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A local small farm CSA in Virginia wants to renovate two large chicken coops into high tunnels that will grow year round organic food.
A local small farm CSA in Virginia wants to renovate two large chicken coops into high tunnels that will grow year round organic food.
197 backers pledged $10,385 to help bring this project to life.

Hello Supporters of Farmers! Mid-Summer Update.

Posted by Paul Phillip Meyer, VA Veg. Co. (Creator)
1 like

Howdy Farm Backers,

Soooooo.....mid-summer and I can feel cooler weather coming really quickly. Maybe really hot summer and a really cold fall? Watchout here comes global warming... Make sure you are recycling when you can and using only what you need. Speaking of necessities I needed some extra income right now. My kickstarter really supported one large part of the long-term vision which by a number of bizarre circumstances did not clearly work out the way I envisioned but is complete. 

So I found a temp job and for the next two weeks I'll be hands-off farmers markets and practicing minimalistic farming. Maybe I should coin that phrase and trademark it ;) I've been busy canning a lot of tomato glazes and jams. Soon I'll be doing tomato and basil soups too. I'm considering doing another kickstarter to pre-sell them (around 200) to raise funds just to pay for my farm rent. Hahah. It's just crazy the things I'm come up with to get by each month. 

I have to say the farm enterprise going into its second year HAS improved greatly but still not enough to keep farmer Paul from working extra temp jobs to pay for the farm itself. Sometimes I have to tell the farm politely and sometimes a bit angered, "no" like it's a curious child. I find it funny meeting others in the farmers market world that have these great mega vision for their business. I like to practice thinking how I can actually keep narrowing down my thoughts and dreams into a smaller more simpler reality that in the end will make me more happy as well as others.

So lets sum up March through July:

  • Successful kickstarter - Yeah!
  • Housed & Mentored 3 WWOOF workers - Yeah!
  • Two horrific storms - No!
  • Conquering new growing conditions without roof - OK.
  • Increased my CSA shares from 7 to 16 - minus 2 = Now 14. Good, but not great.
  • At two farmers markets plus began an onsite farm stand that locals like - Good
  • Shipped out all/Delivered most of all rewards. Still a couple remaining.
  • Had farm lunch - Hope to have another one.
  • Got on the VABF farm tour circuit for October - Yeah!
  • Had only 1 day off only due because I had no ride back to the farm - Solid record.
  • Finished entire first chicken coop. Now about to work on second if funds present themselves so I can do it. Currently at my max and working second job to keep vision of an awesome small unique farm where new farmers can learn and community can eat healthy organically grown produce.

So the question is, "Who's coming with me?" (Jerry Maguire, 1996). 

You backed me once and I've showed you that I'm completing the task. I'd love to have support pre-selling all the delicious tomato glazes, jams, and soups. This would just go towards farm rent and more soil for the second chicken coop so I can max my growing area (two coops = 1/2 acre). I'd love your support a second time and you'd get something sweet out of it too. Please leave comments/messages so I can get a general idea of the support I might have doing a second kickstarter. This would be a kickstarter pre-selling a product (basically launching this smaller enterprise that recycles all my extra 100lbs of overly ripe tomatoes I don't sell currently into delicious jars of jams). A lot of people ask why I'm not selling to grocery stores or restaurants. The margin of profit is soooo small. You have to be really big to move a lot of product to earn. By canning my product it is much more profitable for the smaller farmer reselling as a valued added good (especially since I grew it!). So if you attend farmers markets please purchase even if it seems expensive. It costs a lot but one thing I'm fortunate about is that I'm a grower so the major cost of tomatoes is already in my farm operating expense (which would make your jaw drop click this to see my budget).

My awesome Mom taking a break.
My awesome Mom taking a break.

Let me know your thoughts. I currently am selling them at the markets, but having a large pre-order for a larger amount would help push me forward into my finishing season and I want us to continue having big successes together.

-Farmer Paul

Tasha Turner likes this update.

Comments

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    1. Tasha Turner
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm all in favor of backing you again. May I make a couple of suggestions? Shipping jars is a pain & cost a lot so in addition to selling to us:

      1. Rewards to cover your cost of making x jars of y & you send us a thank you - you have stock for fall & holiday fairs & spring

      2. Rewards to donate x jars to a local food pantry/homeless shelter

      3. Stickers/magnets/postcards - if you need money for the farm & jarring of produce include these again

      4. Recipe postcard sets of your glazes, jams, soups - 3 individual sets & a monster pack

      5. Sure sell your jams, glazes, soups but make sure you charge proper postage and packaging expenses in addition to canning supplies & time

      Give yourself extra time for getting things done when you set shipping dates & remember everything doesn't have to have same dates.