Once upon a time, back in the late 1700's, Danny Barrett's ancestors settled and began farming a portion of the Pigeon River Valley, in the mountains of Western North Carolina. This farm is still in the family. And while family farms across the country are disappearing, The Ten Acre Garden is adapting! Help us move into the future and continue to be YOUR family farm.
Bounded by the Pigeon River and within sight of Cold Mountain, The Ten Acre Garden is a magical place. Visitors describe a real sense of connection to the land. Our volunteers, helping wherever they can, enjoy being part of the community and contributing their talents to our adventure.
We are trying to raise the money to acquire a food truck as well as the means to renovate our high tunnel into a space suitable for year-round dining. We hope our vision for the future of The Ten Acre Garden will inspire you as much as it does us.
The face of farming has changed drastically. Progress has a way of eroding one's way of life, traditions and heritage, one's values and our landscape as well. Family farms are disappearing. Danny has placed The Ten Acre Garden in a conservation easement, ensuring it will never be developed, but also prohibiting the construction of any new permanent structures. Enter the food truck.
Chef Matt Kuver has been presenting meals like this at the farm since August of 2016. We call our biweekly events Farm2Feast. They feature locally sourced "big, bad" proteins and the absolute freshest of produce. These Farm2Feast events have become very popular, solely by word of mouth and social media! In order for us to take these dinners to the next level, we need a more efficient physical space. The conservation easement prevents construction of permanent structures, leaving us out of options...with the exception of obtaining a food truck. it's the obvious workaround, and one that comes with many other benefits.
The Ten Acre Garden operates popular berry and flower u-picks, and hosted our first-annual Sunflower Maze, which attracted families and tourists from all over the area. We fire up the wood pizza oven on Saturday afternoons, often serving up to 60. Combine sold-out biweekly Farm2Feast dinners and you begin to see we are really meeting a need in our community. But we are working solely with a primitive outdoor kitchen, and that makes it impossible to scale up. Without. A. Food. Truck. The truth is, if we don't reach our Kickstarter goal, all food operations must cease. There will be no way to grow the farm in a sustainable, self-reliant direction. But imagine our future with a food truck. The Ten Acre Garden would become a real destination, opening up the possibility for families to stay all day, and maybe spend the night in Haywood County. It would become an opportunity to make a real connection to our community.
We're ideally positioned to do two things very well. First, we want to preserve our Appalachian heritage and protect our traditions, as well as demonstrating the core Appalachian values of self-reliance and resiliency. That's why it's important for you, as investors, to know that we come to the table with substantial assets:
- An already existing, enthusiastic customer base
- An incomparable setting
- A creative chef redefining Appalachian cooking
- Live music, local musicians. Part of supporting our community includes supporting local musicians. We're proud to bring live music to The Ten Acre Garden, sponsored by Studio -412 (www.studio-412.com).
Our food truck will provide a new revenue stream for the farm and enable us to continue to be caretakers of this singular property without changing it's aspect or character in any way.
Second, we mean to help people rediscover the undeniable pleasure of experiencing the relationship between food and community. Knowing your farmer, and your farm, provides insight into the seasons, the land, and one's food. Having access to a farm provides a place where one's children and grandchildren can go to experience the cycle of the seasons firsthand. Imagine a place you can bring your kids year after year, to pick berries, or produce, wade in the river, visit the chickens...and eat the freshest food available! It's like your own little farm. It's The Ten Acre Garden.
Mara S. " We very much enjoy this dining experience in nature at Ten Acre Garden in Canton. NC. They offer a wonderfully casual farm-to-table atmosphere with friendly and welcoming hosts, chef and staff. Often, live music by local musicians is part of the dinner and a welcome addition. We will be returning again and again to join this group as it grows and evolves. The food is prepared lovingly and the flavors and creativity are divine!"
Kathryn S. " This place is as real as it gets. Beautiful location, beautiful produce, beautiful experiences waiting to be had! Hoping to check out their Saturdays brick oven sometime soon."
Connie J. "We went to the Farm2Feast on July 8.....delicious! Food was incredible, wonderful service, fantastic atmosphere sitting where you can just feel all things growing....
Jessica M. " What a wonderful place! And excellent selection of fresh produce and friendly owners to tour us around. Loved hearing about the history and seeing all the variety they’re cultivating. Can’t wait to attend a farm to table dinner!"
Mary Jo B. " The beautiful location, spectacular food, and incredible music to top it all off...absolutely a wonderful night!"
Teresa R. " Love the people and the love they put into the wonderful Garden! Thank you!"
- A Century Farm in The Pigeon Valley of Western North Carolina
- An authentic outdoor Appalachian kitchen, including a brick wood fired pizza oven
- A high tunnel which will be used for year-round dining
- Live music license
- Chef Matt Kuver and The Gypsy Chefs
- Most kitchen equipment, smoker, grills, wood fired oven
- An underground, thriving food business, currently only operating one or two days a week
- The freshest of produce from The Ten Acre Garden, and access to the best of local proteins, as well as specialized local produce, like mushrooms, not grown here on the farm
- The Ten Acre Garden Farmstand, a charming little store on the farm, attracting locals and tourists alike
- Thriving u-pick operations driving customers to the farm with unique attractions like our Sunflower Maze. Donations for the Maze went directly into our new business checking account.
- '$12,000 Used but adequately equipped food truck. We plan to transform the exterior so it blends into the farm setting.
- $1,000 ABC wine and beer licenses
- $1,750 Making the High Tunnel functional for all season dining. This includes the cost of a new roof, raised beds, mulch, lights, and two outdoor heaters
- $1,000 New linens, flatware, uniforms
- It's important to understand that labor costs are not included, because we won't have any. Our team is rich in construction and design skills.
This is a bare-bones number, one we believe we can reach, and create an even more successful Ten Acre Garden. Our wish list would include a better equipped truck, two more pizza ovens (one portable, both wood fired) which Danny would build over the winter, and about $2000 in new tables and chairs for the High Tunnel. Also for the High Tunnel: removable flooring in the center, a modular dance floor, lighting. We are currently using picnic tables and benches outdoors.
Timeline: We hope to secure a food truck and renovate the high tunnel by the end of January. Wine and beer licenses to be secured in January as well. The new pizza oven would be constructed over the winter. We will be continuing pizza and Farm2Feast dinners throughout the process. This gives us a window of time during the winter when the farm is quiet to complete these tasks and be ready for next spring's u-pick strawberry season.
Risks and challenges
Just about every business here in Western North Carolina faces the same challenge...how to stay alive during the off season.
This region is very dependent on tourism. Our tourist season here is relatively long, starting slowly in April and then continuing strong through leaf season.
As farmers, we are accustomed to dealing with winter, a time without any real income stream. And as businesspeople, we know that the key to thriving year-round in a food business is the support of the local community.
We are proud to be locals ourselves. Over 50% of our customer base is local (farmstand as well as for our food.)
We look forward to reaching out to nearby Asheville once we can advertise, as well as using the food truck strategically to promote The Ten Acre Garden experience.
No one gets into farming for the money; it's really all about the love of the work. Farming carries with it inherent risks such as the possibility of too much rain, not enough rain, late freezes, early freezes, crop failures. These things the farmer really has no control over.
Changing the direction of the farm in this way will actually financially insulate the Ten Acre Garden against these common pitfalls of farming.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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