Peaceful Belly Farm needs your help to finish our barn and educational center. When finished the barn will become the hub from which all the wonderful food, classes, workshops and dinners pour. We have been slowly constructing this building, piecing together parts as we get money, but it is now time to finish.
At the end of December a terrible storm came through and ripped the roof off of a section of our uncompleted barn. Had it been finished, this would not have happened. We really need your help to complete this structure.
The Farm (who we are)
Peaceful Belly Farm creates a magical feeling, a tingling in our stomachs that says, “this is a beautiful world.” We the farmers, Clay and Josie Erskine, with our two daughters and a wonderful group of farmhands cultivate this rare place called Peaceful Belly.
Peaceful Belly is a 70-acre urban farm located in the foothills of Boise Idaho. We specialize in growing vegetables for an 18-week CSA program, the local Boise Consumer Coop, the Capital City Public Market and several restaurants around town.
But Peaceful Belly is so much more than a farm. It's a place to work with the land, a place of amazing food to feed families, a place which helps change eating habits to battle illness. It's a place of Farm to Fork dinners and mind blowing culinary experiences. It's a place where people learn to garden for themselves, a place where someone can volunteer to bring in the harvest for the hunger community.
Peaceful Belly is a family farm in the sense that everyone involved in the farm is family. It's a place of true connection and true community.
Peaceful Belly has functioned as a working organic farm for 9-years. Two years ago we moved to a 70-acre piece of land. There was no infrastructure, but with help of farmhands, we have started creating this vision. The infrastructure we have built is rustic, woven together from found and donated items.
Building a Barn
The barn, or main hub of the farm, is just one quarter finished. At this point it includes our wash station—where we wash and process all our veggies—our kitchen—where we teach cooking classes, make our daily meals and prepare our Farm to Fork dinners—and our office, seed and tool storage. But we are dearly missing the final additions to the building. We need to complete two more sections in order to have a fully functional barn and educational center.
The middle section of the building will be for storage and a shop, two things we need on the farm. We farm with old but great machinery, a throw back to the past as much of our equipment is from the 1940's and 50's when small scale tractors first showed up on farms as ways to cultivate the land. These machines and farm implements are great, but they need to be tuned up and serviced. Clay needs a place where he can work on equipment during the cold winter months. Also, the middle section will help us store more food as well as close off our wash station to the elements. (None of us complain as we stand in pouring rain or the summers blazing heat, boxing and washing veggies, but it would be nice to get out of the weather to process our produce.)
The third, or outer bay, will house our educational classroom space, which we will construct with straw-bale and earth stucco to insulate it for year-round usage.
Break it Down
We hope to raise $25,000 for the building of our barn. This money would only cover materials needed to complete this building as most of the materials used will be reclaimed. The main labor will be paid for by the farm, but we have a large community of volunteers who will also come out and lend a helping hand.
Teaching people how to grow
In the last three years we started an educational branch of our farm. We teach a 40-week Victory Garden Class where students/interns take a bare piece of land and transform it into a productive garden. They learn how to grow, harvest and build a community. The best part is that students can stay on year after year if they choose. Those classes have become an integral part of our farm. Many of the students share their experiences in the classes through stories they write or blogs they post.
With the completion of the barn, we will branch out, adding more classes and workshops for children and adults.
Imagine the possibility of an educational space on a farm so close to Boise.
We'll teach unique classes and workshops: how to grow and make your own healing salves, teas and tinctures; how to design square foot gardens, kitchen gardens and edible landscapes; how to cook seasonally, raise chickens, keep bees, preserve food—and best of all, how to teach children to grow their own food and learn animal husbandry.
Imagine a seed-to-plate, urban-agriculture, educational center.
Kitchen in the field
We also host Farm to Fork dinners created by Chef Abby Carlson. Our meals give people a chance to come out to the farm and taste, in the most elegant way, the food we grow. The dinners bring people into a pastoral farm field where they enjoy plate after plate of artfully prepared food grown within hands reach.
Help us meet our goal to build our Barn Center. Please send this to your friends and family! Thanks so very much, from the bottom of our Peaceful Belly.
- (30 days)