Update on Video: The equipment for Nicole's Farm installs will be available on the Sunshine Coast until August and we will be looking for additional sites for Nicole's Farm acres. If you have a larger acreage and are interested in increasing the utility of your land base, applying for farm status on your property taxes and earning growing stipend for use of your land. Please contact us at nicole (a) nicolesfarm (dot) com.
For the past few years, my spouse and I have been tossing around the idea of growing food for sale, but life (in the form of a small but very demanding civil construction company) kept us away from our home garden. After a few less than friendly experiences while working away, our priorities have shifted. We would like our daughters to grow up in the community we were raised. Never lacking ambition, I have developed a very personal vision for my farm from which I will grow a farm management model based on the sustainable farming methods to create healthy, food sovereign communities through Canada, The United States and beyond.
I am launching this crowdfunding campaign to expedite the launch of the first Nicole's Farm acre and accelerate the expansion of the model to develop multiple food sovereign hubs. I am reaching out to the crowdfunding community because conventional funding sources despite my ability to contribute personal land and equipment equity ideally suited to develop this project as well as other landowners waiting in the wings to get involved, turned me away. No mainstream sources are willing to ask the question: "Where is our food going to come from?" without a couple years of proven revenue.
For a deeper background on me and the Nicole's Farm Project check out my blog at www.nicolesfarm.com and keep checking back as I document the project's steps on my quest from fallow to fruition.
What and Where
Nicole's Farm will launch with the creation a 2 acre prototype farm combining bio-intensive and SPIN farming methods on the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia from which a scalable management model will be developed and extended to unite and uniquely benefit land owners, farmers and consumers through the establishment of collaborative, sustainable, green energy innovative, bio-dynamic, year round food sovereign communities. The project will also include the development and implementation of a hands on school curriculum component to revive intergenerational appreciation for fresh, local food and renew the view of farming as a viable career path.
We are striving to create tangible results based on the Declaration of Nyéléni on Food Sovereignty: "[Food Sovereigty] puts those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations. It defends the interests and inclusion of the next generation. It offers a strategy to resist and dismantle the current corporate trade and food regime, and directions for food, farming, pastoral and fisheries systems determined by local producers. Food sovereignty prioritises local and national economies and markets and empowers peasant and family farmer-driven agriculture, artisanal fishing, pastoralist-led grazing, and food production, distribution and consumption based on environmental, social and economic sustainability. Food sovereignty promotes transparent trade that guarantees just income to all peoples and the rights of consumers to control their food and nutrition. It ensures that the rights to use and manage our lands, territories, waters, seeds, livestock and biodiversity are in the hands of those of us who produce food. Food sovereignty implies new social relations free of oppression and inequality between men and women, peoples, racial groups, social classes and generations."
My model is based on one localized food production demonstration farm and cafe to act as community hub in each new town. Scalability is regional, provincial, national and international. The development of each additional acre farm will target underutilized land and act as satellite production locations to the hub. Nicole's Farm will act as management to match landowner and farmer, install farm infrastructure, act as farm business administration, and develop new farmers through high school and adult learning curriculum programs. Each new acre has potential to create 2 community based, full time, “living wage” jobs.
Sales will occur directly through farm gate, farmer’s markets, community supported agriculture and local grocers. We aim to innovate no till, green energy surpluses with zero waste and carbon negative solutions to each new rural scenario.
I am exploring opportunities for strategic partnerships to capitalize on Brownfields Remediation, Local Employment Development and retraining, enhanced Community Environmental Plans and aim to evolve to bring the model to public and commercial lands such as highway right of ways, vacant airport properties and key locations to further biodiverse microclimates for regionally threatened and endangered plants, insects and small animals.
We will be using the funds to expedite the launch of the first two acres based on the Nicole's Farm model for sustainable agriculture.
We have opted for the flexible funding platform and contributions will be used immediately in the following order outlined below. I will post daily updates with pictures demonstrating how the funds are being used immediately. Funders will be able to check in regularly to see how your contributions are materializing on the ground. Also check out our perks for contributing to the campaign!
Our first project is the wildlife exclusion perimeter fence which will define the landscape of the Nicole's Farm model. The approximate cost for this key infrastructure component is $11,938. From that point the raised beds and irrigation will be installed, followed by produce washing and prep area, seed purchase, local compost drop off area, and late in February we will begin interviewing for the resident farmer. My funding goal has aimed to cover the first four months of living wages for the resident farmer, so that he or she can have the presence of mind to know their personal financial needs will be met and they can concentrate undeterred while the first rotations of market ready produce are being grown.
If we are able to exceed our initial funding goal, contributions will be distributed in the project as follows:
1. Regional Scouts will be hired to take interviews with landowners interested in participation in the Nicole's Farm expansion and to explore additional regional hub locations and approach landowner's with underutilized properties along main transportation arteries to serve new rural centers.
2. A used refridgerated truck will be purchased to facilitate the harvesting and preservation of crops for weekly markets on the Sunshine Coast. The conventional SPIN farm method calls for a small walk in, on-site refridgeration space but as this project aims to create multiple acre locations as satellites to a regional hub, the reefer truck can go around collecting from each farm and bypass the need for multiple walk in coolers.
3. All remaining funds will be committed to the expenses involved for additional start up of Nicole's Farm acres. At present we have the equipment capacity to create 50 new individual acres annually.
The plan over the next 24 months is as follows and if we surpass our funding goal, these milestones will be accelerated. We will prioritize project growth in the following manner:
Additional acre start ups based on Funder requests and
Nicole’s Farm areas of interest,
Additonal used refridgerated truck for each new hub,
Expand team of regional
Additional executive assistance,
Development of high school
curriculum and adult retraining program and implementation of tested curriculum/program
Hiring of Regional Operations Managers.
Call to Action
Please folks, help get the word out and make some noise about the Nicole's Farm campaign. There are multiple share tools on this site. Together we can change the landscape of local food production to an environmentally progressive, community building, socially contributing model.
If you are looking for other ways you can help the project, either through offering expertise, seeking employment, desire to launch a rural hub in your area please contact us via email at nicole(at)nicolesfarm.com . I would love to hear from all of you!