$437
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
7
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 27 2018 10:32 PM UTC +00:00
$437
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
7
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 27 2018 10:32 PM UTC +00:00

About

After starting with just backyard chickens and rabbits in a new HOA neighborhood in Jenks Oklahoma we concluded that it just wasn’t the life for us. Little did we know that those few backyard chickens were the gateway drug to an all out farm-life! Our first step into this new life was buying five Irish Dexter cattle and putting them on thirty-five acres of beautiful Oklahoma land. Soon we sold our house in the city, built a new house on the land, by ourselves, and then proceeded to add more and more livestock to our little farm. To give you an idea of who we are and what we do on our farm we have a Facebook page that we update regularly at www.facebook.com/crookedshed. Please check it out and let us know if you have any questions. We are more than happy to share our story.

Read the article about The Crooked Shed from the Tulsa World newspaper.  

A small farmer (out)standing in his field! Keene, our 13 year old loves farm life.
A small farmer (out)standing in his field! Keene, our 13 year old loves farm life.

We started participating in famers' markets in the summer of 2015 and today have grown our business from a few coolers filled with Irish Dexter beef, and a few dozen free-range eggs, under an event tent, to a custom built 16-foot solar powered “Crooked Shed” trailer which we built from recycled materials and a little modern solar technology! Our freezers are always filled with beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and eggs from our farm.

The Crooked Shed Homestead farmers' market trailer in action!
The Crooked Shed Homestead farmers' market trailer in action!

Although we do well at the farmers' market in the summer months, we have found that we also do well in the winter months. People still want our products after the seasonal farmers' markets have closed, but the problem we've come upon is that we have no consistent hours in which folks can reliably come and purchase our products. We have a spot in Tulsa where the owners allow us to park our market trailer and when we are able to make it up there on Saturdays we do very well, however we are not able to go when the weather is uncooperative and dragging the trailer back and forth, close to 80 miles every trip, is rough on the trailer and our truck. It is simply not something we can do 6 days a week.

This got us thinking about opening a retail location where we, along with other farm friends of ours, would be able to offer our products year-round with regular hours and a lager variety.

Our pigs and chickens are all raised on a combination of pasture and woods.
Our pigs and chickens are all raised on a combination of pasture and woods.

Our store will feature our meat and poultry products along with items from our numerous farm friends who will place their products in the store for a fee. Many have already shown great interest in having their products placed in the store and we would have a great variety of local farm products like; goat’s milk soap, local honey, seasonal local fruits & vegetables, local cheeses, plants, and even locally made ceramics, jewelry, and custom cedar garden accessories I make here on the farm.

Customers will have the opportunity to sample many of the products prior to purchasing and we will have a constantly changing and evolving inventory of products as the seasons change. It will be a truly local farmers' market with the advantage of being year-round!

Our target market is the South Tulsa / Jenks area. It is a very fast growing, upper income area which we know well having lived there for 9 years prior to making the move to the farm. The demographic of the area is young families with outdoor lifestyles and we would give them an option of buying fresh “local” meats, produce, and other farm products. It is an option they do not have as there is presently no farmers' market in Jenks.

Baby pigs.....so cute!
Baby pigs.....so cute!

The funds raised will be used to purchase display coolers and freezers, store fixtures, POS/inventory system, insurance, advertising, and retail location rental. The store will not initially have any employees outside of our immediate family so our labor costs will be quite low.

Building a new sheep barn out of used lumber from and old deck!
Building a new sheep barn out of used lumber from and old deck!

My wife and I have over two decades of experience in the aviation industry. I have been in sales, management, IT, advertising, and international relations while my wife has a background in the restaurant industry as a store trainer for a large national Italian restaurant chain. She also has over fifteen years of inventory control, international and domestic shipping, and warehouse management. I also have great carpentry skills having built this entire farm, from scratch, with the help of my wife and kids. Our 13 year old is in charge of our poultry program and raises all of our egg layer and meat birds. We also raise Irish Dexter cattle, Dorper sheep, and hogs. All of the animals are raised humanely and as organically as possible on non-sprayed pastures and woods. We are fully licensed by the state of Oklahoma to sell our meats to the public. We've both done a lot in our lives but none of it has been as satisfying and rewarding as this farm! We always tell people, "we've never made less and never been happier!". We've found our place in the world.

Where it all began! Our little tent in summer 2015. We've come a long way!
Where it all began! Our little tent in summer 2015. We've come a long way!

Currently The Crooked Shed Homestead is a debt free company and we intend to keep it that way. We have built this farm and business with the resources available and our saving but have reached a point where expansion is the only avenue to the next level. We need a retail location with regular hours and a great variety of products in one place year-round. We also want to give our community a non-corporate option for their fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and other local products. The, as I call them, BIG BUSHEL STORES (you know who they are) can offer some local products but most of those are not from truly small local farms. We will provide those products to our community but also give other small family farmers like ourselves a venue in which to offer their products year-round.

A beautiful winter Saturday with one of our lambs entertaining the folks!
A beautiful winter Saturday with one of our lambs entertaining the folks!

Thank you for any assistance you can give us in taking our dream to the next level! We will not disappoint you!

Risks and challenges

As with any venture there are always risks. As an independent farm, built by me and my family, it is not a project that can easily be taken over and operated by someone else in the event I were to become incapacitated. Unfortunately the nature of a farm like ours is that very few people know how all the little bits work. As a farm we always have challenges such as storms destroying structures, sickness in animals, drought, fire, and any number of other threats. In the five years since starting the farm we have overcome a drought, which was in full force when we bought our first cattle. We have also had one destructive storm and although we did lose some smaller structures all the major structures we've built came through unscathed. I have a tendency to overbuild....

As for the store front there a more challenges, the overall economy being the biggest of them. We have a great group of very enthusiastic farmers and craftsmen encouraging us and ready to place their products as soon as we open the store. We also have great imagination and work ethic (vacation isn't even in our dictionary) and have the ability to make the best of the bad situations.

Good healthy food is one of the few great pleasures people have in their lives and although the economy goes up and down we think that excellent products and superior service will help smooth out any challenges we may face in the economy. Being a debt free company also gives us a great advantage as we will not be chased by "the bank" for payments on monies borrowed to get this project off the ground.

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    Special in-store discounts or samples

    Any confirmed contributor is eligible for special in-store discounts or samples. As we will have a constantly changing product line-up in our store the reward will be determined at the time of your visit but we are more than happy to share a small reward for your contribution as a thank you. We would also love to meet anyone interested enough in our project to contribute. One of the greatest parts of building and running our little farm is sharing our stories and adventures with our customers and friends!

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