We started farming with borrowed equipment. Now we're growing up! A walk-behind tractor will help us grow more food for more people.
We did it! Or, more accurately, you all did it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, to each and every one of our wonderful backers! We could not be more excited and grateful for all of your support.
With 12 days still to go, we have an exciting stretch goal of $11,000!
Our new BCS will increase our farm's efficiency tremendously. But it takes many different kinds of tools to run a farm well. Some of them are big and some are much smaller, like hoes and knives. We borrow many of our tools from neighbors, and we are so grateful for the loan. Investing in many of these smaller tools is the next step toward a healthier, more productive farm.
If we reach our $11,000 stretch goal, here are some of the awesome tools we'll be able to purchase. Please take a look and help us spread the word!
Cole Planet Junior Push Seeder ($630 + significant shipping costs)
Bed Marker ($350)
Backpack Sprayer ($120 + shipping)
Potato Furrower ($100)
Post Puller ($30 each)
Post Pounders ($25 each)
Stirrup Hoes ($50 each)
Collinear Hoes ($40 each)
Clippers ($50 each)
Harvest Knives ($15 each)
Who We Are
First Root is a little vegetable farm with a big heart. Founded in
2009, First Root is built on hard work, community engagement, and a
get-it-done-on-a-budget attitude. We farm on 2.5 acres of historic
farmland in Minute
Man National Historical Park in Concord, MA. Using organic and sustainable practices, we grow over thirty kinds of vegetables for a 75-member CSA in the Boston area.
First Root has grown and thrived with the help of our community. Friends and neighbors gave us hoes and shovels and rakes; they came to the farm to plant garlic and pull weeds. A friend lent us a walk-behind rototiller, which we've relied on for the past three seasons. Every spring, neighboring farmers take time out of their work to till our fields. Since the beginning, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and generosity from farmers, neighbors, family and friends, near and far.
What We Need
After three successful seasons expanding our CSA, we've reached the limit of what we can do with the tools we have. The BCS, an affordable walk-behind tractor, will enable us to grow a lot more food on our current acreage.
Why the BCS?
We are a small farm and we like it that way. We grow a lot of food on only 2.5 acres. Our goal is do this even more intensively and responsibly. The BCS is a tool designed for small-scale farming. It will increase the efficiency of many tasks, enabling us to grow more food for more people. It will also help us continue to build our soil fertility.
How We'll Use the BCS
The BCS operates a variety of implements. There are three of these that will be especially useful on our farm.
The flail mower: The flail mower chops up plant matter into
small pieces making it easy to incorporate back into the soil. This is essential for efficient double cropping. This is when we plant
one crop, harvest it, and plant another crop in its place. The
flail mower will drastically reduce the time between plantings which
means a whole lot more food!
The plow: The plow breaks up and flips over sod, soil and cover crops. This will enable us to incorporate more cover cropping into our systems. We'll also use the plow to build beautiful raised beds much more efficiently than we can by hand.
The rototiller: The tiller is at the heart of all our systems. We use it to prepare beds and to incorporate plant matter, compost and amendments into the soil.
The BCS model 732 is $2824. The Bladerunner flail mower is $1769. The Berta rotary plow is $1239. The BCS 26" rototiller is $585. Kickstarter fees, credit card processing fees, and all the fun rewards we're offering make up the difference.
How You Can Help
CSA stands for community supported agriculture. First Root has been community supported, in every way, from the beginning. We couldn't farm without the help and generosity of so many people, both close by and far afield. Thank you for being a part of the First Root community!
Many thanks to Tim Sackton for the photos & video!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We both have experience using walk-behind rototillers and tractors. But neither of us have used this particular machine and implements. Once we have the BCS, we will have to spend some quality time familiarizing ourselves with it. Every machine has its quirks. Learning how to work with them is part of the fun. We're looking forward to getting to know our BCS next spring. Luckily, we have farmer friends close by with similar machines who can help us work out any kinks.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.