Hampton Bays homestead Sweet Woodland Farm has launched a Kickstarter project to expand the farm’s growing space, allowing owners Rachel Bristel Stephens and her husband Mike Stephens to produce more of the organic, heirloom vegetables, berries and herbs for which they have become well known.
The campaign seeks $3,681 by Wednesday, July 30, and as of Tuesday evening, July 8, it has secured 22 backers and $1,184.
Pledges of varying amounts earn rewards commensurate with the donation, such as gallon bags of fresh, heirloom vegetables, organic chicken eggs, home baked bread, jam and even a hand turned wooden bowl.
“We are a small family homestead hidden away in the pine barrens of Hampton Bays,” Bristel Stephen writes on Kickstarter. “We pride ourselves in using sustainable practices while growing heirloom vegetables, raising poultry for their delicious eggs and keeping bees for their sweet and healthful honey.”
Along with their produce and home made foods, Sweet Woodland Farm offers various programs and private lessons in homesteading skills, such as home canning, organic vegetable gardening, raising backyard chickens and knitting, as well as some fun programs for children, such as “Mommy and Me” and “Pioneer Kids.”
The Stephens seeks to grow and raise enough food to sustain themselves, and then offer the rest to the public, while also encouraging others who want to learn their self-sustaining skills.
“We believe the further our food is removed from its natural state, the way Mother Earth intended, the more dangerous it is on our health,” the Kickstarter page explains. “We enjoy using our hands to create beautiful, products such as hand spun yarns and hand turned bowls,” Bristel Stephens says, adding, “Our relationship with Earth’s gifts are important to us and here we proudly use them and care for them every day.”
In a short amount of time since bringing their lifestyle to the public, Sweet Woodland Farm has attracted a healthy following and lots of positive feedback.
“Our loyal customers have been enjoying our organic eggs, produce, baked goods, jams, plants and more, but we just can’t keep up with the overwhelming demand,” Bristel Stephens says, describing their need to expand.
“The space we have in mind now bears large, dead pine trees that were killed by the root borers this past spring. This area would allow us to produce more than twice as much as what we are growing now,” while also expanding their classes and programs, Bristel Stephens notes, detailing Sweet Woodland Farm’s goals.
The Kickstarter page includes a breakdown of costs and detailed plans, including possible hiccups and how the Stephens will address them.
A video about the project can be viewed below.