on integrated backyard aquaculture in the world.  We released the second edition in 2009 and it became the foundation for the world’s first integrated aquaculture subscription site in early 2011.  The manual is currently undergoing its third editorial revision.

We have several new publications in the pipeline and, suffice to say, micro-publishing will continue to play an important part in our entrepreneurial future.

Our emerging life plan is premised on thinking of our life as a micro-business.  Profitability in business is the product of maximising income while minimising costs.

Our inclusion of micro-farming and micro-housing is about cost minimisation – while micro-manufacturing and micro-publishing are about generating income.

Training, and training management, has been a recurring theme throughout my professional life and our four little enterprises will also serve as a learning laboratory…..not just in a technical sense but also in the broader micro-business how-to sense.

The combination of these interests will not only provide Jan and I with a satisfying lifestyle, but it will also position us to assist others with similar goals.