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A pending nonprofit aiming to establish & model sustainable living and agricultural techniques in a high mountain desert environment.
66 backers pledged $9,505 to help bring this project to life.

About

Growing Food to Grow the Local Food Network project video thumbnail
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$9,505

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Much of our food travels 1500 miles before it even reaches our plates. Although large scale, industrial agriculture has allowed us to produce huge amounts of food more efficiently, it relies heavily on inputs such as nonrenewable fossil fuels while increasing CO2 levels, water and air pollution, and degrading the quality and taste of that product. Our “Growing Food to Grow Local Food Networks” project is one small step to help reverse this problem and make the planet a healthier, happier place for everyone. The Flagstaff EcoRanch, a pending nonprofit, that seeks to strengthen community ties in Flagstaff, Arizona through sustainable educational outreach programs, nonprofit partnerships, volunteers, community markets, and food banks through growing plants adapted for our mountain, desert environment.

EcoRanch Barn with San Francisco Peaks
EcoRanch Barn with San Francisco Peaks

We need $9000 for materials to build 6, 5’ x 50’ raised beds, a 3000 gallon water collection tank, and an outdoor shower, sink, and composting toilet. Each raised bed will be surrounded by cinder blocks fabricated here in Flagstaff to provide thermal mass on our cold evenings and extra space to plant garlic. The beds will be lined with hardware fabric to keep out gophers and sheet mulched with recycled cardboard, manure, mulch, soil, and organic fertilizer. Once completed, we will surround the beds with fencing to keep out rabbits, dogs, chickens, and other organisms.

Sustainabile Botany Class Building Smaller Beds
Sustainabile Botany Class Building Smaller Beds

We will install a 3000 gallon water catchment tank on the NW side of our barn. We can capture 11,000 gallons of water from this surface, but we figured, start small and grow over time. This water will not only be used for irrigation, but also attached to the outdoor shower and sink with a heater and small solar powered water pump. This will allow volunteers and visitors a place to shower and clean up, as well as a place to wash and clean harvested vegetables.

Proposed Design of Tank, Shower, Toilet, Sink
Proposed Design of Tank, Shower, Toilet, Sink

By helping fund this project, you will be supporting numerous educational opportunities here in Flagstaff. Since starting operations in September 2012, volunteers have donated over 1650 hours while sharing stories, backgrounds, and knowledge. We have had 12 volunteers working through the WWOOF organization (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) whose mission is to link visitors with organic farmers, promote an educational exchange, and build a global community conscious of ecological farming practices.

Jeff and Previous WWOOFers - Maggie, Sarah, Rob, Kenny
Jeff and Previous WWOOFers - Maggie, Sarah, Rob, Kenny

We have had three interns that have learned more about permaculture, architecture, sustainable design, and healthy living. They have created meaningful projects and integrated their skills into the future of the EcoRanch. We have had Sustainable Botany, Biology, and Environmental and Social Change students from Northern Arizona University and Coconino Community College help in designing projects. This summer, we will have about 40 students from Upward Bound, a federally funded program whose mission is to help students who are low income and/or first generation apply to, get to and graduate from a post-secondary education, visit and help in building.

Kara and Ben Building Hugelkultures
Kara and Ben Building Hugelkultures

We hope you find the importance in our project and help us continue in our mission, to address global challenges via local actions by nurturing community, democracy, and practical sustainability through empowering education.

Dusk at the EcoRanch
Dusk at the EcoRanch

Risks and challenges

Some of the risks associated with our “Growing Food to Grow Local Food Networks” are as follows:

1. High wind
2. Temperature fluctuations
3. A short growing season
4. Low water availability
5. Gophers
6. Deer and elk

We have created solutions for each of the above challenges in our permaculture site plan. They are as follows:

1. Shrubs, bushes, trees, and pallets used for wind breaks
2. Cinder blocks, mulch, and walls of water to provide thermal mass
3. Hugelkultures and hoop houses to extend the season
4. Water catchment system, swales/berms, and water runoff diversion to increase groundwater availability and reduce evaporation
5. Hardware fabric and owl house construction to reduce gophers
6. Fencing and streamers to divert deer and elk

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Your name on our "Many Thanks" webpage: http://flagstaffecoranch.com/many-thanks/

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All of the above, and a magnet with our Flagstaff EcoRanch logo.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All of the above, and you will receive a personally signed 4" x 6" photo of the EcoRanch and beautiful San Francisco Peaks.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above, and we will dedicate a vegetable bed or tree in your name. A photo will also be sent to show your personalized bed or tree.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    You will have the opportunity to name one of our chickens! You will also receive a photo to show you your special hen. You will be rewarded with all of the above, excluding the vegetable bed or tree dedication.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You will receive a gift package containing a t-shirt with the Flagstaff EcoRanch logo, seeds, your name on a donor sign mounted on the barn, the EcoRanch photo and magnet.

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    4 backers
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  7. Select this reward

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

    The ultimate thank you!! Two FREE nights stay for four people or less, in the onsite Flagstaff EcoRanch Chalet. (We can schedule your stay on our available nights.) Your stay includes fresh eggs, homemade bread and jam, a tour of the ranch, and a Flagstaff EcoRanch t-shirt!

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/859018?af=1273813&c=wg1

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About US$ 2,000

    The Deluxe VIP Treatment. A privately guided trip through parts of Northern Arizona with founder and part time guide, Jeff Meilander. With your donation comes two free nights in the EcoRanch Chalet for up to four people on available nights. With this package, Jeff will take you through the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, and Flagstaff while sharing knowledge of science, history, and culture. It will allow us time to get to know YOU; our donors and supporters. We can share the story of the EcoRanch and future projects and goals all while experiencing beautiful Northern Arizona, together.

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Funding period

- (30 days)