Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 3, 2012.

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Help us grow our sustainable grass-based farm by reintroducing pollinators, restoring native prairie, and planting trees!

With your help, my husband and I are working to realize our dream - to create a sustainable grass-based farm, restore the native prairie, and share our love for the land by enriching and preserving it for the future generations!  Last year we took the first step and became the stewards of an 80 acre property nestled in the bluff country of southern Minnesota.

The Project - What's this about Bees and Trees?

The Bees

We have plans to kickstart our prairie restoration efforts by establishing an apiary (a place where bees and beehives are kept; essentially a small bee 'farm') which will be home to these amazing, fascinating pollinators.  Honeybees are the true heroes of farming, pollinating over 80% of the pollination of food crops eaten by us, wildlife, and our livestock - so the next time you eat an almond, an orange, or a hamburger please thank a bee!

 We have pulled ten acres of small, isolated fields out of corn production and are working to restore the native prairie grasses and wildlflowers.  Native prairie plants such as coneflowers, blazing stars, prairie clovers, black-eyed susans, and bluestem will provide forage not only for our bees but for native pollinators as well.  Establishing "pollination corridors", areas with ample availability of flowering plants throughout the season, can help to re-establish and re-connect habitats which are otherwise dominated by large, monoculture fields.

Our bees will be provided with as natural an environment as possible with no chemicals being used at any time. Even the hive boxes themselves will be naturally stained and sealed.  No chemical fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, or other unnatural substances will be used on our 80 acres where the bees will be foraging.

A big part of the funding we are raising will be going towards the equipment necessary to get the hives constructed and installed in an environmentally friendly way.  We believe that this sort of locally sourced, well raised honey is both nutritious, delicious, and provides a fantastic bridge to interest people in the importance of the organic (and beyond!) movement.

The Trees

We will be planting a small orchard and many native hardwood trees to help provide food and shelter for wildlife and a deep root network to keep the soil where it should be. Like our bees, our trees will be raised without use of any chemicals. We will be inoculating the ground around the trees with beneficial, symbiotic fungi and microbes which will help to create a healthy, balanced system based on natural compost and without the use of insecticides, sprays, or chemical fertilization. We are also trying to minimize the use of heavy equipment and non-renewable resources, using a scythe (and some man-power)  to mow grass and brush and hand tools for digging and planting. Yes, we're a little crazy but it's incredibly fulfilling to really do things by hand!

 We are asking for help in purchasing more trees to plant and to help us grow fruit and nuts using methods which integrate the orchard into the local environment.

What can you do?

With your pledge of support, we can purchase bees, trees, and the equipment we need to get them started on our farm as well as working towards expanding our areas of restored native prairie.  To pledge to our project, just click on the 'Back this Project' button on the right of this page near the top. That link will take your through a secure checkout process to donate - it's really easy!

If we don't reach or exceed our goal by the deadline, we won't get any funds at all - it's all or nothing, so please donate today!

What's in it for you?

You can receive some wonderful, unique gifts in exchange for your donation!  You will also be showing us that you support our work and find this approach to integrated, natural farming important!

$40 gift - a tagua pendant bee inlay

For more information about tagua, go here: http://foxloft.com/store/tagua/info

$60 gift - a hand-made silver wire tree pendant.

$75 gift - a sumi-e ink painting

$150 gift - a watercolor painting

We are committed to a beyond-organic, holistic approach to sustainable farming. We want to help prove that it is possible to produce a bounty from the land while also making it richer and healthier long into the future! 

 Thank you for your support!

-Fox & Roman

Please check out our blog about this project, including photos and updates of our progress here: http://foxloft.com/farm

The music credit for our video goes to Mr. Fox Amoore - you can hear more of his wonderful work at: http://www.facebook.com/FoxAmooreMusic

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    7 backers

    For a donation of $5, you will get a thank you shout on our blog and our sincere appreciation!

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    16 backers

    Show us this work is important to you! You will receive a hand-signed art postcard as our thanks. (All rewards include the cost of shipping.)

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    16 backers

    Tree Sponsor: For donations of $20 or more, we will plant a tree and with it a special identifying plaque featuring your name! You will also receive a hand-signed art postcard with our thanks.

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    23 backers

    Bee Pendant: For a donation of $40, receive a handmade bee totem tagua pendant! Each pendant comes in a gift box along with a little card of information about the material and the project, makes a great gift!

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    2 backers

    Tree Pendant: For your donation of $50, receive a handmade silver metal tree pendant. Each pendant comes in a gift box along with a little card of information about the material and the project, makes a great gift!

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    7 backers

    Wildlife Ink Painting: For your donation of $75, receive a 4"x6" original sumi-e painting featuring an artist-picked animal native to the Midwestern prairie. Examples: Bison, fox, coyote, rabbit, red-tailed hawk.

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    5 backers

    Wildlife Watercolor Painting: When you make a donation of $150, you will receive a 4"x6" painting featuring an artist-picked animal native to the Midwestern prairie.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers

    Friend of the Forest: With a donation of $500, you will have a special plaque bearing your name added in front of a native hardwood tree and receive both a bee tagua totem pendant and a silver metal tree pendant.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers

    Super Sponsorship: For your donation of $1000, you will receive it all! A hand-signed postcard, a name plaque on a specially planted tree, a bee tagua totem pendant and silver metal tree pendant, a 4"x6" wildlife sumi-e, a 4"x6" watercolor painting, and our undying gratitude!

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Funding period

- (22 days)