This blog is inspired by the "Ringing Cedars of Russia" series by Russian author Vladimir Megre. Please see "Anastasia the Vedrus" on the following link on this blog: http://co-creatingournewearth.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/anastasia-of-vedrus.html
Who would have believed a year ago that we would be sending this email out to over 10,000 people? Just last January we were eating lettuce from the greenhouse, putting the the final touches on the blog design, setting up a facebook page, and planning what to plant on our inner-city farm. Little did we know that we would soon be getting calls from Oprah's producers , NY Times freelancers, a couple of Reality TV producers, and thousands of people wanting to come visit our neighborhood. It was probably a good thing that we did not make the cut for Oprah because it would have totally broken our email box! We did however enjoy getting Boogie the Urban Goat on the front page of the Kansas City Star with an 11 page full featured article, as well as very helpful interview with Jack on the Survival Podcast that blasted the airwaves, and then a few local radio spots. Lots of fun!
Together we accomplished a lot... 100's of volunteers came out this year and helped us launch our farm on our 13 newly acquired properties in the city. These lots were a complete jungle when we acquired them 2 years ago, rank with drugs, prostitution and loitering under the cover of heavy overgrowth. Thanks to you, this end of the block is now a 10 fold better place for the children who now garden and play on these clean and beautiful lots.
Early spring we launched our Adopt a Garden Project that was aimed to bring neighbors together around our common need to eat healthy food. This was totally successful in bonding together many would-be-strangers in our neighborhood who have since become garden buddies. Nothing fights crime better than a neighborhood coming together!
With your help we raised and invested over $4000 into our non profit Urban Farm! We acquired 3 new lots donated from Land Trust. We produced hundreds of pounds of produce and fish this year and we are now one step closer to creating our first sustainable farm job in the neighborhood.
In May we partnered together with Rock Solid Urban Impact to launch an after school art program with many of the neighborhood kids who are working with us in the garden. This has been a huge ongoing success! Big Thanks to Sandy Morrison!
In June we became a featured Farm on Kansas City's Urban Farms and Gardens Tour with over 300 visitors in one day including a busload of state and city representatives.
In July we helped change legislation in Kansas City to make it possible for more people to own chickens.
We gave tours to nearly a thousand people throughout the summer.
We Painted and finished the Gym floor for the wrestling team.
In October we built a prototype Barrelponics System that we will be replicating in India this Month. Big thanks to Travis Hughey!
In November we threw a big Neighborhood Fish Fry to celebrate the harvest and pulled 50-60 neighbors out of the woodwork to have a great time.
Going Forward on the road less traveled...
Our High hopes for 2012 are to reach a critical mass that will perpetuate itself. We think that the tipping point will begin as we create a few solid income streams within the village and farm in order to create a sustainable economy that will allow us to better focus on the cause rather than be preoccupied with our unrelated 9-5 jobs. We have decided against pursuing government grants because they are not sustainable or reproduce-able. Instead we aim to build an income generating non profit urban farm that can create real jobs that don't disappear when funding dries up.
Among many ideas on the farm front, we are hoping to launch our mobile farmers market to sell all locally grown, natural produce in 2012. We also hope to rent some space in a certified kitchen and begin creating and selling some value added products online to help support the cause and make room for more interns and projects as we grow into a sustainable village in one of the most blighted neighborhoods in KC.
Sharing Knowledge... Did you like our videos this year? We have big plans going forward to blow you away with great content that will change your world. In order to keep our video project alive we will be bringing on some much needed video and web sponsorship this year. We have begun some talks with a few businesses we really believe in, and we anticipate some key sponsorships coming into place that will allow us to continue sharing knowledge freely and pushing forward this cause. This shortfall has been a huge bottleneck and we look forward to blowing this wide open for you asap. These sponsors will be companies that we use, we really like, and we trust. We are not interested in anything else, in-fact this is our personal endorsement.
We are thankful for the hundreds of volunteers and "True Allies" Support. There have been so many seeds sown into the ground this year. Thanks to all! And our biggest thanks to God for all the fun we had this year! We are really looking forward to the adventures of 2012!