UPDATE: Thanks to you all, we just may surpass our goal, so see here for a list of how we can certainly put any additional funds to good use! Our Question: Here at Little City Gardens, we are motivated by the belief that urban farming should be a common and accessible livelihood in the United States, as it has been, and still is, in some other countries. What does it take to make this happen?
Our History: For over a year we have been steadily building a small farm in the Mission District of San Francisco, where we grow artisinal salad mix, braising mix, and culinary herbs. We deliver weekly to restaurants and neighborhood subscribers. We also host tours, discussions, and workshops about our urban food system. Currently, we are running our farm and educating community members while also holding down our paid jobs elsewhere.
How You Can Help Answer our Question: Now we want to expand! In order to truly gauge the potential of a successful urban farming operation we need to cultivate a minimum of a half-acre and commit ourselves to the pursuit full time. We aspire not only to manage and expand our urban farming operation, but also to keep detailed, transparent records of our budgeting and our process. In doing so, we will contribute concrete information to the local, national, and global dialogue about growing food in cities.
We Have a Business Plan: Working from our last year of seeding, harvesting and sales figures, and factoring in the potential of our new half-acre growing space, we estimate that we can generate a modest wage for two people from the cultivation and sale of greens and herbs. With a significant donation of start-up capital (a kick start!) and a couple of months of full time work to set the stage, we will be able to build up to our full production plan within 4 months. (See our budgeting breakdown here.)
Your donations will be invested in: - The infrastructure of our new farm: irrigation, equipment, tools, row cover, seeds, tool shed. - A few months of time to establish the farm and to work up to the full potential of our business plan. - Publishing research, recordings, and reflections.
The Context of Our Activism: We are young farmers in a nation with a food system gravely out of balance. Currently the scale and dominance of industrial agriculture creates harsh economic realities for small-scale farms. The social and environmental implications of these realities are dire. Our food systems are dependent on large corporate interest and are fueled by petrochemicals. We are witnessing the rapid and irreversible erosion of topsoil, pollution of our water sources, and loss of biodiversity.
We need to get creative. We need more small farms, both urban and rural, in order to regenerate healthy local economies. That’s why we are working towards an urban farming business model that makes up for its small scale by recycling urban resources, eliminating transportation costs, and enlivening new forms of community support. We are applying our creativity, determination, and hard work towards a re-visioning of our food system.
What We Can Share with You: With a balance of realism and optimism, we will chronicle our challenges and our successes, our obstacles and our opportunities. We will muse in written and visual form about the sweat and the flavor, the pests and the problem solving, the bloom and the rot, the dirt and the potential we see as we take one little piece of the food system into our own hands. We will compile all of these reflections into an artful quarterly magazine for our Kickstarter supporters. (We are both skilled artists and graphic designers!) We will also dialogue and share anecdotes, observations, and imagery on our blog: www.littlecitygardens.com. Check out the beautiful rewards we have put together for you below!
Help Us Continue to Build Innovative, Collaborative, Local Food Systems! Your support gives us a real shot at establishing a successful urban farm business model. We believe that by engaging with our neighbors in San Francisco and forging positive relationships with chefs, city officials, and community leaders, we can widen the opportunities in the market economy, allowing for others to follow suit. When we are seasoned urban agriculturalists we will train others to start their own iteration of a collective farm business.
Join us in establishing the path of urban farmer as a career!
Some samples of the rewards we have prepared for you, in gratitude for your Kickstarter pledge!
STICKER PACKAGE Caitlyn has designed 6 stickers with phrases that help guide us in our garden business. All 6 stickers included in a package.
LITTLE CITY GARDENS ZINE Germination: Musings on the Business of Urban Farming
A Quarterly Artist Book/ Magazine compiled by Brooke and Caitlyn. ‘Germination’ is a compilation of gardening how-tos, essays, letters, and artwork on the theme of agriculture and its role in our lives. We include our own thoughts and imagery and curate contributions from other artists, farmers and activists. Issue 1: Spring- Agricultural Revival. Issue 2: Summer- For the Love of Labor. Issue 3: Fall- An Equitable Harvest. Issue 4: Winter–Planning for the Future.
We have been saving seeds at Little City Gardens. We will send you a variety pack of these seeds in a handmade package so you can plant your own.
SILKSCREEN LITTLE CITY GARDENS PRINT
A 5″x11″ hand-silkscreened print. Printed in over 20 different color combinations.
GREENS POSTER SERIES
A set of three posters designed and drawn by Brooke. Professionally printed, 9’X12’. Each is inspired by a group of plants that we grow. The first (seen here) includes intricate drawings of all of the varieties of greens included in our salad mix. The second includes medicinal plants and herbs. A third to come!
Each month (for six months) you will receive a hand-painted postcard from our farm (samples below). One-of-a-kind artwork every month in the mail. 5”x 7.5”
Feel free to write us back!
HAND PAINTED SIGN
Choose 1 out of 3 phrases (Lets Figure This Out Together, Start Small, Make Positive Spaces) which Caitlyn, a trained sign painter, will design into a hand-painted wooden sign for you. 10”x15” Sample below.
- (89 days)