Project image
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$5,648
pledged of $12,960pledged of $12,960 goal
94
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, January 1 2015 6:01 AM UTC +00:00
$5,648
pledged of $12,960pledged of $12,960 goal
94
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, January 1 2015 6:01 AM UTC +00:00

About

Gravel to garden in a few seasons.
Gravel to garden in a few seasons.

We will be converting a retired school bus into a mobile farm and greenhouse to bring the farm tour to the people

On the lesson plan:

-Animal husbandry and rotational grazing with goats, rabbits, and chickens in the back of the bus, the “barn.” Learn about the awesome power of working with nature and letting animals do the work while enjoying everything they have to offer.

-Water collection that is biofiltered before it goes into the aquaponics system that grows herbs and lettuce with fish under the center 12 foot greenhouse. 

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 In the lab at Up North Farm and Restoration

-Watch soil building with worm composting and mushroom mycelium breaking down organic matter with a microscope and monitor.

-A fodder feeding system to grow fresh grass all year long for animals and get the most out of whole grains. 

Two trays of fresh grass every day for the goats, rabbits and chickens!
Two trays of fresh grass every day for the goats, rabbits and chickens!

-Pollination lesson, with educational beehive (not an active hive).

Honey bees, the pollinators of most of the food you eat!
Honey bees, the pollinators of most of the food you eat!

-We already have the digital projector, screen and computer with an on-board digital library to take this education anywhere.

-Powered by solar panels on the roof with a battery bank and invertor while driven on veggie oil or biodiesel depending on temperatures. 

-The whole bus will be painted by our community during painting parties with a mural of sustainable systems, soil structure and forest layers to help educate at every stop light and rail road crossing.

Our goal is to share our farm with everyone at schools, events and farmers markets while helping build community with sustainable education. We want to take our farm on the road to help teach more people about the sustainable technologies and permaculture systems that can “Help rebuild the soil that we borrow from our future.”

So why a bus? This was the project that inspired us most for this project.

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(Thank you Oz and David for the use of this awesome song!)

We hope to even have a "rent-a-farm" program to get new farmers started or just create a great family experience. 

We would like to help make sure this is not the first generation that doesn't know what food looks like, where it comes from and who grew it and help farmers transition to a more sustainable system.

Since we started this campaign we have received received emails from superintendents, principals, school board members, and teachers from 31 schools around Minnesota that would love to be added to the 2015 Up North Farm School Bus tour to help aid in some the awesome work already underway. Some of the stories made me laugh, some cry, but all have inspired me and let us know that we are on the right track. One of the schools shared that "95% of their students qualify for free or reduced lunches and breakfasts." For some of the students it may be their only meal. Hunger is one learning disability that can be eliminated.

We are now planning a 60 school tour over 4 months (2 in spring and 2 in fall) and help reach over 2400 students but we can't do it alone. With your support we will have the bus and everything needed for this tour but the fuel.  This is what our grant system has been waiting for. Once we have the bus funded we will be finishing our demonstration grant proposal to bring the farm to the intercity and countryside with no cost to the schools! During my visit I can help answer the many questions and help you get your garden going. During the summer it is events and farmers markets that will allow us to sell our farm goods to create a sustainable funding stream! Help us spread sustainable agriculture and life skills to over 10,000 people this summer and help make Minnesota just a little greener. It is time for everyone to know at least one farmer.

What are the costs involved with creating a farm on wheels?

School buses are a great resource for a large open area with a chassis that can haul this system around with ease. With thousands of schools in Minnesota many buses are replaced each year so finding one shouldn't be a problem. I have worked on these types of chassis before and feel we could get something decent for around $6,000. The fodder system and aquaponics system will run approximately $400. Water in a moving bus may seem like a tricky task but I have had years of experience hauling thousands of gallons of water at a time as a Firefighter and I have a system design that can isolate the water in travel and prevent leakage. This will also only be 150 gallons in a four barrel system to show the principals and not a food fish production unit. Painting supplies and materials for the mural of the outside of the bus and clean washable white in the inside approximately $800. A soil building lab with a vermicomposting unit, mushroom mycelium used to break down organic matter and a electric microscope to show it live will be approximately $400. The solar panels, inverter and battery bank to run the digital projector, audio system, computer, pumps and lighting will run about $1200. To turn the center of the bus into a 12 foot greenhouse will cost about $450 in materials and creativity. We would like to give you some awesome rewards for supporting us but they still cost money to make. That will be approximately $2,700 to create those tasty, inspirational or earth changing rewards and a lot of time. Fees, can't forget the fees. As much as I wish I could have done this on my own site, Kickstarter and Amazon did after all bring us together, 8%=$960. This brings us to our goal of $12,960. If we don't hit this goal as per the rules of Kickstarter we get nothing and all those pledges are lost.

Please help make this dream a reality and show your support for a more sustainable food system for the next generation.

Share us on your social media site, email this to everyone that eats and together we can create something beautiful. Thank you!

-Charlie and Kristin

Special note about sponsorship- This project offers at the $1000 level a hand painted logo on the side of the bus for everyone to see. This is for Food Co-ops, Organic seed companies, food access or growing organizations and other locally owned businesses in Minnesota that are working toward a more sustainable future. Thank you!

Risks and challenges

Creating this masterpiece on the frame of an old school bus is one of the biggest risks to me. After years of working with hydraulic and electrical systems along with manufacturing heavy equipment I have gained the skills to take on almost anything and love new challenges as they are the best learning experiences and great opportunities to teach others. We have a community full of the resources to overcome any of the challenges I may face.
We are working on creating this education center with safety in mind and is part of the reason for taking our farm on the road. It is more economical and safer to give a tour around the farm bus than having thousands of students tour our homestead. The other challenge is fear of change. This can only be overcome with education and understanding that there is a better way.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank you, we can stretch every penny and will make every dollar count.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Behind the scenes videos and updates as we build one of the most efficient tools for sustainable education and add in your suggestions to make this even better.

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    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    Cajeta, silky smooth goat milk caramel, 6oz with reusable jar. Taste how sweet farming can be!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Vinyl decal - "I Know A Farmer, Do You?" Show your support for healthy sustainable local jobs and the people that feed our families.

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Silver rabbit pelt. Great for crafts or buy a few and make clothing to keep you warm during winter. A sustainable by-product of raising a more environmentally friendly meat.

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    Reusable canvas bag with the Farm School Bus logo.

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    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    T-shirt with the Farm Bus logo on the front and a catchy slogan on the back, "I Know A Farmer, Do You?"

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    DVD- Explore our permaculture style homestead with a 1 hour video tour of it all including the build of the bus step-by-step so you can build one for your community.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    2 hour tour of Up North Farms with Farmer Charlie filling your head with ideas and inspiration as you tour around the future of agriculture and come see the Farm Bus with out the crowds.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    2 DVD set - Explore our permaculture style homestead with an over 3 hour video tour of it all including the build of the bus step-by-step so you can build one for your community. Also included are instructional videos of the power of diversity on our farm. 5-20 minute tutorials on mushroom cultivation, worm composting, soil building, animal husbandry, rotational grazing, hugelculture raised beds, composting, root cellars, fruit tree grafting, perennial propagation, aquaponics, fodder feeding systems, raising meat rabbits, milking goats and value added products like cheese, yogurt, icecream and caramel.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Breeding trio of rabbits (2 does and a buck) from our New Zealand/ Champagne D' Argent cross bloodlines that can produce up to 500 lbs live weight of a more sustainable meat source for your family per year. Cages and accessories not included but advice and resources are. Farm pick up or delivery to Duluth available.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Dinner for two. Taste everything our farm has to offer. Start off with a tour by collecting some of the dinner as we go and then indulge in a farm feast. Everything from cheeses, veggies and rabbit to ice cream and caramel.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Help us reach a classroom for a one hour visit at a school that we feel could benefit from our visit most in Minnesota. We have over 30 that would love to add this or to kick off their farm to school work. Help 40 students meet a farmer for the first time and help them understand the natural world around them and what food looks like again.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    On-site land consultation. I will come to your property and we can explore some of the tools you can use to utilize on your land to provide food and help create a better environment for all species. Within 60 miles of Duluth, MN is no extra charge, over 60 miles contact me for quote.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Business Supporter- Helping build a more sustainable food system will bring billions to our local economy and create thousands of healthy jobs that can help us rebuild our environment. For your support in our project to help spread this education we will list you as one of our sponsors on our website and let everyone know who helped make this possible. Thank you!

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    Pledge $325 or more About $325

    Rent-a-Farm, no seriously! Looking for a family bonding experience that will never be forgotten. Grow food and learn life skills together while improving your soil. Farmer Charlie and the Farm Bus will come to your property and teach you about growing your own food, then you get to try out your skills for a week with our chickens and rabbits, even in town! Duluth area only.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Bring the Farm Bus to your school, event or organization for 2-4 hours. Farmer Charlie will come educate your community as you see the principals first hand and interact with the systems, creating an educational experience that will never be forgotten. For all age groups from little ones to farmers. Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin only.

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    Bring the Farm Bus to your school, event or organization for 4-6 hours. Farmer Charlie will come educate your community as you see the principals first hand and interact with the systems, creating an educational experience that will never be forgotten. For all age groups from little ones to farmers. Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin only.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Invest in us and we will use that funding to change the way we interact with the last few remaining inches of topsoil that we have left and help empower our youth with the skills for true change. You will receive a huge thank you and personal hug from Farmer Charlie and our never ending gratitude.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Become a sponsor of a more sustainable food system and culture. We will hand paint your logo or name into the artwork of the mural that will teach thousands how to grow soil, food, community and peace. Get a mental group hug from everyone involved and the thousands of students, that with your help, got out of class to play with cute animals!

    Please note: This is subject to prior approval to avoid conflict of interests.

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Funding period

- (37 days)