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We're building an urban micro-farm as the first step toward creating the world's most productive and sustainable ten acre farm.
We're building an urban micro-farm as the first step toward creating the world's most productive and sustainable ten acre farm.
187 backers pledged $15,828 to help bring this project to life.

TAO's Final Kickstarter Update

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Dear Backers,

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of when we broke ground on the construction of our urban micro-farm with the money you so generously gave.  

Urban Farming - Breaking Ground
Urban Farming - Breaking Ground

Building our urban micro-farm has been such an adventure, and we are deeply grateful for all of your support that has made it all possible.  

The past year has been an incredible experiment and learning experience, but it has also been a proof of our concept: that we can build a highly productive farm in a small amount of urban space, and that lots of people in our community want to buy our local, fresh, organically-grown produce, as well as participate in our workshops, potlucks, and other community events.  We have experienced a passionate, loving community growing around our project and our shared vision of sustainable, healthy food systems for communities everywhere. 

Now, we are preparing to move on to the next phase of our company - to showcase our prototype micro-farm as a proof of our concept as we try to raise the necessary investment to begin building our ten-acre farm.  Please stay tuned to our website and blog at tenacreorganics.com to follow our progress in the year to come! 

Moving forward, we will no longer use Kickstarter as a means of communication.  THIS IS OUR FINAL KICKSTARTER UPDATE!  As of now, we have fulfilled (or are in the process of fulfilling) all of our rewards to those backers with whom we've been able to make contact.  Please feel free to contact us through the Ten Acre Organics website, or email us at info@tenacreorganics.com for all future inquiries.  

We send our deepest thanks from the whole Ten Acre Organics team to all of you: our biggest fans, who generously and courageously donated money to support our project.  We love you, and thank you!  

The TAO Team
The TAO Team
TAO Micro-farm Backyard 1
TAO Micro-farm Backyard 1
TAO Micro-farm Backyard 2
TAO Micro-farm Backyard 2

1 Year of Progress...

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Dear Kickstarter Backers,

It was one year ago, Thanksgiving Day, that Ten Acre Organics launched our Kickstarter campaign, and what a year it has been!

November-January: Fundraising, achieving our goal and raising nearly $16,000

February-June:  Constructing the urban farm, including: 600 square foot greenhouse, 3200 gallon aquaponic system, 700 square foot chicken coop and 1500 square foot run, a 100 square foot composting facility, two beehives, and over 1200 square feet of vegetable garden beds.  

March-April:  Hosting our 8-week Urban Farming workshop series, with over 60 participants and 6 guest speakers  

June:  Grand Opening Potluck, over 200 people attended

July - November:  Growing and harvesting more than 600 pounds of vegetables and more than 1,000 eggs, donating more than 150 pounds of food to the Capital Area Food Bank, and delivering more than half of our Kickstarter rewards.  Also, during this time, TAO won more than $10,000 of grant money from the City of Austin and the Texas Department of Agriculture, to fund our expansion in 2014.    

Summary:  It has been an exciting, challenging, and incredibly educational process.  Many mistakes have been made; many lessons have been learned, and a lot of sweat, as well as some blood and tears, have gone into the project, which has all been accomplished while Michael, Lloyd, and TAO's small team have been working other full-time jobs.  

Now, we are trying to complete our Kickstarter rewards by the end of 2014 so that we can focus on moving on to our next goal:  finding the land and the investment that we will need to build our full 10-acre farm model and become full-time farmers!  

We send our deepest apologies to the many of you who have not yet received your rewards, and to those whose rewards are several months behind our original projections.  The magnitude of the project has exceeded many of our predictions, but we thank all of you for your patience and continued support.  

If you have not yet received your Kickstarter reward, please email Mike Jeffcoat at mjeffcoat@tenacreorganics.com with your email address and/or phone number, physical address, and reward options (if applicable).  We have transitioned away from Kickstarter as a medium for communication, in favor of our company's own email account and contact management system. 

Thank you everyone for your support, and please enjoy these photos of the TAO Micro-farm!

-  The Ten Acre Organics Team

TAO Chickens
TAO Chickens
Planting the back yard
Planting the back yard
Back yard plot and greenhouses
Back yard plot and greenhouses
Tour of the backyard greenhouses
Tour of the backyard greenhouses
The front yard
The front yard
Yard of the Month
Yard of the Month
Small aquaponic system
Small aquaponic system
1000 gallon fish tank
1000 gallon fish tank
Harvesting basil from the aquaponic system
Harvesting basil from the aquaponic system
So much pesto
So much pesto
TAO CSA basket
TAO CSA basket

TAO Micro-Farm Grand Opening - June 2nd

Dear friends and supporters,

Please join us this Sunday, June 2nd, for the TAO Micro-Farm Grand Opening Potluck event. The event will last from 4:00pm to 9:00pm, and will be full of good food, good people, live music (from local Austin bands Honey Punch and Groove Think), a keg of local beer, and guided tours of the Micro-farm every hour on the hour. We would love to see you there so that we can show our appreciation to all of the friends, volunteers, backers, and supporters who have helped make this Micro-farm possible. 

 The address is 1803 Broadmoor Drive, Austin, TX 78723. Please feel free to email or call me (512-569-6947) if you have any questions.

All the best,

Lloyd Minick

Co-founder, CEO Ten Acre Organics, LLC

lminick@tenacreorganics.com | (c) 512.569.6947

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Construction nearly done...Micro-farm Grand Opening June 2nd!

Dear backers and supporters,

It has been just over a month since the end of our "How to Build an Urban Farm" workshop series, and much of these past four weeks has been spent wrapping up the construction of various components of the micro-farm.

We built a shed to house our 1000 gallon fish tank for our large aquaponics system.  We tilled and planted our entire front yard, which is now growing tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, squash, and beans.  We purchased, assembled, and painted our beehives, and we are picking up our new bees this Friday, May 10th!  Additionally, we have been kept busy managing our 23 chickens, composting operation, and small aquaponics system, and nurturing the growing crops from our backyard field-plot.  Earlier this week we harvested the first ripe zucchini from our backyard plot - we cooked it on the grill with some olive oil, salt, and pepper - it was delicious, and we look forward to the many pounds of vegetables to harvest in the coming weeks!  

We are on schedule to complete construction by the end of this month, and are hosting a Grand Opening potluck event at our Micro-farm on Sunday, June 2nd.  All of our backers are invited to attend!  The event will last from 4:00pm to 9:00pm, and will feature live music as well as regular tours of the Micro-farm every hour on the hour.  Please RSVP to info@tenacreorganics.com if you wish to attend, so that we can know how many people to expect.  Looking forward to seeing many of you there!  

In other news, at the end of March, Ten Acre Organics co-founder Michael Hanan underwent knee surgery to replace his ACL.  He is recovering well and has been quick to jump back into working as much as he can.  However, the loss of his assistance during those first few weeks of his recovery has put several of our projects behind schedule.  Due to these delays, we have had to modify the expected delivery dates for some of our Backer Rewards.  The Rewards which will be affected include the Vermicompost Deluxe Systems (the expected delivery date has been moved from May to July) and all of our CSA Food Basket Rewards (the expected delivery dates for these have been pushed back about two months).  We estimate that when our vegetable production is at full capacity we will be able to provide up to 10 CSA Food Baskets per week.  With nearly 150 CSA Food Basket Rewards to give out to Backers, it will take approximately 15 weeks at full capacity to fulfill all of those rewards.  Please be patient with us as we build up to full capacity sometime this Summer, and we will try to get all of the CSA Food Baskets delivered by the end of Fall.  

Please feel free to contact us at info@tenacreorganics.com if you have any questions, and please stay tuned in to our progress at tenacreorganics.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TenAcreOrganics .  Thank you for all of your support!  

All the best,

The Team at Ten Acre Organics

The last 8 weeks - "How to Build an Urban Farm" Workshop Series

Happy Spring and Happy Easter to all of our supporters!  It is a time of new beginnings, with new life springing up all around us, and it certainly feels that way at the Ten Acre Organics Micro-farm.  In the past eight weeks we have been undergoing major construction, transforming our backyard into a densely-productive farming operation.  Crops are sprouting in our field, chickens are inhabiting our new coop and run, and new soil is being born out of our composting system.  

Beyond that, new relationships have sprouted and grown as we have met dozens of volunteers who have come out for our "How to Build an Urban Farm" workshop series.  Each Sunday for the past 7 weeks we have hosted a different workshop with a different guest subject-matter expert, with attendance for each workshop ranging between 10 and 25 people.  It has been inspiring to have partnered with so many experts and leaders in sustainable agriculture around Austin, to have received so much generous support from so many local businesses, and to have seen such a rich, passionate community begin to grow around this project.

In the first workshop, Zach and Virginia from YardFarm gave a great presentation on chicken coop design and chicken care, and we built a 70 square foot coop with a 200 square foot run.  

In the second weekend, Michael Hanan from Ten Acre Organics presented on greenhouse design, and we constructed the frame of our 600 square foot greenhouse which will house our new aquaponics system.  

In weeks three and four, Michael and Lloyd gave an overview of aquaponics and small-scale aquaponics system design, and Rob Nash from Austin Aquaponics helped lead the construction of our new aquaponics system. 

In week five, Jimm Stack from 100th Monkey Mushrooms gave a phenomenal presentation about fungi, the role of mushrooms in an agroecosystem, and the nutritional and medicinal benefits of several mushroom varieties.  We inoculated straw-filled baskets as well as logs with elm oyster mushroom spawn, and every workshop attendee got to take home their own inoculated log.  

In week 6, Ben Ramirez from Green Brothers gave a presentation on low-cost, water-conservative methods of irrigation, and then led the construction of a greywater system (from our laundry room to our newly-planted plum tree and garden bed), and then we built a drip irrigation system for our 400 square foot crop field.  

In week 7, Sam Liebl from East Side Compost Pedallers taught us about composting, and together we built three hot-composting bays, two worm bin stacks, and a compost tea brewer.  

Our final workshop of the series will be this upcoming Sunday (April 7th), where Mark and Raul from Austin Honey Company will be teaching us about honey bee care and beehive design.  

This workshop series has been an incredibly valuable learning experience for us at Ten Acre Organics and for the dozens of people who have attended, and we are deeply grateful for the support that has made it all possible.  

From Organic Valley (a values-driven, sustainability-focused, organic dairy cooperative), we received a generous grant that covered many of the program-related costs of the workshop series.  Furthermore, we were able to provide lunch for all attendees at each of our workshops thanks in large part to in-kind donations from East Side Pies, Taco Deli, ThunderHeart Bison, Dish a Licious, and Hopdoddy Bar & Grill.

The "How to Build an Urban Farm" workshop series is almost over, but there is still a lot of construction yet to be done to complete the TAO Micro-farm.  The pace will continue at full-steam into the weeks ahead.  Stay tuned in to our blog  at www.tenacreorganics.com and our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tenacreorganics) to get all of the latest updates, photos, and videos of our progress.  

Deepest thanks, and best wishes,

The Team at Ten Acre Organics