Thursday, February 25, 2010

Here it is, the project description, the dream unvieled

At long last I am unveiling the dream. This is a project description I wrote for the government agencies we met with last week. IT's EXCITING, IT's GOOD, and it will happen with the help of many people who will all share in the fruits of such a good work. Now is the time for us to get moving on it. Please feel free to publish your thoughts, questions, and opinions, both publicly and privately. Everyone is invited to join with us in this.

Westbrook Farms
Westbrook Farms will be an Agritourism business designed to take advantage of it’s prime location a mile and a half from interstate 20 at exit 151 central to several population centers within a seventy mile radius. We are motivated to become an asset to the community, enhancing the economy and quality of life through providing a variety of services and functioning as a hub through which area products and services can be highlighted and presented to both local markets and the 26,000 vehicles a day that travel past on the interstate.

Westbrook Farms will consist of a variety of enterprises, each of which will enhance the others in a symbiotic relationship. These will include an RV park/campground, greenhouse operation, livestock production and breeding, fruit tree orchards, model farm operation presenting a variety of technologies and agricultural concepts, restaurant, two stores, one at the interstate exit and one located centrally on the farm to serve the guests, facilities for both outdoor and indoor public functions, and a production facility to manufacture and package food products as well as agriculture/garden consumables such as composts. A big part of Westbrook Farms will be a separate non profit entity that is designed to provide services to the community.

RV park/campgrounds can be accurately compared to hotels in their design and feasibilities. Just as there are low cost overnight stops and higher priced hotels designed to accommodate guests visiting specific locations and functions there are similar parallels in RV parks. As a general rule “destination” RV parks offer higher quality services and can command premium prices. The Westbrook Farms RV Park will be designed to accommodate guests who have come to partake in the events and services of the farm.

The greenhouse operation will enable Westbrook Farms to grow produce year round and escape the hazards of conventional agriculture such as weather and pests. It will employ cutting edge technologies and designs such as aquaculture and geothermal climate control achieved in part through building the greenhouses partially underground.

The livestock division is designed to fit in with and enhance the
Agritourism concept so will incorporate miniature cattle. A miniature dairy cow can produce up to four gallons of milk a week but requires only 20% of the feed and much less space. Breeding and sales of miniature cattle is a rapidly growing market segment with calves selling for $1700 and up. Miniature horses are comparable in value and cost of maintaining. Goat milk is in much demand, particularly for lactose intolerant children, and essential for the production of certain types of cheeses so we intend to meet that need. Poultry production is another element of this well balanced farm, providing a steady stream of organic cage free eggs and meat for sale.

The fruit tree orchards will be the primary attraction at Westbrook Farms during harvest season with apple trees being dominant. It will be a “Pick your Own” operation geared to provide a wholesome family atmosphere designed to attract families and community activity.

Maintaining the family orientation of Westbrook Farms we will grow a variety of fruits and berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, that are conducive to “pick your own” activities. Because strawberries and other products ripen at different times of the year it will enable us to keep activities and festivals throughout the growing season. Included in this retinue are wine grapes, for which there is an established market and need for grapes grown in Texas.

When it comes to a “Model farm” and in keeping with the Agritourism and educational aspect Westbrook Farms will employ sustainable and organic practices and utilize self sufficient technologies wherever possible. This will include solar and wind electricity generation as well as bio diesel production. We will endeavor to waste nothing and recycle everything. Animal waste and organic matter can all be turned into fertilizers and compost that not only enhance our growing mediums but can be packaged as sellable products.

There will be a central building that will house offices, RV park and campground facilities, a store featuring both our and locally produced items, meeting rooms, and a restaurant. In addition we have the use of a building located at exit 151 that will be a Westbrook Farms store and serve as a farmers market in season. Due to limited acreage we propose to create a production facility off campus that will manufacture and package a wide variety of products under the Westbrook Farms brand. These will include salsa’s, soups, spice mixes, composts, along with everything else we can think of to grow, manufacture, and sell.

The non profit arm of Westbrook Farms will be a separate entity but is closely tied to every aspect of our operation. A primary thrust will be to provide an environment to help those with disabilities the tools they need to overcome them and provide employment opportunities for those who may have been deemed unemployable. If you go to on the internet you can see some of the inspiration I have for this. Of course being a survivor of a traumatic brain injury myself is a core motivation as well. By creating this separate non profit entity we will be able to access a wide range of grants and funding to enable us to reach our goal. A look at Kessler Foundation’s site can give you an idea of the possibilities we have.

Westbrook Farms will be a corporation and as such will allow a large number of people to be involved and own a portion of the company. We will seek to attract investors who share the vision of creating such a positive enterprise and will take an active role in it.


Bob said...

Kind of curious, why would some label this as funny? I am serious about chasing this dream and making it happen.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! We've been following your story for 3 years now and watched you grow. What an inspiration. Your plan/dream makes sense and is sound. America loves the success story and in fact is built on them. It's the guy who do what others say can't be done we love. Looked at the Kessler Foundation site and are impressed. Will pray about investing in you and your vision.

Anonymous said...

If you had a goofy I would have checked that.

Bob said...

Of course your anonymous, makes you a coward in my book. Why is it goofy to dream, to strive to make something good? There's nothing here that hasn't been done before. If I shoot for the stars and don't get there I still will have gotten farther than if I hadn't tried at all.

Anonymous said...

I'm anonymous so that I don't have a convict stalking me.

Bob said...

I said "you're a coward" and you just confirmed it. You sound like one of the local clique of good "Christians" who would rather talk about me than talk to me. Here I see perfectly illustrated the power of gossip as found in James 3:5 "See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small spark...the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell" I reached out to them and looked for the love of Jesus but not one came to visit. Considering that NONE of them ever talked with us the only thing you or any of them know about us is based on gossip. So without knowing me at all you are afraid? What honors God more, to talk to someone or to talk about them? Jesus tells me to love those who despitefully use me so I love you, though I have a hard time respecting you at the moment.

Bob said...

And as I think about it the bible holds true for it is evident that gossip has defiled and contaminated a large number of people just as James said it would. How sad that is and how sad our Lord, who died for me just as He died for you, must feel, knowing as He does the thoughts of your heart and the words said in darkness. I live my life exposed purposely with no lies and no secrets, for all the world to see. It's hard to be a Christian at times, to "put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another and forgiving each other, who-ever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so should you do. Hard to do when they won't talk with you. But God's dealing with me on that and I'm trying.

Bob said...

By the way I quoted Colossians 3:12-13 for that. Just in case the bible and practicing what it says is important to you.

Anonymous said...

Preach it loud brother. I think its cool. You should get some stimulus money from Obama.

Bob said...

We're working on that as well as searching out all available funding. Have a Congressman and several state and federal agencies involved along with a state university. God will make it happen if it is something He desires and has planned for us since...well a long time before we knew. The best response to the Nay Sayers is to succeed.

clumsyraine said...

I think this is such an amazing plan you have put together! I am especially excited for the orchard and berries, I have wished we had that in our area for awhile. I wish gas was not such a big deal these days, as your dream starts to come together I would love to have the opportunity to work out there and watch it all grow.

Bob said...

Clumsyraine-There's a concept found in a growing number of communities where people do just that, come out and help, but for a share of the profits. They got a name for it, something like community sponsored agriculture but can't remember for sure. Anyway, the door's open for any and all to come out and look, help, or just talk and give advice. Part of the dream is to make this a place for family and friends to gather and be a part of it all. Fact is I can't do nearly as much by myself as I can with others and have no interest in being a one man show. Much rather it be a God thing and in fact it is.