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Building a Greenhouse to Grow Etrogs in Maine

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Goronson Farm is a woman-owned, certified organic specialty fruit & flower farm established in 2015. We are dedicated to working with the land sustainably and with almost a decade of experience, we now grow more than 75 different types of fruit, including many not commonly grown in Maine. Our fruit includes Chinese Honey Peaches (Shui Mi Tao), French apricots, (Paviot) Russian plumcots (Hesse); Apricots from Iran (Shakarpara), and most recently, the biblical fruit known as the Etrogim - or Etrog.

What is an etrogim, you ask? Etrogim are a fruit of great historical significance. Many believe that this was the original Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Today, they are grown mainly for Jewish ritual use in the Sukkot harvest festival, held in September or October. They are also used to make fragrant jams & jellies, etrog pies, and etrogcello. The trees, however, must be grown following very particular guidelines, under the supervision of a rabbi in order to be Kosher, and fruit is not allowed to be harvested for at least 4 years after planting the trees. The beauty of the fruit is also very important.

Currently, the only etrogs imported to Maine are all highly pesticided and are not fit for human consumption. We intend to change that. Our mission is to bring certified-organic, certified Kosher etrogim to our community by establishing a small orchard space for approximately 30 trees on our farm in Maine.

We feel the excitement of the local community, chefs, and foodies who will use the etrogs once they are suitable for harvest. Our seedlings were grown from the seeds of Kosher fruit and are MOFGA-certified organic and also certified by The REAL Organic Project. In order to grow etrogs successfully in Maine’s climate, we must build an off-grid, high-tunnel greenhouse.

In supporting this project, you will be supporting the creation of a space in which we will plant & grow 30 new etrog trees that are both certified Kosher and certified organic. The long-term significance of supporting this project reaches far beyond one greenhouse, and on to making a real impact in the lives of Maine’s Jewish population and others by providing a source of culturally appropriate, certified organic food that is unavailable elsewhere. This greenhouse space will afford us our first opportunity to have an educational space for local school groups to come tour and get hands-on learning about organic, sustainable farming practices

Here is a news story taped by our local station on our Etrog Project, highlighting the community significance of growing these Etrog trees in Maine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92XsfyEkySs

In order to grow these trees and share their fruits, we need to build an 18’ X 65’ Polycarbonate Rimol Matterhorn High Tunnel Greenhouse, with a heat source and the capacity to run off-grid in case of power outages. Each tree will have the capacity to produce between 150-250 fruit at maturity. Our long-term vision is to bring together communities who have not had access to certified-organic, Kosher, locally grown etrogs and to share the fruits grown in this greenhouse. The greenhouse will become a space for teaching children about organic, sustainable farming practices while growing and caring for the trees and waiting for the 4-year mark until we are actually allowed to harvest the fruit.

The costs are:
18’ X 65’ Rimol Educational Polycarbonate High Tunnel with motorized roof and side vents; shade cloth,
thermostat, plus shipping $35,495.64
Construction $5,000
Irrigation $5,000
Propane furnace & installation $3,000
Total $48,495.64

We are seeking support to create the greenhouse space. All funds raised will go directly into creating the space and caring for these trees so they can mature properly. We will be building the greenhouse ourselves, as we did with the 4 other greenhouses/hoop houses we already built on our farm over the past 5 years. After running this farm for close to a decade, we are confident in constructing the greenhouse and using it effectively to successfully grow these Etrog trees as planned.

We are seeking $20,000 through GoFundMe to help us achieve our goal.

We believe in the positive, widespread impact Etrogs grown in this greenhouse space will have for those in our community who use the fruits in their cultural and/or culinary practices. Our communities deserve locally grown, organic, Kosher Etrogs and we are grateful for the trust they have given our farm to carry out this journey of cultural and historical importance. Thank you to everyone who has helped in making this project a reality thus far. With your support, we will establish a space for these amazing fruits - and in turn, for the communities and children they are shared with - to thrive! This space will be pivotal in allowing us the opportunity to teach and demonstrate sustainable, organic crop culture to children and adults.

As a Thank You to our donors, we want to give the following to those who help support this project:

$50 donor: A personal thank you.

$100 donor: Name on a Greenhouse wall plaque

$150 “Seed Level”: Name on a farm bench and your name on the greenhouse wall plaque (3 available)

$250 “Sprout Level”: Name a farm chair plus your name on the greenhouse wall plaque (9 available)

$500 “Seedling Level”: Name on a brick under the rose arbors plus your name on the greenhouse wall plaque (100 available)

$1000 “Sapling Level”: Farm Tour & Flowers Plus your name on a brick leading up to the greenhouse and your name on a plaque on Greenhouse wall. Come tour our beautiful flower gardens, Mirrored Baltic Labyrinth, Gnome Cottage, & Duck Pond here in Scarborough, ME. We will also give you a specialty cut flower bouquet at the end of the tour (20 available)

$1500 “Tree Level”: Farm Tour, Flowers, & Tea Party for 2 with Roosters & Royalty: A Tea Party for 2 with Roosters & Royalty featuring our own herbal teas and farm-to-table snacks on the farm here in Scarborough, ME. Come enjoy hot tea & homemade snacks at the farm, meet The Duke of Lemon, The Duckess of Oldenburg & Aloysius of Kent. We will also give you a specialty cut flower bouquet. One of the dates offered will be April 8th during the solar eclipse. Plus, your name on a brick near the greenhouse and on the wall plaque of the greenhouse. (8 available)

$2500 “Nursery Level”: Farm Tour, Flowers, & Tea Party for 6 with Roosters & Royalty
A Tea Party with Roosters & Royalty for 6 of your friends or family members featuring our own herbal teas and farm-to-table snacks on the farm. We will also give you a specialty cut flower bouquet. Come enjoy hot tea & homemade snacks at the farm, meet The Duke of Lemon, The Duckess of Oldenburg & Aloysius of Kent. Plus, your name on a brick leading up to the greenhouse and on the greenhouse plaque. (5 available)

$5000 “Orchard Level”: Farm Tour, Flowers, & Tea Party for 12 with Roosters & Royalty
A Tea Party with Roosters & Royalty for you & 11 of your friends and family members featuring our own herbal teas and farm-to-table snacks on the farm plus the above. We will also give you 3 specialty cut flower bouquets. One of the dates offered will be April 8th during the solar eclipse. Come enjoy hot tea & homemade snacks at the farm, meet The Duke of Lemon, The Duckess of Oldenburg & Aloysius of Kent and witness the solar eclipse with us on the farm. Plus, your name on a brick leading up to the greenhouse and on the greenhouse plaque. (3 available)

$20,000 Name the Greenhouse:
Name the Greenhouse. As a foundational donor to this project, we will place your name or family members on its own plaque on the exterior of the greenhouse as Founding Member, and for the remainder of this greenhouse’s existence, it shall be referred to by that name, plus offerings at “Orchard Level”. (Please note only 1 spot available.)
Donate

Donations 

  • Anonymous
    • $36 
    • 27 d
  • Anestes Fotiades
    • $25 
    • 28 d
  • Margarita Mazur
    • $120 
    • 28 d
  • Steve Pelletier
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Dennis Weston
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
Donate

Organizer

Maureen Goronson
Organizer
Scarborough, ME

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