We plan to build a high-efficiency cold and dry storage next to our garden that will keep our harvested vegetables fresh longer. With a place to properly store our harvest, we can grow our CSA memberships to up to 40 people per week, sell fresh to at least two local farmers' markets, and donate extra produce to our local food bank.
The building we plan to construct will be 8x30 feet, with 8x18 feet dedicated to a dry storage room and the remaining 8x12 feet converted to cold storage space. The large dry storage area will house cured onions, garlic, potatoes, and tomatoes, while the cold storage will keep our leafy greens, and the rest of our vegetables cool, crisp and fresh. Since demand for our eggs is outpacing us, it will also give us room to grow and a place for our eggs to be properly stored in close proximity to where they are washed.
The cold storage area will be a highly insulated room cooled by a window air conditioning unit that is controlled by technology called the CoolBot. The CoolBot was invented by a small farmer in New York who needed to keep his produce cool through the summer months. It operates as an alternative to expensive commercial walk-in coolers. Since then over 18,000 units have been put to use. It has been gaining international notoriety, and a recent TEDx Talk in Nairobi discussed the CoolBot’s ability to decrease post-harvest losses.
The CoolBot programs a window air conditioner to keep a stable temperature at 35 degrees. In a restaurant setting, the walk-in refrigeration unit is opened and closed all day long for access to food, meaning the unit must constantly be cooling itself. The major difference then is that this cold-storage area will only need to be opened a few times each day in order to store food or access stored food; making the unit do a lot less work to stay cool. This not only reduces our upfront costs for building a cold storage area, but it also reduces our maintenance costs and our operating costs.
We're Jeremy and Megan and together we own and operate Dare 2 Dream Farms in Lompoc, California just a little over 2 hours north of Los Angeles. Our 40 acre farm sits in a canyon on land that has been passed down from our Grandfather, Mike Raff. In fact, the farm started in 2009 when we enclosed a 4,000 square foot garden and purchased 12 chickens to help keep Grandpa busy.
We began by selling our extra free-range eggs to local marketplaces, but soon encountered the backyard chickens movement and established regular deliveries to bring our chickens to the growing population of urban farmers in Los Angeles. Since then, our deliveries have expanded north to San Francisco, and south to San Diego. We design and build handcrafted chicken coops and offer quality poultry supplies for those who are just getting started.
A huge part of our farm's vision now is to educate people on small-scale poultry farming to encourage self-sustainability. We host educational farm tours and often teach at schools and events in Southern California. Back on the farm, we teach what we've learned to work-stay guests through the WWOOF-USA program. We host approximately 40 people every year from all over the world. We provide free room, board and education in exchange for 30 hours of work per week.
Just last year we decided to go for one of our big dreams: providing fresh organic produce to our local community through CSA's. [Community Supported Agriculture Memberships] With the help of our WWOOFers, we expanded our garden and grew a huge variety of vegetables. Our first year CSA provided for up to 15 members per week, in addition to feeding us and our team of WWOOFers.
We could have supported more members, but unfortunately, a lot of our produce went to waste. We harvested the majority of our produce fresh on Thursday mornings for the CSA, but we didn't have a place to properly store what ripened between Friday and Thursday. We gifted it, traded it, preserved it; and yet, a lot of overripe produce went to our chickens, and our compost. Thousands of pounds of produce went to waste, and it really bothered us, because a huge part of sustainability is finding ways to reduce or altogether eliminate unnecessary waste.
Your donations will help us purchase a window air conditioning unit along with the CoolBot Air Conditioner Controller, pour a foundation, pay for the electrical and construct and insulate the building. We are hoping that we can complete this project in one month; but we know how construction projects work so we are counting on it being completed by the End of May, just in time for our Summer CSA season!
We also believe HIGHLY in the power of social media, so if you would, take a minute to share our project with your friends and family. We are confident that together we can pull this off! We also have a few other things up our sleeves, so if this is really successful – we’ve got a few stretch goals we would like to run by you too!
$5 or more: Get a Dare 2 Dream Farms pin, and a handwritten thank you card from US!
$25 or more: Get a handwritten thank you card from us, plus we will make a sizeable donation to our local food bank in your name.
$30 or more: Get a Reusable Tote with our Dare 2 Dream Farms slogan: Know it. Grow it. Love it.
$50 or more: A super soft t-shirt. Trust us… you won’t want to take this shirt off… ever. Buuut we recommend you wash it on occasion.
$75 or more: Need a lightweight hoodie? Of course you do. Made of the same irresistible material as the super soft t-shirt.
$85 or more: Merch pack… You’ll get a collection of goodies: our thank you card, pin, tote, and t-shirt because we know you’ll rock it well!
$125 or more: A Dare 2 Dream Farms Coffee Table Book (8x8 Hardcover, signed by us) with our favorite collection of beautiful pictures from our farm… the one you helped to grow!
$175 or more: Get our super-soft t-shirt to spread the word outside, and the Coffee Table Book to spread the love inside.
$250 or more: Get a Dare 2 Dream Farms Brooder Package with your choice up to four baby chicks from our availability and all the supplies you need to get started to raise them (brooder box, heat lamp, pine shavings for bedding, chick feeder, chick waterer, and a 5lb bag of chick feed). We will hand deliver and set it up for you. (Fine print: You must be in one of our California delivery routes for Santa Barbara County, San Luis Obispo County, Ventura County, Los Angeles Area, San Diego County, Orange County, or the Bay Area.)
$350 or more: The Cook Book Set: Get three of our favorite farm-to-table cookbooks and a set of handcrafted book ends made by us!
$500 or more: The CSA Member: Be a part of our Summer CSA for a season of locally grown, pesticide and herbicide free produce and keep one of our reusable Dare 2 Dream Farms crates at the end of the season. (Fine print: You must be in the local Lompoc Area. This does not include add-on options or home delivery.)
$1,000 or more: The Ultimate CSA Member: Because if there’s anything better than fresh weekly produce, its more fresh weekly produce! Be a part of our Summer and Fall CSA for more locally grown, pesticide and herbicide free produce and keep one of our reusable Dare 2 Dream Farms crates at the end of the season. (Fine print: You must be in the local Lompoc Area. This does not include add-on options or home delivery.)
$1,000 or more: Join us for a Farm to Table Dinner & Local Winemaker Night for up to 8 people of your choice. We’ll give you a full tour of our farm, introduce you to a local winemaker, and feed you delicious appetizers and a meal made with ingredients sourced from the garden you’ll be dining in.
$3,000 or more: The Coop Deluxe: Want a new chicken coop for your urban farm? We’ll build it for you and deliver it! Get our Telluride Chicken Coop with attached Run and make your chickens the happiest chickens on the block! (Fine print: You must be in one of our California delivery routes for Santa Barbara County, San Luis Obispo County, Ventura County, Los Angeles Area, San Diego County, Orange County, or the Bay Area.)
First we would like to thank our Grandpa, Mike Raff, for believing in us and trusting us to work the land he so lovingly cared for. Huge thanks to Jeremy & Michelle Ball of Bottle Branding for doing such an incredible job of capturing and telling our story and helping us to convey our dreams with their masterful videography. To our families for instilling in us the love of labor, for being our biggest cheerleaders, and believing in our dreams. To our friends and customers who endlessly support our work and our vision and spread the word! To our WWOOFers who have come and gone from our farm and our lives, changing everything for the better, and become a part of the process, the growth and the family that is Dare 2 Dream Farms.
Risks and challenges
With construction, there is always an unanticipated trip (or ten) to be made to The Home Depot (our only construction store within 30 miles). And the last time we tried to pour a concrete slab, our son Wyatt decided to make his entrance into this world! We hope that this project will be straightforward as possible; but ultimately the answers to any hiccups that arise will be our determination, 7 day workweeks, 12 hour workdays, and the support of everyone we've surrounded ourselves with.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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