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$1,531
pledged of $6,000pledged of $6,000 goal
21
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, July 31 2019 6:44 PM UTC +00:00

Hammock Greens: Vertical Hydroponic Urban Farm

Local, Sustainable, Profitable. An urban farming startup changing the way chefs and consumers source locally. Please help us grow.

Hammock Greens: Vertical Hydroponic Urban Farm

Local, Sustainable, Profitable. An urban farming startup changing the way chefs and consumers source locally. Please help us grow.

$1,531
pledged of $6,000pledged of $6,000 goal
21
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, July 31 2019 6:44 PM UTC +00:00

About

Hammock Greens: Our Story (the short-ish version) 

Hammock Greens started as a dream. Good, clean, fair food was the vision. We started with one container. The goal was to create a financially driven and socially conscientious urban farming business that serviced both commercial customers and local consumers of all kinds. 

We researched the emerging, technologically driven world of container farming. Fueled by recent advances in LED lighting, and organic nutrient production, vertical farming only recently became realistic for small businesses like ours. Still in its infancy, vertical farming was tricky and there was little data on just how powerful it could be. Our farm was able to "crack the code" for circular, sustainable growth with massive production! Initial tests showed that we were growing close to 1/2 acre of food in 1% of the space!  

Local chefs were impressed with what we were doing. There was no local option for high-quality, local produce- not the caliber we were growing. And so it began. Immediately there was conversation between chefs and farmers. Custom menus and dishes were created. Chefs, dependant on reliable high-quality, produce, had few options. And locally sourced produce? Even less to find.  Soon, chefs were putting our name on their menus, and collaborating with us on what produce they needed! The market was there, and both Thomas and partner Chef Aaron Dreilinger, knew exactly how to tap it.  

Vertical Columns hold 18 heads of greens, fed by a closed circuit of nutrient-rich water.
Vertical Columns hold 18 heads of greens, fed by a closed circuit of nutrient-rich water.

So how much did it cost and what's happening now? 

A fully loaded farm costs about $100,000. Operating costs are low, and the return on investment can be achieved in less than 3 years. Each container requires about 20 hours of labor per week. We train interns from FIU and local community partnerships. We also employ and train at-risk or formerly-homeless staff as part of our commitment to local economy.  

Until now, our farms have been completely self-funded by two partners- and a lot of Smitherman elbow grease. Thanks to their tireless hard work, some clever budgeting, and the support of local restaurants, we have built a small but strong foundation. No longer just a dream, our venture has quickly proven a profitable business model. Leveraging the knowledge, careers and business contacts of partners Aaron Dreilinger and Thomas Smitherman, Hammock Greens secured a spot in the South Florida restaurant market. 

Currently Hammock Greens has 6 containers in Broward and Miami Dade Counties. Its been a very lean 2 years of startup, with little but the necessities spent. We've stretched every seed and every penny. We now look to the community for some needed improvements that will push us into our next phase of growth. Investments from Kickstarter will go to solar panel purchases and more sustainable renewable packaging. The money raised will also fund our internship program at Lotus House, Miami's amazing Lotus House. Money raised will help solidify our farms as a model for urban farms around the country. 

 Community Partnerships and Farm Locations

Our first container was set on nursery land, about 10 minutes outside of the city. As we bought more, we planned to place them strategically. Poised for scalable growth, we wanted to show that our methods worked anywhere. Since then, we have shared land in a variety of spaces from Wynwood art galleries, to Overtown homeless shelters, to hotels, even to a few alleys! We hoped to put a farm in every "unused, unloved, or underappreciated space."

Soon we grew into neighboring parts of our community that were underserved. Motivated by the experiences of a family of athletes and teachers, we knew the difference between the "Wholefoods vs Cornerstore" diet. There is an obvious disparity between the fine-dining restaurants who are our customers, and the surrounding city. We wanted to share our gift with rich and poor. And so, with great excitement we were invited to share space at The Lotus House. There, we are able to donate healthy nutritious greens every week to their kitchen. We also offer training to their residents in hopes of building strong, employable urban farmers. 

Our sixth farm was just recently relocated to the Overtown Greenhaven. A space generously provided to us by local developers Innovate Development Group and Beacon Advisors LLC, we look to invest more heavily into Overtown community. A virtual co-working space for urban farmers, the Greenhaven is a bootstrap tribute to a city's ability to heal. Once known for a violent past, Overtown now looks to community partners like Marcus Samuelsson and other local entrepreneurs to reinvent itself. We will be there to support!   

our farms can be found in unused, unloved, and unlikely spaces
our farms can be found in unused, unloved, and unlikely spaces
Overtown 1 location at Lotus House homeless shelter
Overtown 1 location at Lotus House homeless shelter

 The Science of It (the light version... pun intended)

  • Each 40 ft container grows over 3,000 heads of greens per year
  • That's more than the average half-acre of traditional farmland
  • Seed to plate in less than 10 weeks 
  • Produce harvested live can last up to 5 weeks in refrigeration
  • Average use of 5 gallons of water per day
  • Water and climate control are self-contained and recycle circularly
  • Electricity use equals that of a small apartment
  • LED light strips hang from ceiling to floor, focusing direct light to plants 
  • No Cides- no pesticides, no herbicides, no fungicides- just hold the sides!
  • Only 20 hours of manual labor; the rest is controlled remotely!
led spectrum manipulated to encourage leafy-green growth
led spectrum manipulated to encourage leafy-green growth
vertical columns are harvested and planted in the same day to maximize efficiency
vertical columns are harvested and planted in the same day to maximize efficiency

Who are we?

Our business in built on friendship and family. Two friends, and their families, with a lifetime of history, decided to put it all on the line together. Each drawing from backgrounds in agriculture, wine, education, sports, culinary arts, and a little too much time in restaurants, we somehow found ourselves growing lettuce in steel boxes! Thomas is very much the green thumb, the mad scientist, and above all the coach. Thomas has coached sports for decades, and approaches work in very much the same way- he comes to win, with respect. And when asked how he is doing, Thomas typically answers honestly, "livin' the dream." 

Aaron combines a past in sustainable agriculture with an entrenched career in culinary arts. Active in the community, he sits on the board of Slow Food Miami as well as works with other community health organizations, connecting agriculture, nutrition, and local chefs. Aaron has always leveraged his chef position to connect local agriculture and culinary fashion. Aarons role at Hammock Greens is to direct company development and community outreach. 

Chef Aaron shows off some young Romaine
Chef Aaron shows off some young Romaine
Farmer Thomas keeps the whole team moving
Farmer Thomas keeps the whole team moving

Risks and challenges

Hammock Greens has already weathered the first two years of startup. We've created a solid foundation of business. This specific project looks to improve upon our environmental and community impact. Funds will be used to improve our sustainable footprint on the community, including solar panel and renewable resource packaging.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    If you just want to donate:

    For those who just want to give without reward. We offer our deepest gratitude. Many have asked, "how can we help?" Here you go! Thank you to all of you that have helped get us this far.

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    Pledge US$ 36 or more About US$ 36

    Hammock Greens Logo Cotton T-Shirt

    Thank you! Every little bit counts. Show the world that your a supporter with a super comfy 100% cotton T. Yes, the good kind! Every donation of $36 (or more if you like) gets one of these swanky numbers.

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    Pledge US$ 48 or more About US$ 48

    Live Mixed Greens Case

    Tried us at a restaurant? Hungry from all this healthy food talk? Try a case at home. This one is for the locals- Broward and Miami/Dade only please.
    Delivered anywhere in the Miami and Broward; or come pick up your case for a free tour of the farm at one of our several locations.

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    Pledge US$ 56 or more About US$ 56

    HG Logo 5 Panel Snapback Hat

    Show your local colors with our embroidered Hammock Greens logo hat. Premium quality heather-grey colored cap. One size fits all.

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    Pledge US$ 76 or more About US$ 76

    Home Chef Mixed Microgreens Package

    If you're really into flavor, this one is for you. This is a chance to sample all of our latest microgreens. Currently we have a large selection, including sorrel, lemon balm, Thai basil, upland cress, and rainbow chard. Checkout the shots on Instagram to see the amazing colors! This package is offered only in Miami Dade and Broward County at the moment. Free tshirt if you come to the farm to pickup this gorgeous package.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Beaker and Gray; $50 Food Voucher

    One or our earliest and strongest supporters, Chef/Owner Brian Nasajon of Beaker and Gray boasts one of Miami's hottest spots for cuisine and fun. In the heart of Wynwood, this is the spot for Chef inspired drinks and farm-to-table delicacies. We are so proud to be on the menu here. https://www.beakerandgray.com/
    Here is how our gift cards work. We are using this reward to support ourselves AND our community. The restaurants are already customers of our farm. Supporting them, by supporting Hammock Greens, is a pretty fabulous way to give back! We think this is an impactful and delicious solution to fundraising! We split your donation 50/50. Meaning, $100 donation buys you $50 at Beaker and Gray (Alcohol excluded) AND donates $50 to our campaign. This keeps 100% of the money in the community!
    Please note that this is a Food Voucher specifically good for non-alcoholic beverages and food; due to Kickstarter guidelines regarding alcohol.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Custom Lettuce Leaf Cuff Links

    Say it with style. We had a line of custom lettuce-leaf-shaped cuff links made up for this. For the fancy lettuce-loving-locavore! Not destined for GQ anytime soon, but super cool nonetheless. These custom cuff links feature a full color acrylic print of our lettuce on stainless steel. Lets face it, nothing says snazzy like flashing a little green!

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    Pledge US$ 360 or more About US$ 360

    Vertical Farming 1 Day Bootcamp

    Dig in! Well, not exactly!? Come and learn from founder Thomas Smitherman the basics of Vertical Farming. Spend the day in one of our farm containers learning the nitty-gritty of urban farming. Come experience hands-on training from the experts. Located in 6 locations around South Florida, our farms are accessible for all ages and levels.
    Our farm "bootcamp" includes a casual and intimate catered lunch by Chef Aaron Dreilinger. And of course, a healthy sampling of all the varieties of greens we grow. We see this as a chance to connect on an individual level with you, our supporter. Don't think farming is for you? This makes a great gift. Introduce someone you know to farming and sustainable gardening.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    3030 Ocean, Restaurant Food Voucher

    Chef Adrienne Grenier has always been a shining star for Miami. Quietly elegant, colorful, delicious, and creative, Chef Adrienne takes local sourcing very seriously. In fact, she was quick to offer a place for one of our farms when we first got started. The award winning 3030 Ocean harvests our greens daily for the ultimate in freshness and hyperlocal sourcing!Sneak a peek at our farm while you're there!
    Here is how our gift cards work. We are using this reward to support ourselves AND our community. The restaurants are already customers of our farm. Supporting them, by supporting Hammock Greens, is a pretty fabulous way to give back! We think feel this is an impactful and delicious solution to fundraising! We split your donation 50/50. Meaning, $500 donation buys you $250 in food at 3030 Ocean AND donates $250 to our campaign. This keeps 100% of the money in the community!
    Please note that this is a Food Voucher not eligible for alcohol; due to Kickstarter guidelines.

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    Pledge US$ 760 or more About US$ 760

    26 Week Hammock Green CSA (Farm Pickup)

    For our loyal friends and neighbors who MUST have healthy local greens year round- try this out. 6 months, 1 case per week! You set the start time. Every week, pickup a full case of petit greens and microgreens. Currently there are over 18 varieties of greens! And rain or shine (or maybe hurricane), we've got local! Heres the best part. Our greens are packed live- so they stay fresh as the day they were "picked" until hunger strikes. Pickups are coordinated conveniently at several possible locations in Miami and Broward Counties.

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Chef's Table with Chef Aaron Dreilinger

    Omakase tasting menu by Chef Aaron Dreilinger. Enjoy a private meal for 2 (or more if you chose) in Coral Gables at www.Aragon101.com. Chef Aaron will create a custom tasting menu complete with wine pairings and loads of local sourced goodness. Chef Aaron is both partner at Hammock Greens and co-owner/Chef of Miami's gastronomic catering company, Chef David Cuisine and Event Design. We're pulling out all the stops for this. Chef Aaron will personally cook and serve your meal tableside. Entirely unique and custom made for you, this is a special gift for someone you love, or that special moment you're planning. Feel free to reach out for more details, or options to make this a larger event.

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Custom Billboard Sized Container Wrap

    Got something to say? Say it big. Use the entire 12 x 40 foot outer wall of our farm for a special message. Our designers will work with you to put any message or image on the farm. We'll print and wrap the farm for 1 month! Great for businesses that want to be associated with local farming, or that special message you've been meaning to say! (Ok, so a "will you marry me" would be pretty great too!) Use your imagination- the sky is the limit.

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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    Community Partnership

    We invite the serious donor or investor to share in what we do. We don't do this alone. And perhaps unlike some of our grass-roots contemporaries, we are very much interested in the Benjamins. And for that, we offer an opportunity to custom-create a community event or installation. Hammock Greens has successfully partnered with a number of community institutions. We see that our farms are valuable for education, health, and wellness. A donation like this allows you to steer our efforts and collaborate with us in the community. In addition, have your logo next to ours, on our containers, for 1 year. We understand that a commitment like this is significant, and encourage you to reach out directly to discuss the posibilities.

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Funding period

- (28 days)