Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Lots has happened since the inception of the vision transition Udderly Woolly Acres in Glastonbury to become the educational center for growing NUTRIENT DENSE FOOD (see http://www.realfoodcampaign.org/ for more info or read previous posts) here in Connecticut. We met with Bob Bernstein, an experienced consultant & founder from LAND FOR GOOD who has assisted in over 300 Successful Farm Transfer of Ownerships, mid May with owners Tom & Joan Kemble.
With his guidance we have officially launched our Phase One Initiative to raise $2500 to cover both consultant fees as well as hire an organizer to assist us in completing a FEASIBILITY STUDY by July 1st that will help us determine if we have enough support from the community to make this vision come true! In two weeks we have raised $900 towards this goal (thank you to all those who have generously supported the cause!) So we are almost half way to our goal! We need 17 more people to donate $100 by July 1st - are you someone passionate about food security issues that can invest? Please let us know - email Imani@thegreenvibration.com.
We were also thrilled to activate the vision with the Nutrient Dense Workshop on May 16th that was held on the farm and attended by over 40 local growers! The success of the vision must be held by many! Please join us on the farm on Sunday June 6th for a Wild Weed Walk led by the helpful gardener Scott Reill and ROOTS founder Lindsay Roepelle to discover what wild wonders on on the land, talk about future permadise plans as well as the benefits of nutrient dense foods (what, whys & hows...) from 4-6pm. Stay after for iced herbal tea & CONDUIT vibrational healing concert on the lawn....gong yourself to bliss! $25 donation goes to benefit the farm! Also, 50% of all proceeds from the sale of Imani's new release, The Absence of Soil, will go towards the farm!
Stay tuned for more info.....Sundays @ the farm will give you and your family to volunteer with harvesting this summer - we will share a picnic lunch, pull weeds, pick veggies & dream of a future where there is food for all!
Friday, March 5, 2010
Just a mere one hundred years ago in Connecticut 80% of our land was farmland. Between 8,000-10,000 acres of farmland a year is lost right here in our own state. This is a motivational factor in our efforts to preserve Udderly Woolly Acres, a 30 year organic farm cared for by Tom & Joan Kembell as a working, organic farm right here in Glastonbury. Remaining farmland equates to less than 12% of total land area. In CT ranked first in the US Census percentage of farmland lost from 1997-2002. At a loss of 8,000 acres per year, there will be no remaining farmland by the year 2047.
Today marks the first official step in this direction. The late night conversations (aka Alchemy After Hours) are turning into a reality. A group of community members effortlessly manifested a simple, informational pamphlet to share the vision with others. Grow the dream by making a donation to support the cause. We need to raise $600,000 to purchase the farm. In return we promise a thriving community growing the most nutrient-dense food available in our area! Interested? Read on...parts of our business plan are listed below.
• Food Security & Access to Real Food
• Community & Loss of Farmland in CT
• Independence & Financial Freedom
ALCHEMY ACRES BIZ PLAN (excerpts)
It is our intention to officially launch a “FARMRAISER” to raise the funds to purchase of Udderly Woolly Acres Farm, a 30 year NOFA certified organic farm owned by Joan and Tom Kemble located in Glastonbury, CT. The 1830 post &; beam farmhouse and two barns suitable for livestock is a fully operating farm situated on 20 acres; 10 acres woods, 5 acres fenced pasture, 4 market gardens, fruit trees, berry bushes, perennial vegetables and Farm Stand. In doing so, we will be able to expand our current production and services in Hartford, CT to encompass a full service educational center for growing of nutrient-dense foods as well as making ND foods more available to local consumers. We will provide an Educational Center for Growing, Preparing & Distributing Nutrient Dense Food offering hands-on classes, workshops & internships as defined by organic farmer Dan Kittredge & The Real Food Campaign
It is the intention of the group to launch a grassroots effort that will not only ensure the production of mineral and enzyme rich Nutrient Dense Foods (NDF) but expand market knowledge about them as well. In January 2010 the first in a series of workshops was held at The Growing Green Co-op to teach local growers about the reasoning and methodology behind Nutrient-Dense Food Growing practices. The monthly lectures and hands-on workshops will continue to span over the next 3-5 years with the hands-on component of the program already scheduled to be held at Udderly Woolly Acres in May 2010. These hands-on workshops will model and teach others about growing nutrient-dense foods. The training is enabling CT growers to be on the cutting edge by providing quality foods with higher levels of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, carbohydrates, trace minerals and antioxidants that not only taste great but are pest resistant with a longer shelf life. Nutrient Dense Foods are grown in ways that result in exceptional nutritional value (high levels of vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants & trace minerals) as well as enhanced taste. They are pest and disease resistant, have a longer shelf life and a higher market value. Through re-mineralizing the soil and other techniques, farmers are able to increase their crop production, have greater yields and healthier crops without continuing to support the petro-chemical industry or pollute the earth and our water.
Nutrient-Dense High-Brix Crops & Raw Food Line produced at Alchemy Acres:
• Sprouts (wheatgrass, pea shoot, sunflower, mixed baby greens)
• Kale, Cucumbers, Yams, Herbs, Garlic
• Berries of all kinds
• Assorted Native Seasonal Vegetables
• Prepared Raw Food Line (dehydrated kale chips, flax crax & granola, fresh pates & veggies, raw chocolates)
• Medicinal Mushrooms & Tinctures
• Fermented Foods
As The Real Food Campaign continues its efforts and launches its training program throughout New England, a hands-on application will begin to form in our region. An empirical standard of set protocols is currently being established by growers around the world. Growers are beginning to compile data that will be recorded on a database available for consumer benefit to identify which farmers are growing high quality foods and to ultimately assist in the remediation and treatments of regional soil health.
Consumer demand is showing an interest in local and organically grown and produced items around the country. We see the effect here in Connecticut with the success of the “Buy CT Grown” website and the rising number of farmers markets. The CT Department of Agriculture continues to be supportive of efforts to link farmers and chefs with the “Farm-to-Chef” program and consumers to locally grown foods and promotion of farmer’s markets, farms & farm stands.
In addition, an interest in raw living foods is simultaneously increasing in demand worldwide. Raw Foodism is an emerging movement that is migrating from the west coast to the east coast. There are increasing numbers of health consultants and raw food cafes sprouting up all over New England. Yet, blending a local food and raw food diet can be challenging where fresh food can’t easily be grown year round. Accessing living foods throughout the various seasons can be difficult (if not impossible) and cost prohibitive unless a farm is specifically set up to meet the needs of such consumers. A local source of greens, sprouts and fermented vegetables year round is a viable business model to meet the increasing needs of the both locavores and raw foodists. Alchemy Acres will model a locavore’s/raw foodists’s dream.
The Transition Town Initiative Committee will oversee the implementation of the “FARMRAISER” – fundraiser to raise $600,000 to purchase Udderly Woolly Acres Farm starting May 2010.
Fundraising Goal: $600,000
On-site Business Opportunities to Generate Income:
- Educational Center for Growing & Preparing Nutrient Dense Food
- Projected income from classes and workshops held on site
- Farm Stand, Pick-Your-Own, Wholesale & CSA
- Ongoing supplemental income from local consumers
- Prepared Raw Food Lines: Fermented Foods, Fresh & Dehydrated
- Develop private line of specialty products
- High Demand Products: sprouts, mushrooms, honey
- Farmers Market prices for top selling fresh produce items
- Vermiculture Products: compost, worms, food waste collection
- Efficient zero-waste facility that produces a profit
The Growing Green Co-op currently has over 100 business members, 50 consumer members and delivers food to 10 central locations around the state including the CT Shoreline and Massachusetts. The co-op has worked diligently the past two years since its inception to forge relationships with local farmers in its quest for local, organic food. We are members of New England Organic Farmers Association (NOFA) and operate an all organic café alongside the co-op at our space in Hartford. We are launching the Sustainable Academy for Kids which feature classes on: composting, recycling, urban permaculture, rural crop production of NDF, food preparation classes, fermentation, life skills, bicycle repair, earth activism and community building. Our co-op also showcases weekly free films, fitness/wellness classes and various workshops and events, such as a Sustainable Living Series to educate consumers about choosing healthier more sustainable options.
Alchemy Acres will serve as an extension of the Alchemy Café & Growing Green Co-op growing wholesale product for the café and raw food line(s) as well as providing weekly food boxes for members.
• Cultivate Local Business Economy
• Sustainable Practices, Zero-Waste & Cradle-to-Cradle
• Growing Nutrient-Dense Foods & Access to Real Foods
• Build Community Reliance by Identifying Needs & Assets
Phase One: Spring 2010 - Fall 2010
May 15-July 1st Phase One FEASIBILITY STUDY: $2500 Financial Goal
• Research town zoning laws & permits for use of property
• Organize FARMRAISING efforts to raise $ for farm through Transition Town Initiative; host Trans Town Training July 2010
• Group Experiment in co-housing at Hartford Location; establish system of communications; identify key members for farm
• Begin research & development of Alchemy Acres line of specialty products (fermented line, sprouts) & farming methods
• Establish Gardener-in-Residence; job description and responsibilities; begin planning for production @ the farm
• Nutrient-Dense Growing Workshops; begin implementing techniques on the property @ Udderly Woolly Acres; establish volunteer crew to assist Tom & Joan to run Farm Stand/CSA under their guidance
Phase Two: Fall 2010
• Purchase the farm and preparation of the land for residents; Host First Annual Dinner-on-the-Farm
• Begin Marketing for Nutrient Dense Food Growing Workshops (Year Two for current group and new Year One group); begin taking applications for internships & volunteers
• Winterization of the farm and farm stand & property renovations
• Inoculate logs for mushrooms, build an additional greenhouse, launch line of fermented products to be sold at café in Hartford & Farm Stand, plant fall crops (garlic), build compost beds, hives
• Preparation for Spring planting; start seeds, establish sprout growing operation
Phase Three: Spring 2011
• Acquire animals for the farm
• Marketing Materials for CSA & Farmstand & Product Line
• Develop Wholesale Accounts
Our Partnerships & Affiliations:
- CT NOFA
- The Real Food Campaign
- Dept of Ag. Farm-to-Chef
- Transition Town Initiative
- CT BALLE Chapter
Alchemy Acres represents what is possible in the future pertaining to food security in our country. The techniques, knowledge and expertise of the people focusing on this project will not only set Connecticut ahead of the game but will also serve to protect the rights of consumers everywhere. It is the inherent right of human beings to have access to self-produced food that is wholesome and healing.
If you are interested in being an angel investor in this project, please contact Imani@thegreenvibration.com