We are Micro Farms:
Micro Farms LLC. is an urban farming social-enterprise transforming underutilized homeowner resources into local and healthy food producing systems. Our operations are guided by chemical free, biointensive, permaculture practices. We are dedicated to sustainably strengthening our community through healthy food accessibility, outreach, and education.
“Micro Farms has created an exciting sustainable business model that has taken local and organic food to a whole new level.” -Anna Perks, Business Sustainability Advisor, Boulder County
Join the Urban Agriculture Revolution:
We are partnering with homeowners in the Denver metro area which we affectionately call our "Yard Partners." Our community of Micro Farms Yard Partners provide us with yard space and water to install bio-intensive organic gardens and in exchange receive a full share of produce from our weekly Micro Farms CSA. We maintain each Micro Farm, building the soil for seasons to come, and harvest fresh, nutritious food that we then distribute through CSA shares, Farmers’ Markets, direct sales and local, sustainably minded restaurants.
"This is the best model ever: lettuce instead of lawn, with a box of organic veggies each week, the satisfaction of precious water used for produce not bluegrass, and a wonderful group of urban farmers to work with. We couldn't be happier to support Micro Farms in their mission." - Molly & George Mayfield, Micro Farms' "Yard Partner"
Help Us Grow:
After our first year of operations, we have found a permanent one acre home in Arvada, Colorado to headquarter our operations and build our model Micro Farm. This will serve to streamline operations, house our new Wash Station and Cold Storage facilities. Our Kickstarter Campaign will allow us to construct these facilities as well as perform essential repairs to storage buildings and replace the existing greenhouse roof. The goal of our campaign is to increase efficiency in our operations, so that we may grow sustainably and increase both the access and supply of healthy, local produce.
“Want local organic produce? You can’t get more local than your neighbor’s backyard!” - Matthew Zald, Chief Operating Officer, Micro Farms
Establish Our Roots:
$7,200: Washing Station with Integrated Water Repurpose Irrigation System: Our Permaculture inspired washing platform will serve multiple functions in this system. While streamlining our ability to clean and provide quality control for our produce, this wash station is designed to capture and store water used for irrigating our on site model Micro Farm. Harvesting water for a second use allows us to provide garden irrigation as well as aid in the function of the cold storage facility located below.
$6,600: Cold Storage: On-site cold storage will vastly increase the longevity of our produce, allowing us to both drastically reduce food waste and increase nutrition availability. The cold storage will be a walk-in cooler built into a hillside and will be just just under 120 square feet. This provides natural temperature and humidity regulation while greatly reducing the amount of electricity needed to operate. The storage is located directly below the washing platform to both maximize efficiency and minimize our land footprint.
$2,500: Greenhouse: The existing greenhouse is in need of repairs to make it operationally viable. The new roof will be composed of polycarbonate sheets designed to maximize solar gain and heat retention. This conversion is a crucial component in extending our growing season and the size of our production by allowing us to start large numbers of seedlings for our outlying Micro Farms and producing multiple harvests through the year.
$3,200: More Micro Farms!! We have a growing list of excited and willing homeowners that are eager to convert their lawns into local, organic gardens! While we are incredibly grateful to see our Micro Farm family grow, each new site comes with installation costs, such as materials for our customized drip line irrigation systems. As our organization has grown in size, we are hoping to rapidly increase the number of Micro Farms this coming season in order to aid us in our mission of increasing hyperlocal food production and accessibility.
$500: Shed Repairs There’s nothing special about sheds, but they’re a farmer’s best friend when storing tools, equipment and supplies at the end of the day. Fortunately our new headquarters have two of them, but they are in need of some serious repairs, if they are to keep out the elements and any curious creatures.
Why Micro Farms?
Colorado’s population is forecasted to increase approximately 60% by 2035 and double by 2050 with most forecasted to occur along the Front Range. The State projects a significant future water supply gap, beginning to develop in the 2014 and growing to 1,000,00 acre feet by 2050. The gap will primarily result from municipal and industrial needs. By 2050, total municipal and industrial water demands are projected to double relative to 2009 demands. Currently, Denver Water estimates that 48% of it’s retail water is being used by single-family homes with the average user using 50% of that water for maintaining their lawns. Lawns use enormous amounts of water and only produce extra work, i.e. mowing, for the homeowner. Furthermore, according to the USDA, consumer demand for organically produced goods continues to show double-digit growth. Also, organic products have shifted from being a lifestyle choice for a small share of consumers to being consumed by a majority of Americans with two-thirds of consumers interested in buying local to support local economies.
"The folks at Micro Farms have mastered the Simple and and the Brilliant: who knew that our urban/suburban expanses of lawn could be tilled into organic veggie patches? Don't mow - let it grow! They've developed a brilliantly simple way to re-purpose land and precious water into beautiful gardens through hard work and tender care. Sean Conway and his group are professional and a pleasure to work with; we were delighted to donate part of our back yard to them." - Molly and George Mayfield, Micro Farms' "Yard Partner"
Micro Farms is poised to divert homeowner’s water usage to more productive uses for our local community as well as to capitalize on the increased population and demand for locally grown organic food.
Micro Farms in the News:
Denver Channel 7 ABC: “Lakewood startup wants to farm your yard for free”
Denver Channel 31 Fox: “Man turns people’s yards into micro urban farms; everyone benefits”
The Denver Post: “Local Farmer brings unique business to residents’ backyards in Golden”
SeedStock: “Colorado Man transforms backyards into Micro Farms”
Risks and challenges
With any building projects there are inherent risks of unforeseen circumstances, delays, weather, and budget. Weather will be a challenge because we will be building in Colorado that has extremely variable weather. Our timeline is limited to finish these projects before spring because once spring rolls around we will be busy installing and managing Micro Farms. Furthermore, the budget has been thoroughly researched, but there is always the risk that projects will go over budget. We have tried to mitigate this risk as much as possible and have backup plans in place. Sean Conway and Matthew Zald, both have years of experience in program management in developing countries with limited budgets as Peace Corps Volunteers. They plan to use their creativity, experience and determination to find appropriate solutions to any problem that arises.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)