30 acre organic farm and learning center, designed for people of all capabilities, located just 10 minutes from Downtown Richmond, VA
We bought the farm...
A 30 acre parcel just 10 minutes from downtown Richmond, Virginia
We own the equipment...
A beautiful, industry era Ford 3000 Tractor and a beefy Track Skid Steer!
We have the experience...
Backyard Farmer boasts years of experience in sustainable agriculture, carpentry, landscaping and general construction
Now we need you to bring it all together and help grow a pioneering production farm and learning center for the Greater Richmond Region and beyond...
The Backyard Farm is a multi-faceted organic production farm located just outside of Virginia's Capital City. Our goal is to not only grow nutritious, natural produce for area grocers, restaurants and food banks, but also to create an accessible and engaging learning environment for people of all capabilities, brought together by a curiosity and passion for the outdoors. While we grow fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers, we are starting this farm so we can GROW MORE FARMERS!
With the success of our Kickstarter Campaign, we will be able to continue our development of the farm, create jobs for the community and enable others to learn about growing organic food, making compost and above all, experience the beauty of nature.
We are seeking backers to help us with 5 key infrastructural developments
1) Orchard Establishment - funding will be allocated to the purchase and propagation of a variety of select fruit producing trees and shrubs that are suited to our region. This includes Asian Pears, Hardy Kiwi, Russian Pomegranate, Figs and Berries. The produce from these plants will be used to create value added goods, such as jams / jellies, butters and tasty pies. We will also be moving towards volume production for direct wholesale to the local school systems. We are seeking $16,000 for the orchard establishment, which will include mature and juvenile fruit trees, root stock and cuttings, irrigation, staking and the labor to plant all of the trees. If successful, we will be planting the Orchard in November of 2013
2) Perennial Garden Establishment - funding will be allocated to the purchase of mature and juvenile crowns / plant stock of 4 select perennial crops (strawberries, asparagus, hops and mushrooms). We will be dedicated over 4 1/2 acres to these 4 crops, filling a much needed market for quality organic produce grown here in Virginia. These specialty crops create better paying jobs for the agriculturists who manage their production, and who doesn't want a field full of strawberries right next to a field full of hops? We are seeking $29,000 for the perennial garden establishment, which will include all plant stock, irrigation and labor to prepare the fields and plant. It also includes a dramatic, bamboo and cedar bough hops trellis capable of supporting over 4000 hops plants. Richmond's booming micro-brew industry will be knocking down our door to get some hops grown within 15 minutes of their brewery!
3) ADA Compliant Pathways for Market and Demonstration Garden - funding will be allocated to construct Wheelchair Accessible paths through our market garden, demonstration garden, event space and livestock pen. Our market garden is over an acre dedicated to growing a wide variety of seasonal produce, flowers and herbs. Within the garden is space for events (learning workshops, picnics and private parties), which we will build out to be completely wheelchair accessible. We are seeking $43,000 for the pathway development, which will include all materials, equipment and labor to build over 340 ft of paths and a 400 sq ft square and event stage.
4) ADA Compliant Production Infrastructure - funding will be allocated to the construction of several wheelchair accessible production beds as well as a fully ADA compliant greenhouse; these structures will be used to create employment opportunties for individuals with limited mobility, as well as serve as a showcase for future gardens who wish to include people of all capabilities. We have built wheelchair accessible gardens for numerous sites throughout the Greater Richmond Region and wish to increase the opportunities for everyone to grow their own food. We are seeking $28,500 for the construction of 3 Wheel Chair Accessible Production Beds and a 440 sq ft Greenhouse
5) ADA Compliant Restroom Facilities - in order to have school groups, workshops and other events at the farm, we need to have bathrooms. We have designed an off-the-grid restroom facility using salvaged storage container units (ISBU's) that we would like to prototype on the farm. This structure features solar panel assisted electrical (for lights, pumps, etc), greywater / rain catchment (for sinks, toilets, etc) and composting assisted septic which is connected either to a bioschwael or contained and shipped to an appropriate waste water treatment facility. We are seeking $14,000 for the ADA Compliant Restroom Facility
With all of these features in place, we will be able to host educational tours and workshops for the entire region, offering a unique, hands on experience for all participants.
Furthermore, with your contribution our farm can start on the long path towards productive fulfillment; our fruit trees and perennials will take several years to reach maximum productivity and with the success of this campaign, we will be able to plant over 50% of the anticipated plant materials in 1 year instead of several years. This will help bring the farm to profitability much sooner, meaning we will be able to make more jobs for Richmonders and offer more learning opportunities for everyone!
The Backyard Farm is already in development. We bought the parcel in May, just a few months ago, and already have pumpkins, basil, tomatoes and other vegetables planted and harvested. We have redone the entire well and pump system and improved electrical infrastructure. We are in the processing of tearing down the old office building, which will become our irrigation pond and feature garden area.
Please check out our amazing reward offerings. We crafted the rewards to help anyone start growing their own food today. Start off with some seeds, add some essential cooking and serving ware and end up with a full garden, installed at your home or at a school garden of your choosing. We will ship everything except the garden kits anywhere. If you are in the Richmond Region and would like contribute at the $2,500+ level, we will set up a site visit prior to your contribution, so please do not hesitate to contact us.
Reward Tier 1 ($1 - $10 contributions) - Gratitude and some Education! We understand that there are a lot of worthy efforts demanding attention for your money! For just a small donation, we will give you permanent recognition on our farm through an amazing, repurposed material art display being constructed in the middle of our market garden, a symbol of our gratitude for your support! Give $10, and we'll send you our useful garden calendar so you can stay on the same page as us when planting your garden this coming year!
Reward Tier 2 ($15 - $100) - Gardeners Delight! Everyone spends money on seeds and tools, probably every year! This year, let us send you our favorite selections of heirloom, open pollinated organic seeds, selected from our own gardens and other regional and national providers who we have tested and approved over the past several years. Based on your level of giving, we can set you up for the entire year! Be our best friend and give $100, and you will have everything you need to have a year round garden! You'll get seeds for cool and warm season crops, onion sets, cover crops, a flat to start your seeds and a hand made wooden planter trowel to make gardening even easier!
Reward Tier 3 ($150 - $1000) - Harvest and Prepare! If you have a garden, or you just like to eat, consider treating yourself to a handmade cutting board, mortar and pestle set and a years supply of seeds so you can grow your own food and then chop it up and eat it too! We pride ourselves on using every part of every plant we grow, including the ones we sometimes have to take down! All of our cutting boards and other food service ware is made from salvaged trees from storms and our skillful tree maintenance and removal service. No two pieces will be the same, just like no two people who decide to contribute to this campaign are the same! Feeling generous? Donate $1000 and get a complete dinner set for 4 people, including bowls, plates and coasters, along with a cutting board, mortar pestle and a years supply of seeds!
Reward Tier 4 ($2500 - $10000) - Start A Garden! If you or someone you know is thinking about starting their own garden this year, this is the perfect option. We know this is no small sum of money, but with this contribution, you not only get a professional assessment of your property to determine the best place for your vegetable garden, but you will receive our turn-key installation service, which gives you a beautiful, high quality raised bed structure filled with premium top soil, leaf and mushroom compost and planted with your favorite veggies. Not only that, but we will provide hand made tomato cages, trellises and other growing structure. To top it all off, we are including a fruit tree or fruit bearing shrub with every installation and you get to choose your favorite! We have installed over 300 gardens in the past several years, using the highest quality, regionally sourced cedar, cypress and white oak lumber, built with integrity to last years, feeding you and your family the healthiest, most local vegetables on the market! Each garden comes with a years supply of seeds and either the mortar and pestle, cutting board or the entire $1000 reward (Dinner Set for 4). Unfortunately, we cannot ship this reward. If you would like to contribute at the $2500 - $10000 level, but are not in the Richmond Region, please contact us and we can work something out. We have lots of schools and community centers that are in need of start up or expansion assistance!
All of the items being offered as rewards are hand made in our wood shop in the heart of Richmond, Va. We use regionally harvested lumber, including cedar, oak, maple and walnut. No two pieces are the same! If you are in the Richmond area, please get in touch with us and check out our cooperative work space and show room. We would love to show you around and tell you more about our business and Farm For All Project.
Thanks for checking us out! Please help us make this project succeed and open the farm to the public in April 2014!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The growth of our company from a small, two man operation into a network of independent contractors and educators started with less than $5,000 in capital and more questions than answers.
5 years later, we have overcome a number of challenges and are prepared for anything that comes our way. What makes our company strong is our network of highly qualified and committed individuals, each with their own set of skills and wealth of experience. Together, we can address any technical, administrative or out of the ordinary challenge that comes our way.
With the development of this farm, we understand that our obligations include having the appropriate insurance to allow children / students on the property; we have that worked out with our long-time insurance provider.
We understand that there are numerous requirements from our county planning department, with whom we have been working since we purchased the property in May.
We know that our machines will break down, our crops will be eaten by deer, our coolers will short circuit in the middle of the summer and kill all of our produce.
These are unavoidable, albeit unlikely, circumstances that we are prepared to deal with by smiling, keeping our shoulders to the ground and pushing forward.
Maintaining this property will require a large workforce, which is a defining motivation for us to successfully develop this project. We want to create jobs in sustainable agriculture! This in and of itself is a challenge, as training and maintaining a work-force can be difficult, especially when the work is as tough as farm work in the summer in Virginia! We have grown from 2 people working out of a small house into a network of over a dozen independent contractors sharing a 12,000 sq ft warehouse facility and expanding into a 30 acre farm. We have successfully run several internships which have created new work opportunities for recent college grads in a field they may have never worked in! We are prepared for the challenges of developing a motivated, engaged and happy workforce.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
seconds to go
Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
Permanent Recognition at the Backyard Farm through an inspirational recycled material art display made from glass and plastic bottles, old machinery, tools and equipment and other trashy treasures we have diverted from landfills over the past several years. Your initials or other short message will be inscribed on a single part of the finished structure. We estimate the construction of this project will start in February 2014 and be completed by AprilEstimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
Veggie Garden Calendar - written by our group of experienced farmers and gardeners, this is a concise overview of the full year of intensive, veggie gardening for your home or community garden. Packed full of useful information with great visual guides; suitable for people of all ages and experience!Estimated delivery:Add $2 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $15 or moreYou selected
Salad Seed Blend - our selection of mixed salad greens, perfect for window growing or planting in your garden. Enough seed to plant about 4 square feet (that's a lot of salads); comes with our Veggie Garden Calendar)Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
Spring Veggie Seeds - get a selection of our staples (broccoli, collards, kale, cabbage, radish, carrot, beets and swiss chard). Enough seed to plant several raised beds! Includes the Salad Seed Blend and our Veggie Garden Calendar!Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Summer Veggie Seeds - get a selection of tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and cucumbers. Enough seeds to plant several raised beds! Includes all other seed packets and our Veggie Garden Calendar!Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $30 or moreYou selected
Culinary Herb Seeds - includes the essentials (oregano, basil, cilantro, dill and parsley); enough to start 50+ plants. Includes all other seed packets and our Veggie Garden Calendar!Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
Pollinator Flower Mix - our very own blend of perennial and annual flowers known to create habitat for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds! Includes sunflowers, rudbeckia, goldenrod, aster, indigo and more! Includes all other seed packets and our Veggie Garden Calendar!Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $40 or moreYou selected
Cover Crop Seed Blend - great for use in developing gardens or over the winter, this blend will keep your beds healthy without requiring any maintenance; includes a blend of austrian winter pea and annual rye grass. Includes all other seed packets and our Veggie Garden Calendar!Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $45 or moreYou selected
Onion Sets - a dozen individual onion starts, ready for immediate planting. A dozen individual starts takes up roughly 4 sq ft (planted 6 " apart). Includes all other seed packets and our Veggie Garden Calendar!Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Recycled Material Seed Starting Flat - a small, 8" x 8" wooden seed starting flat for you to start your herbs, tomatoes and peppers! Includes all seed packets and onion sets and our Veggie Garden Calendar. All you need is seed starting mix or compost and you are ready to start your garden!Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
Hand Made Bulb Planter - made from our scrap lumber, these beautiful bulb planters are turned on our lathe and finished with natural oils; perfect for planting daffodils, tulips, onions, garlic and more! Comes neatly packed inside the Wooden Seed Starting Flat with all of the seed packets and onion sets!Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Seed Starting Blend - our recommended blend for starting seeds for use in your seed starting flat; comes packed in a reusable mason jar. Just Add Water! Includes the bulb planter, the wooden seed starting flat and all seeds!Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
Hand Crafted Mortar and Pestle - perfect for grinding herbs and seasonings or making pastes from your herb garden! Made from cut-offs from our mill and tree work and finished with natural oils. Comes with maintenance instructions for long term careEstimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
Hand Made Cutting Board (10" x 14") made from regionally sourced lumber and finished with natural oils. Most of our lumber comes from within 250 miles of our shop and includes cherry, maple, walnut and oak. Includes maintenance instructionsEstimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
The Food Prep Set - Hand Made Cutting Board, Mortar and Pestle and the $100 Garden Starter Set (wooden bulb planter, wooden seed starting tray and all seeds). Make this valuable contribution and be set for your entire gardening season, from seed to harvest!Estimated delivery:Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $750 or moreYou selected
Dinner Set for 2 - A hand crafted wooden dinner set for two people; includes a pair of salad bowls, with a matching serving plate and wooden coaster for your drink. Comes with the entire $500 reward, including a Hand Made Cutting Board, Mortar and Pestle and the entire $100 Garden Starter Set!Estimated delivery:Add $35 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
Dinner Setting for 4 - Includes a full table set of salad bowls, serving plate and coasters, along with the Hand Made Cutting Board, Mortar and Pestle and the entire $100 Garden Starter Set! In gratitude for your essential contribution, you will have permanent recognition as one of our top supporters in our recycled material art display.Estimated delivery:Add $45 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (30 left of 30)
The Starter Garden Set - two beautiful raised beds made from regionally sourced lumber (cedar, cypress or oak) featuring a small cold frame, hoops and a trellis. Includes a self pollinating fruit tree or shrub of your choosing. We can install this at your home in the Greater Richmond Region or donate to one of our school gardens. Your contribution includes all required installation and materials, including a site visit to place the garden, and site work to place the bed and fill it with top quality mushroom compost. This level of contribution includes the entire $500 reward, which means you get a hand made cutting board, mortar and pestle and the entire $100 Garden Starter Set! In gratitude for your essential contribution, you will have permanent recognition as one of our top supporters in our recycled material art display. Please contact us for more details!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
The Bigger Garden - Double the Starter Garden, meaning FOUR beautiful raised beds, plus more trellises and tomato cages. Includes a pair of fruit trees or shrubs. We can install this at your home in the Greater Richmond Region or donate to one of our school gardens. Your contribution includes all required installation and materials, including a site visit to place the garden, and site work to place the bed and fill it with top quality mushroom compost. This level of contribution includes the entire $750 reward, which means you get a pair of hand made salad bowls, serving plates and coasters, along with a hand made cutting board, mortar and pestle and the entire $100 Garden Starter Set! In gratitude for your essential contribution, you will have permanent recognition as one of our top supporters in our recycled material art display. Please contact us for more details!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
The Family Garden - 8 Raised Beds with trellises and tomato cages and 6 Fruit Trees; feed your entire family with this set up or help a school or community center in the region get an outdoor learning center established! We can install this at your home in the Greater Richmond Region or donate to one of our school gardens. Your contribution includes all required installation and materials, including a site visit to place the garden, and site work to place the bed and fill it with top quality mushroom compost. This level of contribution includes the entire $1,000 reward, which means you get a set of hand made salad bowls, serving plates and coasters, along with a hand made cutting board, mortar and pestle and the entire $100 Garden Starter Set! Donate the garden, keep the dinner set for yourself! In gratitude for your essential contribution, you will have permanent recognition as one of our top supporters in our recycled material art display. Please contact us for more details!Estimated delivery:
- (49 days)