Become one of Harvest Nation’s founding customers!
Until recently, our team’s first major goal was $4 million dollars in capital to establish a 20,000 SF farming facility in Eveleth. As a local, grassroots startup, finding collateral for such a request from the bank has been a barrier for Harvest Nation. To move forward, we’ve scaled down our goal to $900k-$1.5M+ to afford a three-year demonstration project as a proof-of-concept, which is necessary to justify our larger asking for $4M to fully commercialize our concept.
We decided the best way to engage the community and launch sales is through a Crowdfunding campaign. We are Crowdfunding for pre-sale of our subscription boxes, where customers can opt to pay for the year upfront, or choose to make monthly or biweekly payments.
Before we start the campaign, our company completed a feasibility and market study in early 2020 to build community through Harvest Nation. We’ll keep you updated through our website as we get ready to roll out our Crowdfunding platform once financing is committed for the demonstration farm.
Harvest Nation is inviting preliminary signups for first customers. Please refer to our official Press Release for more information, available here: Press Release – Harvest Nation Fundraising – 11 April 2020. To participate in our early pre-signup process, please complete the form online, available here. Closer to our first production cycle, after all financing has been committed for the project, you will be notified in advance of our Crowdfunding Campaign. This is where we will pre-sell annual subcriptions to the farm with options to purchase the year’s subscription upfront, or to opt for monthly or biweekly payment schedules.
Not only will founding customers have their own boxes of fresh, healthy, produce year-round every 10 days, together we are demonstrating the people of the Northland are progressive, innovative, and committed to social justice and environmentalism.
With the political climate as it is right now, it’s critical to have a visible and active platform for these kinds of issues. The pilot venture will show policymakers and big money what we deserve and want on the Range: the self-sufficient wellbeing of our families, communities, and environments.
Join us in ushering a new future for healthy, sustainable living on the Iron Range using cool tech! You’ll be an important part of the growth of our company as we will continually need your feedback on veggie selections and the distribution services we’ll provide. Basically, we’ll need you to tell us how we can better serve you. You might get a question or two about other ways Harvest Nation could support you in your efforts to sustain your wellbeing.
Pre-order your boxed veggies today!
If you are interested in pre-registering as a customer, please complete the form available here, or by cutting and pasting this link: https://bit.ly/2XzCrTY into your web browser. You can also email Dani Pieratos at: [email protected] Or call her at: 978-906-4070. You can also contact Dani for more ways to become involved with Harvest Nation.
Harvest Nation is fundraising between $900k-$1.5M+ for a three year demonstration pilot farm!
April 11, 2020, Tower, MN – Harvest Nation, a 100% Women and Native-owned family company, has announced plans to move forward with its second phase of development for an innovative indoor, aeroponic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. With the help of its Pilot Development Advisory Board, Harvest Nation is fundraising for a three year demonstration project, expected to cost between $900k-$1.5M+. The amount of capital raised will determine how many customers the farm will serve during its pilot program, ranging between 20-to-100 potential pilot project participants. The objective of the pilot farm is to provide a local source of quality health food direct to families while showcasing the future of aeroponic technology and indoor agriculture.
Earlier this year, Harvest Nation completed an independent feasibility study through a grant awarded by the Blandin Foundation (Grand Rapids, MN). The study involved direct market research with local permanent residents of the Iron Range and Bois Forte Reservations to gauge interest in their project and as a way to promote health as they development the farm. Much of the data is shared in Harvest Nation’s first publication: “Healthy Eating & Living on the Iron Range and Bois Forte Reservations,” a free PDF e-booklet available online on at Harvest Nation’s Blog, following the company’s dedication to building community through education and outreach for a healthy local food system.
The study verified local demand for Harvest Nation’s CSA Farm-To-Table product, which is a subscription farm box of nutritious and tasty heirloom fruits and vegetables for every-day consumption distributed on 10 day cycles to future customers. For an annual subscription to Harvest Nation, customers will receive high quality produce items with fun recipe cards that Harvest Nation promises will make healthy lifestyle maintenance more appetizing and easier for real families.
The team is now fundraising to pilot this concept in a demonstration project. CEO Denise Pieratos, Harvest Nation’s main founder and principal designer of its advanced aeroponic system, says the pilot program is necessary for research and development to capture the full potential of what is possible with soil-less farming.
Harvest Nation is now looking to its base of potential customers to pre-signup for its pilot project to assist with fundraising efforts. “If we can show grant-making agencies a list of actual customers ready and willing to participate in our pilot project, we can get this farm going to produce food here on the Range sooner than later. With COVID19 social distancing impacts on the food chain supply, it is more important than ever for us to start producing real food right here for our region,” says Dani Pieratos, Harvest Nation’s President.
Harvest Nation requests that only seriously interested potential customers to signup in advance. There are no fees involved. If at the time of actual registration for the pilot program, there is no obligation to commit to participating in the program. If you reside on the Iron Range or Bois Forte, and truly see yourself making use of Harvest Nation’s CSA farm box, they ask for you to fill out a pre-signup form online at: https://bit.ly/2XzCrTY.
There is no date just yet as to when this pilot farm will start. When it’s time, Harvest Nation will launch a Crowdfunding platform to presell subscriptions to the farm with at least one month of advertising in advance to get the word out. It anticipates it will about $55 per week for this subscription produce box where customers will have the choice to pay the years’ subscription upfront, or can submit monthly or bi-weekly payments online.
The actual amount of funds raised by Harvest Nation will determine the actual size of the pilot farm and the number of customers it can serve. For questions or comments, please contact Dani by cell: 978-906-4070, or by email: [email protected].
Our Indepedent Feasibilty Study for a Pilot Farm Project is Complete!
Harvest Nation received its first big financial commitment from beyond our team’s out-of-pocket investments in cash, time, and energy. Chi Miigwech (thank you very much) to the Blandin Foundation (Grand Rapids, MN) for their grant award of $35,000! The funding is allowed us to carryout a research project in preparation for a pilot farming operation.
The project had three components for investigation: Market (community building), Technical (prototyping and farming), and Financial (business development), which will was completed in four phases.
The final products of this study are the designs for Harvest Nation’s first pilot program, documented community demand for fresh produce, and a health promotional E-Booklet, available here, that showcases healthy lifestyle maintenance in our region as evidenced by stories and knowledge sharing with our research participants. The E-Booklet is free to the general public.
The knowledge gained from the study is helping Harvest Nation fundraise for its first farm, where it will launch a Crowdfunding campaign to pre-sell annual subscriptions to participants for the pilot program using a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm sales model.
Semi-Finalist in MN Cup 2019 Competition / Impact Ventures Division
We’re thrilled to announce that Harvest Nation was selected along with 87 other entries out of 1,200 to move forward as a Semi Finalist in the 2019 MN Cup business competition hosted by the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. In 2018, we entered the competition in the Food & Beverage tract thinking that, as food producers, this made the most sense for us at the time given our actual “product/service,” yet we represent so much more than food because of our soul embedded in the community building side of our work. This year, the MN Cup created a whole new division called “Impact Ventures,” which better aligns with our social justice mission.
On June 6, the MN Cup hosted a reception for the Semi-Finalists. Denise, Nikki, and Dani were in attendance. Tracey was at her son Orion’s graduation (Congratulations Orion!). The reception invited each team in the competition to deliver a 1 minute pitch to introduce our business ideas for which we entered the Cup. The hosts used timers to keep it fair and strict to the time limit.
Top three’s in each division are going to be selected in August, and Finalists will be announced publicly August 26th. The top three’s will present to their concepts to judges in mid-September, which thereafter the winners of the 2019 MN Cup will be selected. Winners will provide a final presentation of their projects at the Grand Award Event on October 14th.
Pilot Venture / We’re Doing It
And we are so jazzed. With the guidance of Elizabeth Chapman at Art Unlimited, we’ve decided to use Crowdfunding to pre-sell subscriptions for our first enterprise to raise capital to purchase grow equipment and to renovate our farming facility. We’re a grassroots initiative incorporated by a family team of four Native Women from the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. Crowdfunding is a great social and cultural fit for building a community around Harvest Nation to get started. We need upfront capital to afford startup operation costs like growing equipment, software, insurance, growing nutrient mix, legal fees, salaries, etc.
Research & Design / The Platonic Quest
We’ll never stop testing, tinkering and tweaking our tech in the quest for its ultimate perfection. We’ll also never stop accepting feedback from our customers, partners, friends, and family.
Denise, CEO and farm designer, has grouped 41+ different plants by their ideal growing conditions into seven farming systems. We’re currently applying for USDA grant funding to allow for continued R&D to expand produce offerings in the future.
We’ve coupled our technology with the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business model for farm operations. Harvest Nation won’t compete with mainstream produce distribution. Direct, weekly subscriptions for our produce removes excessive expenses associated with retail sales. This guarantees our customers get the highest quality, freshest produce that anyone can offer.