Help To Manage And Grow Local Food Community

Story

At Poplar Wood Farm we love growing high quality produce more than anything. For the past few years, we have focused on doing exactly that.

Prompted by an extensive agricultural background and desire to own a business, Poplar Wood Farm was founded by Al Esposito in 2001 in the scenic Highlands region of Warren County, NJ. The farm has since been involved in a variety of agricultural endeavors, challenges, and successes and has evolved into a fertile hub for organically managed vegetables and flowers. Poplar Wood Farm provides this delicious and beautiful produce to customers across New Jersey through farmers markets and a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Program. We are actively involved in the Northeast Organic Farmers Association of New Jersey. We are also pursuing organic certification through the New Jersey Department of Agriculture certification program.

Since we started, we have come a long way, acquiring a tractor, implements, irrigation system, green house, and other equipment and are now one step away from having everything we need to operate efficiently and the capacity to grow more healthy food for the local community. We need to produce a pole barn, one thing we can’t grow ourselves, and we need your support to do it.

Why a Pole Barn?

The building will serve as the heart of our farm. It will enable us to clean, sort, pack & store our vegetables and flowers in a more efficient manner. It will also allow us to load our trucks under cover in inclement weather, store supplies in a dry environment, work indoors on small building & maintenance projects in the winter and protect our equipment from the elements in the off season . In addition to the activities described above we will be able to host small groups for educational workshops. We are currently limited by the size and location of our existing barn. Because of its limitations, the process of cleaning, storing, and preparing our produce for market is much more labor intensive. The space is undersized and our business is expanding so we are in serious need of a better equipped space.

Having the ability to wash, sort, and pack all under one roof streamlines our operation and makes for lots of happy smiling faces when trying to meet delivery deadlines. The barn will house a wash station consisting of stainless steel sinks and drain tables. We will also be building a walk in cooler that will be heavily insulated so that we can keep our energy usage to a minimum. We will be constructing this unit ourselves utilizing a Coolbot to achieve professional grade cooling at a more affordable cost. Coupled with the equipment and infrastructure that we already have, this building will give Poplar Wood Farm the ability to operate more efficiently and the capacity to expand and provide wholesome food to more people.

Summary of Project Expenses

  • Pole Barn Structure: $14,480
  • Permit: $200
  • Excavating: $1,200
  • Floor: $2,200
  • Electrical: $2,475
  • Wash Station: $800
  • Walk–in Cooler $1,600
  • Kickstarter Fees: $2,045
  • Total $25,000

Join our community

Your participation in our pole barn project helps build our community of like minded individuals intent on making a statement about food production in the United States. Our success with this project will enable us to bring more food grown using organic methods to the communities we serve. It will also enable us to bring others to our farm, whether interns, volunteers, shareholders or other farmers to learn about what we do and see how we do it. This connection between the farm and community will strengthen the ties between all involved.

The reality is that our region needs many more organic farms, projects like this, and people willing to support them if our local food system is to continue to grow. Food security and safety is a growing concern for many and this project will advance our efforts to address those concerns.

  • Join us today to build this pole barn and build our regional food based community.
  • See what our CSA members think of us
  • Rewards for backing our project (full descriptions in right hand column)

Examples of note card images

See more from artist Madeline Taranto

Market bag and organic cotton tee shirt

Name a goat kid (don't worry, you'll get a cute one like Penny)

About our videos

Our videos were produced by Jan McLaughlin and her team at Sounds Good, LLC. Throughout the process, Jan’s experience, creativity, and flexibility were an excellent guide and an asset to our project. We had a great experience with Sounds Good, LLC and highly recommend them.

Risks and challenges

There are always risks associated with new construction projects, including the following: Completing the project on schedule – We intend to have the barn complete by May so that it is operational through the heart of our growing season. Weather conditions may slow or stop progress in the early spring. Completing the project within budget. Mitigants Our many years managing landscape design / build projects gives us the experience to manage this project effectively and respond to unexpected changes. We have padded our timeline with a couple of extra weeks to allow for weather related or other unexpected construction slowdown. We have researched construction materials pricing and spoken with all parties who will be involved in construction in order to accurately project all costs.