Eric Ellis, Ellis Farms
Farms, Food and Community (Direct Produce Sales)
Grant Award: $6,000
Eric is establishing a distribution system to provide a weekly box of 25 pounds of produce to at least 30 members a week, and he expects to grow the number of members exponentially in the future. He is partnering with farmers and food producers throughout the region to create this system, so each box will have a wide variety of products. This model offers area farmers an alternative outlet for their produce so that they no longer need to rely fully on the unpredictable wholesale market. Grant expenses include: website, direct mailing, brochures, logo, boxes, produce and delivery expenses.
Members are required to pay a $25 annual membership fee, but are not expected to pay for the entire year’s supply up front. Eric offers incentives for members to recruit others, and he hopes the distribution model will be a tool for building community. As he reaches more members, he will expand the vegetable production on his own farm and marketing the beef that he currently produces.