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Food education for the next generation. Read more

Salem, OR Food
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$9,941
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Food education for the next generation.

Salem, OR Food
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About this project

Farm Life Experience

GeerCrest Farm holds a place in this world for an experience which is vanishing; it holds an unspoken reverence and appreciation for nature and life, and it allows the developing child to connect with that in a very deep and personal way.”

-Nina Churchill Portland Waldorf School Teacher

We are ready to launch our official Farm Life Experience program at GeerCrest Farm- with your help!  Students of the program will learn from and contribute to every aspect of the farm:  a full vegetable CSA; meat, egg, and dairy production; management of the woods, pastures, and streams; and the management of a working homestead household, including food preservation and cooking; the economics of food production; and the social dynamics that sustain farming communities.

Our story 

For years, the nonprofit GeerCrest Farm & Historical Society has offered educational visits to local schools and groups, led by the farmers themselves.  Always operating on a shoestring budget, we were able to somehow (with lots of coffee and many, many volunteers- thank you!) pull it off every year, introducing more and more students to small scale organic food production and farm life while juggling the farm management in tandem. In the last couple of years, the demand for this kind of education on our farm has exploded, and for the first time, our farm team truly felt unable to commit to another year without having a developed, directed, and well-staffed "farm school" program, led by experienced educators and farmers.  We are passionate about integrating students into every aspect of small farm life, and encouraging them to connect with the source of their food- and we want to do it well.  After MUCH brainstorming, organizing, and collaborating with teachers educators, we are very proud to present the Farm Life Experience program at GeerCrest Farm!

With the money we raise, we are going to:

  • Stock our sheds, barns, and kitchen with enough tools, gloves, and equipment for students (for big hands and small ones!) in order that they can fully participate in the planning, planting, maintenance, harvest, and packaging of a 1.5 acre organic CSA garden and its harvests, work with and handle the goats, horses, chickens, and sheep, and work with the land and its resources: $800
  • Hire an Education Coordinator to contact and communicate with schools, teachers, homeschool groups and parents, organize field trips, overnight class stays, week-long and extended immersion programs for students, and to connect food growing principles to classroom curriculum: $11,000
  • Build a small 200 square foot cabin for staff, allowing for an existing room in the farmhouse to be upgraded into a dormitory for teachers/chaperones for overnight class stays! $11,500
  • Kickstarter reward fulfillment: $700

When we meet our goal, we can start right away! We can:

  • Book field trips, class stays, week-long and extended immersion programs starting in Spring 2014!
  • Effectively teach small-scale vegetable, egg, dairy, and meat production skills, permaculture and biodynamic principles, and nature awareness to up to 600 students this year alone;
  • Work with teachers and students from visiting classes to coordinate what they are learning in their classrooms with happenings on the farm (ecosystems within our streams, biology and birth in the goat herd, microbiology in fermentation/cheese and yogurt making, photosynthesis, Oregon history, etc.) ;
  • Include students in every aspect of healthy, nutritious, farm to table food production!

 THANK YOU for your support and interest in bringing food education to the next generation of community builders; this is only the beginning!

Risks and challenges

This is only the first step to bringing farm life experience into the lives of our students for the long haul. With what we raise from this campaign, we will be able to launch the program and run it effectively for the first year, until the program generates enough revenue to support itself. It will take ongoing community support to keep it alive. As a nonprofit, our expenses and revenues are relatively even; to grow the program, build and repair new infrastructure, and finance any unforeseen costs in the future, we will continue to depend on the support of our growing community to keep this program strong.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • This farm needs money because it functions as a classroom, not as a production farm. The revenues we make from selling vegetables, eggs, and dairy go right back into the farm operation account for seeds and animal feed, and sustains itself that way. Like all nonprofits such as the library or public radio, donors, grants, and fundraisers are what keeps the business viable-- only a portion of our total income comes from the programs themselves. Otherwise, they'd have to be really expensive! We want all kids to be able to come to the farm, and that means sharing the cost of such an amazing program between a larger community.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    $5 reward

    8 backers

    Thank you postcard plus updates from the farm + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $15 reward

    11 backers

    Thank you postcard, and a link to a special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $35 reward

    16 backers

    The farm team will send you or your class of choice a packet of saved seeds from our garden! + thank you postcard + link to special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $50 reward

    7 backers

    Come to the farm and collect a dozen eggs from the chicken coop and take a self-guided tour! + link to "thank you" video from the farm team and kids + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $75 reward

    5 backers

    We will send you a GeerCrest Farm t-shirt, plus a link to a special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $100 reward

    5 backers

    Receive a framed woodblock print of the farm for your home or classroom + link to a special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $100 reward

    1 backer

    With every $100 pledge from this reward option, $5 will go toward the kids' gardening gloves fund + a link to a special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $150 reward

    0 backers

    Receive an original Farm Life Experience program poster for your home or classroom + link to special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)

    NAME A BABY GOAT! According to the dairy herd registry, every baby goat born in 2014 has to have a name beginning with the letter "E." We will let you all know if we have boys or girls! Start thinking! + link to a special newborn video! + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    2 backers

    The farm team will visit your classroom for an in-class field trip! + link to a special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids. + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!
    Willamette Valley area only.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $500 reward

    1 backer

    Weekend retreat in the new cabin! Meals and day activities not included. + link to a "thank you" video from the farm team and kids.+ invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $600 reward

    0 backers

    Overnight stay in the historic farmhouse! All meals and day activities included (up to 4 people) + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $1,000 reward

    1 backer Limited (8 left of 9)

    Sponsor your favorite goat! We will give you or a class of your choice a picture and updates on your goat for 2014! The sponsorship money will help contribute to feed, medicine, and shelter for that animal. + link to special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $1,500 reward

    0 backers Limited (8 left of 8)

    Send your child (or a child in your life) to a Farm Life Experience week at GeerCrest Farm this summer! Includes room and board, Monday through Friday, travel expenses not included + a link to a special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $1,500 reward

    1 backer

    Send your class or a class of your choice to the farm for a field trip! All meals and field trip activities included + original poster for your class + link to special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st! Transportation not included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $2,500 reward

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    Full CSA veggie share + farm gift basket! The CSA share is a box of fresh organic vegetables, grown, harvested and packed with the students at the farm and delivered weekly. The gift basket includes jam, yarn from our sheep's wool, a T-shirt, and a jar of raw honey from our bees. + link to a special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids! + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!
    Silverton and Portland areas only.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $5,000 reward

    0 backers

    Come enjoy a week-long retreat in a cabin on the farm, including all home-cooked meals and retreat activities! + farm gift basket, including jam, yarn from our sheep's wool, a t-shirt, and a jar of raw honey from our bees. + original poster + link to a special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!
    Up to 2 people. No airfare or travel included.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $10,000 reward

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Commemorate your donation by naming our new large garden plot after you, your organization, or your school for all time! + a farm gift basket + an original Farm Life Experience poster + link to a special "thank you" video from the farm team and kids + invite to our May Day celebration at the farm on May 1st!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (56 days)