Crowdfunding: Top Leaf Farms - Urban Seed Project

Categories: Green

Support the urban agricultural revolution! Help us build a incubator facility, nursery, seed farm and train a new crew of urban farmers!

We have developed a system that will revolutionize the way we grow food in cities. I have been an organic farmer in California for almost 20 years building eco-systems in which gardens and farms have grown. I am now bringing my knowledge to the urban environment. We have a new site that we are building a nursery and seed farm. We will also develop a modular growing system for the backyard gardener based off our rooftop farming model. We need your help to buy a greenhouse and the initial supplies to get growing! 
Top Leaf Farms' core operation is centered on the growing, selecting, processing and local distribution of organic heirloom foods, organic starts and open-pollinated seeds as well as the training of a new kind of farmer--one trained specifically in producing the volume and quality of organic food required in the city.

Urban Agriculture is growing, and we have the opportunity to help shape it in a manner that puts seed stewardship and knowledge of market production of organic foods at the forefront of this growth. All food comes from seeds and we are working with a network of seed growers, breeders and companies to create a catalogue of seeds adapted to the urban environment. This type of selection and development is something that has not happened before and we need to approach this at a scale that has a sizable contribution to the local food supply. To do this we are also developing a pallet size planter that will model our growing system that can be set up in almost anywhere that the sun shines. 
We already have a rooftop farm underway and now access to a great site to build a nursery and seed farm. We need your help to make this happen. We have the knowledge of great seed keepers like Don Tipping of Seven Seeds Farm and  Steve Peters of Organic Seed Alliance and are wanting to build a model of urban seed production for local farmers that currently doesn't exist in the bay area.  
We need resources to build the infrastructure of our nursery and seed farm. This infrastructure includes equipment for seed starting, processing, cleaning and storing, shipping containers that will house our equipment and provide storage,supplies to build our modular planters and a greenhouse! 
As we build and develop our program we plan to donate 10% of our overall production to local non-profits and urban farming organizations that focus on food justice, such as Richmond Grows, West Oakland Farms, Planting JusticeCity Slicker Farms, Urban Tilth, and Urban Adamah. These amazing organizations have been pioneering the Urban Agriculture scene in the East Bay for years, working to help build a local healthy food system. We plan to work with them to do collaborative trials of our seeds and educational workshops that focus around seed biology, production, processing and seed saving.
Our approach to creating locally-adapted seeds and training people to be seed stewards will in turn help build a thriving seed economy in the Bay Area. Saving seeds is some of the most important work of our time. The future of humanity's food supply relies heavily on the seeds that we have today. By helping us build a robust seed catalogue, you are helping to ensure more food security for all of us, in this time of changing climate.  

The Main Goals of our project

  1. Build a farm facility to grow, develop and produce urban-adapted seeds, nursery starts and organic food.
  2. Strengthen our urban agricultural alliances with existing groups and help supply high quality organic seeds and starts 
  3. Educate and train a new crew of urban farmers and seed stewards, prepared to meet the challenges of food production in a time of climate change

Our Sites 

We are currently installing 12,000 square feet of rooftop farming in Berkeley at Garden Village. that we plan to complete by April.
We now have been granted permission by the City of Oakland to farm 38,000 square feet of space in North Oakland on the corner of 51st and Telegraph.  This site is the future location of a multi-use development in which Top Leaf Farms will be installing over an acre of rooftop farm--to produce food specifically for the people who live within a 3 mile radius. Our solar-powered farm will supply food by bicycle delivery to local residents and chefs as well as seeds and starts to local gardeners and other urban farmers. Our operation will start on the ground this year and as the building is built, it will continue its growth on the rooftop. 
This is the site as it is today
and what it plans to become by 2020
51st and Telegraph, Oakland CA 
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