What if you could drive just 10 minutes from Downtown Richmond and enter a vast 30 acre organic farm and learning center just ready for the picking? That’s exactly what Sean Sheppard has thought about for years, and now his dream is coming true.
Sean and his business partners – Tim Adkins, Clark Lovelady and Erik Lohse – run Backyard Farmers as a local business for the good of the community and they are serious about making it grow. They all have years of experience in sustainable agriculture, carpentry, landscaping and general construction. They’ve even partnered with Fit4Kids as a service provider to educate kids in schools on growing their own food and creating healthy meals through their School Learning Projects. They have also participated in Jamie Oliver’s recent Food Revolution Day with Edible Education to promote healthier eating throughout our community.
The Backyard Farm is an organic production farm that is:
- Growing nutritious natural products for local grocers, restaurants and food banks
- Creating an accessible and engaging learning environment for people of all capabilities
- “Growing” more farmers!
Now this dynamic team is undertaking one of their most ambitious endeavors yet. They just need a little help from Richmond moms and dads for their Kickstarter Campaign to kick things into high gear.
What’s the Kickstarter Campaign all about?
According to Backyard Farmers, “It’s about creating a way to educate more people and provide them with the training and information they need to create their own backyard gardens”.
Financial backers (and that can be for as little as $10) can help with:
- Orchard establishment
- Perennial Garden establishment
- ADA compliant pathways for market and demonstration gardens
- ADA compliant production infrastructure
- ADA compliant restroom facilities
Sean explains, “With all of these features in place, we will be able to host educational tours and workshops for the entire region, offering a unique, hands on experience for all participants.”
“…with your contribution our farm can start on the long path towards productive fulfillment; our fruit trees and perennials will take several years to reach maximum productivity and with the success of this campaign, we will be able to plant over 50% of the anticipated plant materials in 1 year instead of several years. This will help bring the farm to profitability much sooner, meaning we will be able to make more jobs for Richmonders and offer more learning opportunities for everyone!” ~ Backyard Farmers – Sean Sheppard, Tim Adkins, Clark Lovelady and Erik Lohse.
How Richmond Families can Help
They have bought the farm and now they need Richmonders to help move this dream to reality. Pumpkins, basil, tomatoes, and many other vegetables are already planted and many are harvested. Lots of infrastructure work has been finalized for well and pump systems and electrical sources. Next on the list is establishing the irrigation pond and feature garden area.
What does this have to do with Richmond moms and dads? Plenty!
You can make a donation to help – and based on the donation amount, you reap rewards too. You can get tools, cutting boards, mortar pestle, or even a year’s supply of seeds!
Thinking bigger? How about a professional assessment of your property to help you get started with your own garden including a supply of tomato cages, trellises and growing structures of all kinds. Even fruit trees and fruit bearing shrubs are an option!
All items given away to donors are handmade in their local woodworking shop right in the heart of Richmond. Regionally harvested lumber is used and money goes back into the community where it stays and promotes a healthier economy.
But more importantly, think about visiting the farm and learning center to teach your kids about sustainable agriculture, healthier living, and healthier nutrition. A real hands-on experience will provide them with valuable learning that stays with them for the rest of their lives – and yours!
Click here to learn more – and consider a contribution from $10 to $10,000 (they’ll even take more!) to support this community project for a healthier life right here in Richmond!
All photos compliments and with permission of Backyard Farmers.