In 2014, Apple Seeds has the exciting opportunity to expand to reach the greater community by developing the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in the Heart of Fayetteville, Arkansas--the grounds of which are being shared with Apple Seeds by an enthusiastic local supporter to help realize our vision! Apple Seeds is passionate about our mission of inspiring healthy living through garden-based education.
By building a Teaching Farm in the center of town, we can better serve the needs of our growing community. We envision this space to be a regional resource for teachers and school garden volunteers, providing demonstration gardens, school garden workshops, and educational tools. The farm will host events, including Plant-to-Plate field trips and summer camps—giving students the opportunity to harvest the produce and prepare fresh snacks. The produce will also be used to supplement Apple Seeds’ student-run school garden markets.
By contributing to the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm through our Kickstarter campaign, you will fund:
1. The Outdoor Kitchen - a place where students, teachers and community members will prepare fresh foods grown on the farm!
2. Garden Beds - To grow food, we need established garden beds, plants and seeds. Your contribution will support our growing efforts!
3. Tools - We need tools for the farm and community events. Help us make this happen!
4. Compost Bins - The Teaching Farm will be a sustainable system with as few inputs as possible. Help us fund our efforts of sustainability!
5. Irrigation System and Infrastructure - A farm needs water to thrive! Back the farm today and your contribution will support the implementation of an irrigation system and other initial infrastructure needs.
Since 2007, Apple Seeds has reached dozens of schools and thousands of students with limited staff and countless community members. Apple Seeds is calling on the community at large to support our region in cultivating a Farm that will reach thousands more students and families! Please consider contributing today to support the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm and encourage a community centered around healthy living!
Risks and challenges
As with any new growth, we face risks and challenges. Apple Seeds is changing its face from an organization that is physically implementing school garden programs to an organization that acts as a resource and teaching facilitator to lead others in implementing their own school garden programs. This is a big shift in the model of the organization that poses challenges in new staffing profile, organizational infrastructure, and sustained funding. We are planning for this with detailed job descriptions, projected funding streams, and efficient systems for internal organization.
We have spent the last six years getting to know our local farmers and some of the struggles they endure. We fully understand that running a farm is constant hard work, and some of that work is dependent on factors out of our control, such as weather. To address the risks involved with starting a farm, we plan to establish the farm in incremental phases while maximizing our resources of community volunteers and farmers' expertise. As this is a community project, we will be relying on collaborations with the school districts and community partners, so if there is any change in these relationships or failure within these other organizations, it would challenge us. But successful collaborations are also what can make us stronger. “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
Yes, there are risks and challenges to this next step for Apple Seeds, but Apple Seeds is in its sixth year as a 501(c)3. It has well established school-based programs, a dedicated staff and Board of Directors along with strong ties in the community. The organization has a positive reputation within Washington county. The organization is in a great position to grow strategically and develop into a regional resource. We are strong enough to take the challenges that come our way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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