When you start a new farm there is always a period of time when you have to cultivate fertility in order to create healthy, productive soil. While taking time to produce fertility (through compost, cover crops, and animal manure) farmers must also abstain from harvesting crops in certain plots of land – often for 5 to 10 years. This is an expensive process and many farmers end up working other jobs to fund it – so in essence they are importing a different type of fertility – money.
In our era of lightning-fast startups and instant success stories, we forget that those are actually the rare exception. Most new ventures, whether they be businesses, farms or community projects, take 10 years to reach a point of true sustainability. In regenerative and Biodynamic farming, that self-sustaining point is reached when the farm is producing excess fertility so that productivity and capacity continue to increase over time and the farmer’s family is adequately compensated for their hard work and skill. In the business or organizational world, it means a point where surplus money is reinvested in capacity and investors are compensated for their support.
We are so close to this point here at Farmers To You – and in only 6 years! Much of that credit goes to you – the families who support your farmers by regularly ordering their food through us. This week we are aiming for 850 orders on Monday! If you have given someone a gift of $35 of free food – let them know that this is their last chance for the season to take advantage of that gift.
But – we still need to import some more fertility! We have heard from a few of you about investing – buying shares in Farmers To You – but we need more. We are seeking another 10 families willing to invest $10,000 each and become owners in our unique business. These funds will be used to support us during the slow summer months and to fund our fall outreach marketing which is planned to launch Farmers To You into that fully sustainable phase.
Once we become profitable and pay off some debt, these families will receive dividends from profits. My hope is at that point more families will want to invest – and these first families will be able to sell their stock to other families for a reasonable return. What could be better than that!? Support your own regional food system and get a return on your money, too!
Let’s finish strong – the investment we need, the orders for the farmers, and the order size that supports the cost of bringing you this amazing food. Each of us doing our part builds a beautiful and sustainable model that brings you the kind of food you want for your family every week of the year.