Our historic barn needs major repairs to make it safe for people.
I'm Farmer John Peterson. On my farm I have a barn.
It's been decades since cows lived here. Over the years I've patched the roof here, put in solid flooring there. You know how it is.
I love my farm and I've made it my ongoing mission every year to invite thousands of children, farming groups and would-be farmers here to experience the joys of a farm. You may have seen the documentary about me and the tribulations of family farming, "The Real Dirt on Farmer John."
The barn was a main character in the film, which also put Caledonia, IL on the map. So many people want to come here to learn.
There are a lot of non-profit farming groups that would love to meet in the barn, but we've reached the point where we're too worried that our current set-up isn't safe for a big group.
We must complete the conversion from old dairy barn to a meeting space safe enough for a classroom of kids or groups of 150.
But this is too big to take on without your support.
The non-profits that visit here pay just enough to cover the heating bill and the cost of setting things up and cleaning up afterwards. And a lot of our visitors are young people trying to learn farming or they're city kids who come here through the incredible non-profit Angelic Organics Learning Center.
Through this Kickstarter campaign, we'll be able to make essential roof repairs, install interior stairwells, emergency lighting and fire escapes, and complete the renovation of the barn and the corn crib next door so they can serve as classroom space and community center. We've priced it out to a few dollars over $150,000 to complete the absolute essentials.
The completed farmstead will serve as both vibrant campus and robust farming hub. We presently harvest and pack about 1600 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes per week during the growing season. That's a lot of robust farming activity!
Why help fix up a barn in the Midwest, you may ask? You may have been a guest on our farm or you may someday eat the vegetables grown by a future farmer who was trained on this farm. And chances are good, if you've ever tasted a single biodynamic vegetable or drank a fresh glass of milk from a biodynamic farm, that the farmer attended a biodynamic workshop here.
The improvements will transform our successful working farm into a premier gathering place for children's groups, beginner farmers, members of our CSA, national organic and biodynamic farming associations, and people who just yearn for the chance to smell fresh-cut hay in summer, hold a newly-hatched chick in their hand, and taste a carrot still cool from the earth.
This project is a team effort, lead by myself and my wife, Haidy, and by the rest of us at Angelic Organics Farm and Learning Center: Tom Spaulding, Marty Rosen, and Pascal Akesson (who made the great video!) and with help from fans of The Real Dirt on Farmer John and members of the extended Angelic Organics family. The work is being completed to primarily benefit the non-profit Learning Center, however your pledges are not tax-deductible.
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Like all great farms, Angelic Organics has an incredible crew of versatile farmhands who can fix a tractor in summer and build a staircase or replace a roof in the winter. Once funding is complete, John and his crew will commence work on both spaces in winter 2013 - stopping in early spring to focus on farming until the fall harvest. They plan to complete all of the work during the winter of 2013-14.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.