The Birds and Bees and $1M on Kickstarter

 

Midwest Farm Seeks to Raise $1M in Two Weeks and it’s all about the Birds and the Bees.

Yes. It’s true. But I’m not about to show you anatomical slides like you’re sitting jaw-dropped in health class. I recently produced a video for a family farm, Bluebird Gardens. Currently, the are trying to crowd fund $1M on kickstarter for bluebirds and honey bees. And the goal must be met in two weeks. Yes, birds and bees, one million on kickstarter, just two weeks.

How it all began

Since getting their start in 1978, Mark and Diane Boen, owners of Bluebird Gardens have restored the Bluebird habitat in the surrounding area by building houses across their entire property and protecting them from other rodents and pests. On their (now) 404 acre farm they keep bees, maintain pollinator habitats and encourage biodiversity throughout the farm, which yields healthy, tastier crops.

Mark BW

1978, Mark selling produce at his vegetable stand with dog Scooter.

These efforts have seen them recognized as the Soil Health Champion by the Otter Tail County Conservation Board and a Minnesota Clean Water Certified Farm.

Mark_purple

Mark prepares to transplant for the upcoming season.

“The truth is we would have needed alternative funding this year no matter what.” Says operations manager Jesse Lukes. “The farm sustained a loss for the first time in 38 years last year, but we are determined not to let that stop us.” Mark and Jesse’s ambition to improve access to healthy, local food in area communities has led them to launching a Kickstarter campaign. “As the American food revolution continues to grow, local family farms need help scaling up their businesses to become a vibrant part of the market.” Says Boen.

CSA_parking lot

Bluebird Gardens CSA drop-off site, Gethsemane Church in South Fargo, North Dakota

It’s a tall order

In just two weeks they hope to raise $1 million dollars to fund needed upgrades on the farm. “We don’t turn a big profit, , and the farm always finds a way to swallow it all back up when we do.” Boen says. Much of the investment into the farm has been for conservation. “As farmers we are soil-forward in our thinking.” Says Jesse, “In order to restore ecosystems and protect groundwater we accept a lot of extra costs over input-output farming.”

 

 

From an inside perspective

I’ve worked in tandem with Bluebird Gardens for many months and what I still don’t understand is that we all know their mission is a valuable one. “To bring nutrient-dense produce to everyone.” And their ethical process that includes the birds, the bees, the soil, you, me and everything in between, means better food for all. So why aren’t people backing this up? This kickstarter campaign (launching this thursday) will allow anyone with a supportive voice, to give a shout out for what’s right.

To learn more about Bluebird Gardens, their conservation and education plans, and help support the farm visit bluebirdgoesgrocery.com.

 

 

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