Have you heard of kickstarter? It’s a great way for individuals or groups attempting to start up a project to raise support and money. Learn more about kickstarter here. But why am I bringing this up? Well, there is a kickstarter project underway that would take place on Lake Champlain!
The Vermont Sail Freight Project is going back in time to a more sustainable method of trade. They plan to create a sail-powered freight ship to transport non-perishable foods from the Champlain Valley (NY & VT) down to lower New York.
The Vermont Sail Freight Project is a contemporary re-invention of a historic regional foodway, and is sponsored by the Willowell Foundation of Monkton, Vermont. In 2013, the Sail Freight team, led by farmer Erik Andrus and Willowell staff, will build a simple low-cost sailing barge 39 feet in length, 10′ in beam (width) and with 12 tons of cargo capacity with which to trade Vermont-produced foods in New York City and the Lower Hudson. (Vermont Sail Freight Project)
We will sail from Ferrisburgh, Vermont to New York City and points between with 12 tons of shelf-stable foods from the Champlain Valley […] Our producer list includes some really outstanding farms, and is still growing. We will make these farmers’ goods available in markets some 300 miles distant by means of our barge and an internet-based retail sales platform. […]
Our sincere hope is that this initiative will lay the groundwork for a way of tying exceptional staple-crop-producing farms in rural New England to the vibrant communities of the Lower Hudson. This is “fair trade” realized on a regional scale, as well as sustainable, carbon-neutral transport for staff-of-life goods. (Vermont Sail Freight Project)
The ship, which will carry 24000 lbs of cargo and requires a working crew of two, is already under construction, but this kickstarter project will help with further production, equipment, and other costs.
The ship will be named “Ceres,” in honor of the Roman goddess of grain and agriculture and the figure atop the state house building in Montpelier. (Vermont Sail Freight Project)
This project will only be funded if at least $15,000 is pledged by Thursday, April 25. So if it’s an idea you’d like to see happen consider making a donation. Besides the gratification of supporting the Vermont Sail Freight Project, backers will also get cool prizes!
Stay up to date with the project on the Vermont Sail Freight Project’s blog. Visit their website www.vermontsailfreightproject.org to learn more!
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