Thanks Emer for the clarification.
I do indeed come from a Protestant background, but I don't think the 19thC RDS landed gentry were the originators of productive managed large-scale mixed farming combined with horticulture; this goes back to the monasteries in Norman times, and perhaps earlier. I have a high regard for Teilhard de Chardin, whose philosophy I helped Derry Kelleher to promote in the 1960s, at a time when there was an active emergent 'Catholic Left'.
I was not aware of AD as short for 'anaerobic digestion'; however my father and I were on to this in the 1950s, and I was promoting it in the 1970s via my Irish Times science and technology column at the time of the first oil crisis. It could perhaps be the key to optimising the scale of the productive co-operative multi-product system. I am in two minds whether this should be based on the requirement to fuel a cold store for added-value food products, as well as heating a glass-house,, or a CHP system supplying the local village hot water supply and the grid. The CHP aspect is I think important if AD is used for electricity generation. If 10 100ha farms combine to develop a 1000ha system, what would be the scale of the AD output? A limiting factor could be the cost of locally transporting the raw input.
It is possible to do pilot system work on a small individual scale, and good luck to you in what you are doing. I visited some time ago an organic farm in Meath specialising in free-range pigs and poultry; the pig, poultry and feed-production fields were rotated, with the pigs contributing considerable ploughing energy in the cycle. She had also a grass ley field, for horses, which she sold to the jumping community; she regarded this as a by-product. It would be interesting to do a worm-count in her soil compared to neighbours. She also was into adapting the hedging in support of bees and pollen etc, but was not much yet into horticulture; this was an obvious next step. Her neighbours had a few sad cattle in ragwort-infested fields; there is no doubt she was very productive. If she were to get into cows and milk she would need to scale up substantially. Perhaps by now this has happened. But maybe milk and meat are of decreasing relative importance?
I am doing my own pilot experimentation with fruit and vegetables in an urban garden in Rathmines. I am depending on kitchen compost supplemented by wood ash fortified with urine, and I am wondering how best to optimise the N/P/K/trace-element mix. Any suggestions? I have had a serious slug problem. In an earlier version a decade ago I had a pond, with frogs, and these took care of the slugs.