A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about Adam Guerrero, an urban farmer in Memphis who was fighting for the right to garden in the city. I recently received an email from Stephanie Diane Ford, a colleague of his, updating me on their situation. The gardens have grown and several urban farmers there have joined to form the North Memphis Farmers Collective. They’ve had some challenges–not the least of which was the city cutting down their fig trees (sounds more like something you’d expect to hear out of Palestine than Tennessee)–but things have gone well enough for them that, like us, they’re trying to grow. They have a Kickstarter to raise money to buy a truck, a tractor, a chainsaw, and other needed equipment.
It’s really exciting–their goal is $10,000, and they’re less than $1,000 from succeeding. Unlike the “flexible funding” option I used on Indiegogo that allows you to collect whatever money people donate even if you don’t meet the goal, Kickstarter is all or nothing. If their donations hit $10,000 in time, they get all the money donated (minus fees). If they’re a buck short, they get zip (which is why I opted for Indiegogo instead). They’re close to success, but they only have five days left.
They’ve put together a really impressive video. I encourage you to go watch it even if you have no intention of helping them. It’s almost a mini-documentary about the troubles in North Memphis and what these farmers are doing to fix them.
Speaking of deadlines, our own crowdfunding campaign has ended. I’ve completed the application along with a list of community organizations that support our plan for the vacant lot next door. We didn’t hit the goal, but I think we’re making a more than fair offer on the place, considering its location, lack of a paved road to the driveway, and its view of the gas company substation. I just need to send it to them Monday. After Indiegogo sends us the money, I’ll start sending out the “perks” people claimed. I’ll let you know when I hear more.