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Kiwi Berry Farm will grow 1000 #/year organic kiwis for fresh local market where they are eaten like grapes, & 100% fruit rolls, Yowza!
26 backers pledged $766 to help bring this project to life.
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$766

26

$ummary: A project to establish about 1/4 acre of kiwi berries, a relatively new and exciting crop to the northeast.  The goal funds alone will allow me to purchase most of the lumber needed to built the trellis system, and allow me establish a small commercial kiwi farm.  Extra cash over the goal will be used to purchase the full amount of trellis lumber and wire, planting stock, irrigation supplies, and enough soil amendments to cover the early years before fruiting begins.

About Kiwis: The hardy kiwi berry is a member of the kiwi family with fruit the size of a large grape.  The skin is good to eat, and the flavor is similar to a common kiwi except that the berry is even sweeter.  Berries picked at optimal time can store for weeks and the edible skin allows for easy processing into fruit leather or jam.  Although small commercial plantings do exist in the US, production is not keeping pace with demand as more and more people discover this northern delight.  The vines are pest and disease free, lending well to organic cultivation.  One vine can produce over 100 lbs of fruit annually age 10-50+.  Vines are trained to an overhead pergola trellis, made of long lasting black locust wood, which allows the berry clusters to hang down at about head level. 

Location: Brimfield, MA home of antique shows, nearby springfield, ma.

Timeline: 2013: build the trellis before winter.  Early soil preparation. 2014: kiwis planted in the spring.

Big Picture: Small Farm: Kiwi berries may someday be a central aspect of a 2 acre exotic fruit farm.  The yet unnamed farm is being loosely modeled on Daring Drake - Upstate NY .  Some initial design work has been done with the guidance of Jono Neiger - Regenerative Design Group

About Me: I relish fruit. I have been a certified permaculture designer since 2010.  I have 2 years agricultural experience mostly at Six Circles Farm - Upstate NY.

-namaste

The Spot
The Spot
Sketching on the map
Sketching on the map
Fatty Fruit Roll Ups (4 pitted peaches)
Fatty Fruit Roll Ups (4 pitted peaches)
raw puree gravity spread onto non stick dehydrator tray
raw puree gravity spread onto non stick dehydrator tray
the goop is now leather after 4-10 hours in the dehydrator
the goop is now leather after 4-10 hours in the dehydrator
Parchiment paperelic
Parchiment paperelic

One ounce fruit leather roll up! w/scale
One ounce fruit leather roll up! w/scale

Risks and challenges

Although I am confident in a high probability of these vines producing fruit within 7 years and continuing for 40 or more years, farming is inherently risky.

Risks of Trellis:
- Too many rocks to dig post holes by hand, forced to rent machine
- Heavily loaded vines pull trellis down
- A tornado destroys everything
- I am sold bad quality wood

Risks of Cultivation:
- Kiwis yield lower than expected
- Large amount of maintenance (pruning, weeding, harvesting, fertilizing) is uneconomical
- A new pest or disease emerges and can't be controlled

Risks in Distribution:
- Can't sell enough through wholesale and retail
- Board of health rules change making sale of home preserved fruit leather illegal (commercial kitchens are an expensive option)
- A large scale kiwi farm opens nearby thus flooding the market

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    4 quarterly updates with pictures via email of trellis and kiwis

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    At least 15 minutes of skype time with me. Ask me anything at all.

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    Pledge US$ 19 or more About US$ 19

    Basic fruit leather ---
    One ounce pure strawberry fruit roll :
    One ounce pure apple fruit roll :
    One ounce pure pear fruit roll :

    Enough to give you a sense of what a real fruit roll up is - the best way of preserving fruit

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    2 cups of traditional acorn flour with my own recipe for journey pancakes. Acorns were a staple for many indigenous cultures, and this flour has been authentically cold washed to leave in the oil and flavor. a mix of red and white oak nuts i gathered

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 38 or more About US$ 38

    Exotic fruit leather ---
    One ounce pure kiwi fruit roll :

    One ounce pure blueberry fruit roll :

    One ounce mystery blend fruit roll :

    Taste the potential for super fruit sushi!!

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    4 hours on site to tour property, pick my brain, and enjoy the beautiful nature. Includes very nice meal featuring homegrown produce.

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Funding period

- (30 days)