2017-18 High-Yield Campaign
Multi-crop farming utilizing organic, sustainable methods is a highly labor-intensive endeavor. Our non-profit farm, whose primary mission is to donate the vast majority of food we produce, will never have the financial ability to hire all the labor we need. Therefore, we are dependent on having the appropriate equipment for our fields to be fully productive.
As we prepare for the 2018 season, with seven acres of land to work, we embark on a new capital campaign: the Share the Harvest Farm High-Yield Campaign.
Our aim is to leverage contributions from supporters like you in order to purchase equipment that can maximize our yield and donations to our neighbors in need.
The following is our wish list of equipment and tools that will most efficiently boost our production in 2018 and beyond:
Currently, our small team hand harvests root crops such as potatoes and carrots. A potato digger will greatly reduce harvest time for these staple crops, improving output immeasurably by allowing us to put fields back into production for succession plantings.
A basket weeder implement for the tractor can weed five direct-seeded rows of carrots, radishes, or spinach in a few minutes. Normally, this chore takes our farmers several hours to complete by hand, and must be performed on a regular basis during heavy weed season.
Many of our staple crops, such as carrots, radishes, and spinach, can only be direct seeded, so our farmers seed each row individually using a manual seeder. This attachment would seed six precise rows of crops in a single pass, cutting down on planting time and allowing more efficient weeding of these labor-intensive crops.
Industrial Salad Spinner
Cut salad greens are one of our most popular donation items. We currently rinse and spin all greens before donation using a 5-gallon hand salad spinner. An electric-powered 20-gallon salad spinner will make our washing procedure as efficient as possible, increasing the amount of high-quality fresh greens we are able to donate on a weekly basis.
Our tractor-run transplanter creates 4” square holes in plastic mulch, perfect for many of our transplanted crops. However, our thin onion slips, sweet potato slips, and garlic bulbs become overwhelmed with weeds in these large holes. A hand-propelled 1”-diameter dibbler will create smaller holes in the plastic mulch, allowing for more efficient plant growth of these crucial crops and less staff time spent weeding.
Portable Air Compressor
Nothing slows down productivity like a flat tire on a tractor, truck, and farm implement. With a portable air compressor, we’ll be able to quickly re-inflate low tires on our machinery and clean dust out of our engines, keeping our equipment running at its maximum capacity all year long.
Constructing, repurposing, and repairing are regular facets of farm life. Our toolbox is equipped with hammers and screwdrivers, wrenches and ratchets…now all we need is a saw!
Seed Tray Dibblers
We plant thousands of seedlings in trays every spring, manually creating individual holes for each seed. A seed tray row popper can create 128 holes at a time, greatly improving our efficiency during our busy spring season.
Due to limited cold-storage space available on our farm, we cannot properly store and donate the full amount of vegetables our fields produce. A refrigerated van would have dual functions: It would increase cold storage on the farm and increase the size, quality, and efficiency of our summer deliveries to food pantries and low-income housing developments across the South Fork.
John Deere 75M Tractor 4WD
The 75M is a specially designed tractor that includes a creeper gear for driving at a slow and steady speed, without stressing the engine. This will allow us to use our transplanter—and potential six-row seeder and basket weeder—at the proper speed for more efficient planting and, ultimately, more productive fields. Our current tractor does not have this vital gear, resulting in unnecessary wear and tear on our equipment and imprecise planting in our fields.