$7,710
pledged of $17,500pledged of $17,500 goal
36
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, December 30 2011 5:00 AM UTC +00:00
John LeeBy John Lee
First created
John LeeBy John Lee
First created
$7,710
pledged of $17,500pledged of $17,500 goal
36
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, December 30 2011 5:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

We're just two guys who want to farm for a living.  We both have day jobs -- Louie works for his family's seafood market, and John works for a real estate company.  But our dream is to be able to live in the country, grow healthy food for our family and our customers, and to do it in a way that is natural and sustainable. 

Creating sustainable and diverse food circles and using natural inputs is our goal in both our aquaponics operations and our planned outdoor farming systems.  We have agreements to get coffee grounds from Starbucks, blemished fruit from a local grocery store, horse manure from a nearby stable, and even soybean meal from a tofu maker.  We will use all this to make compost and to raise earthworms.  The worms will feed our tilapia and freshwater prawn, while the worm castings will fertilize our vegetables.  Waste water from tilapia and prawn will provide nutrients to vegetables raised in hydroponic grow beds as well as our outdoor gardens, with most of the water being cleaned by filters and plants and re-circulated back to the fish tanks.

We have started breeding Hawaiian Gold tilapia and have over 300 baby fish ready to go into our grow tank within the next month, with hundreds more hatching each week.  Our breeding stock of tilapia is still young, and once they reach full size each female can produce 1,000 to 1,500 eggs a month!

Our first breeding tilapia

Our hatchery

Unused parts of tilapia will be made into fish emulsion for fertilizer.  Sheep will be rotated on pasture, while heritage breed chickens raised in movable  "chicken tractors" behind the grazing sheep will clean up after the sheep and also eat the earthworms we breed. Trimmings from on-farm chicken processing will be cleaned up by dermestid or "flesh-eating" beetle larvae.  The larvae will provide still more food for tilapia and prawn, while the cleaned bones left by the beetles will be ground into bonemeal fertilizer for outdoor vegetable production.

Heritage breed Wyandotte chicken

We have also started growing duckweed and comfrey
-- plants noted for their high protein content and rapid rate of growth -- as feed for both fish and livestock.  By feeding these plants instead of grain to our animals, we hope to produce a better product than factory raised chickens and eggs and pond produced, imported tilapia.

Our ultimate goal is to see how much and how diverse a range of food we can raise on a small farm using natural methods.  We believe this model of farming is better than the single crop, chemical pesticide and fertilizer, genetically modified seeds model practiced by the mega farms.  After all, our model is how farmers used to do things before all the ammunition manufacturers switched to making pesticides and chemical fertilizers after the world wars of the last century. 

If we are successful in raising the funds we need, we will be able to get portable electric fencing, sheep, movable chicken cages, a used tractor, everything we need to get things started in one growing season.  If we are not successful, it would take us two or three years to get all we need to have everything growing together. 

We are a "local" farm, with no plans to ship our products.  But that doesn't mean you can't support us if you don't live in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.  We have made some cool-looking stuff with our logo on it through Cafe Press that we will send you for all our reward levels.  If you are local to us, we hope you will donate at a level that lets you sample our of our food baskets.  But regardless of how much you donate, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did something that will have a lasting, positive, rippling effect on the environment and for a couple of appreciative guys and our families.

Thanks, and please check back here and on our website to see our progress.  We will also post videos on our Youtube Channel as we work on different projects on the farm.

With warm regards,

Louie and John, Sea Lavender Farms

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    All of our backers for any amount will receive a hand-signed Certificate of Appreciation that documents your status as an Original Kickstarter Backer (See Update #5 for more information). The certificate can either be mailed to you or we'll sign it, scan it, and send you the pdf for you to print yourself. We'll also post your name on a Supporters Page on our website. This is a new reward we added on 12/22/11, and even though we can't modify Rewards #2-#8 in the project page, all backers who pledge to the project will get this.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Our hearty thanks on a Supporters Page on our web site, a Sea Lavender Farm sticker, and the satisfaction of knowing that you helped a small farmer.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All the rewards for the $10 pledge, plus a Sea Lavender Farm water bottle. (International backers, please add $5 for postage.)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All the rewards for the $25 pledge, plus a Sea Lavender Farm coffee mug. (International backers, please add $5 for postage.)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    All the rewards for the $50 pledge, plus a basket of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) products from the farm, including tilapia, eggs and vegetables. The CSA basket is only available for local supporters and must be picked up at our farm at a prearranged date after May, 2012 when we get our first tilapia harvest. If you are not local to the Charlotte, NC area and want to pledge this amount, we can send you the $50 reward plus a Sea Lavender Farm reusable shopping bag. All the rewards besides the CSA basket will be delivered January of 2012. (International backers, please add $8 for postage.)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    All the rewards for the $100 pledge, plus two baskets of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) products from the farm, including tilapia, eggs and vegetables. The CSA basket is only available for local supporters and must be picked up at the farm at a prearranged date after May, 2012, when we get our first tilapia harvest. If you are not local to the Charlotte, NC area and want to pledge this amount, we can send you the $100 reward with the Sea Lavender Farm reusable shopping bag, plus a sweatshirt and ceramic travel mug with our logo on them. All the rewards besides the CSA basket will be delivered January of 2012. (International backers, please add $10 for postage.)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    All the rewards for the $200 pledge, but with 5 baskets of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) products from the farm, including tilapia, eggs and vegetables. The CSA basket is only available for local supporters and must be picked up at the farm at a prearranged date after May, 2012, when we get our first tilapia harvest. If you are not local to the Charlotte, NC area and want to pledge this amount, we can send you the $200 reward, including the Sea Lavender Farm water bottle, coffee mug, reusable shopping bag, T-shirt, travel mug, plus a glass, polo shirt, ball cap and sweatshirt. All the rewards besides the CSA basket will be delivered January of 2012. (International backers, please add $15 for postage.)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    If you pledge $1,000, we really hope you are local to Charlotte, NC so we can give you a four-month (16 weeks) membership to our CSA program, with a basket each week of our farm products. We also have limited amounts of fruits on the farm, including figs, Japanese persimmons and blue berries, and we'll give you some of those during your membership in addition to what regular CSA members get. We'll also send you all the stuff with our logo on it from all the other rewards. All the rewards besides the CSA basket will be delivered January of 2012. The CSA baskets must be picked up at our farm beginning May, 2012. (International backers, please add $15 for postage.)

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Funding period

- (45 days)