Kickstarter Countdown: We reached our goal with 57 hours to go!
Thank you to everyone who helped us reach our Kickstarter Campaign goal - your tweets, shares, likes, and pledges made an incredible difference! To see our Kickstarter campaign here. If you haven't pledged yet and still would like to, fret not - we still have 57 hours to go!
Growing Closer, Growing Farmers:
When Fresh City turned our first square foot of soil in our first growing season of 2011, we had six member farmers on board. As much as we led and supported our farmers, they taught us. We were able to improve and expand our program for our second season last year, growing to 10 member farmers. Fresh City's program allowed these new commercial farmers to test out crops, business models, and markets and the results have been astounding: Jess and Caitlin have gone on to start Sage Rising, a herb farm in Annex backyards of downtown Toronto; Amy has grown her own Red Pocket Farm, specializing in Asian greens, and Jessica G., a volunteer last season, has joined the member farmer program with Sweet Gale Gardens, a bouquet flower farm.
Our approach is entrepreneurial. We are creating the infrastructure and foundation of making a living by farming the city. Why? So that meeting a city farmer at a dinner party will one day be commonplace. Fresh City member farmers each receive a starter plot at our home base and many also have other plots around the city in yards and other underused spaces. Member farmers get access to greenhouse space, cold storage, tools and a market through the Fresh City box program and farmers markets. Above all, member farmers are part of a supportive community that celebrates on the good days and consoles on the bad days.
Reaching our goal of $20,000 will help our current and future farmers:
Farming sustainably in the twenty-first century is not for the weak of heart or mind. A little leg up from you can go a long way to a beginner city farmer. This will help us create infrastructure for present and future member farmers to succeed, including:
(1) better cold storage (reduces waste and allows for continuous harvest)
(2) irrigation (especially important in this unpredictable climate)
(3) shared tools (particularly high-cost tools such as rototillers)
(4) farmers market van
(5) passively heated greenhouse space for seedlings
The more we are able to raise, the better platform we can create for member farmers to succeed. About half of the funds will go directly to member farmers to help in purchasing seed and soil amendments.
What growing closer means for you and your family, friends, and city:
Farming organically in the city means less chemicals and less energy used. That means cleaner rivers, lakes, oceans, soil and air. It means less carbon emissions and more biodiversity. It also means thousands of people fed some of the freshest and tastiest produce this side of a backyard garden. Perhaps our most powerful impacts are the visceral food experiences we facilitate for our broader community. Be it by hosting school groups for tours, leading small business volunteer work days, mentoring at-risk youth interns, speaking at various events or just sharing our story with farmers market patrons, we are bringing people closer to good food.
Thank you for growing closer with us!