My name is Kirsten Anderson. I am a young and ambitious female farmer, determined to create my first solo farming project.
I have spent the past two years working as an intern on organic farms in California and Washington state. Through these experiences I have enriched my skills in vegetable production, CSA management and animal husbandry. A farmer at heart see's possibility in any piece of land, no matter the obstacles.
There is historical ancestry behind the land which I plan on cultivating. My family migrated from Canada to southern New Hampshire in the early 1900's, where they farmed vegetables and raised pigs and horses. Since that time there has been many changes, and the majority of the land has been sold and developed into condominium complexes and residential neighborhoods. There is, however, still over two acres that could potentially be cultivated.
Most of southern New Hampshire was once all farm land, and although there are still many small and diversified family farms scattered throughout New Hampshire, they are diminishing and Nashua itself lacks any urban or community garden projects. I used to think of it as the Shire, with endless rolling green hills lined in old stone walls, rich in history. Nashua, New Hampshire is an old mill town that became established through the textile industry. It is a developing city, with many Boston working commuters - most of the city is now strip-malls, pavement, and residential neighborhoods. My family's land serves as what I like to think of it as a gem of history, nestled amongst the modern storefronts and congested streets.
What I can offer Nashua is something progressive and essential. There are no farms in Nashua itself, although the rural towns that neighbor it do have more to offer. I plan on becoming a small neighborhood source for those individuals wanting to connect to their food, their land, and their producer.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. This is a successful model for consumer to farmer relationships. Essentially, an individual becomes a member of a CSA and receives weekly, available produce which varies according to the time of the season. My plan is to have 10-20 local members who can come pick up their produce right here on the property or at the local Nashua farmers market. Typically, a CSA model involves members to pay the total cost of their share up front - before anyone can reap the benefits due to the demand of cost that is necessary to start production. However, I plan on providing monthly payment plans throughout the season in order to make it more affordable for members. This is where the fundraising comes in.
The land has not been cultivated in a while, therefore I need to rent proper equipment to plow the field and add any necessary amendments before tilling the soil.
Where my funds will go:
500 dollars will be used to purchase heating pads for propagating seeds in the spring. There is a solarium which I will use as my "greenhouse" - which means there is plenty of light, but heat is necessary.
2,500 will be used to rent and/or purchase any necessary equipment to prepare the field for planting.
2,000 will be used to purchase any compost/manure/other amendments that are necessary to bring the soil to a healthy fertility structure.
200 dollars will be used to purchase seeds, starting trays, and the right seed starting mix.
I will also be investing everything I have into this project. This is where my passion lies, and I am determined to make it into a reality.
Risks and challenges
It is inevitable that challenges will arise (constantly). This is the pure nature of farming. It is risky in many senses, especially when weather is temperamental.
I am committed to working through any challenges that may arise. One of the best skills a farmer can nurture is their skill to be resourceful with clever problem-solving. One thing I admire about farming is the fact that there is no one way - a farm is a reflection of its steward. Cheap shortcuts and half-hearted attempts will certainly reflect and surface in some aspect of the farm. A garden is alive, and I plan on caring for it with every ounce of love that I have.
I have been farming for a few years now, and I am completely capable of overcoming any situation that may cause obstacles. You learn by trial and error, and with a strong work ethic and the ability to problem solve, challenges will be faced with determination and resourcefulness.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)