From the community

Belmont Farmers launch Kickstarter to build Route 3 Farm Stand

Mike, Christa and Lizzy Bahner
Mike, Christa and Lizzy Bahner
Posted March 30, 2012, at 5:11 p.m.
Last modified March 31, 2012, at 8:44 a.m.

BELMONT, Maine — The Bahner Farm is seeking donations to fund the construction of a new farm stand to provide local residents with fresh organic vegetables and an opportunity for customers to connect with the food they eat by visiting the farm on Route 3.

In 2009 Mike and Christa Bahner joined forces to create Bahner Farm on 4 acres of land with a bucolic view on the busy road which connects Belfast and Augusta. The fields had been untouched for 20 years and the job of preparing the soil for crops was arduous, but the hearty, enthusiastic couple were up to the task. After 3 years of hard work and determination, as well as a farm wedding, and the birth of baby Lizzy, Mike and Christa have created a bustling, productive farm which grows over 100 MOFGA certified organic crops a year. Their goods are sold at Farmer’s Markets around the Mid-Coast, as well as to the Farm’s growing Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA).

In 2012 Bahner Farm is planning to launch construction on a farm stand at the farm itself that will serve their immediately local community and a significant Route 3 commuter population. Up to this point about 90% of the farm’s sales are made away from the farm, at farmers markets, two of which are an hour and a half away. The Bahners plan to cut back on their carbon footprint by selling more of their produce directly at the farm and hope customers will be able to have a more meaningful connection to their food by seeing where and how their food is grown.

To be successful, the stand will need a spacious and safe parking area, and an attractive, permanent building. The Bahners have designed a 16′x16′ structure using a business planning grant from Farms for the Future. It will be able to close up to be a heated space during our Winter Community Supported Agriculture pick ups, or open up completely for use as a breezy, beautiful summer farm stand.

To achieve the goal of building the farm stand in 2012, the couple has launched a Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter is a popular web based fundraising platform made especially for creative projects, such as this building. The guidelines of Kickstarter provide that the project has only a limited time to accept donations, and if the goal is not met in that time, the project does not get funded (money pledged goes back to the donor). The Bahner’s farmstand Kickstarter campaign goal is $12,524 and concludes on April 14th. Thank you gifts for donating to the project include Bahner Farm bumper stickers, tote bags, dinner at the farm, CSA shares, tractor driving lessons, a hand built cold frame, or even the opportunity to name a chicken or greenhouse.

Bahner farm is located at 153 Augusta Road (Route 3).

For more information, including a budget breakdown of the project and the diagram of the stand, and the link to the farm Kickstarter campaign visit www.bahnerfarm.com or call the farm at 342-2592.

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