My name is Brian Farmer. I am a farmer, artist and musician living in the Hudson Valley of New York State. I have been involved with agriculture in many ways over the past 25 years as a small scale organic farmer, CSA advocate, community gardening educator and agricultural consultant. "I would like to use Kickstarter to reach out to a broader community that I believe shares my passions about food,farming and a vision of the transitions we must make in our communities to support sustainable farming, cooking and eating. I love talking to folks about how I grow, how and what I cook and how it fits into the broader fabric of our lives in a healthy community. I find that food shared can help bridge many divisions we may have as humans, a meal prepared and shared together and the discussions around the eating table often lead to a more subtle understanding of each other."
Intent: To create a vehicle, a literal vehicle with wheels ( a small mobile kitchen and education center) that enables us as a farm to be a vehicle to travel to festivals, schools community centers and private events and conferences, prepare amazing fresh and creative food from our farms bounty. Along with the good eats we bring an opportunity to educate the public in these varied arena’s about our farm, the importance of supporting local agricultural diversity and a sustainable local food system as we move into an era of increased uncertainty where localization of all our supporting systems will become more vital. We want to present this information not in a “preachy way” but rather through the power of real food prepared by real people on a plate that we can talk about.
Why? As a small farm we need to create multiple streams of revenue to keep the venture going ,sane and sustainable. By expanding into this outreach mode we can create some additional revenue streams through education events, workshops, event catering and cultural festivals. My hope is that we will create a synergy between the historically rich existing agricultural heritage of our area and the new activist food culture that has emerged around issues of seemingly conflicting agricultural practices ie “conventional vs organic” and bring it home to the plate, the place where we all live.
Nuts and Bolts
What we need: We will need to outfit our mobile kitchen unit to function for full on commercial vending for use at festivals and other events. This means a Health Department approved set up. Additionally we want to develop hands on cooking center for demos and educational workshops. This would include portable butcher block type prep tables, cooking units and a display board for brochures, recipes and other educational materials. Fortunately we have some great help on the building,plumbing, and electrical end of this project who have gratefully volunteered to get the vehicle, whatever it turns out to be, on the road and beautiful by mid-summer.
Estimated initial basic expenditures:
Used vehicle costs-4-$5000
Creation of point of sale educational materials and materials for school and community workshops $1500-2000.
Timeline and outcomes:
March-July: 1. Secure, renovate and equip our mobile unit, a pull behind unit or small bio diesel bus, we are exploring several options. By July we hope to have our mobile unit with kitchen space on the road for catering events, festivals and some educational/workshop events.
May-July and beyond!!- Develop and print educational materials, and new Point Of Sale information that focuses on our venture and ways to support the local agricultural community as well as activate personally to understand the impacts of how one eats on the macro-world level.
July-October: Do at least 6 events ( workshops, festivals,)
September-December and beyond!!: Provide fee based and free workshop opportunities for local schools and community based organizations.