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Giving Away the Farm tells the story of a little sheep farm that became a place that nurtures art and forges deep community.
Giving Away the Farm tells the story of a little sheep farm that became a place that nurtures art and forges deep community.
100 backers pledged $10,062 to help bring this project to life.

About

Giving Away the Farm: An Invitation to Feed Your Soul project video thumbnail
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$10,062

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Hi, I’m Cindy Telisak, and this is Jacob’s Reward Farm. The book I’m writing is called, “Giving Away the Farm,” because as it turns out, this farm doesn’t really belong to me. It was entrusted to me, for you.

The Little Red Barn Studio, where the "Barnies" hang out to knit and spin together.
The Little Red Barn Studio, where the "Barnies" hang out to knit and spin together.

This little 4.5 acre piece of ground, home to small flocks of sheep, alpacas, chickens and ducks, changes people’s lives. It draws people from my local area (just a bit north of Dallas, Texas), and thanks to the internet, from all over the country and the world.

Farm Camp kids learn about alpacas, hands-on.
Farm Camp kids learn about alpacas, hands-on.

Here at the farm, you can learn ancient crafts like knitting, spinning, crochet and weaving. You can take a walking tour, send your child to farm camp and meet the animals that provide the raw materials for bringing out your inner artist. You can enjoy endless ways to engage with nature and with others.

Jacob's Reward Farm is home to a vibrant community of friends.
Jacob's Reward Farm is home to a vibrant community of friends.

That’s what “Giving Away the Farm” is all about. I want to explore the magnetic pull this place has on people, which brings them healing, wholeness, and joy. I want to invite you to the farm through the pages of this book and feed your soul.

The book will be your own personal farm in your pocket - stories of transformation from some of our community members, quick how-to's for farm and craft skills, photos that tell the unique story of farm life, and some speculating about how this special farm model could be employed by other small farms.

Folks come from all over, to visit and learn.
Folks come from all over, to visit and learn.

I believe this will be an inspirational, as well as an educational book. It will make a great reference or a thoughtful gift. This book will appeal to folks who love the country life, but find themselves limited to the suburbs. It will also appeal to folks who intend to transition to a more rural lifestyle someday, and need the encouragement to make it happen. And there will be lots of amazing photos of our animals, our work and our art.

Families gather to watch the spring sheep shearing.
Families gather to watch the spring sheep shearing.

My intention is to self-publish, both digitally and in print. I’ve chosen a budget of $8000 to cover the costs of the things I can’t do myself: cover design, editing, printing, marketing, and some professional coaching (after all, I’m a farmer who writes, not a writer who farms). I’m smart enough to let others do for me what I’m not an expert at myself. I want this to be the best book it can be.

MAY 9: WE'RE FUNDED!  Thank you, backers!  Now, on to the next goal:

This is me, narrating my friend's audio book last December - can't wait to record "Giving Away the Farm!"
This is me, narrating my friend's audio book last December - can't wait to record "Giving Away the Farm!"

STRETCHING:  If we can raise $10,000, I'll be able to add an audio version of the book - and that would be my favorite version... I love to tell the story.

SPECIAL STRETCH REWARD! For all pledges $100 or more between now and the end of the campaign, I will personally record your (G-Rated) outgoing cell phone voice mail message!  I'll even write it, if you like!  Let's get in the STUDIO! Thanks so much!

Ancient arts thrive here.... spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet, felting, and more.
Ancient arts thrive here.... spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet, felting, and more.

I look forward to keeping all our backers regularly updated on the book’s progress. And in between progress reports, I invite you to "like" the farm’s Facebook page, where my life is pretty much an open book. www.fb.com/jacobsrewardfarm.

Wool harvest on the hoof...
Wool harvest on the hoof...

Thank you for considering this project. I look forward to seeing you on the farm someday soon!

Ruthie, one of our four livestock guardian dogs, welcomes the Farm Campers.
Ruthie, one of our four livestock guardian dogs, welcomes the Farm Campers.

Risks and challenges

I've tried to keep the risks to an absolute minimum, by budgeting some well-qualified coaching to keep me on track. Unanticipated issues can come up regardless of preparation, so it will be my responsibility to make sure all backers are kept up-to-date on progress, and satisfied with the results.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank you for your vote of confidence! Backers at this level will be listed on a special page of our website, and will receive a Farm bookmark and a personal thank you note from me!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    In addition to all the rewards of the previous level, backers who pony up $25 will receive a digital copy of the book - nothing to dust and uber portable!

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    24 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    In addition to all the rewards of the previous levels, backers who chip in $50 will receive an autographed copy of the book - signed by me and by Shirley the Ambassador Chicken. She's a celebrity.

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    25 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    In addition to all the rewards of the previous levels, backers who ante up $100 will be acknowledged and thanked by name in the book, and receive our official "Barnie" t-shirt. Barnies, of course, are members of our community who hang out at the Little Red Barn. The shirt is being designed now, and a photo will be posted soon! You're in the club now!

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    28 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A special reward for *just this level* of giving - the backer will receive our special "Farm Girl (or Boy) for a Day" package - breakfast, morning chores, knitting or spinning lessons, lunch, more farm tasks, and dinner with the "Barnie" community. Includes lots of photos of you on the farm, and farm swag. Getting here is on you, but making the day super fun and memorable is on us! Backer will also receive all the rewards from previous levels of giving.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    In addition to all the applicable rewards of the previous levels, backers who honor us with a $500 gift will enjoy a specially catered dinner - farm-raised duck and chicken with healthy vegetable sides and luscious desserts. We'll be regaled by tales from professional storytellers, under the Texas stars, at the beautiful home of a farm patron. VIP treatment, for sure.

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

    In addition to all the applicable rewards of the previous levels, backers who blow us away with a $1000 gift will have our new lamb named after them. (If we have more than one backer at this level, I will CHANGE THE NAME of an alpaca for you.) I will also personally spin, dye, and knit you a hat from fiber raised right here on our farm.

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Funding period

- (30 days)