Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 25, 2013.

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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.

Ten Acre Organics:

Our mission is to design and build the most sustainable and productive 10-acre farm in the world, as a model that can be replicated on the edges of cities everywhere, to provide the freshest, healthiest, most local, and most sustainable foods possible.  Our ten-acre farm model is an integrated, diversified farming and food production system, which includes aquaponics greenhouses, an organic crop field, chicken coops, an apiary, mushroom production facilities, composting facilities, and a commercial kitchen. We will strive to create a zero-waste facility. 

Aquaponics:

Our company grows food using an emerging, innovative technology called aquaponics – a method of raising fish and vegetables together in a symbiotic environment in which fish waste fertilizes plant crops, while the plants purify the water for the fish. The same water recirculates continuously in the system, which makes aquaponics the world’s most water-efficient method of food production.

Integrated Farming: 

At Ten Acre Organics, our farm model is designed to be an integrated, diversified food production system that models natural ecosystems. Natural ecosystems are diverse, resilient, and sustainable, they source their inputs locally, and they create zero waste.  In contrast to conventional monoculture farming, we prefer to manage polycultures in a way that maximizes biodiversity and takes advantage of the natural symbiotic relationships between the different species of plants and animals being cultivated.  Our approach is heavily influenced by the science of agroecology and the philosophy and practice of permaculture.  Furthermore, we are passionate about the integration of advanced science and technology with farming in order to maximize productivity and resource-use efficiency and to eliminate unnecessary waste and tedious labor.  We believe that this integration of technology with a whole-systems approach to organic agriculture is the most promising way to move forward to create a sustainable and responsible agricultural system for the world in the 21st century.

Urban Micro-farm:

We are transforming our 1/4-acre lot in East Austin into a highly productive urban micro-farm, as a first step and 'proof-of-concept' on the way toward building our full ten-acre model.  Our micro-farm will include two aquaponic greenhouses, a chicken coop, two beehives, fruit trees, indoor mushroom production, 2000 square feet of row crops, and a composting site with worm bins. We plan to sell the food that we grow through a local farmers' market and through a ten-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, comprised of ten friends and neighbors who will receive weekly baskets of our produce.  

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Ten Acre Organics is learning daily ways to improve our design and implementation. Along our journey we have run up against a variety of issues that have tested our problem-solving skill. Each problem to solve has given us the opportunity to test our concept and our ability to overcome setbacks.

In our urban micro-farm the highest potential for challenges come from the aquaponics systems which are complex - they require constantly-functioning electricity, pumps, plumbing, and greenhouse systems, as well as a dynamic balance of nutrients suitable for all of the plants, fish, and bacteria in the system. In the early stages of the project we will devote ample time to monitor and adjust the system to function at an optimal level.

Other significant risks include weather events (e.g. high winds, rapid freeze, torrential storm, heat wave) as well as the risk that we will not achieve our funding goals and will be unable to complete our development objectives in line with our projected timeline.

The most important way to mitigate these risks is through proper planning, and we feel that this is perhaps our greatest strength - we've done our homework, we've learned from the experts, and we've spent hundreds of hours planning and designing every component of our project.

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187
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  • Pledge $20 or more
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    42 backers

    1 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Basket, containing four pounds of TAO vegetables, greens, and herbs - $20 value. For Austin residents only, OR a CSA basket can be donated to Capital Area Food Bank on your behalf.

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    22 backers

    Bumper Sticker OR Magnet bearing the TAO logo and slogan "Cultivating Food, Health, and Happiness."

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    19 backers

    2 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Baskets, each containing four pounds of TAO vegetables, greens, and herbs - $40 value. For Austin residents only, or 2 CSA baskets can be donated to Capital Area Food Bank on your behalf.

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    Ten Acre Organics' Artisan Pesto (one half pint jar), made by hand in small batches from our own basil.

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    4 backers

    3 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Baskets, each containing four pounds of TAO vegetables, greens, and herbs - $60 value. For Austin residents only, or 3 CSA baskets can be donated to Capital Area Food Bank on your behalf.

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    An invitation to our inaugural Summer Fish Fry, at our urban micro-farm in Austin, Texas. A ticket guarantees a plate of our deliciously prepared, aquaponically grown Tilapia, with sides of vegetables grown in our garden.

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    A first edition TAO T-shirt bearing the Ten Acre Organics logo and slogan, "Cultivating Food, Health, and Happiness."

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    6 backers

    5 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Baskets, each containing four pounds of TAO vegetables, greens, and herbs - $100 value. For Austin residents only, or 5 CSA baskets can be donated to Capital Area Food Bank on your behalf.

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    2 backers

    10 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Baskets, each containing four pounds of TAO vegetables, greens, and herbs - $200 value. For Austin residents only, or 10 CSA baskets can be donated to Capital Area Food Bank on your behalf.

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    Ten Acre Organics' Artisan Pesto, Variety Pack, including three varieties (6 half-pint jars of pesto). Our pesto is made by hand in small batches from basil grown in our garden.

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    Home Composting System. We will come to your home/location to build a composting system, up to $100 in materials cost. For Austin residents only, OR a composting system can be donated to an Austin-based school, church, or non-profit organization on your behalf.

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    Ten Acre Organics' Artisan Pesto, Deluxe Variety Pack, including 4 varieties (in 10 half-pint jars) of pesto. Our pesto is hand made in small batches with basil grown at our urban farm.

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    4 backers

    Vermicompost Deluxe System. We will build and deliver a Home Composting System plus worm bins, which will process food waste into valuable worm castings. For Austin residents only, OR a vermicomposting system can be donated to an Austin-based school, church, or non-profit organization on your behalf.

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    A 4-month Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Membership with a weekly 4-pound basket of TAO vegetables, greens, and herbs. $300 value. For Austin residents only.

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    A 6-month Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Membership with a weekly 4-pound basket of TAO vegetables, greens, and herbs. $500 value. For Austin residents only.

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    2 backers

    TAO Urban Micro-farm Construction Manual and DVD which will include instructions, photos, construction schematics, and videos detailing how to build an urban homestead or micro-farm including backyard aquaponic systems, greenhouses, chicken coops, beehives, and composting systems.

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    Wicking Bed Garden. We will come to your home/location to build a wicking-bed garden, up to $300 in materials cost. For Austin residents only, OR a wicking bed garden can be built for an Austin-based school, church, or non-profit organization on your behalf.

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    1-Year Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Membership with a weekly 4-pound basket of TAO vegetables, greens, and herbs. A $1000 value. For Austin residents only.

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    TAO Urban Micro-farm Construction Manual and DVD plus 4 hours of private consulting over the phone or video chat. We can walk you through the process of building your own highly-productive backyard aquaponics system and urban homestead.

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    Desktop Aquaponics System. We will come to your home/location to build a "desktop" aquaponics system, capable of growing fresh herbs and greens right in your kitchen! $500 material value. For Austin residents only.

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    Aquaponics System (Single-Person Size). We will travel anywhere in the U.S. to build you an aquaponics system with 16 square feet of grow space. $1000 material value. OR, an equivalent system can be built for an Austin-based school, church, or non-profit organization on your behalf.

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    Aquaponics System (Two-Person Size). We will travel anywhere in the U.S. to build you an aquaponics system with 32 square feet of grow space. $2000 material value. OR, an equivalent system can be built for an Austin-based school, church, or non-profit organization on your behalf.

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    Aquaponics System (Four-Person, Family Size). We will travel anywhere in the U.S. to build you an aquaponics system with 64 square feet of grow space. $5000 material value. OR, an equivalent system can be built for an Austin-based school, church, or non-profit organization on your behalf.

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Funding period

- (60 days)