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Artist + Community working together to help revive the once nearly extinct Marshall, "the tastiest strawberry in America". Read more

Brunswick, ME Public Art
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on June 2, 2014.

Artist + Community working together to help revive the once nearly extinct Marshall, "the tastiest strawberry in America".

Brunswick, ME Public Art
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About this project

Since we still have two weeks left to the campaign, I'm initiating a stretch goal of $10,000. The extra funding will enable me to make new containers for my base crop of Marshalls so I won't lose any to next winter, and pay for some professional garden plans for Rising Fields Heritage Herb and Berry Farm, permanent home of the Marshall Strawberry... A you-pick organic heritage berry and endangered medicinal herb farm in mid-coast Maine. Want to make sure we find the perfect location to make a magical place for everyone to visit and a healthy spot for the plants. I'll be adding a new reward each morning until the campaign ends to make things fun! Stay tuned --> and below for details. 

MARSHALL

The Marshall strawberry, once deemed by James Beard, the Father of American gastronomy, as "the finest eating strawberry in America", was discovered by Marshall F. Ewell of Marshfield, Massachusetts in 1880, and introduced in 1883. It migrated to the West coast, where it was served to Queen Elizabeth and King George IV at a lunch in Vancouver, B.C. In 1939. An esteemed American agricultural encyclopedia notes that the Marshall strawberry was "the standard of excellence for the entire northern strawberry industry." And, according to James Beard, it was one of only two kinds of strawberries his mother would allow into the house.

In the 1960s Marshall was phased out, due to its modest production, delicacy and incompatibility with modern industrialized agricultural practices. By 2007, the last three remaining plants existed as a single clone at the USDA's Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Oregon, and was listed on Slow Food's Most Endangered Foods list. The Marshall produces juicy delicate berries meant to be enjoyed as soon as they ripen. They don't travel well, so the only way to enjoy them is locally!

MARSHALL + ME


I'm an artist and my medium is food. I read about Marshall on the list in 2007, FELL IN LOVE with the story and requested some runners from the scientists at Corvallis. Since my intention was to grow them for food and return them to their native East Coast, they generously and enthusiastically FedExed me several unrooted baby Marshalls. Three plants took root from those first runners, and since then they have traveled with me to New York City, Bloomington, Indiana and Brunswick, Maine appearing in art shows, and thriving in my backyard gardens. Now many are healthy, happy and making more! 



MARSHALL + Me + MORE FOLKS 

One day in the fall of 2009, I received an email from an gentleman on the West coast who remembered Marshall from his youth, wanting to buy some plants for his garden. Since my stock was in sufficient numbers to share i realized it was time to broaden the scope of the project and help create a community of backyard growers to help assume stewardship of Marshall.

I joined forces with Kind Aesthetic, an artist consultancy in New York City and released an edition of 600 plants. To date, nearly 400 plants have been adopted by generous and amazing strawberry loving folks across the United States. Check out the Marshall Strawberry website for a map showing the distribution of plants, more of the Marshall story and all of the wonderful press the project has received to date.

MARSHALL + me + MORE FOLKS = COMMUNITY 
This next phase involves working with willing Marshall growers across the country to create hubs so even more backyard gardeners can have local access to Marshall plants at an affordable price without the necessity of shipping long distances. Plus working together we can also help to restore Marshalls to some historical sites, and supply plants to educational centers and local farmers.

WITH YOUR HELP
I need to expand the capability of the Marshall website so hub growers can create pages to offer up their extra plants to local folks, and so organizations and local farmers can apply for plants. I'd also love to add another web section to tell more of the rich personal history of Marshall including interviews of folks who grew Marshall back in the day, who are over 90 years old now! Hoping what emerges over time is a larger story of how deeply attached we are to our food plants. And how the decisions we make about what to plant and what to eat shape our lives.

IF WE OVER FUND
My ultimate dream for the project is to create a you-pick organic berry farm here in Maine, serving as a permanent home for Marshall and other rare berry plants. This will be a magical little place where folks can come for plants, feast on ripe delicious organic fruit, learn more about their agricultural heritage, and help empower backyard growers and small farmers to help keep our food supply safe and diverse for future generations. Any monies raised in addition to the $1800 will go towards Rising Fields, the Marshall Strawberry Farm!

REWARDS

$3 Marshall Strawberry Button

$5 Digital Download of "Waiting " by singer songwriter Emilie Rex

$15 Marshall Strawberry Heirloom Recipe Book

Image by 幻枫宿影
Image by 幻枫宿影

$30 One Marshall Strawberry plant local pick-up

$45 One Marshall Strawberry Plant delivered to your home via 2-day Air

$50 Original embroidery inspired by Marshall and Spring

Spring No. 1
Spring No. 1

 $50 Original embroidery inspired by Marshall and Spring

Spring No. 2
Spring No. 2

$50 Original embroidery inspired by Marshall and Spring

Spring No. 3
Spring No. 3

$50 Original embroidery inspired by Marshall and Spring

Spring No. 4
Spring No. 4

$50 Original embroidery inspired by Marshall and Spring

Spring No. 5
Spring No. 5

$50 Original embroidery inspired by Marshall and Spring

Spring No. 6
Spring No. 6

$75 Two Marshall Strawberry Plant delivered to your home via 2-day Air

$100 Hand sewn (by me) stainless steel mesh fabric strawberry pot. Super sexy fabric. 3 gallon size (about half the height of the image below with the tomato)

$135 Four Marshall Strawberry Plant delivered to your home via 2-day Air

$275 Your choice of 1 Marshall inspired limited edition C-Print on metallic paper, face mounted to plexi, ready to hang. Only 10 of each available. Please indicate your selection by the number. 

Image by Whitney Chicago
Image by Whitney Chicago
                       


$500 For the big time foodies among us! One half pint jar of Marshall strawberry preserves. My entire harvest will probably yield 4-6 jars. Will be made with organic, vegan sugar using Christine Ferber's strawberry jam recipe. You can read more about the lemon grass version here.

CREDITS

Thank you to Emilie and Grace Rex for their beautiful song, and to Mike Nowak, Heather Davis, Anthony Tran, The Beekman Boys, Amy Smith Wexler, Coleen Cavallaro, and Melissa Gilmore for the lovely images of their happy, healthy Marshalls!

Risks and challenges

The software upgrade is pretty straightforward. I don't anticipate any real technical glitches. I already have several willing hub growers, and educational hubs which is exciting and fantastic. The biggest unknown right now is how many plants survived this year's harsh winter, and doing my best to nurture those plants back to health so I can meet demands for the plants to fund expansion of the project.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $3 or more

    23 backers

    I heart Marshall Strawberry button + your name listed on the THANK YOU! Friends of Marshall webpage.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    3 backers

    Digital download of "Waiting" by singer/songwriter/Marshall growers, Emilie Rex and Grace Rex + your name listed on the THANK YOU! Friends of Marshall webpage.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    25 backers

    Marshall strawberries heirloom recipe book. Hand bound, softcover, collectible with 10 sinfully delicious historic strawberry recipes + your name listed on the THANK YOU! Friends of Marshall webpage.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    6 backers

    One Marshall Strawberry plant (LOCAL PICK UP BRUNSWICK MAINE ONLY), numbered and planted in a handmade container for fall planting. Comes with certificate of authenticity and signature of the artist + your name listed on the THANK YOU! Friends of Marshall webpage.

    PLEASE NOTE!! We had an unusually harsh winter here in Coastal Maine, and I have no idea right now how many plants will be available come fall. All plant requests will be fulfilled in the order received beginning fall of 2014. Order fulfillment *might* spill into 2015 if there are not sufficient numbers to meet demand.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    64 backers

    One Marshall Strawberry plant, numbered and planted in a handmade container for fall planting. Comes with certificate of authenticity and signature of the artist. Includes 2-day delivery anywhere in the mainland U.S. + your name listed on the THANK YOU! Friends of Marshall webpage.

    PLEASE NOTE!! We had an unusually harsh winter here in Coastal Maine, and I have no idea right now how many plants will be available come fall. All plant requests will be fulfilled in the order received beginning fall of 2014. Order fulfillment *might* spill into 2015 if there are not sufficient numbers to meet demand.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    Original embroidery Spring No. 1inspired by Marshall and spring. 4" x 4" embroidery thread on raw linen canvas stretched onto a stretcher. Ready for hanging.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Original embroidery Spring No.2 inspired by Marshall and spring. 4" x 4" embroidery thread on raw linen canvas stretched onto a stretcher of the same size. Signed by the artist and ready for hanging.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    0 backers

    Original embroidery Spring No.3 inspired by Marshall and spring. 4" x 4" embroidery thread on raw linen canvas stretched onto a stretcher of the same size. Signed by the artist and ready for hanging.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Original embroidery Spring No. 4 inspired by Marshall and spring. 4" x 4" embroidery thread on raw linen canvas stretched onto a stretcher of the same size. Signed by the artist and ready for hanging.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Original embroidery Spring No.5 inspired by Marshall and spring. 4" x 4" embroidery thread on raw linen canvas stretched onto a stretcher of the same size. Signed by the artist and ready for hanging.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    0 backers

    Original embroidery Spring No. 6 inspired by Marshall and spring. 4" x 4" embroidery thread on raw linen canvas stretched onto a stretcher of the same size. Signed by the artist and ready for hanging.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    47 backers

    Two Marshall Strawberry plants, numbered and planted in handmade containers for fall planting. Comes with certificate of authenticity and signature of the artist. Includes 2-day delivery anywhere in the mainland U.S. your name listed on the THANK YOU! Friends of Marshall webpage.

    PLEASE NOTE!! We had an unusually harsh winter here in Coastal Maine, and I have no idea right now how many plants will be available come fall. All plant requests will be fulfilled in the order received beginning fall of 2014. Order fulfillment *might* spill into 2015 if there are not sufficient numbers to meet demand.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    1 backer

    Hand sewn stainless steel mesh strawberry pot. 2 gallon capacity. Beautiful and extremely durable.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $135 or more

    13 backers

    Four Marshall Strawberry plants, numbered and planted in a handmade containers for fall planting. Come with certificate of authenticity and signature of the artist. Includes 2-day delivery anywhere in the mainland U.S. your name listed on the THANK YOU! Friends of Marshall webpage.

    PLEASE NOTE!! We had an unusually harsh winter here in Coastal Maine, and I have no idea right now how many plants will be available come fall. All plant requests will be fulfilled in the order received beginning fall of 2014. Order fulfillment *might* spill into 2015 if there are not sufficient numbers to meet demand.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $145 or more

    0 backers

    Hand sewn stainless steel mesh strawberry pot. 2 gallon capacity. Beautiful and extremely durable with one Marshall Strawberry plant, numbered and planted in a handmade container for fall planting. Comes with certificate of authenticity and signature of the artist. Includes 2-day delivery anywhere in the mainland U.S. + your name listed on the THANK YOU! Friends of Marshall webpage. PLEASE NOTE!! We had an unusually harsh winter here in Coastal Maine, and I have no idea right now how many plants will be available come fall. All plant requests will be fulfilled in the order received beginning fall of 2014. Order fulfillment *might* spill into 2015 if there are not sufficient numbers to meet demand.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $275 or more

    1 backer Limited (48 left of 49)

    Your choice of Limited edition (10 each + 1 AP) Marshall inspired Mending Season prints, 9 x 12", c-print face mounted on plexi, ready to hang. Signed and dated by the Artist

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    One half pint jar of Marshall strawberry preserves. Made with Christine Ferber's recipe with organic vegan sugar.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (25 days)