Canopy Farms L3C is a mission-driven rooftop aquaponics greenhouse in Brunswick, Maine. Restaurant owners Cara and Cecile Stadler, along with greenhouse manager Kate Holcomb, have been developing Canopy Farms since 2013. This ambitious, innovative project is finally nearing completion, and we need your support to get there!
Cara and Cecile have been planning the greenhouse since they started their first restaurant, Tao Yuan. After years of twists, turns, and two new restaurants (Bao Bao Dumpling House and Lio Restaurant, both in Portland), they are finally seeing their vision materialize. Help us make the final leap, and watch your investment get us growing.
What we’re doing
We built a state-of-the-art composite arch rooftop greenhouse, designed to be highly efficient and operate year round.
We’re building an aquaponics system. Aquaponics is the cultivation of an ecosystem. Fish and plants grow in a closed loop: the fish waste provides nutrients for the plants, and the plants filter the water for the fish.
Now, Canopy Farms and its sister restaurants are cultivating a business ecosystem, too. The greenhouse farm will grow fish and produce for all of Eighty-Ate Hospitality (Tao Yuan, Bao Bao, Lio, and an upcoming cafe), supplying fresh, specialty items year-round. We’ll share staff, infrastructure, customers, and other resources. We teach high school and college interns and work with community partners in developing the year-round growing technologies that will make Maine a leader in innovative sustainable agriculture.
At Canopy Farms, we will:
- Grow specialty produce using ecologically-friendly methods (right next door to where they’ll be served!)
- Develop an urban, multi-story aquaponics system which could potentially be replicated nearly anywhere worldwide
- Support education and workforce development for the next generation of entrepreneurs in our state
- Develop a replicable, integrated model for what we call our “business ecosystem”
- Engage with our community in the effort to develop technologies that will help stimulate the tech, renewable energy, and year round ag industries in our state
- Showcase all of this to the public
Where we are now
We spent 5 years developing the Canopy Farms concept and growing the restaurant businesses. We built the facility that will house our rooftop farm (as well as a commercial kitchen and cafe). Our community partners in greenhouse technology, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, education, architecture, and engineering have helped us think through all the details. We have the space and the team. We even have dedicated buyers for our produce and fish. Now we want you to be a part of launching us into full-on production.
What we need
This is a big project with high costs. Your contribution will go directly to support the equipment and systems we need to get us growing more quickly, more efficiently, and to be much more than a production space.
The major expenses funded by your dollars include:
- Monitoring and control systems so we can learn what’s working, and share our learning $6000
- Water filtration and supplements to fill our system and support its cycle into production $5500
- Additional grow beds and equipment for experimental and educational projects $9000
- Consumable materials to support student projects, including water test kits, additional safety gear, and more $4500
We’re grounded in our values of quality, community, and transparency. If you have any questions about how Canopy Farms is investing the funds raised in this campaign, please reach out to us. We’re so excited to get growing! Thanks for your interest and support.
Risks and challenges
This project has faced many challenges over the past 5 years as we’ve developed the concept of a rooftop aquaponics greenhouse at Tao Yuan-- but now we’re in the home stretch. We waited to ask for community support until the building was nearing completion, so we’re not vulnerable to the risks of construction. We have invested a lot in Canopy Farms, and at this point, the biggest risk would be not finishing what we’ve started! All the money raised in this campaign will go directly to funding the system equipment we need to ensure that we’re doing this right.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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