Alumni Profiles: Jake Maher Delisle


This past winter, Jake Maher Delisle resolved to getting his sustainable farming practice underway. Pigstarter is Jake’s way of leveraging his new network of permaculture allies to begin.

Mr. Delisle came up from Alabama to take our 2011 Permaculture Design Certificate course. Afterwards he was fired up about permaculture organizing, teaching and practice and traveled about the country gaining experience. When a position was offered to him at Six Circles Farm in the Finger Lakes he returned and has since become a key FLPCI volunteer and PDC staff member.

Last year, Jake was a huge help at Wellspring Forest Farm, Cayuta Sun Farm, and a variety of other local permaculture and agricultural projects in the Ithaca and Watkins Glen area. This past summer, while working at Cayuta Sun, his interest in raising pastured pigs was (re)ignited.

As a farm hand without his own land, Jake can not easily start a small herd of hogs. However, as a FLPCI graduate, he has a community of permaculture students who can support, encourage and provide real material assistance.

Just down the road from Cayuta Sun, Ian Lausell (2008 PDC) has 17 acres of woods and fields. Once Ian offered this land, Jake turned to friends Margaret Ball (2013 PDC), Nathan Arnold (2012 PDC) and Jessica Szerszynski¬†Arnold for some media and organizational help. Out of this collaboration came Pigstarter.” Their hope is to fundraise through their neighborhood, family and permaculture connections enough capital to buy and raise a dozen pigs.¬†They want to demonstrate that young farmers with intelligence and drive but no start-up funds or land can crowdfarm their way into a successful business.

They are offering a lifetime discount for any donation over $10! Plus clever perks encouraging donors to help. Your donation supports a greater, more visionary way of raising food. Their Indiegogo page states:

The purpose of our Pigstarter project is to provide people (ourselves and, by sharing our ideas, others) the means to create food sustainably in a small-scale, highly productive agricultural system. We will supplement our own background in pig production with techniques from Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, Sepp Holzer of the Krameterhof, and other leaders in sustainable and permacultural animal husbandry. Rotational pasturing, on demand water, consolidation of local food waste systems, and a finishing on apple pomace will yield a high-quality, locally grown pork. When the season ends we plan to create a how-to guide that can assist other entre-pig-neurs in starting pork operations in their own areas.

Watch the video and then toss your donation into the hat. Thanks.