Ssussdriad is an introductory, living-framework for communities to collaborate in building a new society that meets the needs of the individual, community, and planet. This framework is patterned after the characteristics and behaviors of the natural world and so, is by design, adaptive, resilient, creative, and beneficial to all life on earth.
Ssussdriad will be a community-owned business of 3 modular, yet integrated, components. A bookstore and restaurant, a regenerative farm, and a unique, story-driven website. These components will be modular in the sense that they'll function independently of each other, and integrated in that they'll cooperate through supply and waste streams, marketing and sales channels, branding, and purpose.
Ssussdriad is a blueprint for building a strong locally-owned economy, food chain, and education system, and restoring our downtown to its natural role as our central social commons, where we overcome our conflicts, and collaborate on strategies for approaching the obstacles we face, where we come together at the helm.. Ssussdriad is a path to communities where our children can discover and follow their passions while still providing for their families. Communities where nutritional food is abundant and accessible, where we get to teach our children how to fly, and give them the tools and the stage from which to teach the world.
Through this community-owned company, support at all levels will drive research and development addressing a vast array of economic, social, and environmental needs. Data-science will be leveraged in our research, and business, whereby participation at any level, from a social share to enjoying a meal, an individual will directly influence Ssussdriad’s direction, and where free membership, and verified community connection, earn participants equal voting rights in matters of note, such as the allocation of surplus.
To start, there will be three areas of focus:
Arts and alternative education
By addressing the above areas, we can begin healing our bodies and our land, our culture, and our economy, while simultaneously providing the next generations of children with the education, nutrition, and emotional intelligence needed to form opinions about the world, and the tools, channels, and emotional fortitude to effectively influence its direction.
Steven Chavez / Chef
Steve’s culinary escapade began in 2016, when his wife decided to enroll in the West Hills culinary program in Lemoore, Ca and asked him to tag along. From that moment on, he developed a desire to create awesome, unique, and delicious food. In the years since, he has cooked at Monet's Wine Bistro in Exeter, Fugazzi’s in Hanford, and Thomas Hill Organics, and Brunch Paso in Paso Robles. A desire to be his own boss drove him to where he is now, running a successful meal prep business called Slice and Dice Chef Services.
Mike Chavez / Farmer
“I’m an inspired farmer with a small family, lots of great energy and will to feed my family and friends while saving the world with Nate Odom”
Nando Carter / Filmmaker
Fernando Galarza Carter is an independent filmmaker from Hanford California. He is a student of Film and Graphic Communications at Fresno City College with a certificate in Digital Video. Fernando is the Vice President of the New Media Club and the President of the Dead Film Society Club at Fresno City College. Fernando began making films in 2012 with his phone and limited resources. He values working with like minded individuals who have a passion for film and a need to create. In his films, Fernando explores themes such as diversity and transformation and constantly challenges himself by tackling different genres.
Anthony Hernandez / Data Scientist
Anthony Hernandez recently graduated with his Masters Degree in Data Science Application and Artificial Intelligence from Bellevue University at Fresno State College. Anthony believes that thoughtfully applied data science will help solve the world’s toughest problems.
Cutting Edge Capital / Law firm
The mainstream models for raising capital leave out vast, untapped numbers of people who want to invest in the businesses and organizations that provide real value in the real world. We are leading a movement that is bringing new capital — by directly engaging more people as investors — to the new economy — an economy that is resilient, just, and sustainable. This movement of “new capitalists” is questioning the old paradigms and bringing new models to the table that expand the capital raising options for social enterprises that are more democratic and values-driven. These models allow all stakeholders to benefit as ventures thrive.
Over 100 years of cumulative experience
The Focus Areas
Downtowns were once our social commons, where we came together as a community to decide on the direction of our cities. They are also the economic heart of our towns. Small businesses return 52 cents per dollar into local circulation, compared to 14 cents from national chain retailers. With restaurants it's 79 cents per dollar compared to 30.
Covid has seen a mass exodus of funds from our communities as small businesses have been forced to close, but we have kept spending at the corporate retailers. This is a path to economic ruin. But it doesn't have to be. If we put in the work, our downtowns can once again be the gathering places from which we build a stronger future.
Current industrialized agriculture is dependent on external inputs which, ironically, suppress life in the soil. As a result, plants aren't able to defend themselves against pest and disease, so we defend them with chemicals. But pests and disease are nature's quality control. If plants need to be defended against pests and disease, we shouldn't be eating them. The company responsible for 30% of global seed, and pesticide distribution is also one of the worlds biggest pharmaceutical companies. In the language of business, this speaks volumes.
Nature does better, there's just no profit in it for the corporations. The profit goes instead to the farmer, and to the community in the form of public health.
Arts and Alternative Education
Our current education system is a product of the industrial revolution. It got us here, but if we are to adapt to this changing world, a new model is necessary. Fortunately, there’s no need to tear down the old before building the new. CreateCA is an arts-advocacy organization that has partnered with the California Department of Education to develop Arts-Integrated Curriculum that meets standards while facilitating creativity, and whole-person education.
The creative sector in California generates $600 billion a year. That’s over 25% of California’s total economic output. Only 1% of that comes from the Central Valley. It’s time we change that, and prepare our children for the future.
The farm will be regenerative, and bio-intensive, with a focus on the nutrient quality of our produce, and the health of soil biology. We will produce quality fruits and vegetables without the use of fungicides, pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers, which all suppress soil life. We will facilitate life instead, and in doing so, let nature to do the work.
Similar farms, in size and practices, are making $100k+ a year with a 40% profit margin.. although, we do not intend to charge the same premium, as making nutrient-dense food accessible is the priority. Also, as you will see below, we will be managing our own diverse sales channels, saving 15-30% in distribution fees.
Strategies for success
By adopting the uniform bed-width of 30", we will be able to make use of the many time-saving tools that have been produced in recent years. For example, the gridder seen below expedites plant-spacing with an easy-to-follow grid pattern imprinted in the top-soil.
Every seed that is planted on our farm will be inoculated with the appropriate mycorrhizal fungi, facilitating an ancient symbiotic relationship that substantially improves a plant’s access to nutrients, and water.
Diversity will be leveraged on our farm. Diversity in plant life produces diverse microbial communities in the soil, increasing overall health. As plant and soil health grow more robust, plants become naturally immune to pests and disease, because pests cannot digest the complex sugars manufactured by a healthy plant.
In addition to analyzing soil samples under the microscope, we will be collecting data in many other ways. One such feedback loop will be the use of a refractometer for measuring the total dissolved solids (sugars, minerals etc) in plant sap, or "brix" - a measurement that correlates with a plant's photosynthetic efficiency; brix and plant health go hand in hand. And healthy food = healthy humans.
I intend for this to be the first of many regenerative research farms in the area to eventually plug into local schools with virtual education, raised-bed planters, and field-trips. By the time our students reach high school they'll have a deep understanding of the mechanisms that govern life everywhere on the planet, and experience with diverse farming techniques adaptable to any climate. When in high-school, internships will offer students opportunities to manage a community owned food network, managing restaurant and door-to-door produce distribution, a year-round market, and have the frequent responsibility of teaching their younger peers, experiencing first-hand the impact they can have on the community and the future, and how rewarding that can be. And you can bet they'll know what they're looking at under a microscope.
Value for the community
-Help our community take control of its health
-Improve our economy, social structures, and environment for generations to come.
-Make Nutrient-Dense Food affordable
-Data to back up Nutrient Claims
-Opportunity for hands-on participation
-Connecting people with the land and the processes of the earth
-Teaching people to provide for themselves
-Support = environmental, social, and economic change
-Classes / in-person, virtual:
-Value-Added products - ex. Candied Nuts, preserves
Consultation (later phase)
-Bookstore/restaurant - retail, dine-in, meal-prep
-Local restaurants and private chefs
-Advertisements in our game-shows and other live broadcasts
-Word of mouth
The Bookstore / Restaurant
Parents are tired after working all day, but they still want to provide a healthy and engaging environment for their family. They want to eat healthy, have fun, and make a difference in the community. The bookstore will make this easier, and make having an impact as easy as hanging out with friends.
Ssussdriad Books will be located in downtown Hanford, ca, providing a meaningful, dynamic, exciting, and positive environment for families while generating revenue and awareness for Ssussdriad and its focus areas, and strengthening community connections. It will also serve as a visitors’ center, promoting Hanford business and activities.
Child-friendly games and activities will be ubiquitous. This will range from modern play areas to VR and Augmented Reality technologies. When we have the resources, I intend to hire Fun Factory Sensory Gyms to install our play area, and purchase an AR projector from Beam, which will turn any surface into an interactive playground.
Rather than made-to-order meals, we will pre-sell seats for quality banquets at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This will allow us to maintain the bookstore atmosphere throughout the day, minimize overhead, and free up the kitchen for meal-prepping. It will also help us to meet dietary needs, and allow patrons to opt-in for participation in game shows, which we'll discuss in a moment.
We will offer meal-prep services. Customers can purchase individual meals for dine-in or takeout, as well as order meals in bulk.
We will sell fresh produce, both our own and from other nearby regenerative farms.
In addition to concerts, guest speakers, and other activities, patrons will have the chance to opt-in for game-shows that will take place on-stage during select banquet meals. These game shows will be live-streamed to the Finding Hanford social media (discussed under "website"), allowing participants to tag family and friends before-hand, and keep those memories available online. Participants opting in early will give us the time needed to film interviews and mini-docs leading up to events, making for an engaging viewing experience, in person and online.
Value for the community
-Offering quality, healthy food, entertainment, and an exciting child-friendly environment.
-Children’s activities will be fun and engaging, while being educational
-Customers get to know the farms and people their food comes from.
-Various marketing to support local regenerative farms.
-Events like Art Hop and game-shows provide dynamic family fun
^Turning these events into unscripted live-productions will allow participants to share memories with family and friends live, and anytime in the future.
-Through the dynamic nature of the larger project, we will be able to start making health affordable to all.
-Support at all levels, from sharing a post on social media, to attending a concert, drives economic, social, and environmental change.
^by leveraging data science, we will attempt to quantify this, making that data transparent, and celebrating patrons for their participation.
-One place meeting many, many needs
-Always something happening
-When our great great grandchildren are learning about this era in history, they will get to see us building a better future with their own eyes
Products and Activities
-Food: Dine-in/banquet, Meal-Prep
-Events / broadcasts: Art Hop, Game Shows, news,
Podcast w/ live guests on-stage
-Will serve as studio for Finding Hanford broadcasts
The Websites / Social media
Here's where everything ties together
FindingHanford.com / Social media
The FindingHanford website will feature an online store for local businesses, a community calendar, news, blog, and live broadcasts, as well as a community forum and chatroom.
Free and paid Native advertising will be offered to local businesses, exploring via story-driven video, blog, podcast, and live-broadcasts, who these businesses are rather than just what they sell.
The main element to start will be videos leading up to the monthly art hop that explore businesses and artists. Not simply what they create, or what they sell, but who they are as human beings in our community.
A multi-camera live-stream at the art hop itself will create a dynamic viewing experience, and feature pre-recorded video to help drive story.
Products and Activities
-Online Marketplace for local business
-Broadcasts: Art Hop, Gameshows, Finding Hanford talk show
Paid advertisement that matches the form, feel, and function of the media on which it appears. For example, blog posts instead of banner ads, and story instead of product.
-Community Calendar (Loxi)
Anyone can submit community events.
I went with NopCommerce, an open-source e-commerce solution, but I am having trouble finding a local web developer with experience in APS.NET, so I may revert to a wordpress solution instead. For now, I am holding out hope, and will show examples of the nopcommerce software and visual theme I have selected. I am currently organizing the website.
Open-source and fully customize-able, with robust data analytics, seo, marketing tools, and multi-vendor support, all out-of-the-box.
I purchased the NopElement theme because it has a variety of visual options to choose from, which will allow me to periodically change the design. Live Demo
Live Streaming Software
-Open Broadcast Software (OBS) for live-streaming. Paired with Obs.Ninja, I can pull in an HD video feed from anyone with a smartphone and a wifi connection. This is how we will effectively stream the art hops and other events that are spread across multiple locations.
Ssussdriad's website and socials are being reorganized to document the project. The art hop and live-broadcasts will be moved under FindingHanford.
Ssussdriad will feature a forum where organizers in other communities can collaborate.
For real-time discussions. Both the FindingHanford and Ssussdriad Discord channels are housed under the Ssussdriad server. By keeping project-relevant discussion in a public Discord, transparency is maintained, and developments are documented.
I introduced this project via a GoFundMe on August 12, because the farm-able portion of the land I grew up on is up for sale. My mom died 3 days later, and that loss turned my world upside down. Without me there to push, the campaign failed. In all the dreaming I’ve done over the years, imagining the start of this, I hadn’t thought it would forever be punctuated by the loss of my mom.
The new strategy is a Patreon asking $2/month, and a facebook event designed to introduce Ssussdriad to the Hanford area, and on Sept 21, to the world.
Land - $60,000
The land is a 1.2 acre partition of a 2.8 acre property. The 1.2 acres is co-owned by my grandfather and my uncle. My uncle is sick and wants to sell, grandpa is fine with me buying out my uncle and farming. There was a deal but it fell through, giving me a second chance at farming on the land I grew up on, and keeping a time-intensive component of my project near my grandparents. After the loss of my mom, this is all the more important.
I had until Aug 24th to come up with the funds($60,000), and was unsuccessful. Now it’s a matter of raising the funds before a new buyer approaches the property. The farm-able land is 1.6 acres with the larger property having 2 wells, and an access road. Available for use is the equipment needed to prepare the land, a barn, and additional space adequate for greenhouses and composting.
Soil Foodweb School - $4,000
The Soil Foodweb School is an online course by Dr. Elaine Ingham, the world's leading soil biologist. My soil biology knowledge is conceptual. With this course I will become deeply familiar with soil processes, and gain the microscope skills to analyze fungal and bacteria populations in soil and compost samples, as well as the skills to build amendments that will guide those microbial populations toward the ideal ratios for any given crop.
Tuition will be $3,160 after a generous discount they've offered. Tuition is normally $6,000.
The remaining $840 will be used to purchase a microscope and penetrometer.
Legal Fees - $5,000
In order for Cutting Edge Capital to get started on our Direct Public Offering, they require a deposit of $2,500. When these funds are exhausted they will invoice another. The $5,000 is to cover the deposit, and the second invoice.
Advertising - $10,000
This money will be used to advertise the Direct Public Offering locally, and promote Ssussdriad to an audience both local and extended.
In the book, "Crystal Soldier" by Sharon Lee, and Steve Miller, we meet Jela. Jela is an M-Series Soldier, grown in a lab for the sole purpose of fighting the Sheriekas, a mysterious foe that threatens life throughout the galaxy.
For the rest of this story, as it relates to the name I've chosen for this project, check out This Blog Post