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$33,091
pledged of $60,000pledged of $60,000 goal
269
backers
32days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, August 23 2019 10:02 AM UTC +00:00.

$33,091
pledged of $60,000pledged of $60,000 goal
269
backers
32days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, August 23 2019 10:02 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Before and after pics of Fresh Future Farm demonstrate the power of residents with resources, dedicated volunteers, committed donors and our board.
Before and after pics of Fresh Future Farm demonstrate the power of residents with resources, dedicated volunteers, committed donors and our board.

Fresh Future Farm leased vacant land from the City of North Charleston in 2014. Before they planted their first tree, Germaine hoped that FFF would be much more than a place that simply grew fruit and vegetables. She envisioned a closed-loop community food operation, with a grocery store, tours, and classes that highlighted ancestral conservation and farming practices (aka permaculture) and food culture. She wanted to use discarded materials to grow the best tasting produce and eggs and invigorate economy in an urban environment. Germaine would invest in residents and give them the skills they needed to work on the farm and start businesses of their own. Chicora/Cherokee was not just a food desert, but an employment- and place-desert, too. 

Four and a half years of hard work helped the Farm 1) sell or distribute 15.5 tons of quality groceries, 2) keep at least $300,000 in the community through payroll 3) and accumulate over 15 awards (video of Fresh Future Farm as 2018 John Egerton Prize recipient by Southern Foodways Alliance) for their work. Owning the land becomes more critical to ensure the farm and grocery store survive long-term and are not displaced for other uses, as has happened with other impactful community gardens and urban farms around the country. Public support allows the Farm to complete its community food site plan. 

Fresh Future Farm's closed loop community food site plan. Campaign support funds purchase of the land and the infrastructure needed to bring an incubator kitchen and pavilion to the site.
Fresh Future Farm's closed loop community food site plan. Campaign support funds purchase of the land and the infrastructure needed to bring an incubator kitchen and pavilion to the site.

History

As the largest civilian employer in the state, the Old Navy Base fueled a thriving economy on North Charleston's southern end. People came from all over to visit the shops, movie theater and three (3) grocery stores - Piggly Wiggly (now the Department of Social Services offices), Doscher’s (now a plasma center) and a Winn Dixie in Shipwatch Square. 

When the Navy Based closed in 1996, businesses closed and community wealth and employment came to a standstill. Winn Dixie was the last grocery store to shutter it doors in 2005, and the once bustling neighborhood of Chicora/Cherokee residents lived without consistent access to fresh, healthy food for 11 years. Out of 1,036 households, the median income is $27,500, 45% of residents live below the poverty line and 43% have no access to reliable transportation.

Who are we?

  • Fresh Future Farm grows food to build strong community. We are a grassroots urban farm and grocery store that applies a multi-pronged strategy to address health, wealth, and quality of life issues in underserved communities.
Charleston legend Ann Caldwell led sessions at last summer's farm camps entitled 'From West Africa to the White House'.  Along with the musical history lesson, children learned to scat and improvise songs, including a ditty about pizza. Campers then harvested and prepared fresh pesto and toppings for pizza that were cooked in the farm's wood fired oven. Cities + Shovels partners with Fresh Future Farm to lead summer farm camps. (photo credit Les Schwartz)
Charleston legend Ann Caldwell led sessions at last summer's farm camps entitled 'From West Africa to the White House'. Along with the musical history lesson, children learned to scat and improvise songs, including a ditty about pizza. Campers then harvested and prepared fresh pesto and toppings for pizza that were cooked in the farm's wood fired oven. Cities + Shovels partners with Fresh Future Farm to lead summer farm camps. (photo credit Les Schwartz)

Why do we care about it?

  • A healthy community comprises more than just access to healthy food. Key factors include healthy public spaces, access to culturally-relevant foods, quality education and employment.
Slave Dwelling Project partnership brings Living History through the Eyes of the Enslaved to North Charleston. Young visitors dined on freshly prepared Liberian greens, rice and peach Charlotte. (photo credit Les Schwartz)
Slave Dwelling Project partnership brings Living History through the Eyes of the Enslaved to North Charleston. Young visitors dined on freshly prepared Liberian greens, rice and peach Charlotte. (photo credit Les Schwartz)
  • By purchasing the land the Farm developed from a vacant, grassy lot and completing the  infrastructure plan that includes an incubator kitchen and pavilion, FFF will create a 'wholeness hub' that expands programming and services through strategic partnerships that benefit underserved neighbors.
Upwardly mobile farm hen on Comcast Cares installed ramp observes Enough: Food Apartheid yoga event led by Kennae Miller of Transformation Yoga and Kate Counts of Evolve Charleston. (Photo credit Bridget Besaw)
Upwardly mobile farm hen on Comcast Cares installed ramp observes Enough: Food Apartheid yoga event led by Kennae Miller of Transformation Yoga and Kate Counts of Evolve Charleston. (Photo credit Bridget Besaw)
  • Support for the Farm's Kickstarter campaign improves accessibility to the farm space, affordability, stability, inclusivity, safety, and equity in an underserved community, and creates a replicable model other communities can customize.
A view inside the farm's upcycled USDA grocery store that boasts sliding scale pricing (inspired by Leah Penniman's book, Farming While Black). The farm's 2018 shelving upgrade came thanks to generous donors (coordinated and installed by Liollio Architecture staff).
A view inside the farm's upcycled USDA grocery store that boasts sliding scale pricing (inspired by Leah Penniman's book, Farming While Black). The farm's 2018 shelving upgrade came thanks to generous donors (coordinated and installed by Liollio Architecture staff).

What are we raising funds to do?

  • Purchase the .8 acre of property we developed
  • Complete build-out and operate an incubator kitchen using a donated mobile food truck to provide healthy, ready-made value-added food options using farm produce
FFF ambassadors Chad Carter, Clemson Extension Food Systems & Safety guru and DELicious Carolina Chef Deljuan Murphy prepping an onsite farm meal for guests. Chad has been a valued resource for the farm in seeking local products to add to the farm store's inventory and insight on commercial kitchen regulations. Chef Deljuan will play a vital role in preparing nutritionally-dense and culturally-relevant meals in the new incubator kitchen.
FFF ambassadors Chad Carter, Clemson Extension Food Systems & Safety guru and DELicious Carolina Chef Deljuan Murphy prepping an onsite farm meal for guests. Chad has been a valued resource for the farm in seeking local products to add to the farm store's inventory and insight on commercial kitchen regulations. Chef Deljuan will play a vital role in preparing nutritionally-dense and culturally-relevant meals in the new incubator kitchen.
  • Conduct even more educational activities through farm tours, classes, demonstrations. conferences and other activities that promote wellness, nutrition, art, history, farming, environmental stewardship and micro-entrepreneurship
FFF Special Projects Manager Anik Hall pictured in front of the 50' mural they painted. The FFF commissioned work depicts the 500 year history of the Chicora/Cherokee neighborhood. The Farm's creative place-making project is funded in part by South Arts Southern Creative Places grant. A national creative-placemaking organization League of Creative Interventionists will assist in documenting and preserving oral histories from past and present community members. Anik is one of the first FFF staffers whose on-the-job social media work and artistic skill have led to entrepreneurial opportunities outside of the farm.
FFF Special Projects Manager Anik Hall pictured in front of the 50' mural they painted. The FFF commissioned work depicts the 500 year history of the Chicora/Cherokee neighborhood. The Farm's creative place-making project is funded in part by South Arts Southern Creative Places grant. A national creative-placemaking organization League of Creative Interventionists will assist in documenting and preserving oral histories from past and present community members. Anik is one of the first FFF staffers whose on-the-job social media work and artistic skill have led to entrepreneurial opportunities outside of the farm.
  • Build out a pavilion area at the site to rent for nonprofit fundraisers, community dinners, weddings, paid experience tours and other private events to bring in earned revenue and introduce more people to FFF's work and vision
Some of the dream team that helped make the first ever SC Black Farmers Conference a success! Fresh Future Farm launched the conference and plan to host annual events that connect, educate and sustain budding, new and seasoned SC farmers and food entrepreneurs. Not pictured: Lowcountry artist Jonathan Green, panelists Malik Yakini, Wilfred L. Pace, vocalist Ricardo Behlin, Deninufay African Dance & Drum Production, some key FFF staff, SCBFC sponsors and volunteers. (photo credit New Moon Visuals)
Some of the dream team that helped make the first ever SC Black Farmers Conference a success! Fresh Future Farm launched the conference and plan to host annual events that connect, educate and sustain budding, new and seasoned SC farmers and food entrepreneurs. Not pictured: Lowcountry artist Jonathan Green, panelists Malik Yakini, Wilfred L. Pace, vocalist Ricardo Behlin, Deninufay African Dance & Drum Production, some key FFF staff, SCBFC sponsors and volunteers. (photo credit New Moon Visuals)

Our $60,000 fundraising goal ensures that all of these plans happen, the purchase of the land being the biggest single expense. The land purchase and site improvements ensure the Farm's longevity and serve as a model for other marginalized communities tackling food justice issues.

Investing in the effort to purchase the land improves quality of life and community well-being for years to come!

A glimpse of Fresh Future Farm Kickstarter Rewards
A glimpse of Fresh Future Farm Kickstarter Rewards

How do we plan to make it happen?

  • With $10,000 raised at a Basic Kitchen event, a $25,000 incubator kitchen construction grant from Social Venture Partners Charleston, and a donated mobile kitchen, we have a great start on bringing value added products and healthy meals to the farm store
  • Fundraising will help us buy the land, complete our community food site plan and cover needed infrastructure costs

Risks and challenges

Ownership of the land provides a major asset for Fresh Future Farm. Not only does the farm avoid being displaced, but it can obtain business financing when needed (a challenge for many black farmers).

Goal: $60,000
------------------------------------------------------
$45,000 - secure the community food operation (land purchase with plumbing and electrical upgrades)
$15,000 - year round education, recreation, restoration and relief activities (pavilion)

Extras (if we exceed our campaign goal)
$12,000 - community relief infrastructure before and after crises (ice machine, generators, extension cords, coolers, extra shed)
$15,000 - comfort and accessibility (outdoor heating and cooling systems, mobility matting)
$35,000 - solar powered community food activism (solar panels for the farm store, kitchen, pavilion and solar water pumps)

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Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    FFF Bumper Sticker

    You will receive our first FFF bumper sticker design.

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    FFF T-shirt or Tote

    You will receive a limited edition T-shirts (in the size of the choice) or tote bag.

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    Name Added to Community History Mural

    As customers enter the farm store, your name will be added to a 50' x 12' mural depicting 500 years of history in the Chicora/Cherokee neighborhood.

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    Sunday Breakfast with Will & Erika Allen

    Born to SC sharecroppers, Will was raised on a small farm in Maryland. He later left corporate life to start Growing Power, in an abandoned plant nursery in Milwaukee, WI. Allen was awarded major grants from the Ford Foundation the MacArthur Foundation and the Kellogg Foundation. He co-wrote The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People and Communities, and was nominated for a 2013 NAACP Image Award in the category of biography/autobiography.

    Erika is the CEO, Operations for Urban Growers Collective. She received a BFA from The Art Institute of Chicago and an MA in art psychotherapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Erika integrates creative and therapeutic techniques with food security and community development. She is passionate about social justice and working with multicultural groups in the elimination of racism and oppression.

    This reward will include a farm inspired meal and conversation around the future of food access on Sunday, August 4th, 2019.

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    Private Dinner with Chef BJ Dennis

    SC Native Benjamin “BJ” Dennis is a private chef whose culinary work reflects his Gullah Geechee heritage and his love for the African Diaspora. His techniques reflect West African ancestry, four years of study in St. Thomas, and lessons of his grandparents.

    Chef BJ earned an Associate’s Degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management and Culinary Arts from the Trident Tech's Culinary Institute. His passion for Gullah cuisine, foodways and culture have taken him around the country and the world. In addition to his list of extraordinary accomplishments, BJ was FFF's first ambassador. He has hauled wood chips, picked weeds, planted, purchased and promoted the Farm's vision from the very beginning.

    This reward is extra special as his culinary schedule is normally booked solid. BJ will prepare a seasonal Gullah inspired meal with FFF produce and local ingredients from the surrounding agricultural community and share the importance of preserving foodways and the Farm's place in that history.

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    Naming Rights for Pavilion & Farm Store

    The farm store is FFF's largest outreach effort and the pavilion with create the open air community center that allows the Farm to collaborate with community partners to increase programming and services.

    Six individuals and/or companies will build a food activism legacy by having their name permanently featured in the farm store or pavilion as a $5000 investors. Naming rights also provides investor publicity through earned media, media partnerships, social influencers, emails and live-streamed ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

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    Signed Copies of "Farming While Black"

    A copy of "Farming While Black" signed by Soul Fire Farm author Leah Penniman, James Beard Leadership Award winner and keynote speaker at the first SC Black Farmers Conference hosted by Fresh Future Farm.

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    Tour & Tasting at FFF w/ Deljuan Murphy

    Chef Deljuan Murphy, owner of DELicious Carolina, star of Cooking with Steez and a contestant on Food Network's Chopped will join Germaine Jenkins on a guided tour of the farm while you sample farm fresh drinks and dishes. Twenty investors will get to assist Del as he identifies, harvests and prepares dishes in real time.

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    Naming Rights for Incubator Kitchen

    The incubator kitchen completes the closed loop that makes the farm sustainable and the most benefit to the community. Along with eliminating food waste and creating value-added products for the farm store. Fresh Future Farm will also provide healthy meals and snacks to children and families. Finally, the kitchen supports micro-entrepreneurial opportunities by renting to food entrepreneurs in the community.

    Six individuals or companies will build a food activism legacy and have their names added to a plaque in the incubator kitchen. Naming rights also features investor publicity through earned media, media partnerships, social influencers, emails and a live-streamed tour as part of the February private dinner event with Chef BJ Dennis who advised the Farm on the kitchen's design.

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