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Innovation Sandbox: The Knowledge Network


A critical component of the Yellow Barn Farm vision is for our land to be a platform for growth beyond the land itself. People are meant to grow here as well. We’re entirely invested in this idea, and in our first year as an established farm, it has been fulfilling and enlightening to learn from community talent to better understand our place in service to people. The feedback, ideas, and connections we’ve received has enabled us to put together a Knowledge Network - an organized talent pool ready to execute on upcoming plans for the next stage of Yellow Barn Farm’s development. To illustrate how the Knowledge Network fits into the Yellow Barn Farm ecosystem, as well as the greater Boulder/Longmont/Lyons ecosystem, let’s take a look at the four groups that are energetically/monetarily invested in our mission and how each accesses the Knowledge Network.


But before we dive in, here’s an overview of the Knowledge Network.


The Knowledge Network

As we charge headlong into a new year, we’ve been ruminating on ways of organizing people to streamline the way we as a community go about furthering the regenerative agriculture mission. We believe the way we can begin to innovate people processes is through the Knowledge Network, and in 2022, we are making this a bigger priority for the farm.


The Knowledge Network acts as a database of individuals who have indicated an interest in involvement on the farm and in the community. Whether familiar or not with the regenerative agriculture model, it doesn’t matter. What matters is a member’s desire to be a changemaker, leveraging their skill sets to aid Yellow Barn Farm in healing the earth. Commitment level is entirely up to each individual member. We know that our Knowledge Network members are busy people, and so by calling forth relevant skill sets, we will be able to maximize volunteer impact while minimizing time spent.


We will still have community volunteer days where everyone is welcome to come out and collaborate on a large project, but the Knowledge Network will allow us to create smaller volunteer teams to tackle more niche projects.


It has been clear to us since we set out on our mission one year ago, that the future of our regenerative endeavor relies on the support of the community, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the support we’ve received so far.


Knowledge Network members will be working closely with the four core groups below, and we recommend all interested members to familiarize themselves with how our operations are divided up and/or aided by these groups.


The Yellow Barn Farm regenerative ecosystem is made up of our internal team, collaborators, partners, and community members. Each with a specific role to play, with varying levels of energetic and monetary investment.


Internal Team

We currently have a dedicated team of five people living on the farm, however we do expect this number to grow as the new season kicks off. In addition to managing day-to-day operations, our team naturally acts as a test platform for cultivating talent, knowledge, and the passion to identify a personal calling. Each individual in this category has the highest energetic investment to the farm.


We realize that time is the ultimate currency, and by making time for our core team members to not only support the farm, but to also branch out through additional entrepreneurial endeavors, enables cultivation of an ecosystem that supports personal development and strengthens the diversity of conventional and unconventional skills alike, with an overarching focus on regenerative innovation. This focus is what we’ve carried into the Knowledge Network.


We’re excited to have our internal team take the lead on coordinating the Yellow Barn Farm Knowledge Network for this upcoming season. More information on this below.


Partners

Partners are a crucial driving force of progress, helping to create actionable plans with focus in the right directions that accelerate our mission through high-level consulting expertise in this emerging regenerative space. Drylands Agroecology Research has been especially active as a partner to Yellow Barn Farm, bringing second-to-none experience and passion for cultivating ecosystems. DAR not only has aligned core values, but also acts as a role model for business and people systems. This is what makes them a great example of an ideal partner.


By design, our partners will also have access to our Knowledge Network, providing community members with exciting opportunities to branch out beyond Yellow Barn and engage with other local regenerative-driven organizations. Hopefully you got a chance to learn more about our partners at DAR//Elk Run Farm during our Farm Hop bus tours and Farm Fest vendor events, but if you didn’t that’s okay because there will be more opportunities this upcoming season!

Collaborators

Collaborators are organizations engaging with the farm through events, programming, and vision development. Current collaborators include but are not limited to: Compost Colorado, Campworks, Luciously Local, and Edaphic Solutions, amongst others. For our collaborators, we provide a welcoming and all-inclusive venue, as well as intimate exposure to a vivid community that supports local business and regenerative efforts out of principle.


Collaborators may lead smaller, focused teams of Knowledge Network members in tackling smaller niche projects that further the Yellow Barn mission either here on the farm, or nearby.


Community Members (Knowledge Network)

Community members make up the Knowledge Network, bringing a wide variety of skills and “capital” - whether it be financial, cultural, experiential, intellectual, or other. These are contributions that aren’t always tangible, but no less important. It quite honestly becomes arbitrary when a change-maker shows up and provides something that we never knew we needed, whether it be ideas on how to shift the farm’s primary energy source to biofuel, or how to create a small scale microgreens operation in-house. Yes, these are two real ideas brought forth by people in our community that have taken the lead to bring their ideas to life on the farm.


If you would like to become a part of the knowledge network and support the Yellow Barn Farm ecosystem, visit the Brain Food section of our website.


In 2022, we want to bring the Boulder, Longmont, and Lyon’s communities together in what is quickly becoming a sandbox for regenerative innovation.


Thank you for reading!


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