Early this year, Pittsburgh came together in an awesome way to support a Kickstarter project for Superior Motors, a restaurant/culinary school/urban garden in Braddock. It was not only fully funded, but became the largest funded restaurant project on Kickstarter. And only a few days before the deadline, it looked like it wasn't going to make it.
And now we have another local Kickstarter that needs your help. This one is only for $5,000, but it's five grand that will go a long way to help a local, first-generation farmer.
Kevin Jarosinski is a farmer in the Butler area, north of Pittsburgh. He is dedicated to sustainability and to humane animal husbandry, and produces pastured poultry, pork and grass-fed beef. We already have suppliers of meat that we use regularly, as well as the three ladies producing eggs in our backyard. But I've heard great things about Jarosinski Farms and what he's trying to do, from the ground up.
The Kickstarter project is to build a springhouse that will allow him to utilize the fresh water spring on his property and be in compliance with all regulations concerning that water usage. The extra money from the project would go toward building more mobile chicken pens, to help him rotate the flock.
I think it's important for communities to support their farmers in ways beyond just buying their products. Farming can be resource and infrastructure intense - having the proper equipment and set-up is expensive, and farms are always susceptible to elements outside their control, like weather, pests or disease. So when I can, I try to do things like supporting their projects or writing my legislators in support of legislation that protects and supports them.
It also bugs me that so many subsidies and tax breaks are available for large agribusiness, when the same benefits aren't necessarily available to small farmers and local producers. And it can often be difficult to get traditional funding. So when they need community-sourced funds, the community that benefits from their environmental stewardship and quality products should step up.
So, Pittsburgh. Work your magic. Support Kevin Jarosinski's Farm Project with me. 6 more days and he's only just over halfway there. We can push that number up!