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Fresh off our first season Sandbox is ready to grow - jumpstarting new farmers, connecting community, & regenerating a farm.
270 backers pledged $22,794 to help bring this project to life.
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From Commodity to Community: Grow a New Farmer Incubator project video thumbnail
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$22,794

270

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.
Let's Dance! The Sandbox Community Spans from Sprouts to Old Vines.
Let's Dance! The Sandbox Community Spans from Sprouts to Old Vines.

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. 

Member Rob working on his farm site
Member Rob working on his farm site

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.

  • Workshops 
  • Apprenticeships 
  • Networking 
  • Celebrations 
  • Dinners 

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.

  • Perennials 
  • Pigs 
  • Tours

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

Outcomes: 

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.

Brian' Hedberg
Brian' Hedberg

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.

Emma Schroeder
Emma Schroeder

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.

Eric Sannerud
Eric Sannerud

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.

Libby London
Libby London

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 eric@sandboxcoop.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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    HIGH FIVE.
    Virtual Extra Special High Five created especially for this Kickstarter by Emma.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Sticker & Love Note.
    Sandbox Sticker: Red, rectangle and with a big crane on it. #need
    Love Note: Because you deserve it.

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    18 backers
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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    Name a Rabbit!
    Flop top? Flip crop? Peter? Your choice! A photo of your named rabbit will be posted to Sandbox's website/Twitter during the season.

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    25 backers
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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Poles or Posts.
    Leave a lasting legacy...your name on one of Mighty Axe Hops' trellis poles!
    OR receive a packet of 4 Sandbox Photo Postcards to delight snail mail correspondences.

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    30 backers
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    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    T.
    Limited first edition Sandbox T-shirt featuring the Sun/Crane logo with the words "Grow More" on the back.
    AND a Sandbox sticker. Look at you go.

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    39 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Bunnies!
    Baby rabbits to your party! Boost the cuteness at your next party with baby rabbits. Note: Backers must coordinate with Sandbox's rabbit keeper, Emma.

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    Limited 10 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    First Edition Book.
    Limited, signed pre-order edition of Eric's first book - "A Collection of Sorts" featuring essays, poetry, and recipes that explore beauty and food from the perspective of a young farmer.

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    Limited 34 backers
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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Pig Feed!
    Celebrate the end of the season at Sandbox's inaugural pig feed! Pulled pork sandwiches from the farm pigs, plus fixings, sides and beverages.
    Yes, there will be veggie & vegan options. You + 1 friend.

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    Limited 9 backers
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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Small bundle.
    Sandbox T-shirt
    AND Sandbox Postcards
    AND Sandbox Sticker.

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    7 backers
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Farm Workshop.
    Get it straight from the farmers. Your choice of a class on rabbits, hops, or dye plants. Classes will occur throughout the season. 1 ticket.

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    Limited 5 backers
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Farm Picnic.
    What is better than a table loaded with picnic goodies in an apple orchard for lunch on a weekend? Not much. You + 1 friend.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Kids Craft Class.
    Afternoon of natural dye and bookmaking workshops for kids at the farm! Kids need to know this stuff. You'll also get a certificate for some BIG APE's Honey. 2 kids per pledge.

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    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Sausage Fest.
    Private sausage making party with Sandbox sausage expert Emma. Get your hands dirty and take home spectacular homemade sausages. You + 3 friends.

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    4 backers
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    Pledge US$ 750 or more About US$ 750

    Kid's Farm Party!
    Like Build-a-Bear but better. Your child and 3 of their friends eat lunch and learn how to naturally, locally dye! You'll also get 1 certificate for some BIG APE's honey. 4 kids per pledge.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Big bundle.
    Farm dinner (You +1 Friend)
    AND 2 workshop passes
    AND 2 signed "A Collection of Sorts" books
    AND 2 Sandbox T-shirts
    AND 8 Sandbox Postcards.

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Mega bundle.
    Sausage making party (You + 3 friends)
    AND 4 workshop passes
    AND 4 signed "A Collection of Sorts" books
    AND 4 Sandbox T-shirts
    AND 4 BIG APE's Honey Certificates
    AND 16 Sandbox Postcards.

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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    The Ultimate Farm Sausage Making Party you've always dreamed of.
    You'll get one whole hog's worth of meat and you'll join us at the farm for a sausage making party complete with a special meal featuring the sausage, paired beverages, and bonfire. And 5 BIG APE's honey certificates.
    You + 9 friends.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Farm Dinner.
    Beautiful dinner at the farm experience featuring produce from the farm! Doesn't get much fresher than this. You + 1 friend.

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Shrooms.
    One box of mushroom basket with jeremy, specialty local mushrooms from Sandbox member Cherry Tree House Mushrooms! And one certificate for some BIG APE'S Honey!

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)