This thing started with the idea of developing and sharing skills for living. The real skills you'd need in the event of a breakdown of society - say as a result of a zombie apocalypse or the rise of dystopian politics.
This was a pretty broad remit, so we narrowed it down to:
growing our own fruit and vegetables
rearing our own livestock
developing survival skills
exploring how technology can help with this
sharing what we learn to encourage others in similar ventures
helping new generations gain a better understanding of where their food comes from.
A few years ago we started a 'practice' smallholding, using it as a kind of lab environment for various projects. We got some chickens, built a cob oven, set up an aquaponics system, got into solar energy, and looked at automation.
The following year we added a polytunnel, learned about beekeeping, and started growing a variety of crops to see what worked. We fought running battles with slugs, discovered the joys of growing chillies, and had our first proper harvests.
We set up Natural Progress in response to interest from the local community for natural food and products with provenance - ethically produced from known, mostly organic sources. We started small, selling though word of mouth and via an online shop, trying out different ideas to see what worked.
We learn from failing often, understand ourselves a little bit more, argue a lot, but mostly through bloody minded determination, inch ever closer towards our goals.
Pete and Ayesha