Announcing Grow More Stretch Goals
AKA: "Wildest Dreams Come True List"
We are totally floored by your tremendous support, so moving into this final week of the campaign we've got some extra special 'stretch goals', above and beyond our original dreams. These are our Wildest Dreams.
- Reached! $21,000 = Permify the Farm: fruit, nut, biomass tree plantings & MOAR cover crops!
- $23,000 = Barn Office Redux: we're talking redesigning our member's offices + way better internet.
- $25,000 = Yurt: no farm is truly complete without one of these semi-permanent tents.
- $40,000 = Buy more land, incubate more farmers.
2014 - The Year of the Beta
We started the 2014 season with a whole lot of passion and excitement, but we knew we didn’t know everything. Acknowledging this, we entered 2014 with the mindset of a programmer, it was our “Beta Season”.
And we were blown away - we far surpassed our membership target by attracting 13 farmer members, welcoming over 350 visitors to the farm over the course of the summer, and witnessing first hand the breadth and depth of our on and off farm, old and young, human and biotic, community. There were also some things we could be doing a lot better - farm upkeep and leadership team communication to name a few.
From these successes and lessons we gathered 3 “growth areas” for 2015.
Season 2 (and 3, and 4, and..): From Commodity to Community
The first thing we learned was that our community is broader than just 13 farmers, and that not everybody is ready to drop everything and start farming right this minute. Starting this year, we will expand our offerings to a wider community by increasing the number of workshops and collaborative events on the farm. These new events will be a ‘first-step’ for people looking to start their regenerative lifestyle.
Another lesson from last season is to be a better model farm by modeling the transition from a commodity farm to a community farm. Since many of our visitors last year had never been to a farm before, we are focused on using the farm to showcase a prosperous and sustainable operation. Two ways we will do this is by adding more perennial plantings to amend and beautify the land, and introducing pigs to recycle biological waste.
Finally, we learned we need more infrastructure and amenities to support our members and guests. We’ll be adding a veggie washing station to the farm this season as well as making improvements to our irrigation system.
- Veggie Washing Station
- Irrigation System
- Rent & Utilities
So what exactly are Sandbox's exact goals for this Kickstarter funding? Glad you asked.
- Launch/grow/escalate on farm businesses through marketing/promoting businesses/start ups
- Incubate a network of at least 30 young entrepreneurs
- Facilitate workshops with at least 30 community leaders
- Host 400+ visitors to the farm
- Conversion of 5 acres into non-commodity production.
- Sharable/replicable model for regenerative entrepreneurship
Your financial support does far more than get us through 2015. This successful campaign covers many one time investments which allows Sandbox to use these investments as good, strong soil to grow from well into the future. A future bright with expanding farmer memberships, developing regular farm curriculum, sharing our model, and further regeneration from commodity to community.
Grow Together to Grow More.
Meet the four members of the Sandbox Leadership Team!
Brian Hedberg - 26, Brian is passionate about regenerative land-use, ecology-first innovation, regional food markets, and open-source software development. He is looking forward to raising pigs again this summer.
Emma Schroeder - 25, Emma is driven by a systems based approach building businesses that foster people and the planet. She is founder of member Chubby Bunny.
Eric Sannerud - 24 Eric has been farming for 3 years and believes in the next generation of farmers and carries a 4 generation commitment to the family farm. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota with a degree in sustainability and business. His favorite part of living at the farm is the blossoms in the spring. He is co-founder of member Mighty Axe Hops.
Libby London - 25, Libby supports young people in supporting their resilient, ecologically based, livelihoods both on the farm and off! She is founder of member Born & Dyed in MN.
Past and Present Member Farmers
- Jeremy McAdams, Cherry Tree House Mushrooms
- Les Macare and Els Dobrick*, Racing Heart Farm
- Rob Barbeau, Beautiful Beard Grains
- Joel & Beth, South Paw Pickers
- Libby London, Born & Dyed in MN
- Ben Boo, Brian Krohn & Eric Sannerud, Mighty Axe Hops
- Emma Schroeder, Chubby Bunny
- Casey Dahl, BIG APE's Herbs and Honey (Interview Spotlight)
- Kelly Duhn, Bee Keeper
* Les and Els have graduated on to their own farm!
Want to help beyond donating?
Share our story of farm and livelihood regeneration with your friends! Use #GrowMore on Twitter, tag Sandbox Center on Facebook, or share this page via email. Still not enough you say? You'd like to go even further to support future farmers? Thank you! Contact us about hosting a "Grow More" Party - email email@example.com to get started.
Thanks for your support, together we can Grow More!
- Eric, Libby, Emma, and Brian.
Risks and challenges
As a farm based operation, we face risks of tornadoes, 1000 year floods, swarms of locusts, fire, too much rain, too little rain...you get the idea. We mitigate these risks by accepting nature as it happens, and will keep you in the loop if nature strikes! We do know that we can make it through tough challenges as a community.
If this campaign is not successful we will be forced to reduce our plans for supporting emerging leaders in 2015 and push expansion goals into 2016. We will then seek different alternative fundraising opportunities.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)