Crowdfunding project down to the wire
For his latest initiative to bear fruit — and eventually vegetables and herbs too — Rene Michalak needs a big week.
Construction is ready to take place on a geodesic dome as part of Michalak’s Food Garage project, save for the fact that he needs $15,000 in funding to get the materials for the build. As he has successfully in the past, Michalak is turning to online crowdfunding in search of monetary support.
With six days to go in the current campaign, $1,426 has been pledged, less than one-10th of the total needed. In crowdfunding, if the goal amount is not reached through contributions, no money goes towards the project.
In the spring, Michalak sought $15,000 for the creation of a professional business plan and engineering drawings for the project and was successful thanks to the contributions of 58 individuals.
The Food Garage initiative will pair an existing 22-foot-by-24-foot garage with a 26-foot dome greenhouse at Michalak’s family’s former Oxford Street home. The structure will feature an environment where fish are raised, more energy is generated than used, and enough food can be grown year-round to feed a family of four.
Michalak is mounting a final push to hopefully reach the $15,000 goal, but he said with crowdfunding it is essential to get contributions early so that latecomers will see a project with momentum that can come to fruition.
“We’re all kind of learning how successful crowdfunding is done. There’s a lot of up front work that needs to be done to be successful, we’re finding,” he said.
All contributions to the project of $25 and up will garner the supporter a giveaway, ranging from a do-it-yourself tip sheet or urban homesteading to a permaculture property site plan.
“The basic stuff that we’ve researched and gathered over the past five years is now being condensed down into reader-friendly content, so you don’t have to go out and do years of researching in order to know how to set up an urban homestead,” explained Michalak.
If the campaign does not reach its goal, Michalak will have to wait another month to see if the project is selected as a recipient for a Peavey Mart community agriculture grant. The goal is to have the project built — through a “21st century barn raising” approach — by wintertime.
The campaign page can be found at www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-food-garage-project.
For more information on the project and for renderings of the design, visit www.foodgarage.ca.