Gravel Road Farm opened for business in the summer of 2013 as a fresh market produce farm. We started with a wide array of annual vegetables and have added herbs, berries, lamb, pork, eggs, and wool. If you want to read more about our business, and read our farm story, you can find all that and more on our website at www.gravelroadfarm.com
Going into our second year we found ourselves wishing desperately for a greenhouse in which to start our seedlings. Instead we made do by purchasing seedlings from another local farm and by making arrangements to borrow space at two commercial greenhouses.
It worked out well enough, but we did not get the exact plants we wanted, we couldn't tend them, monitor germination, evaluate progress, or nurture what would become the foundation of our production for the year. So we resolved to have our own greenhouse for the following season.
That summer and fall were a whirlwind with the launch of our CSA (vegetable box subscription) and new wholesale accounts. Suddenly it was time to move forward on the greenhouse, for soon the ground would be frozen. We managed to get the water line and electric service line run in late October and we cleared the designated area of saplings and grapevines.
With help from a couple of generous supporters we placed an order for the greenhouse frame and plastic which arrived not long after Thanksgiving. We hadn't quite beat the frost, but it wasn't too deep yet and we pounded the ground posts in by pouring hot water into them as we went. We worked to get the main bows up on Christmas Eve, giving the project something to show for itself.
Before it's all said and done the greenhouse will cost over $10,000. Here's where you come in. We still have a number of items to purchase.
End-walls made of polycarbonate-$1510,
Wooden Baseboards, from untreated local cedar-$265,
Insulated Doors, roll-up and person sized-$1550,
These things are what make this a true heated greenhouse rather than a high tunnel or hoophouse and make it possible to raise tender seedlings in February and March in Wisconsin. In summer the greenhouse will also be ideal for growing heat-loving crops like basil, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Then we'll seed spinach and salad greens in the fall which keep producing right through winter with the right conditions. Those will be a tremendous supplement to the carrots, potatoes, and onions we sell in the winter months. Since we don't have a barn or any other outbuildings, the greenhouse will also provide valuable protected space to cure crops like onions and squash.
We are very proud of our work on this project, our first farm structure. We have poured ourselves into this business, in the hopes of earning a living working the land. Our work definitely fulfills a genuine need in this community. One of the missions of our farm is to make healthy nutritious food available to everyone in the community.
Please consider sharing our story with your friends and family so that we are able to reach our goal. We are offering a range of rewards, including the option to purchase our produce to be delivered to the local food bank here in Waupaca. Our mugs and bowls are quality, handmade, glazed stoneware. They are easy to clean and safe in your home appliances.
For details on the CSA options, please go to http://gravelroadfarm.com/our-products/2015-vegetable-csa-information/
Risks and challenges
We run Gravel Road Farm without any additional employees and we have three young children. We are nearly always operating at our full capacity. There isn't much margin for the unexpected. But we collectively have 10 years of experience doing this, and we don't mind a challenge.
The ground is frozen, and we will have to thaw some of it to install our end walls, and baseboards. When the weather is 10 degrees below and the wind is blowing it makes life miserable to be a working outside.
Still, things have a way of working out and progress has been steady. We are motivated and enthusiastic to keep up the pace. With your help and encouragement we will make it happen.
Many thanks to all - for watching, for sharing, for backing us, and for cheering us on! Thank You!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)