When we started Harvest Moon Backyard Farmers earlier this year, we did so with a social mission. We wanted to educate and feed folks who can't always afford access to healthy, fresh, organic food as well as folks who can. That's why we have teamed up with local social service organizations, urban farming students and property owners to do these projects. We hope you'll support this work by becoming a backer! Keep in mind that Kickstarter funding is ALL OR NOTHING. If we do not make our goal, we do not receive any funding.
Gardens and Coaching for Low-Income Homeowners
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity families benefit from free Garden Kits and Garden Coaching from Harvest Moon Backyard Farmers. Each family receives a vegetable garden installed at their home along with a few hours of advice and assistance to help them produce great crops!
Mahdi Ali and his family, 2011 garden recipients, are so excited by their garden's success. They now have plans to turn their entire backyard into a food producing paradise complete with veggies, herbs and even fruit trees!
Food Shelf Gardens
We also grow gardens dedicated to local food shelves and meal programs. We partner with students from the Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate's Urban Farming Certification Program to grow veggies and herbs. As part of their training, these students are required to have growing space. We provide that space plus all of the compost, plants, seeds and other materials needed to grow the garden along with some guidance along the way.
In addition, our clients are encouraged to donate produce from their own gardens, and they often do. Patrons of The Aliveness Project and the food shelf at the Department of Indian Work are among the folks who benefit from our garden fresh produce.
In 2011, we brought nearly 200 lbs of fresh produce to food shelves. You can help us grow even more in 2012!
Along with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and PRI Cold Climate, we are grateful for the collaboration and support of:
- The Land Stewardship Project who is providing land for food shelf/urban farmer training gardens
- Mary Hanson and Jill Jacoby who provided space in their backyards for gardens
- The Aliveness Project and the Department of Indian Work Food Shelf who are receiving and distributing the garden produce to their clients
We are also excited by the possibility of working with local faith communities and with Hallie Q. Brown Food Shelf to grow a garden where children, food shelf clients and the greater community would benefit from garden education and fresh produce. Josh Grinolds, Development Director at Hallie Q. Brown Food Shelf, says:
"Hallie Q. Brown Food Shelf began a local foods drive this growing season, and I have been truly amazed by the enthusiasm from farmers and food shelf clients alike. We have received over 6,000 pounds of fresh produce since mid-June, most of which was taken home by clients in less than a day. A community garden would provide us with a wonderful opportunity to educate clients about sustainable agriculture and help them become more self-sufficient."
Why We Do This Work
For starters, we believe that access to healthy food is a basic human right! Our projects remove and circumvent obstacles that low-income and vulnerable members of our communities face in getting high quality, safe and healthy produce into their homes and bellies.
At the same time, it has been said that we will need 50 million new farmers to ensure a consistent food supply in our uncertain future due to energy disruptions and climate change. PRI's urban farmer trainees are helping to fill that gap. We believe that a permaculture approach to food production is a sustainable approach that is good for people, the planet and local economies.
You Can Help!
For the 2012 growing season, help us:
- Grow 400+ square feet of food shelf gardens and bring even more fresh, healthy veggies to folks who need it
- Partner with and support 3-4 urban farming students who need access to land
- Install veggie gardens and do garden coaching for 4 Habitat for Humanity families
- Continue to support 2011 Habitat for Humanity garden recipients via garden coaching and education
Click on Back This Project now! Select from our great list of rewards!
And remember, Kickstarter funding is ALL OR NOTHING. If we do not make our goal, we do not receive any funding. Help us make our goal by becoming a backer and by passing this on to your friends, family and networks. Facebook, Twitter and e-mail are all great ways to do this!
Thank you so much for supporting us in doing the work that is so important to us and that we LOVE! :)
~ Krista and Dina, Harvest Moon Backyard Farmers
The term "permaculture" is a contraction of the words "permanent" & "culture". As you might guess, it follows that the goal of permaculture is to design enduring human settlements. To do this, we must follow natural rhythms, and honor and protect ecosystem services (e.g. water purification, oxygen production, soil building) - all while producing food, fiber, medicines and other needs for us humans.
In permaculture design, we use 12 design principles to guide our practical choices along with 3 ethical principles to maintain appropriate respect for the places, creatures and people with which we work.
If you'd like to learn more about permaculture, we highly recommend selecting the $125 reward level & taking one of PRI Cold Climate's Introduction to Permaculture courses! A great website on the subject is http://www.permacultureprinciples.com/
1. We match PRI's urban farming students who need land access with garden spaces located in various yards around the Twin Cities. If we don't find a student, Dina or Krista takes care of the garden. This is volunteer labor!
2. Krista and Dina guide the students as needed to produce lots of food & maintain good relations with our community partners.
3. We prep the beds with rich compost - a lot if it's new, a couple of inches if it's already established.
4. We mulch the beds and paths with a fluffy blanket of straw and keep it mulched all season.
5. We plant early seeds in April & just keep planting transplants & seeds through about mid-September. We pack as much as we can into each garden by using successional planting techniques (e.g. tomatoes follow leaf lettuce) & close spacing.
6. We harvest starting in about June through early November. Everything from the gardens goes a food shelf or meal program near to it.
7. We amend the soil and fertilize crops as needed throughout the growing season.
8. We put the gardens to bed in the fall by composting plant material and refreshing the mulch layer. We also plant garlic! Yummy....
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- (30 days)