Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 10, 2013.

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The Buford Schoolyard Garden needs a hoophouse to grow seedlings for school and community gardens in Charlottesville.

UPDATE: Because the outpouring of support for this campaign has been so strong, we're upping our goal: In the next 8 days, we hope to raise $8,000 OR attract 200 total backers. But we need your help to get there! We've expanded our rewards, and we hope you'll consider pledging, or upping your pledge, today! Thank you!!

City Schoolyard Garden is dedicated to providing year-round, hands-on educational opportunities to students in the City of Charlottesville. To expand our programming during the blazing heat of the summer and the bitter cold of the winter, we're building a brand new 13' x 28' hoophouse at Buford Middle School. 

The garden's summer glory.
The garden's summer glory.
The garden's winter sleep.
The garden's winter sleep.

We currently use row cover and plastic to protect seedlings from wind and rain while they grow and prepare to be transplanted into beds.

New fall seed trays being placed under row cover.
New fall seed trays being placed under row cover.

The 360 square foot hoophouse will greatly increase our capacity to start seeds and will enable us to supply student-grown seedlings to schoolyard gardens at the City's elementary schools, community garden plots, and neighborhood gardens throughout Charlottesville.

The hoophouse site this winter after intial prep work by UVA volunteers.
The hoophouse site this winter after intial prep work by UVA volunteers.

Starting seedlings and growing crops is only part of our vision for the hoophouse.  A gathering space that is heated in winter and shaded in summer will also allow us to expand programming to match our increased growing capacity.  We aim to teach about the entire lifecycle of plants - from planting seeds and caring for them as they grow, to harvesting and enjoying their roots, shoots, leaves, and fruits, to saving their seeds to plant the following year.  The hoophouse will be an integral part of helping us do just that.

We're hoping to raise $6,000, which might make you think, "Why so much for some metal and plastic?"  It's because included in that sum is the cost of everything it will take for us to operate the hoophouse: the metal framework and stake pipes; base and hip boards; hardware; wood to build end walls, doors, and six potting tables; double layer plastic; shade cloth; a solar-powered exhaust fan; a year's worth of seed trays and potting soil; watering equipment; a garden cart for transport of seedlings; and a weed wacker to keep the grass down inside and outside the hoophouse. 

Garden crew harvesting and fermenting Misato Rose radishes last fall.
Garden crew harvesting and fermenting Misato Rose radishes last fall.
Last fall's dried black bean harvest will be planted in the garden this spring and used in our garden-to-table unit with the Family and Consumer Science class.
Last fall's dried black bean harvest will be planted in the garden this spring and used in our garden-to-table unit with the Family and Consumer Science class.

Our garden has expanded to include over 120 varieties of perennial and annual vegetables, herbs, and flowers. That many plants produce a huge bounty with many uses.  We are excited to dry herbs with the Family and Consumer Science class in their spring garden-to-table unit, process grains during our spring PE/Health class units, press flowers with English Speakers of Other Languages classes, and cure onions with the year-round Buford Garden Crew.  That is only the beginning of what this space will hold for us!  A few other ideas:

  • Extension of our garden CSA into the winter.
  • A protected space for students to conduct experiments.
  • A gathering spot for school counselors, administrators, teachers, and students out of the rain and/or cold.

We hope you will consider supporting this project -- we have awesome rewards to check out on the right side of this page, and those are on top of the great feeling that comes with supporting a project striving to truly make a difference in the lives of young people. Thank you for your help and come visit us!

Life Science students planting peas in the garlic bed as part of their spring symbiosis experiment.
Life Science students planting peas in the garlic bed as part of their spring symbiosis experiment.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Prior to launching our fundraising campaign, we secured all the necessary permissions to build the hoophouse, from Charlottesville City Schools, Charlottesville Parks & Recreation and the Buford Middle School principal. This is the first time we have built a hoophouse so we are expecting that the unexpected will come up. To help us deal with questions on construction and site work we have built relationships with a team of consultants who are prepared to provide guidance, including Todd Niemeier from the Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville and Rob Rahm of Forrest Green Farm. Also, while we don't yet have a team of builders for the construction of the house, our organization has a broad base of volunteers who love to jump in on projects, so we don't anticipate that it will be a challenge to find help. Let us know if you would like to join in on the fun!

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159
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$6,971
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  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    38 backers

    Thanks for pitching in! As a thank you, we'll list your name on our website, and you can smile knowing your donation helped supply our hoophouse with one bag of potting soil!

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    32 backers

    Thank you! At this level, you'll be recognized as a supporter on our website and receive a handwritten thank you note from Buford's Garden Crew. Also know that we were able to purchase a rib for the frame of our hoophouse with your donation.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $50 or more
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    25 backers

    You rock! For your contribution, you'll receive recognition on our website, a handwritten thank you card and a brand new totebag with CSG's beautiful logo! Your donation will buy us a purlin for the frame of the hoophouse to hold the ribs in place and protect the structural integrity in all kinds of weather.

    Estimated delivery:
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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    3 backers

    We are so grateful for this support! As a thank you, we will list you as a supporter on our website, send you a handwritten thank you card, and offer you a copy of "Out of the Garden," the excellent seasonal cookbook written by students and teachers in Buford's Advanced Summer Learning Program. Thanks to you we can buy the baseboards for the hoophouse. Now it won't tilt over in the next storm!

    Estimated delivery:
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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    8 backers

    A 3-digit gift?! Thank you! To honor this giving level, we'll thank you on our website, send you a handwritten thank you card, and offer you both a beautiful tote bag and a copy of the "Out of the Garden" cookbook. Your generosity will buy us stake pipes to anchor the structure to the ground, which is critical with the strong, westerly winds we get!

    Estimated delivery:
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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    4 backers All gone!

    Wow! $150? Thank you! This level entitles you to receive a free, one-hour garden consultation with Blue Ridge Backyard Harvest or landscape design consultation with landscape architect Linda Winecoff. We'll also toss in a handwritten note and list your name on our website. By giving so generously, you bought the wood to build our end walls! Thank you for helping us seal the space shut!

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  • Pledge $200 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    $200 for our hoophouse? You're awesome! To thank you, we'll list you as a backer on our website, write you a loving thank you card, and, for all you non-profit managers out there, there's this: a free 2-hour non-profit program evaluation consultation with Evaluation Consultant and CSG's new Executive Director, Jeanette Abi-Nader. Need tips on designing an evaluation survey? Input on how to evaluate your strategic plan? Edits on the evaluation section of a grant report? Jeanette is your woman. In addition to this important evaluation work, this level of support means we can buy a weed whacker. Now the grass won't overtake the inside and outside of the hoophouse!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $500 or more
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    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    Holy cow -- $500?? We are so honored by your generosity. Thank you! As a special treat for donations at this level, we will list you as a capstone backer on our website, send you a handwritten thank you card, provide you with a tote bag and cookbook, and host you in the Buford Garden for a tour and a local foods picnic catered by Feast! (www.feastvirginia.com) for up to 8 people. Don't have $500 to spare? Why don't you team up with 7 friends? You can each donate $62.50 and reap some sweet rewards! One being the knowledge that you purchased the greenhouse plastic to keep our seedlings warm during cold winter weather. (Note: picnic must be scheduled for May or June 2013. Thanks!)

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  • Pledge $750 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    We don't know what to say! You clearly believe that every student benefits from planting seeds and working with their hands. We are so grateful for this support! To thank you properly, we will list you as a capstone supporter on our website, send you a handwritten thank you card, provide you with a tote bag and cookbook, and dinner's on us! You will receive three delicious, locally-sourced, home-cooked meals for four people (+ leftovers) provided by ellie cooks (www.elliecooks.com). Yum! And you can relish in the knowledge that you just purchased materials to build doors & potting tables and shade cloth & wiggle wire for climate control during summer growing. Where would we be without you?? (Meals must be scheduled directly with Ellie Cooks by September 2013.)

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Funding period

- (23 days)