Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 24, 2013.

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Our urban farm is expanding to a new 1.5 acre city lot. Our goal is to grow delicious and nutritious food for our local community.

Who We Are:

Main Street Farms is an urban aquaponics farm, organic plant nursery, and education center in Homer NY, devoted to sustainable agriculture and local food security.  Our current farm is booming with veggies and Tilapia and now we are ready to expand!! 

Our Project:

A few months ago we acquired an amazing 1.5 acre empty city lot in a low income neighborhood in Cortland, which we are now converting into the city's first urban farm.  The goal is to get the farm fully planted and growing in the next month so we can continue feeding more people in our community through the on-site farm stand and our low income CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  Once the farm is up and running we will open up our CSA to everyone.  Just to give you an idea of some of what we are growing right now: lettuces, kale, beets, swiss chard, cilantro, dill, basil, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, radishes, summer squash, and zucchini.  

Just another day at the market
Just another day at the market

We have already partnered with several local organizations like Cornell Cooperative Extension, Seven Valley Health Coalition, Sustainable Cortland, Cortland County Community Action Program (CAPCO) and several local schools to use our new farm as a place for education about local food, sustainable agriculture, and healthy eating.  All of these organizations will have free access to space at our new farm to provide educational programing to local residents.  There will even be an outdoor teaching kitchen and picnic tables for people to gather.  

What We Have So Far:

Right now we are fencing off the whole farm (sorry little furry critters) with a split rail farm fence.  Water and electric are on-site but need to be hooked up.  All the materials for a homemade walk-in cooler using a coolbot have been purchased.  Metal frames for two hundred feet of hoop houses have been aquired.  A farm stand, tables, tents and signs are all ready to go.  

And probably one of the most important things to have when starting a new farm: plants. We have thousands and thousands of organic tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, kale, lettuce, etc. from our organic nursery ready to grow into delicious food.  

 What We Need Your Help With:

Starting our plants and getting them into the ground is just one step to providing fresh food to our community.  To keep the plants healthy and growing we have make sure we take care of them with water, fertilizer, constant weeding, and then the harvest.  Here is a list of things we need to make that happen:

We need to hire an electrician and a plumber to hook up our electrical and water lines, and run them to where they need to be.  ($1,500) 

Drip Irrigation for the whole farm. ($1,000) 

Hand tools, wheelbarrows, seeders, fertilizer.  ($2,000)

Harvest crates and packaging ($1,000)

Plastic covering for the hoop houses ($1,000)

Locally hired labor-the rest 

Any money raised above the ten thousand will go to pay for some of our educational programming.  

The Farm Crew

Allan Gandelman: Started Main Street Farms three years ago after quitting his day job as a high school teacher. It was the horrible school cafeteria food (yuk!) that inspired Allan to grow food in the middle of where people are living so they can have a connection to how food is grown and then hopefully eat that food.  

Bob Cat: Co-owner/Director of Education.  Before joining the farm team two years ago Bob worked as an outdoor environmental educator where he taught children all about their natural environment.  

Noah Beck: South Ave. Farm Manager.  Holds a masters degree in Biology Education and Ecology and has been an avid gardener for years.  

Adrianne Traub: Research Supervisor.  Currently heading up our research grant on turning cafeteria waste into fish food by feeding it to Black Soldier Fly larvae.   

Check our the links for some more info:

www.mainstreetfarms.com

www.facebook.com/mainstreetfarmsny

Super special thanks to the people who helped us put this video and campaign together:

Marty from http://www.iamsmallpotatoes.com/

Alex from www.studiozoot.com

and The Unknown Woodsmen for the soundtrack. 

Super Duper Thanks for the people who have helped us get this far; our families, friends, Christella from Seven Valley Health Coalition, and Craig and Michelle from Coffee Mania.  

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

When it comes to agriculture risks and challenges are abundant. During our first farm start up we made our share of mistakes around pest management (we are organic so it can be difficult sometimes), allocation of time and resources, and choosing which vegetables to grow. Now that we have learned how to deal with these difficulties we hope we won't make those mistakes again.
One of our main concerns is being located in a neighborhood of town that some people are afraid of. Traditionally the community has struggled with vandalism, theft, and limited access to fresh food. Other food access projects have fallen short by simply providing fresh food, but we know that growing the food is only one peice of the puzzle. We think our educational programming, on-site teaching kitchen and providing a place where people in the neighborhood can gather and share good food will help us overcome that.
To overcome these challenges we will be working with community members by hiring local teenagers to work along side of us. We think this community engagement along with the support of the previously mentioned organizations will help us overcome any challenges we face.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    26 backers Limited (973 left of 999)

    You get a download of Main Street Farms hit single Fertilize It, a virtual high five, a cyber hug, and a big THANK YOU!

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    9 backers

    A Tour of our farms (if you are in the neighborhood) or a video of our tour if you are not local.

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    6 backers

    NEW REWARD!! A Main Street Farms canvas tote bag. This reusable bag has two purposes, it saves plastic and shows people your support for local food.

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $30 or more
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    15 backers

    You get a Basket of Bounty Box filled with fresh veggies and herbs from our farm stand in Cortland OR A bag Main Street Farms Coffee, a special blend of organic locally roasted by our next neighbors at our NEW FARM, Coffee Mania!

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  • Pledge $40 or more
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    18 backers

    Choice of: A bushel box of canning Tomatoes (Local only) OR A Main Street Farms T-shirt and Sticker

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    9 backers

    NEW REWARD! A Main Street Farms canvas tote bag filled with fresh local veggies OR the tote bag and a bag of our Farmers Blend Coffee.

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $60 or more
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    13 backers

    Choice of: Super Basket of Bounty- 5 fresh whole Tilapia, veggies, and herbs. OR Have your name engraved on our farm fence.

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    4 backers

    5 Basket of Bounty Veggie Boxes picked up at our Cortland farm stand. You can take them all at once or one a week, your choice.

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    13 backers

    Choice of: Have us speak at an event or bring our portable aquaponics sytem to teach a lesson about what we do at your school or organization. (within 50 miles of Homer, NY) OR Combine the $40 and $60

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    3 backers

    NEW REWARD! 5 Basket of Bounty veggie boxes, a private tour of the farms, a t-shirt, our farmers blend coffee and a tote bag!!!

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    5 backers All gone!

    Enjoy a local foods dinner for up to 6 people, Cooked by us AND grown by us (with a little help from our friends). Local produce, meat, cheese, and baked goods, from all our favorite local farmers and producers. At our place or yours (within 100 miles of Homer, NY). OR You can have all those awesome local meats and cheeses shipped to your house while the veggies will get donated to a local food pantry.

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Professional aquaponics consultation. Are you getting ready to start a commercial aquaponics farm or building a system to grow food for your family? We can help. For local people we will meet in person at your site and devote 10 hours of project planning time. For non locals we will do 10 hours of phone or email consults. Consults will include basic business planning, system design, plant variety recommendations and everything else involved in a successful aquaponics system.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Have us build a personal Aquaponics system for your home, office, or school. (within 100 miles) This will look like our portable system, but bigger. It will be a 20 gallon fish tank with a grow bed big enough to grow lettuce and herbs.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    A CSA share for the remainder of 2013, approximately 12 weeks and a full share for the 2014 growing season (local). OR for non-locals you get the song download, the video tour, four bags of coffee, two t-shirts, lots of stickers, your name engraved on the farm fence, and a gift basket of local meats and cheeses sent to you.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    The whole SHABANG!!!! You get it all my friend. The veggies, the coffee, the aquaponics system, the dinner, even the high five!

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Funding period

- (30 days)