Since we began Red Moon Farm in 2013, we've longed to establish an orchard, but the upfront investment cost has prevented us from being able to get it growing. A few months ago we pitched our ideas for a beautiful orchard to the Young Farmer Grant through the Texas Department of Agriculture to see if they would help us fund this dream. We kept this whole plan pretty hush-hush, because we didn't know if anything would come of it.
Our farm was chosen. We got the grant! This is huge for us.
After jumping up and down and hooping and hollering, we're settling in to crunching the numbers. It's a 50% matching grant, reimbursed after you've made the purchases, so we still have a really large upfront cost in order to implement the farming plan and take advantage of these grant funds. The overall budget for the orchard project is $21,610 so our financial share of the project cost is $10,805.
When we planned this all out in February, we projected that we would have this amount ready to go by the fall when we need to start the orchard, but our farm has experienced three major financial set-backs we hadn't planned for this season:
Our irrigation pump died in May. There went $1000
Our rototiller broke in June. There went $2000
Our farm truck incurred major expenses just this month. Another $2000- poof!
We're $5,400 short of where we need to be to begin this orchard project in September, but we have a month to get back on track.
Red Moon Farm can fund $5,400 of the orchard
The Young Farmer Grant will fund up to $ 10,805
We need $5,400 from you, our community of support, in order to begin. (we've added $100 more to the fundraising goal to help cover some of the fees associated with gofundme)
We're asking you for help so we can move forward with this amazing grant opportunity. Tree planting must happen in the fall for successful establishment, so we must fund this project by September.
The project is so cool:
We're better utilizing our gently sloped garden land, and establishing a huge array of perennial fruiting crops along the contour lines to slow soil erosion, to act as wind breaks for the vegetable gardens, to create more habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects, and of course, to supply our CSA and farmers market with something no one else is doing in our area: ORGANIC FRUIT!
The project includes so much: peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, blueberries, strawberries, and asparagus. My mouth is watering just typing those words. Some of these crops need 3 years before they are established enough to produce a harvest, but we've planned for other crops like strawberries and blueberries which begin to provide a yield in years 1 and 2. If we can fully fund this project, you and others who support us through our CSA and farmers market will start to reap the benefits as early as next spring with our first crop of strawberries. Start dreaming of organic fruit with us!
About The Farm:
Red Moon Farm calls East Texas home. On our 38 acres in Van, Texas, our family farm runs on a passion for sustainable agriculture. With a combined 15 years of organic farming experience, our mission is to provide East Texas families with safe, clean, chemical-free food through our CSA- harvesting weekly produce shares for our members- and the bounty we sell at Rose City Farmers Market.
We’ve lived through droughts and we know the challenges of this land, so we’ve adopted conservation practices to keep our soil healthy and our food full of life-giving nutrients. And because our focus is on the food—what you eat!—we keep it completely clean. Organic means picking a golden cherry tomato off the vine, warm from the sun, and bursting it in your mouth. It means no chemical fertilizers or pesticides, ever. It’s our promise. Food you can trust, grown by people with a passion for their work and a commitment to sustainability.
Thank you so much for your support of this project and of our farm. We cannot tell you how honored we are by our customers and community members who have supported our farm year in and year out. We literally could not do what we do-grow healthy food for your families- with out your commitment to supporting the local farming community. Your contributions here to this fundraiser, your memberships to our CSA, and your dollars spent with us at Rose City Farmers Market keep our local farm healthy and thriving. We are so grateful for your generosity.
If you have more questions about our project or would like to get involved with the grunt work, please contact us!
- Sola Bread Co.
- Marianne Johns
- Emil and Melinda Studinka
- Jo Parks
- Greg Grubb