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.
Risks and challenges
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.
One pound of our own Angelic Organics popcorn, grown from GMO-free seeds in our wholesome soil + website thanks. *This will be delicious biodynamic corn from our 2013 crop, home grown, dried and ready for popping next December. Yum!
Two pounds of our own Angelic Organics popcorn, grown from GMO-free seeds in our wholesome soil + website thanks. *This will be delicious biodynamic corn from our 2013 crop, home grown, dried and ready for popping next December. Yum!
NEW! Our Learning Center's handmade soaps. We milk the goats and blend herbs, flowers and essential oils to make these beautiful molded bars. We'll send you two perfect bars in the shapes and scents of our choice.
May Day Masquerade! Two tickets for our May 4, 2013 grown-ups-only party here at the farm. Bring your own costume or choose from our fabulous collection of masks, make-up, hats and garb. Food! Drink! Dance! Overnight outdoor camping optional.
Farmer-For-A-Day. Depending on the season, you can harvest the vegetables, feed the livestock, learn to milk a goat, or learn how to build a compost pile at Angelic Organics. The Learning Center team will match you to a farm chore that'll make you want to quit your desk job.
Love poems have been written for our field-fresh summer vegetables. They're that good. Until now, you had to live near Caledonia, Ill to buy a share. We'll ship one crate of picked-that-day produce to you in August or September, your choice, with the very best from our Biodynamic fields.
Corncrib weekend. Be our guest on a Saturday night in our refurbished corn crib. Farmhouse dinner for two with Farmer John and Haidy Peterson and continental breakfast Sunday morning at the farmhouse kitchen.
The Jeep Tour with Farmer John. We'll set you up with two lawn chairs or a mattress built for six, appropriate icy beverages and snacks, and Farmer John himself take you on an unforgettable guided ride through our 100-acre organic farm. Date in summer or early autumn of 2013 to be mutually agreed upon.
Award-winning multimedia artist Douglas Gayeton features Farmer John in his series "The Lexicon of Sustainability." Bids at this level choose one of three spectacular 40 x 60" full color prints. The second print in the series is featured at left.
NEW! We've had so many request for this item that we're adding three more! A homecooked meal for you and up to seven friends with Farmer John and Haidy Peterson, served by candlelight in our farmhouse kitchen. Date in 2013 to be mutually agreed upon.
The Private Farm Party! Meet Farmer John and take a private farm tour with the Learning Center team. Perfect for your family or group of up to 10 friends. Pick vegetables, collect eggs, milk a goat and enjoy the freshest lunch you'll ever taste. Date in July or August 2013 to be mutually agreed upon.
Invite up to 75 friends to a private screening of "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" with Farmer John and Haidy Peterson at Angelic Organics, the farm featured in the hit movie. We'll supply our own organic popcorn, soft drinks, and a Q and A with the star of the show, as you watch from the comfort of our dairy barn loft. Date in 2013 to be mutually agreed upon.
Farmer John and Haidy Peterson will come to your farm, homestead or backyard garden for a day's private consultation on farming and/or running a successful CSA. Date in 2013 to be mutually agreed upon. Please add $500 for distances between 100 and 250 miles from Caledonia, IL. Please add $1,500 for locations in the continental US beyond 250 miles of Angelic Organics Farm.
The Angelic Organic Wedding.* We supply the glorious space for up to 100 guests, parking, bathrooms, and fresh biodynamic raw vegetables for your licensed caterer to prepare. You supply the guests, officiant, flowers, food & beverages and all the other extras you require, including the bride & groom. Or bride & bride. Or groom & groom. Dates through June 2014 to be mutually agreed upon.
* or Bar Mitzvah, Graduation party, or any-occasion celebration.