We Reached Our Goal - But We Would Like to Reach 100 Backers!
For the price of a latte, we can plant a tree that will offset the CO2 you produce each year from using a desktop computer. Back a tree as a gift for a friend or in honour of a loved one. Thanks for all the love to date.
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is now!
We are really excited to be starting a Community Supported Agriculture market garden on our fourth generation family farm in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Calgary. We are planting over 1,000 trees in June 2017 to create a food forest shelter belt. It will reduce soil erosion and provide habitat for resident wildlife, which is good for our environment. It will also create a microclimate around our vegetable patch, and provide local fruits and nuts for our members and supporters.
What kind of trees are you planting?
Apple, Plum, Cherry Plum, Cherry, Haskaps, Gooseberry, Currant, Saskatoon, Pear, Hazlenut, Korean Pine, Tamarack, White Birch, Green Alder, Canada Buffaloberry, Wild Raspberry, Seabuckthorn, Lilac, and Manitoba Maple.
Why should I give you my money?
We will plant a tree for you, making you part of our real and virtual shelter belt that will help support our new business. We have multiple tiers of rewards for our benefactors and patrons, including, but not limited to hand engraved copper tags that will be attached to individual trees as an enduring legacy of your support. 2017 will also be our first year as a CSA and you can support us by becoming one of our first 20 subscribers! Other awesome rewards include an invitation to a food tasting event in 2020, when our trees should be producing fruit, and maps so you can find the tree you helped plant.
What is the value of a shelter belt?
The long-lasting value of shelterbelts became evident during the design phase of our 4 acre vegetable operation. A shelter belt provides protection from the wind which allows us to lengthen our growing season. Usually shelterbelts have at least three layers of trees: a short shrub, a deciduous tree and a conifer. We have come up with a plan to include edible fruit trees in the design, some of which are native to the prairies.
How does Community Supported Agriculture at Summit Hill Farm benefit me?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a different way of buying food, it links you directly to your local farmers. By purchasing an annual membership from Summit Hill Farm, you can eat easy, knowing that your vegetables are fresh, local and grown using restorative agricultural practices. CSAs help make small-scale local farming a sustainable option. Together, we share the inherent risk and bounties of growing vegetables in Alberta. This is our first year operating a CSA on our fourth generation farm.
Who have you been working with?
We have received amazing support from the Agroforestry and Woodlot Extension Society (AWES) to design and plant our shelter belt. We have also been partnered with a group of SAIT students who mapped our garden and ¼ section of land as part of their capstone project. We are also studying to become certified Master Organic gardeners through the Stony Plain Heritage Agricultural Society, the Gaia College and the Society of Organic Urban Landcare!
Why a Kickstarter?
Normally, there is provincial funding to cost share the planting and design costs of shelter belts. Unfortunately the program is oversubscribed for 2016 and 2017. Since it takes decades to realize the full value of a shelterbelt, we can’t delay planting beyond 2017. That’s where we are confident this kickstarter campaign can help us out.
More about Summit Hill Farm
Our name is a nod to our education system and the one room community school that was located nearby until the 1950's. Our farm will continue in this tradition, eventually providing a space for members to get their hands dirty learning about our local food system. Our long term vision includes using the latest restorative agriculture techniques, modern water management systems, four season vegetable growing, and the addition of animals like sheep, chickens and cows.
Can we visit the farm?
Not yet. This is a fourth generation farm - with all of the old equipment and buildings that come with having a farm in the family for 100 years. See that barn below? Don't let the beautiful double rainbows fool you, we will need time to get all of the old buildings cleaned up, build bathrooms for visitors and make sure we have insurance and policies in place for safety. We know that a big perk of being a CSA member is having an opportunity to get out into the field - and we will make sure our members get that opportunity. For the rest of you, follow us on social media for regular updates and pictures throughout the season.
Total budget for this project is $7,500. We are hoping to raise 1/3 of this through kickstarter and are prepared to pay the rest ourselves as an investment in our business. Any extra funds raised through kickstarter will allow us to put our money towards other infrastructure (like a drip irrigation system, greenhouse and washhouse).
Mulch and Materials: $750
Seedlings & Planting: $3,750
Risks and challenges
We are committed to planting the trees in June 2017. The weather could impact the intended long-term benefits of the project and our CSA business, but we will proceed with the project. We REALLY wanted to include fresh berries as a reward for our sponsors, but there is an inherent weather risk involved in growing trees and vegetables outdoors in Alberta. This includes hail, snow, drought and frost. We are confident that the rewards we are offering are weather proof!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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