Make this urban farm self-sustainable

My name is Shannon St. John (Moondancer). After the collapse of the housing market in 2008, it became apparent that my forty year long career in residential architecture was pretty much over and that it was time to reinvent myself. At that time, I had a strong interest in, and had studied permaculture practices and I loved working in the garden. With this interest and a dream, I sold my house in Seattle and set out to build an urban farm in Tucson. Much has been accomplished in the last two years, but there is still much to be done for the farm to be self-sustainable.

Food production is up considerably this past winter over the previous. Sales at the farm have improved dramatically over the last five months, but are still insufficient to cover all the investment needed to grow the farm to the next level. As we move into the summer months, costs go up and sales tend to go down, making it even more difficult to get the farm to a sustainable level.

At this point, there are no additional funds to move beyond the existing state. My personal resources have been depleted making in impossible for me to take the farm to the next stage on my own. To remain viable, the farm needs to increasing production and sales.

How Funds Will Be Used
In the practice of permaculture, everything done by design should have more than one practical application and function. And so shall the use of funds raised for the farm.

Funds raised with this campaign will be used to purchase and install a 1,200 gallon cistern that will store rain water harvested from the roof of the house, and used to irrigate crops. The use of rainwater to irrigate will boost crop yield, improve soil quality and reduce water costs.

Tucson City Water is offering a rebate up to $2,000 for the installation of rainwater harvesting projects "“ this rebate makes it possible to accomplish multiple projects using the same funds. The rebate monies recouped from Tucson City Water, after the cistern is installed, will be used to purchase materials for raised planting beds, soil for beds, greenhouse glazing and drip irrigation parts.

Food production will increase with additional planting beds simply by having more space to grow. The greenhouse will be used to extend the growing season, making it possible to grow warm weather crops in the winter. The greenhouse also provides space for growing plant starts that will be planted outside, giving veggies a head start on the growing seasons. Extending the existing drip irrigation system will insure consistent water to the new planned beds which will improve production over hand watering.

Costs:
Cistern, concrete pad and plumbing installed $2,725.00
Rain gutters installed $1,070.00
Water pump and misc. supplies $300.00
Campaign and money transfer fees $400.00
Total $4,495.00

If my financial goal is not met contributed funds will be used for:
Greenhouse glazing
Drip irrigations materials
Chipper shredder for community composting
Roto tiller for community tool library
Supplies to share with mentored growers

Why Support Moondance Farm

Moondancer Urban Farm is more than a commercial enterprise to provide supplemental retirement income. It is also an organic sustainable gardening demonstration, educational and mentoring project. And shopping at the Sunday morning farm stand has become a community building social event.
The farm is located in a small subdivision of low to moderate income households. As a demonstration project, the farm has already inspired neighbors to clean up their yards and plant organic gardens to grow their own food. The farm is a place where they and any other neighbor can come for free information, seeds and some hands on help to get started growing food.

The farm is now and, with an investment, will be even more so a demonstration and information site modeling sustainable organic urban farming and landscaping practices that integrates design principles that protect and enhance our environment (permaculture). In its own small way, the farm is contributing to food security for our region and to the reversal of desertification.

The farm is a venture worthy of community support for its contribution to the community and to your continued source of quality organic produce.

Contributors to this campaign will receive a selection of organic herbs grown at the farm as a thank you gift.
If you can not contribute please support the farm by sharing this campaign with your friends on facebook or by email.

Just spreading the word will be a tremendous help.

Thank You!


  • Jeffrey Mundell 
    • $50 
    • 73 mos
  • ann christian 
    • $50 
    • 97 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $300 
    • 98 mos
  • Caroline Krause 
    • $5 (Offline)
    • 98 mos
  • Hannah Antokol 
    • $25 (Offline)
    • 98 mos
See all

Organizer

Shannon St John 
Organizer
Tucson, AZ
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