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Farm-fresh, wholesome, delicious food, artfully shared with the community on a storybook farm - all we need is the certified kitchen!
Farm-fresh, wholesome, delicious food, artfully shared with the community on a storybook farm - all we need is the certified kitchen!
198 backers pledged $25,334 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$25,334

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The Farm

Squash Blossom Farm is an artisan farmstead devoted to Local Food, Local Art & Local Music.   We are small (only 10 acres) but diverse!  Everything we do at Squash Blossom Farm involves art, music and food, but especially food: Raising chickens for both eggs and meat,  cows for both dairy and beef, turkeys, bees, growing vegetables and herbs for our CSA and for sale to restaurants; baking wood-fired sourdough bread and delectable pastries; hosting pizza parties; making cheeses; gathering wild foods. However, we are limited to selling relatively small quantities of prepared food at the Farmers Market.

The Dream

Building a commercial kitchen will allow us to expand sales of our breads and pastries beyond our current Farmers Market venue -- we would be able to sell our artisan baked goods on our farm and through local co-ops, grocers and restaurants.  We could add a bread share option to our CSA boxes! 

In addition to the bakery operation, a certified kitchen would allow us to host intimate farm dinners and larger events on the farm.  We could invite experts to teach classes in food preservation, ethnic cuisines, and fermented foods. Our certified farm kitchen could provide space for other local food entrepreneurs to expand their operations. We would be able to provide sustenance to students taking classes at the farm and could serve food and beverages to the people who come to the farm to enjoy live music on weekends.

The Plan

We already have the perfect  space in the front of our classic barn to create a certified kitchen. However, satisfying all the modern-day code requirements in a 1914 building is a challenge and it is costly.  A large portion of the cost will be the required new well and septic system.  If successful, the Kickstarter campaign will provide about a quarter of our funding; we will also borrow from our 401K account and take out a loan.

The Philosophy

Squash Blossom Farm operates using permaculture principles, so it is important to us that our kitchen project is designed for sustainability. Most of the kitchen's electricity will be produced by the 36 photovoltaic solar panels already installed on the south-facing barn roof.  The kitchen will be energy-efficient and use environmentally friendly materials. It will be designed for flexibility so that other local food entrepreneurs can rent it during our off hours, making maximum use of the space and investment, and nurturing a community of local food entrepreneurs.

Risks and challenges

The overall project includes installing a new well and septic system, preparing space in our barn for the kitchen, and equipping it with commercial grade food service equipment. Funding will come from loans, grants, our own pocketbook, and the Kickstarter Campaign. Applications for the loans and grants have been started, and their approval process will run concurrently with the campaign.
There is always a risk of unknown conditions underground or hidden within the existing building construction, and the final design may need to be adjusted to deal with these. As an artist and architect by training, we have the creativity and skills to address these contingencies.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    We will plant a seed in your name and send you a heartfelt thank you email.

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    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    Five fabulous farm fowl feathers from our flock of beautiful chickens, ducks, guinea hens, and turkeys.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Free Family admission to the 3rd Annual Cow Puja & Farm Fair on September 29th. Feed the cows a special treat as they are blessed and thanked for blessing us. Browse the artisan vendor booths, listen to great bands all afternoon, eat yummy food and soak up the fun farm atmosphere. All backers who contribute $10 or more will receive this reward, in addition to any other reward they select!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    HoneyBear bottle of delicious prairie-flower honey from our free-range honeybees.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    2 loaves of our famous sourdough bread, can be picked up at the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market or at the farm.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Squash Blossom Farm T- Shirt sporting the festive Annual Cow Puja design.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Roger Nelson CD of original acoustic tunes, "The Bones of My Inner Ear"

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Delicious and beautiful magenta Elderberry-Sumac jelly, wild-crafted from our farm.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Set of 8 notecards, featuring Susan's favorite farm photographs.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Colorful origami box containing 6 delectable, handcrafted chocolate truffles. Made with organic ingredients.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Grow your own Pizza! Our favorite vegetables and herbs for pizza, including heirloom tomatoes, sweet peppers, onion, garlic chives, oregano, basil and thyme. A collection of 12 robust, started plants to be set into your Pizza Garden next spring, complete with instructions.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    A box of Squash Blossom Farm bounty: a sampler of honey, jam, and farm-fresh vegetables.

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    20 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Your choice of workshop on the farm: Sourdough bread-making, aquaponics, clay oven building, backyard chickens, honeybee basics, food safety, cheese making, and more.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Fancy Afternoon Tea in the Garden for up to 12 people, featuring the finest organic tea, prettiest dishes, and the most elegant, delectable pastries we can concoct!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Invite your best buddies for a pizza party on the farm, for up to 10 people.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Susan Waughtal original painting, acrylic on canvas, approximately 20 x 20, with a farm or garden theme.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Membership in our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Each week June through September, get a half bushel box of freshly harvested vegetables and a dozen eggs from our happy chickens.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Roger and Susan will construct a beautiful wood-fired earthen oven for you and teach you how to bake bread and pizza in it! (Offered in 30 mile radius of Rochester, MN)

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Funding period

- (30 days)