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$520 pledged of $7,000 goal
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By Shawn Schuster
$520 pledged of $7,000 goal
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About

Who we are

My name is Shawn Schuster, and becoming an organic farmer is a long-time dream of mine that has finally come true. My wife Sarah and I run White Ivy Farm, a back-to-basics farm on Sand Mountain, in northeastern Alabama, about 30 minutes southeast of Chattanooga, TN. We started out growing the healthiest food for our family, and now we want to expand enough to create a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for the Chattanooga area.

We currently run a small 1/4 acre garden and raise chickens, hogs, rabbits, donkeys, and goats for our family's homestead.

What we believe

The current CSAs in our area are absolutely overwhelmed by the demand for healthy food. Consumers are learning more about the food they eat and about the harmful factory farming practices that have been plaguing our health since the 1950s. High Fructose Corn Syrup, over-crowded living conditions for farm animals, and genetic modification are all creating more medical issues than doctors can keep up with, and going back to natural food is the only solution to the problem. We are extremely passionate about joining the food revolution, and we know that a proper CSA will help.

We believe in going back to the basics to grow food the way our ancestors did, but we also believe in utilizing current technology to aid and improve these methods. Through proven farming techniques such as crop rotation, deep litter, "lasagna" layered compost gardening, and hydroponics (eventually), we can use nature the way it was intended, without any pesticides, hormones, or other harmful chemicals in our food.

What we want to do

Grow, grow, grow! While we're not looking to become the next farming conglomerate, we are looking to utilize our six acres in the most efficient way possible to create a productive CSA for the Spring 2013 season. We already know what animals we love to raise the most, and we know what types of plants grow best in our area, but we want to do more with these plants and animals. Creating a CSA will not only help us turn our passions and experience into a viable career that we can be proud of, but it will also help us provide healthy, organic food to the people of Northeast Alabama, Northwest Georgia, and Southwest Tennessee.

Please visit our Shop page to find out more about what we grow and our plans for next spring's CSA.

How we'll use your contributions

  • Irrigation system - $800
    This includes a drip tape system large enough to cover most of the new 3/4 acre garden area, and a 500-gallon rainwater storage system for those dry Alabama summers.
  • Greenhouse - $5000
    As detailed in the video, this greenhouse will be mostly made from reclaimed materials, but will still need lots and lots of purchased parts for the frame, vents, fans, tables, irrigation system, foundation, seed trays, and more.
  • Kickstarter fees and rewards - $1200
    Printing up t-shirts, stickers, and bags costs money! While most of our rewards are unique and priceless, the printed products will need to be paid for as well. Plus, Kickstarter understandably has its own fees.

If we don't meet our goal, we don't get a dime, so every little bit helps! That's the beauty of crowd funding: it doesn't take a large contribution from any one person, but several small contributions from many people. If we are blessed with more contributions than our goal, there are any number of things we can do to help us build our CSA the right way. The most important of these includes:

  • Large portable coolers
    These would be for transporting produce to and from the farmer's market.
  • Farmer's Market stall
    We'd like to get some good, sturdy tables for our market stand so they're quicker to set up and transport than ones I've built.
  • An old tractor
    I love working with my hands, and I love antique vehicles, so the older, the better. I don't need anything fancy like an air-conditioned cab or cruise control; I just need it to pull a plow in a straight line and turn occasionally.
  • Hydroponics System
    While we have no hydroponics system set up now, we'd like to start researching and developing a small set-up for the greenhouse to grow leafy greens more efficiently.
  • Kicking it Forward to other Kickstarter projects
    As part of Brian Fargo's Kicking It Forward program, we pledge to give 5% of all earnings past our goal to any other Kickstarter projects of our choice.

How you can spread the word

If you believe in community supported agriculture and sustainable farming as much as we do, spread the word to your friends and family! You can use any of the links below to get the word out. We thank you!

Our Website
Our Facebook page
Our Twitter

Theme music for our video is "Breadcrumb Trail" by Buried Beds, used with permission.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A big THANK YOU on our main website and Facebook page.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    All previous rewards, plus a personal, homemade thank-you note mailed to your home. (Please add $15 for international shipping)

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All previous rewards, plus a White Ivy Farm bumper sticker and postcard featuring one of our farm animals. (Please add $15 for international shipping)

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All previous rewards, plus a PDF file of Sarah's homestyle farm recipes and a reusable White Ivy Farm shopping bag. (Please add $15 for international shipping)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All previous rewards, plus a 100% organic cotton White Ivy Farm t-shirt to impress your friends. (Please add $15 for international shipping)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    All previous rewards, plus 2 months of our CSA (if local). A total of 8 baskets (one each week) to be picked up at one of our pre-determined points around Chattanooga, TN.
    Also, a thank-you printed on our farmstand banner. This can be your name, your logo, your business, or whatever you'd use to identify yourself. (Please add $15 for international shipping for previous rewards)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All previous rewards, plus one half season of our CSA (if local). This includes 11 weeks of our CSA to be picked up at one of our pre-determined points around Chattanooga, TN. This half season replaces the 2 months of our CSA at the $250 level.
    If not local, you get a rock on the farm hand-painted with your name. We'd take one of our natural rocks found on our property and paint your name on it to be placed along the garden's edge. Once the name is painted on, we'll send you a picture of your rock. (Please add $15 for international shipping for previous rewards)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All previous rewards, plus 1 full season of our CSA (if local). This includes 22 weeks of our CSA to be picked up at one of our pre-determined points around Chattanooga, TN. This full season replaces the 2 months and half-season of our CSA at the $250 and $500 levels.
    We'll also give you a tour of the farm and dinner with us using our food (if local).
    If not local, you'll get a thank-you with your name attached to every one of our weekly CSA basket tags for everyone to see. This means that everyone who gets one of our CSA baskets will see your name each week on a tag attached to the basket... forever! (Please add $15 for international shipping for previous rewards)

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Funding period

- (30 days)