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!