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DUFi is a project that uses local agriculture as a tool to achieve good food, good health, and good growth within communities.

What is DUFi?

The Distributed Urban Farming Initiative is a program that unites agriculture with community development, nutrition, and local economic development. The end goal of the project is not simply to build gardens around town, but rather use local agriculture to encourage healthy food choices, promote good health and spur economic growth through entrepreneurship and tourism.

Who We Are

Planning team members (l-r) Phil Haas, Jose Quintana, Joan Quintana, Cassidy Barton, Chelsea Tatge, Anne Vonk, Jennifer King, Ruthie Strout and Carson Watt
Planning team members (l-r) Phil Haas, Jose Quintana, Joan Quintana, Cassidy Barton, Chelsea Tatge, Anne Vonk, Jennifer King, Ruthie Strout and Carson Watt

Since 2004, Advent GX has been a leading innovation in tourism and economic development at the community level. Through experimental economics, innovative marketing, entrepreneurship, and economic analysis, Advent GX has helped Texas communities,state governments and private businesses achieve success. Today, Advent GX seeks to launch a distributed urban farm program to support community development goals while generating economic opportunity and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Sustainable by Design

Urban farming is not a novel concept. It is being implemented in large cities such as New York and Detroit with success. But economic and operational sustainability continue to strain efforts. Small towns, with fewer resources are often unable to start – let alone sustain – these programs due to lack of direction, limited financial resources and a shortage of dedicated human capital. Our distributed urban farm program aims to resolve the weaknesses of other programs by engaging small businesses as key partners in the downtown farm. It is our intent to develop, implement and promote a sustainable downtown business model that will be available to communities that would otherwise lack the means or direction to execute urban farming.

Where We are Now

This initiative is being modeled and implemented in Historic Downtown Bryan, Texas. Downtown Bryan is passionate about supporting and advancing commerce, culture, and community. They actively work towards these goals through economic development, support of local art and culture, and community engagement. This environment creates the perfect conditions for the incubation of the Distributive Urban Farming Initiative and the creation of living classrooms that will serve both the local community as well as others seeking to replicate the model.

The city of Bryan has graciously granted access to vacant properties in, and around historic downtown for the testing of the distributed farm concept. These once unused plots will become beautiful attractions and valuable assets to city and community members alike.

Good Food – Nutrition Education

Once established, these gardens will be available to schools and organizations for hands-on nutrition education. We believe that much of our nation’s struggle with obesity comes from the severed relationship we have with our food system. Very few people today understand where their food is coming from or what is in it. Most Americans consume a diet of processed and preserved food that has been manufactured all over the world. Our goal is to reintroduce to our communities the notion of homegrown food; what is looks like, how it is grown, and how to incorporate it into our diet in order to live healthy lives.

Good Health – Local Sourcing Provides Healthy Options

It is our desire to use the produce grown within our city to supply the needs of local businesses. Food that is grown locally and consumed soon after harvest is higher in nutritional value than anything that can be purchased in stores. By using produce grown just blocks away, local restaurants will be able to offer food and products that have increased nutritional and economic value, bolstering the local economy and growing a healthier community.

Good Growth – Gardens Spur Local Commerce

Pilot Garden Space
Pilot Garden Space
Just a few of our great volunteers
Just a few of our great volunteers
Completed Pilot Garden sketch
Completed Pilot Garden sketch

Providing local produce to local restaurants is just one aspect of our approach to spurring economic activity around the gardens. The gardens enhance lots that are otherwise unused and create attractive spaces for special events, providing another source of revenue to support farm operations. Advent GX is working to make DUFi a model for other communities, making the Bryan farm a living classroom for communities throughout Texas and North America. Additionally, the distributed gardens will become part of trails, either existing or in development, that are growing attractions for travelers seeking agricultural and heritage tourism opportunities.

Below are just a few of the rewards we are offering to you as our way of saying "thank you!"

Historic Downtown Bryan Postcard
Historic Downtown Bryan Postcard
Our DUFi tees are printed on natural cotton with new green lettering
Our DUFi tees are printed on natural cotton with new green lettering
The Grand Stafford Theater
The Grand Stafford Theater
The Grand Stafford Theater Experience
The Grand Stafford Theater Experience
Our Elegant Sead Gallery
Our Elegant Sead Gallery
Our Pilot Garden
Our Pilot Garden

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are a number of challenges associated with this project. The first issue that we have had to address is that of utilities, namely, water. Vacant lots, by very definition, have very little to offer in terms of resources. Though initially the idea of having no power or water at each of our distributed gardens was intimidating, it has since become a key point of research and education for DUFi. Sustainability is an area of growing interest and importance. We plan to turn this challenge into an opportunity to demonstrate rain harvesting techniques in our public gardens, solving our challenge and teaching others in the process. Engaging in sustainable practices such as water catchment, and solar energy also will create a showcase facility for public education.

The second challenge that we have been cautioned of is that of sustained leadership. We have been told countless stories of community gardens that have failed due to the burnout of volunteers. This is an issue that we plan on combating by having paid workers in charge of daily operations. For this reason, DUFi had partnered with Beautiful Abilities to manage farm operations once we are up and running. Beautiful Abilities is a company that creates rewarding day programming for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The work in our gardens will provide meaningful, engaging work and learning opportunities for the individuals served by Beautiful Abilities, improving the quality of life for all of us while demonstrating a unique partnership that will sustain farm operations.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    8 backers

    We are so grateful for your support and to show our appreciation we will list your name on our website as a member of our production support team. Did we say thanks? Thanks! Also, please sign up at dufi.adventgx.com to receive our newsletters and stay up to date on progress!

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    2 backers

    Thank you for showing your support for DUFi. In appreciation, we will send you a set of our very own Downtown Bryan postcards featuring original art by our resident artist Mathew Walpert. We'll also list your name on our website as a member of our production support team.

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    14 backers

    You have just become a DUFi ambassador! In exchange for your generosity we will give you your very own DUFi T-shirt.

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    5 backers

    Downtown Bryan is home to one of the coolest venues in town. The Grand Stafford theater is rich in history and overflowing with talent. Advent GX recently worked with other community members to restore this venue as part of efforts to revitalize Historic Downtown Bryan. We invite you and a friend to share an evening with us and enjoy one of our many shows. In addition you will also receive one of our DUFi T-shirts.

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    Localize with us at the Village Cafe, where the food is fresh and as local as it gets. Not just a place to enjoy some fresh local food and a great cup of coffee, Village Cafe has become the unofficial town hall of our beloved downtown (http://www.thevillagedowntown.com/). After lunch, we'll tour the pilot garden and see what's growing! In addition, you will also receive one of our DUFi T-shirts.

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    5 backers All gone!

    Join us for an elegant evening downtown! Madden's Casual Gourmet is not only award winning for it's culinary creations, but the Madden's are also firm believers in local agriculture (http://www.pmaddens.com/). Come out this fall to enjoy a beautiful meal, a twilight tour of the pilot garden and a private viewing of our current SEAD Gallery exhibit.

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    1 backer

    Our Pilot Garden, as mentioned in the video, is a beautiful space for parties, private concerts, and events. In honor of your generous donation we would like you and a friend to join us for a private night of music and fresh seasonal appetizers in the pilot garden. We look forward to thanking you in person. In addition you will also receive a DUFi T-shirt.

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    We have are passionate about local food and we think you will be too after you enjoy eight weeks of fresh-off-the-vine produce. You will receive enough seasonal produce to keep you cooking for eight weeks. We think you'll be hooked. In additional you will also receive a DUFi T-shirt and two tickets to our private Pilot Garden event. Please note that produce must be picked up weekly during harvest season.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    1 backer

    In honor of your generosity, we will add your name to our Founder's Fence to be displayed in our garden as we grow healthy food in and around Historic Downtown. In addition, we invite you to join us for an evening at our own SEAD Gallery to enjoy music and fresh food with our other founders. Together we'll celebrate good food, good health and good growth.

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    In honor of your generosity, we will include your name on our Founder's Fence to be displayed in our garden as we grow healthy food in and around Historic Downtown. In addition, we invite you to join us for High Tea in the newest art gallery in downtown. Our SEAD Gallery is a community development project featuring the art of local artisans and providing a venue for special events with a casual elegance. Bring a guest and join us for high tea featuring freshly made tea sandwiches and cakes in a comfortable setting. It's sure to be an afternoon to remember. As a part of our gift you will also receive a DUFi T-shirt and two tickets to our spring Pilot Garden event.

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    In recognition for your generous contribution we would like to name one of our urban gardens in your honor as we spread the health and beauty of edible landscapes throughout downtown. In addition, we would like to give you a two-year membership to receive weekly produce from our gardens during harvest seasons. Additionally, please be our guest this spring for our private Pilot Garden event, and we invite you and a guest to join us for High Tea in the newest art gallery in downtown. It's sure to be an afternoon to remember!

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Funding period

- (30 days)