We’ve seen plenty of local food-related projects on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Community Sourced Capitol, and other crowdsourced appeals. Now there’s Barnraiser, a platform “dedicated to sustainable food and agriculture.”
The California-based project, founded by Eileen Gordon Chiarello, welcomes plans “from heirloom fruit orchards, savory snack bars, and school gardens to mobile foraging apps, sustainable bees and responsible chicken farms.” (Sounds like it would have been a good one for Patty Pan Cooperative, which is in the final days of a tortilla Kickstarter.)
Locally, a Whatcom County farmer is using Barnraiser to try to raise money for a poultry processing unit near Ferndale. The unit would support not only his own farm, David Whittaker wrote, but also other small farms and “poultry enthusiasts” who don’t have a convenient option for slaughtering fewer than 75 animals at a time. With two days to go, he has 88 percent pledged of the $5,000 he needs. Other Washington projects are in the works.
Why would crowdsourcing farmers and chefs look to Barnraiser rather than other options? “While our competitors are full of tech, music and game projects, we focus specifically on sustainable food and farming projects and are growing the community that supports these ideas,” Washington state coordinator Catherine Waggoner said in an e-mail. “Our strongest asset, though, is our team of food and farming veterans including chefs, nutritionists, farmers, educators, non-profit executives and PR experts who are passionate about making every project successful.” (Terms are similar to Kickstarter, with a 5 percent administrative fee and 4 to 5 percent in credit card processing fees.)
The requirements? “As long as the project is related to sustainable food or farming and looking to raise $2,000, we’re interested.”