Friday, July 27, 2012

Kickstarting the CSA

Next spring, our goal is to establish a Community Supported Agriculture project that will allow us to sell our farm-fresh goodies straight to the people of the Chattanooga area in other ways than just at a Farmer's Market.

To help get this going, we've set up a Kickstarter project that will help us with some of the tools we'll need in the beginning. For now, this includes a greenhouse, a better irrigation system, and a few odds and ends.

The thing about Kickstarter is it's not just about donating to a cause. They have the site set up to let you give rewards for different tiers of contributions. So, for example, if you give $100, you'll get a 100% Organic Cotton T-Shirt, AND everything in the lower tiers, which includes a thank you on our website and FB page, a personal thank-you note sent to your home, a White Ivy Farm bumper sticker, and a postcard with a picture of one of our animals. So it's not like you're just throwing money at someone, you're actually getting some goodies in the process.

I was made aware of Kickstarter when Brian Fargo's Wasteland 2 video game project started earlier this year. Since then, he not only met his goal, but he also set up another program that allows Kickstarters to give back 5% of their earnings to other Kickstarter programs. When I set my project up, I made sure we were a part of this Kicking It Forward program as well.

The most ironic part of all of this is that a CSA itself uses a system very similar to Kickstarter anyway. Customers give their lump sum at the beginning of the season to get baskets of fresh produce throughout the year. That initial lump sum helps fund the farm for their up-front costs such as seeds and animal feed.

So that's why we're doing this. We see it as an opportunity to share the farm with others who want to help get it started, while raising money to help with some initial costs.

Even if you're not able to throw some money at the project, tell some friends or family members who might be interested. Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Introducing: White Ivy Farm

It's been a crazy few months, but I have some exciting news to announce! After years of dreaming, a year of working my butt off and a month of paperwork, we are now officially known as White Ivy Farm. And I guess that means I can now call myself a farmer!

I haven't said too much about this side of things because I have this weird superstition about jinxing stuff if I talk about my plans before they happen, but this is set up and legal now, so there's no turning back.

What do we plan to do with this new fancy business? Well, the goal is to sell at Farmer's Markets the rest of this season and start a CSA in May of 2013. This CSA will be for 22 weeks and the price is yet to be determined, but it will be in line with other local CSAs ($500-$600 per share per 22-week season).

My daughter with our first watermelon of the season
As for our garden, that's been crazy as well. Sarah's been creating some wonderful meals from our tomatoes, onions, peppers, potatoes, carrots, blackberries, and beans, and we look forward to everything else that's still growing. I also bought another 30 baby chicks, and they're growing like crazy. They're variations of the Americauna or "Easter Egger" chickens so they'll lay green, blue, and pink eggs, which should be fun to sell at the Farmer's Market.

Cashew is growing quickly and now allowed to run around with the other goats in the big pasture. She mainly follows Smokey around all day, but at least she's well-protected.

If you'd like to read up on our new farm, you can check out the website at Be sure to also check out the Facebook page where we try to post more pictures than I do here. I'm sure I'll keep this blog as it's been my record of the transition, but I'm not sure if I'll move everything over to the website or just simply link to this one as my blog. Suggestions are welcome!