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Tomorrow Starts Today...
When we think about the future of a strong food system and a resilient one, we have to think about the next generation. There are few avenues for new farmers to get the skills they need to jump into farming. What currently exists are some workshops here and there but zero full incubator programs that are full circle from seeding the first knowledge to distribution. Incubator programs are where the soon-to-be farmers whole farm business is helped to grow and bloom with the guidance of an established farm business owner. This means less risk for failure, access to land + all the resources needed and of course a strong community. From being the president of the National Farmers Union BIPOC Caucus, I understand and hear how the biggest barriers facing BIPOC farmers today are land access and learning opportunities.
For Black soon-to-be farmers this is very much true - at least for me. To expect Black soon-to-be farmers to move rural and work on a farm to learn that way wouldn’t be as realistic. At least for many people in my community, it’s important to have some autonomy and a community you feel included in, especially when you are starting something from nothing. Many Black farmers I know that lived in the city ended up eventually spreading to scale and farming rural after a couple years of being taught in the city in a supportive environment. I see urban farming not so much as a vehicle for food but a vehicle for change. Having a spot like Sundance Harvest right in the city can allow people who may have never been able to see themselves farm try it out and start building a business. I believe that we need to be real about how we will be encouraging more people to take up farming and that is creating a viable career.
That means giving them a reasonable template to follow and all the support that’s needed. I succeeded from luck, stubbornness but also some dear friends helping me along the way. Starting shouldn’t have to be that hard!
With the Sundance Harvest Black Business and Farm Incubator Program of 2022/2023 it will be a full circle experience for new Black farmers to start sustainable farming businesses long term. They will get access to 15 intensive classes, ⅛ acre of land, full access to all our on farm resources (irrigation, landscape fabric, tools, greenhouse nursery space) and will have their veggies sold directly to the existing market base of Sundance Harvest through our new e-commerce csa subscription style store launching next spring in collaborating with 10s of other revolutionary small farmers that value local, organic and fair labour practices.
I believe this is what’s needed. I have been told this is what’s needed. So let’s do this and grow 8 new farms and help revitalize our food system to be more resilient and expand outside of the city as well. There are labour costs on teaching and having the space be taken out of production and into this much needed incubator program. Sundance Harvest cannot afford to do this as the funds simply don’t exist. However, from the countless emails I receive, the time is now . Not the coming years, right now. So I’m asking you to support a strong local food system, the work Sundance Harvest has already shown to be doing for years and the creation of these 8 new farms.
Sundance Harvest is not charging for the land costs, the greenhouse space, the costs for irrigation - we will swallow that cost. However we would deeply appreciate any donations toward creating this incubator program. I see that you care! Thank you.
15 classes at the rate of $40/hr (regular rate for a two hour Sundance Harvest class is $50) for mentorship and mentorship participants
September- Dec 2022
15 weeks On Farm Learning
Fruiting Crop Management
Field Practice 1
Green Crop Management
Harvesting and Field Practice 2
Root Vegetables and Others
Soil Health and Nutrient Building
Budgeting and Finances
Social Media and Direct Marketing
Disease and Pest Management
At the reduced rate of $40/hr (regular rate is $50) for two hours for each participants for 7 months weekly the labour costs would be =
$17,920 / year mentorship for 7 months of growing season
Total required for moving forward with this one and only Sundance Harvest Black Business and Farm Incubator Program:
Anything helps! These 8 farmers will be able to succeed with your help :) To apply to this program please see https://www.sundanceharvestfarm.com/
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