Who are these hippies?
We're Justin and Danielle Leszcz, owners of YellowTree Farm in St. Louis, Missouri.
Founded in January, 2009, we started YellowTree Farm as an urban operation, growing food from our residential plot of less than 1/10 acre. Our mission has always been to demonstrate that people can grow more than just well-manicured lawns; they can grow food.
We grow and forage for nearly all our own food, selling the excess at local farmers markets and directly to some of St. Louis' top restaurants.
(source Urban Farm Magazine, March/April, 2011. Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.)
What's going on here?
Now enjoying the start of our fourth year, we're expanding. For the second year in a row, we're renting a few acres of pristine farmland in nearby Fenton, Missouri. With this added land only a 15 minute drive from St. Louis, we're able to not only grow more food, but also to oversee the plot's development and manage it day-to-day with ease. New this year are our plans for moving our poultry to the Fenton plot and expanding our stock of heritage breed birds.
We've successfully raised a variety of poultry for the past six years, experiencing every step of development from incubation to harvest. We feel the need to expand our poultry operation to not only better meet the growing demand for local eggs and meat, but also to fulfill a duty of preserving heritage breed animals in an age where homogenized, commercialized breeds dominate the market.
Unfortunately, even the most revered, most sustainable poultry producers in the country typically rely on hybridized breeds like the cornish cross: a bird bred to reach market weight in a lightning-fast pace of only 8 weeks. The bird is great for a farmer's bottom-line, producing lots of meat in little time, but it floods the market, and our tables, with meat bred to be so white it scarcely resembles the color and taste of the poultry enjoyed by people decades before us.
At YellowTree Farm, we're seeking to restore the flavor and tradition that's been depleted from modern-day poultry.
We plan on focusing on several lesser-commercialized breeds of heritage poultry such as the Ameraucana, Bourbon Red, Naked Neck, Orpington, Silkie, and Sussex. Popularization of these heritage breeds will be achieved multiple ways: First, by selling the meat retail and wholesale; Second, by selling the eggs retail and wholesale; And lastly, by offering hatching eggs to folks who wish to raise heritage breed birds of their own.
That sounds great! What's the problem?
While we currently care for over two dozen chickens, we intend to grow greater numbers of birds this year, necessitating their move from our home in St. Louis to the land available to us in nearby Fenton. This move will mean that we will need to build a few new structures: adequate, predator-proof housing to keep our birds in, a sound processing facility, fenced runs so the birds can freely move, and electric fencing to keep any harmful critters away.
Anticipating our startup costs to be substantial, we're turning to you, our friends, family, and supporters to help raise the funds we need, and together we can share in the joys and success of our new heritage breed poultry endeavor.
How can I help?
What can you do? Plenty! A little bit will truly go a long way. Even the smallest donation will help us better afford things like feed, or offset the energy cost of our incubator. Can't afford to give? You can “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, share our Kickstarter with your friends, and help spread the word to everyone you know!
How do I pledge?
To pledge to a project, just click the green "Back This Project" button on the top. You will be asked to enter your pledge amount and select a reward. From there, you will be prompted through the Amazon checkout process. It's pretty quick and easy.
What's in it for me?
$1 OR MORE
Warm and fuzzy feeling of helping support our project and our farm.
PLEDGE $5 OR MORE
All of the above + a personalized shout out thanking you on our website.
PLEDGE $25 OR MORE
All of the above + an eco-friendly thank you card featuring a photo from our farm.
PLEDGE $50 OR MORE
All of the above + a ready-to-frame, limited edition 8x10 photograph of life on our farm.
PLEDGE $75 OR MORE
All of the above + a handmade, signature YellowTree Farm lip balm.
PLEDGE $125 OR MORE
All of the above + a YellowTree Farm t-shirt, printed on American Apparel.
PLEDGE $250 OR MORE
All of the above + an hour-long tour of the farm (or, if you cannot travel to the St. Louis area, an hour-long telephone conference or video chat where we can provide tips and help answer any of your farming-related questions).
you and check back periodically for updates.
- (45 days)