For the past 16 years, we have been sharing our land and our harvest with the community, including those that have limited access to fresh produce. And now we need your help! The farm is in dire need of new tractor implements that help us till the soil and prepare for the season’s planting.
Specifically, we need a rototiller (the implement in the picture above) that will prepare the soil for planting and a chisel plow that will help us break up plow pan and hard pan.
What are plow pan and hard pan? A plow pan develops when you continuously plow fields at the same depth. It literally makes a hard layer that is impenetrable by plant roots and rain water. A hard pan is similar but is a naturally occuring dense layer of soil or clay just below the topsoil
By using these two tools in tandem we are able to grow vegetables on over 6 acres, feed over 200 families, and run hands-on educational programs for hundreds of people, from toddlers through adults. Most importantly, these tractor implements help us steward the land in a productive yet careful manner. The chisel plow in particular will also ensure that the roots of crops can reach down deep and sprout happy healthy plants for the community to enjoy into the future. Unfortunately, purchasing the two in tandem is beyond our normal budgetary means and we need your help to ensure Farmer Anne and our intern crew can grow delicious, fresh produce this season and beyond. These two tools will last us more than a decade so we are really making a long-term investment.
Rather than launch a big capital campaign, we are asking our local supporters and the internet community at large to participate and help us raise the funds needed to buy these two big ticket items. Although Kickstarter is generally known for its creative arts projects, we feel it is also a critical platform for the farming community that sees food and agriculture as a creative venture, full of invention, beauty and profound reward. We also think this is a great space for getting our message of growing, learning and sharing out there beyond our immediate surroundings. We are hoping our backers spread the word far and wide through the magic of the internet.
Why now? Well, because we need it now, before the season begins and because our original rototiller is on its very last legs. What will happen if we don't get them? We don't even want to think about it. The entire season's production is pretty much dependent on our ability to till the soil in the spring. We need something to incorporate the green manures (e.g. clover and rye grown over the winter to improve our soil and prevent erosion) and crop residues from the previous season as well as the compost we spread in the fields. If don't have this machinery, we basically cannot farm this year.
Even if everyone chips in just $10 each, we can all share in the success of our community farm. And if by chance we raise more than we need for these two implements, we will hold onto this money for other tractor implements (and repairs) we will need in the future. In any event, we hope you can join us in this exciting effort and contribute what you can!
For more information on the Phillies Bridge Farm Project, please check out our website : philliesbridge.org
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