Projects seeking funding

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Here is a list of projects that need funding. These have been selected as having "big bang for the buck" factor.

Contents

Project/Community farm store

Remodel a section of the green building (likely the inside "bay" of the workshop area, but possibly the classroom) to be a community farm store. There is only one grocery store within ten kilometres of the ~2,000 people who live on the south end of Salt Spring Island. We would make this available for a small percentage to other south end food producers. Major expenses would be fixtures, such as coolers, counters, etc., and building materials, such as plywood, drywall, doors, windows, etc. We would seek to use local and recycled materials to the greatest extent possible, with the understanding that this makes things take longer.

Capital Budget

$500: upgrade electrical service
$1,000: building materials
$500: earthworks for improved parking
$3,000: commercial fixtures
------
$5,000: total

Confidence factor: ±50%

40 hours: Jan: research and design
160 hours: Jan and others: construction
80 hours: Jan and others: installation

Confidence factor: ±50%

Operations Budget

This should become a paid position for someone, probably someone living here. We might start with limited days or hours of operation, but it would be great to see it grow to perhaps six hours a day, six days a week, if we can keep up supply.

$400: estimated revenue per week during the high season.
-$200: estimated expenses, primarily compensating someone to at least be nearby to service the public.
-----
$866: net monthly income during the high season, perhaps only an eighth of that in the winter.

Confidence factor: ±50%



Project/Electric market vehicle

Our diesel Vanagon has a tired engine, and is an ideal vehicle for an electric conversion. It has a high gross weight rating so we can pack in adequate batteries, and large open areas under the hood, so we would lose a minimum of cargo space in the conversion. There should be no problem assuring several round-trips to Ganges on a full charge. We would outfit this as a market vehicle, with a new paint job touting its unique green fuel.

Capital Budget

$750: synchronous motor controller
$4,000: electric motor with bell-housing bolt-on
$1,600: batteries
$500: cable, fittings, support structures, etc.
------
$6,850: total

Confidence factor: ±20%

32 hours: Jan: research, engineering, and design
64 hours: Jan and others: installation
80 hours: Jan and others: re-painting

Confidence factor: ±20%

Operations Budget

$0.39 per kilometre: present cost, based on $1.50/litre for diesel fuel.
$0.27 per kilometer: electric cost, based on current BC Hydro rates.
31% savings, or $480 per year.

Confidence factor: ±20%

This is based on about 4,000 km per year usage, and most of the cost is insurance and $500 annual maintenance estimate (primarily the cost of replacing batteries every three years). The more we use it, the more the savings, since fuel costs are minor compared to fixed costs of insurance and maintenance, so this would probably become our primary "errand running" vehicle. Although the fiscal payback is not as much as other projects, this would have considerable "wow" value.



Project/Yellow house suite

The Yellow House downstairs can easily be separated into a private suite of about 700 sqft. It already has plumbing and a full bath. We would break up the large room into a bedroom, closet, and breakfast bar/kitchen, and possibly install a wood stove. We would install a meter so they would pay their own electricity. We would use recycled materials to the greatest extent possible. We are short on housing, and this would also make it easier to attract new investors, who generally require housing as part of making a large investment.

Capital Budget

$2,000: construction materials
$800: electrical service materials
$400: plumbing materials
$1,800: wood stove and installation materials
$3,000: fixtures
------
$8,000: total

Confidence factor: ±25% (based on lightly-used fixtures, could be quite cheaper, or if a sudden need arises, would be considerably more for new fixtures)

56 hours: Jan: research and design
320 hours: Jan and others: construction and installation

Confidence factor: ±25%

Operations Budget

$900 per month net revenue, or lesser amount with work-trade.

Confidence factor: ±10%



Project/Solar-powered cool storage building

We need a cool storage facility for produce. This would be under 107 square feet, and thus not require a permit. Sides and floor would be straw bale for insulation. Cooling would be a combination of swamp cooling and absorption refrigeration. It is hard to put a net profit on this, as it will generally increase production capacity and reduce labour, but the amount is hard to nail down. Some sort of a facility is absolutely necessary.

Capital Budget

$1,000: construction materials
$800: solar panels
$1,200: swamp cooler
$1,100: two large camping refrigerators
------
$4,100: total

Confidence factor: ±50% largely due to wide variation in cost of used camping refrigerators

32 hours: Jan: research, engineering, and design
400 hours: Jan and others: construction and installation

Confidence factor: ±50%

Operations Budget

Very hard to determine. A cool storage facility is a necessity. Without this, we will be scrambling to pick up a number of used refrigerators, which will then increase our BC Hydro bill by perhaps $100 per month or more, whereas this facility would essentially eliminate cool storage costs.

Confidence factor: ±100%



Project/Greenhouse irrigation

We have two of the three rooms plumbed and running. The propagation room will require a modest amount of money to provide carefully controlled irrigation to approximately 384 soil block trays. Each of sixteen tables will be on a zone, with individual adjustable emitters going to each tray. A timer would allow simple operation in a few minutes.

Capital Budget

$1,000: irrigation plumbing, valves, emitters, etc.
16 hours: Jan: research and design
80 hours: Jan and others: installation

Operations Budget

Hard to determine. Watering propagation starts is currently labour-intensive, averaging a couple person-hours per day for 1/4th capacity. So for full operation, we could be using one person full-time for watering. Of course, time still needs to be spent on monitoring, feedback, and fine-tuning, but this system will eliminate most hand watering.



Project/Greenhouse heat

We plan to heat a portion of the greenhouse for season extension, early starts, and for maintaining nursery stock that won't survive our winters. Currently, we plan to partition off a small portion and use electric baseboard heaters. Ideally, we'd like to have a combination of compost-generated heat and biodiesel hot-water. We'd move our main compost facility nearby, and plumb it to collect the heat generated, which would pre-heat water to a biodiesel-powered hot water heater, which would then go to sandbed heat or hydroponic heat. We have an oil furnace on-hand to use for this project.

Capital Budget

$2,200: PEX hot water tubing, connectors, valves, hardware, etc.
$400: sand and other materials
$400: conventional construction materials
------
$3,000: total

Confidence factor: ±30%

80 hours: Jan: research, engineering, and design
320 hours: Jan and others: construction and installation

Confidence factor: ±50%

Operations Budget

Very hard to determine. Heating even a small area will be very expensive with electricity. This project pretty much depends on having our biodiesel processor operational again in order to be economical.

Confidence factor: ±100%



Project/Biodiesel processor

Five years ago, we successfully produced over 1,000 litres of biodiesel, supplying all our own needs and that of many others, on a donation basis. That biodiesel processor can be made functional again, but requires expensive, chemical-grade tubing to replace the cheap PVC tubing that we originally used, which is degrading. Also, we are legally not allowed to do this within anything but a dedicated structure. If the Green Building is to become a farm stand, we cannot house the biodiesel processor in the same place for liability reasons. So this includes a 107 sqft building dedicated to biodiesel processing, storage, and distribution, located where the large berm is now. It would include a public filling station for fuel shareholders.

Capital Budget

$4,000: 107 sqft building with catchement for largest tank
$800: buried electrical service
$1,000: plumbing of special resistant materials
------
$5,800: total

Confidence factor: ±30% (mostly building costs)

80 hours: Jan: research, engineering, and design
320 hours: Jan and others: construction and installation

Confidence factor: ±50%

Operations Budget

$728 monthly gross income, based on $1.40 per litre for 520 litres monthly
$416 monthly expenses, primarily methanol, with some potassium hydroxide and electricity
----
$312 monthly net income

Confidence factor: ±10%



Project/Dairy production increases

Currently, our dairy operations are limited by the amount of hay we can store for the winter. We need roughly one ton of hay per goat, and our existing 10'x20' carport can store about nine tons, so we cannot house more than nine goats for the winter without purchasing hay. An inexpensive pole-barn structure would allow us to double or more the hay we can store. In addition, with more goats, we need better fencing, as the electric fence that controlled two or four goats no longer control ten! This project would allow us to increase our herd to perhaps 20 animals or more. This is a high-confidence-factor project, as we have a track record and know our costs and income well. It would, however, require marketing to increase sales.

Capital Budget

$12,000: for 20'x20' building @ $30 per sqft
$2,750: to fence one acre @ $2.50 per running foot for 1,100 lineal feet of 6' page-wire fencing from "T" posts and local split cedar
------
$14,750: total

Confidence factor: ±10%

24 hours: Jan: research, engineering, and design
200 hours: Jan and others: construction and installation

Confidence factor: ±30%

Operations Budget

$6,400: 2011 actual dairy profit centre income
$16,000: estimated eventual income after three years of breeding.

Confidence factor: ±10%



Project/Water security

We currently do all our irrigation and all our domestic water from one well. We have legal access to a two acre reservoir (via 4" buried line) and a year-round stream (via 3" buried line). We need to invest in these alternatives in order to use the most opportune water source for any given situation. This involves a siphon-starter for the reservoir, finding the end of the 3" stream line, plumbing sources to the greenhouse and cisterns, digging small ponds and swales, and installing a second pumping system. We have a large cistern on-hand for this project.

$1,000: buried location service, five hours at $200 per hour.
$500: excavation for new buried plumbing
$750: parts, fittings, etc.
$1,250: pump and pressure tank
------
$3,500: total

Confidence factor: ±20%

48 hours: Jan: research, engineering, and design
200 hours: Jan and others: construction and installation

Confidence factor: ±30%

Operations Budget

As a water security measure, this is difficult to quantify. Currently, a drought or well problem could result in the loss of tens of thousands of dollars of crops and greenhouse starts. Having three sources of water will vastly reduce our dependence on our well.

Confidence factor: ±100%

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