Seven Arrows is a 20-acre parcel of land an hour from New York City, accessible by ferry. It's a lovely place overlooking the Navesink River, an estuary offering mussels and clams and oysters to anyone willing to stick their hand in and grab them. There is surfing and swimming nearby, hiking and bike riding as well. The property is partially shaded by dozens of old tulip poplar trees that honeybees go crazy for. Hartshorne Woods Park abuts the property, offering great opportunities for foraging wild edibles. The hedgerow begs for dairy goats. The apple orchard serves as a great location for mobile chicken and rabbit hutches. There is a clearing about an acre in size, perfect for chemical-free vegetable cultivation on a human scale. As part of an ongoing series of wellness retreats, working meditation sessions can be offered in conjunction with farm visits.
(The bit of land we hope to cultivate. South-facing. Great exposure.)
The stewards of Seven Arrows have graciously offered an opportunity for my partner Neil and I to start a small farm of our own on their land. They are leasing us the land to use, but we have to step up and make it happen. I've been urban farming in Brooklyn, NY for the past few years and we're eager to start growing food on a slightly larger scale. They've kindly opened up their home to us so that we can continue offering educational opportunities as I have been with such esteemed establishments as The New York Botanical Garden and 3rd Ward. I hope to offer a place where individuals and organizations alike can come learn how to incorporate small-scale food production into their lives and livelihoods.
(The old orchard. The trees grow tart apples perfect for brewing cider!)
The home itself sleeps small groups comfortably, making Seven Arrows a perfect location for farm stays, and weekend intensive workshops on topics like small livestock raising, beekeeping, foraging, fishing and sustainable gardening practices. The house also hosts an array of wellness retreats each month. We're also capable of hosting all manner of events. Seven Arrows is poised to be a successful venture, but we need assistance to get some much-needed infrastructure into place.
Some of the things we hope to use our Kickstarter funds for are:
- Building a secure 50-hen chicken coop and cage-free rabbit colony. (We've got the livestock! We just need to build their homes!)
- Building dairy goat housing and fencing, as well as a hay shed.
- Getting deer fencing built to protect the crops.
- Improving the old orchard, replacing trees lost over the past couple of generations and companion planting to improve yields.
- Starting a small mushroom farming project.
- Building a greenhouse (some materials have already been donated!)
- Getting teaching tools such as a pressure canner, a projector, books and inviting speakers to teach workshops.
- Creating a web-based learning portal for the farm, where folks who cannot make it to the farm can learn from afar.
(Me and my city chickens, who told me to tell you they are ready to move someplace with more bugs to eat.)
We are hoping to commence building later this summer, into fall so that we can start our first CSA in Spring of 2013. We'll be offering vegetables, eggs and honey to folks in the community, to visitors of the farm, and of course to sustain ourselves.
Please have a look at our rewards offerings and donate what you can! Help us get this project started off right!
- (35 days)