Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead By Grow Food Instead

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About Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead

Project 2016-01-30 13:51:39 UTC

Who are we?

We are Rachel Yeats and Brad Harding of Grow Food Instead in the Bay of Plenty.  

Brad grew up in a market garden and has literally been working in horticulture since he could walk.  His experience includes working in management and teaching roles at Hydroponic Fresh, Koanga Institute and Incredible Edibles.

Rachel has a varied business, media and communications background and for the last five years has been working with non profits and social enterprises including La Leche League, Koanga Institute and Ooooby, supporting young families and improving our local food system.  

We are passionate changemakers who want everyone to have the power to grow and eat healthy, nutrient dense food.  

Our mission is to support communities to build food security by growing a local base of youthful skills and experience.

Where does the money go?

We have been working on this project for over a year and now that we have everything lined up - land to farm, suppliers and local knowledge gained, customers ready and waiting - we need a boost of $10,000 to get it all kicked off.  Here's how we'll spend it:

Where your pledges go

Why we're doing this

The current food system is unsustainable and disadvantages the people that most need access to healthy food and the knowledge of how to grow it.  Grow Food Instead, together with our crowd, is giving that power back!

For too long, the job of growing food has been devalued.  We're here to show that not only is local food accessible and affordable for the consumer, growing it is an essential and valuable skill and a viable, varied lifelong career option.  

Food growers don't just feed their communities - they help build them. 

What's so great about a market garden anyway?

We're setting up a profitable, small scale, biointensive market garden just ten minutes from the Tauranga city centre.  This will be an educational hub, providing:

  • community workshops,
  • summer internships for high school students,
  • paid apprenticeships for socially disadvantaged youth.  

Once they're fully trained, we'll help our apprentices set up a market garden of their own.  We want to start building communities that take ownership of their food sovereignty, and put systems in place so that knowledge and health benefits aren't constrained to individuals but throughout families, whanau, and generations.  The trickle down effect doesn't work - we are going to the core where the problem is felt the most, and working our way outwards.

We'll pay a good living wage to our apprentices, because our model is profitable, sustainable, and regenerates the land, meaning each year our crops will yield more heavily.  

Because we'll sell our produce direct to restaurants, consumers, and local food distributors, we'll skip the supermarket middle man and have produce that is healthier because it is fresher and more nutrient dense, with lower food miles and no nasty chemicals.  

Being a profitable enterprise is super important - it makes us sustainable in the long term and enables us to hire more apprentices and employees, who can then go out to replicate the model and be self reliant.  We have customers ready and waiting for us to supply them with fresh produce right now

The perks

If you make a pledge today, you're in for some great perks!  


Firewood giveaway

Our wonderful friend Keith has very generously offered up a giveaway incentive to all pledgers who contribute $50 or more in the last five days of our campaign - ONE OF TWO, 4 cubic metre loads of freshly split firewood to keep you snuggly warm this winter - and he's even throwing in free delivery between Waihi and Te Puke. Tena rawa atu koe Keith!  Best of luck to everyone - we'll do a random draw at the end of a successful campaign.


From 21st April on, the next 50 pledgers, big or small, will be immortalised with a garden bed named after them! Check out Rachel's video she made for existing pledgers for more information on how this works:

Your Name Here


For big pledgers we have on offer a permaculture consultation and design, or a mixed pack of fruit trees and berries.  Other pledge perks include:

  • Access to our biointensive gardening webinar and our upcoming workshops (including #biointensivenz Gardening, Holistic Management Primer, and Tomato Grafting). This pledge will also get you into the draw to win 4 cubic metres of firewood!

Brad teaching biointensive


  • A loyalty card entitling you to 10% off any produce you buy directly from us for a whole year

Loyalty card


  • Seedling trays handmade from recycled materials by local business Crafty Gatherer. This pledge will also get you into the draw to win 4 cubic metres of firewood!

Seedling trays


  • And some very special exclusive seed grown and saved by us this summer and only available through this crowd funding campaign (pnoto is an example of seeds, we have many different varieties)

exclusive seed


We've added two new rewards as of 19 April - two hour and four hour consultations with Brad.  This is an opportunity to receive personalised, one-on-one time to get exactly what you need for your property, from design through to implementation; urban gardens, market gardens, forest gardens, home orchards, animal systems, permaculture integration - if you want to grow it Brad can help you do it.  Lower than what we usually charge for this service, these are strictly limited in number so grab them quick! This pledge will also get you into the draw to win 4 cubic metres of firewood!

Brad teaching Sharon


We've added three new rewards as of 26 April - Gift Vouchers! These are available for $25, $55, and $130 and give you the equivalent in retail value of anything that we offer (produce, workshops, consults, design work) redeemable through the usual purchasing outlet for the product.  Vouchers are valid for two years and you can gift them to someone else if you're not likely to use them.  Purchasing the $55 or $130 voucher will also get you into the draw to win 4 cubic metres of firewood!



Front page - Bay News


The United Nations says that small scale organic farming is the key to feeding the world and improving food security.  We are part of a global movement that is embracing the regeneration of local food systems.  You can be too.  Together we can build something magnificent!



The People Behind Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead

Logo stacked square Grow Food Instead Project admin

Fructiferous fecundity forthwith is the fire in our belly – regeneration not just of the earth but of our fervour for cultivating it, harvesting it, feasting on it!  Grow Food Instead is a social enterprise based in the Bay of Plenty.  2016 is an extremely exciting time for us, as we are setting up small scale market gardens dedicated to teaching disadvantaged youth how to profitably grow nutrient dense food to feed our communities.  We care deeply about regenerating local food systems and improving local food security by increasing accessibility to healthy food and the knowledge to grow it.


    Not quite the one year update we expected

    02:27AM Thu 13/04/17 on Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead

    Hey there pledgers!

    Back in January I was getting really excited about our one year anniversary coming up.  We had achieved so much!  There had been plenty of hiccups along the way, but the gardens were looking beautiful and abundant, demand was outstripping supply, we only had a little more infrastructure to build before we were ready to kick off our educational programmes, and we had fulfilled all the pledge rewards but the consults (simply because the farm was thriving and keeping us busier than anticipated).  I was really looking forward to contacting you all in a couple of weeks to say "Hey!  Look what you helped us achieve in just 12 months!  How awesome is this, and how awesome are you??!!"

    Alas, the weather had other plans.

    Those of you who follow us on social media may have seen my posts on the continued crop losses we have suffered since February due to the weather and the impact this is having on our farm operations.   Last week's ex-Cyclone Debbie saw us flooded again only four weeks after our previous flood.  I sit here now in already soaked clothes waiting for Cyclone Cook to hit us.  Unless something magical happens (all fingers and toes crossed for that!) we will be flooded again and it is almost certain to be worse due to everything already being so waterlogged.

    But (you may have noticed) we're not the type to let the course of nature knock us back, and we're certainly not about to let the $10k you helped us raise literally get washed down the drain.  While we have tried our best to build resiliency into our systems there is only so much we can deal with before the well runs dry.  We are going to need some help to keep the farm afloat for the next month+ until we have crops to harvest again.  In the worst case scenario it will be six weeks before anything is harvestable.

    Today we are launching our Flood Recovery Fundraiser:

    Here are ways you can help:

    - preorder one of the organic cotton tees pictured http://bit.ly/teeorder

    - preorder one of the jute shopping bags pictured http://bit.ly/bagorder

    - come to the Tauranga Farmers Market and purchase a prepaid voucher to use later in the year

    - if none of those options take your fancy but you'd still like to contribute financially, we are accepting donations here http://bit.ly/givealittlehp


    As our pledging family you are the first to be notified of our fundraising efforts.  If you can share this post with all the locavores in your email contact list it would be so appreciated!  We will make the announcement at 7.30pm on Facebook - if you could share that post with your networks that would be wonderful.


    Lastly, I just wanted to wish everyone a safe couple of days while we wait for this cyclone and it's effects to pass.  I hope that you're able to stay home and dry with your loved ones.


    A huge thank you to Tara Spice Creative for providing us with free and speedy design work! xxx





    Rachel, Brad & kiddos


    Comment on this update:

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    07:49AM Wed 27/04/16 on Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead

    smiley happy people

    WE DID IT! We just hit our goal of $10k!

    Absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude.

    Thank you all for giving us the foundation to build something magnificent with you.

    Thank you to everyone who pledged, shared, collected funds, gave our story coverage, stopped me in the supermarket, and all the multitude of ways you gave your support. You are the best people on earth!

    Now we've reached our goal we will stop promoting the campaign, and tomorrow I'll take my much neglected kiddos to the park!

    But it doesn't officially close until 9pm Thursday, so if anyone out there still wants to make a pledge, please do - any extra funds we receive will allow us to get better quality, more durable equipment than what we've budgeted for, and help with those unforeseen expenses that will inevitably crop up.

    Thank you thank you thank you!


    Rachel, Brad, Juno, Gryphon and Fox

    Comment on this update:

    MORE free firewood and new rewards!

    03:53AM Tue 26/04/16 on Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead

    Hello magnificent pledgers!

    I hope you all had an enjoyable long weekend spent with loved ones and of course taking some time to remember those who served our country.  We attended the NZ Permaculture Hui at Karapiro, networking and sharing with people who are working in a variety of ways to improve food security in this beautiful and abundant land we are blessed to call home. It was a pretty exciting three days, especially when our friend Robina's crowd funding campaign to Save Our Seeds hit it's target!  We all celebrated and got a taste of what we're hoping for on Thursday night!

    But even more exciting was when our friend Keith checked back in with us to offer not one but TWO loads - 4 cubic metres each - of firewood by random draw to anyone who pledges over $50! He's even offered free delivery between Waihi and Te Puke!

    Firewood giveaway (v2.0)

    As of right now there are just over 48 hours until the campaign ends!  EEEEEEK!  With the help of you wonderful folks we have raised $8,280 which is amazeballs BUT we do need to get to $10,000 by 9pm Thursday to keep any of the awesome pledges you have made.  So please, if there is absolutely any way you can use your magic to get that last $1,720 in as pledges, then please do your best Hermione impression and help us make that happen!

    As an extra enticement to get us across the finish line today we've listed up three new rewards - Gift Vouchers for $25, $55 and $130 that can be used on anything we sell (produce, workshops, consultations, designs).  These are dollar for dollar value rewards so is essentially a credit for future purchases - but if you don't think you'll use it you can pass it on to someone else as a gift.  If you can let everyone know about these new rewards hopefully it will entice them to give us those final funds we need!

    Aroha nui, and tohea!

    Rachel and Brad

    Comment on this update:

    Last five days = Firewood giveaway!

    01:23PM Fri 22/04/16 on Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead

    Hey pledgers,

    It's all starting to get a bit nailbiting now as we head into the last five days of the campaign.  We're sitting at $7,618 pledged which is a pretty good place to be - thanks so much to each and every one of you for getting us this far.

    This morning we had another story printed about us on the SunLive website - check it out here - featuring a great photo of our Fantastic Feijoa Funder, Gareth Sven Corder.  Great to see you getting some publicity too Gareth!

    So far we have nine of our fifty beds named by pledgers - if you'd like to be immortalised as a garden bed, a pledge will seal the deal! (If you don't know what I'm on about - check the video in the last update)

    Today we announce

    We've had four cubic metres of freshly split firewood donated to us, and we're going to give it away to a pledger!  A pledge of $100 or more gets an entry in the draw, which we'll do randomly at the end of a successful campaign.  Delivery is free between Waihi and Te Puke.  This is at least $300 worth of firewood and we are hugely grateful to Keith Hatwell for donating it.

    This weekend we are focusing on networking, heading off to the National Permaculture Hui at Karapiro.  Hope you all have a great long weekend!  Please remember to keep sharing, and entice people in with the offer of immortality and the chance to stay toasty warm this winter!

    Aroha, tohea,

    Rachel & Brad

    Comment on this update:

    Our final week starts now! Bonus for next 50 pledges!

    01:29PM Wed 20/04/16 on Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead

    Hello again! It's Thursday!  Which means we have just one week to pull in the final $3500 we need for this campaign!

    Today was an awesome day - we had some extremely generous pledgers join us to bring us up to $6504.  I'm not too proud to admit that I was pretty much in tears.  What we're doing here means so much to us, in so many ways.  Every pledge we receive tells us that it means a lot to you all too.

    Last night we went to the Entrepreneurs Everywhere evening to speak about our project and our crowdfunding campaign.  They had several secondary school MashUp teams there talking about their start ups.  I was so inspired by their enthusiasm and innovation - and reminded that there are young people out there who are passionate about what we do too, and need that opportunity.  Food is an industry brimming with enthusiasm and innovation also!  We are amped to get working with young people who are amped about getting their hands in the soil and feeding their families and communities.

    With this final week looming we all need to band together to make this happen.  We need to go into share overload.  If you can think of anyone, anyone, who might have some funds to pledge, keep bugging them until they do.  We've got an extra special bonus set up for the next 50 pledgers, which will quite literally make you/them part of Grow Food Instead forever.  Curious?  Watch the video!

    Tohea, ko te tohi i te kai!!!

    Rachel & Brad

    Comment on this update:

    A quick week 3 update

    01:19PM Mon 18/04/16 on Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead

    Hey there pledgers!

    Just a short update from us today.  We are currently just $26!!!! short of $5000 - half of our $10,000 goal - with ten more days to go.  Thanks so much for getting us this far!

    If you're in Tauranga, keep an ear out this morning for Rachel speaking to Will Johnston on The Hits around 10am.


    Then at 5.30pm we're giving a presentation of our project and campaign at the Entrepreneurs Everywhere evening at Basestation on Durham St.  A big thank you to Venture Centre for inviting us to speak.  We'd love to see you there!

    If you have a looksee at the rewards on our campaign you'll spot two new additions.  We've had people interested in getting some one on one help with growing and designing their gardens and so for $120 or $240 you can Brad to come to you for 2 or 4 hours and help you with exactly what you need!  This is lower than Brad's usual consult rate and the numbers on offer are extremely limited so if this interests you please grab one quick!  We'll hold off telling the general public about these until the end of the day so that current pledgers get first dibs on them.  We'd love to get in your garden and help you build something magnificent like you have helped us :)

    Have a great Tuesday everyone!

    Arohanui, tohea,

    Rachel & Brad

    Comment on this update:

    We're almost at our mid-campaign goal

    01:55PM Mon 11/04/16 on Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead

    Hi again, you wonderful lot!

    We've been so stoked to see the pledges continue to roll in over the last few days.  We knew from the research we did before we launched, to be prepared for things to slow down mid-campaign but not to give up!  Thanks to the pledges that are continuing to come in our spirits are still high and we are still doing everything we can to get us to our goal of $10,000 with the help of our magnificent supporters.  Today we hit $4,260 which is just AWESOME.  We've also had people popping out of the woodwork to give us things, such as Pru who gave us some much needed equipment - a bath for washing greens, storage containers, pipe and bits and bobs.I just can't thank you all enough, seriously.

    Good Things Kitchen

    Today I caught up with Carly from Good Things Kitchen in Bethlehem.  For the next two weeks she's going to put a portion of her soup sales towards our campaign. We're calling it "Soup that does Good Things" and now that the weather is cooling down it is the perfect thing to warm you from the inside out.  Carly is totally committed to supporting a local food system and her food is just to die for.  As a foodie I don't say that lightly!  Please go and check out the Good Things Kitchen, they have a huge range of food including smoothies, vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free...  You'll find it at the new Aspire gym behind the Z.  You won't regret it!

    I also had a great catch up today with Claire, the social worker who is going to help us put together our youth programmes.  It's great to have someone so knowledgeable as part of the team, and we're even more motivated now to get everything up and running so that we have a facility that is ready for teaching in.

    Watering microgreens

    This Sunday we are getting out into the community to promote Grow Food Instead's mission.  We've planted a stack of microgreens to give away as samples so please come down to the Lions Market at the Historic Village on Sunday morning, say hello and grab some to take home with you.  We'd love to put some of your names to real faces and give you our gratitude in person!

    Hope you had a great start to the week!  Please remember to keep sharing our campaign with everyone you know, and even people that you don't :)

    Once again, arohanui, and tohea!

    Rachel & Brad

    Comment on this update:

    You are gold!

    12:53AM Thu 07/04/16 on Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead

    Hey there again pledgers, time for another update on the campaign!

    Firstly I just wanted to say:

    you are gold

    On Tuesday morning we hit our one week mini-goal of 30% and the pledges are continuing to come in.  This is all thanks to you guys!

    Today we got the front page story on the Bay News which goes out to over 50,000 households in the greater Tauranga area.  Being chosen as the cover story reinforces even more that we are on a path to a positive change for our community and that our project will fulfill a real need.  You can view the paper here if you aren't in a delivery area.  A big thanks to the Stuart Whitaker and the Bay News for this opportunity to put our story out to everyone.

    Bay News cover

    I came home with a bootful of soil raising mix yesterday and tomorrow I'm heading up to Kings Seeds to gather some goodies, for some promo work that we'll be doing out in the community - watch this space for more details!

    The next couple of weeks we anticipate the pledges will come in a lot more slowly - this is the nature of crowdfunding campaigns - but it's important we all keep working hard to get the word out and gather in those pledges.  Please keep telling everyone you know, ask them if they've seen us in the paper and if they've pledged yet!  It is your ongoing support to build something magnificent with us that will get us to our target - we simply CANNOT do it without you.

    Yesterday I heard on the radio a Maori proverb: "Tohea, ko te tohe i te kai" which translates to "strive as you would strive if you are hungry."  That is exactly how I feel about this campaign - and how apt it is that it is about kai - and I'm making it our motto for the next three weeks.

    Arohanui, and tohea!

    Rachel & Brad

    Comment on this update:

    We're almost at 30%

    01:55AM Mon 04/04/16 on Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead


    We’re now on Day 6 of the campaign and we’ve raised $2,885 of our $10,000 goal! That’s a whopping almost 29% from our magnificent pledgers so far!  Our aim was to get 30% within the first week - we still need a few more pledges to come in to hit that target.

    We seriously couldn’t do this without your incredible support. We’re so grateful that you think Grow Food Instead is going to make a difference to our local youth and food system as much as we do!

    There’s still a lot of work to go though. We’re busy pulling strings and rallying more support, but sharing this campaign with your friends and family would make a huge impact as well!

    Today we're meeting with the Bay News photographer for a piece they'll be publishing about our project later this week.  Really looking forward to seeing that and getting the word about Grow Food Instead out in the wider community.  Starting from tomorrow Pledge Me will be doing some promos for our campaign too, including a blog post which we are super excited about!  We have some other exciting things happening over the next few weeks, some of which will be for pledgers only, so stay tuned.

    Please keep sharing this campaign with people you know will love it as much as you do.  You'll find the link to the promo pic below, pinned to the top of our Facebook page.

    Thanks so much for your support.

    Rachel & Brad

    almost there

    Comment on this update:


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      2016-04-28 08:47:17 UTC

      Megan has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “This is the kind of initiative I love.”

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      Wendy Palmer
      2016-04-28 02:29:23 UTC

      Wendy Palmer has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “2 irrigation drippers to join the network”

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      Tamsin Blundell
      2016-04-27 23:10:24 UTC

      Tamsin Blundell has pledged on 1 campaign

      Steve Nicholson
      2016-04-27 10:24:27 UTC

      Steve Nicholson has pledged on 1 campaign

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      2016-04-27 10:17:17 UTC

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      2016-04-27 09:48:36 UTC

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Jessica Pettersen
      2016-04-27 09:26:25 UTC

      Jessica Pettersen has pledged on 5 campaigns

      Nicki Murray-Orr
      2016-04-27 09:08:36 UTC

      Nicki Murray-Orr has pledged on 3 campaigns

      “Love your work!”

      Jungle Mike
      2016-04-27 08:48:29 UTC

      Jungle Mike has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Awesome idea! Keep us posted”

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      2016-04-27 07:29:50 UTC

      Claire has pledged on 1 campaign

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      2016-04-27 07:22:26 UTC

      Billy has pledged on 1 campaign

      “I wish you well Brad and Rachel and look forward to helping build a brighter future for us all! Love you vision and your energy!”

      Gemma Rhys Stratford
      2016-04-27 06:18:58 UTC

      Gemma Rhys Stratford has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “Good luck you guys x”

      Carol Brown
      2016-04-27 05:53:51 UTC

      Carol Brown has pledged on 1 campaign

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      2016-04-27 05:49:29 UTC

      Seespray has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Wahoo! All the best guys - Vicky from Seespray x”

      Andy Mabin
      2016-04-27 05:43:22 UTC

      Andy Mabin has pledged on 1 campaign

      Krissy Benjamin
      2016-04-27 05:39:27 UTC

      Krissy Benjamin has pledged on 1 campaign

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      2016-04-27 05:36:50 UTC

      Una Williams Frost has pledged on 1 campaign

      Janina Hermann
      2016-04-27 05:12:32 UTC

      Janina Hermann has pledged on 1 campaign

      “End run. Juhu! Lots of love from L+J=<3”

      Dk   beard day 11
      David King
      2016-04-27 02:43:42 UTC

      David King has pledged on 4 campaigns

      Kathy Voyles
      2016-04-27 01:34:43 UTC

      Kathy Voyles has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Wonderful scheme this, good luck and may you get the dosh you need!”

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      2016-04-27 00:00:26 UTC

      Deborah has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Awesome work guys! :D”

      2016-04-26 23:31:47 UTC

      Jo has pledged on 4 campaigns

      “Awesome idea guys, all the best!”

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      francisca baay
      2016-04-26 23:04:58 UTC

      francisca baay has pledged on 1 campaign

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      Anne-Marie and Paul Mildren
      2016-04-26 23:02:25 UTC

      Anne-Marie and Paul Mildren has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “What a fabulous initiative - all the best to you, Rachel and Brad - and we are very pleased to be a part of it.”

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      Anonymous pledger
      2016-04-26 22:45:55 UTC

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      Anne-Marie and Paul Mildren
      2016-04-26 22:41:06 UTC

      Anne-Marie and Paul Mildren has pledged on 2 campaigns

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      Ryan Benjamin
      2016-04-26 22:32:10 UTC

      Ryan Benjamin has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Love this conceept! All the best guys!”

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      2016-04-26 22:18:12 UTC

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      Kimberley Cleland
      2016-04-26 21:57:50 UTC

      Kimberley Cleland has pledged on 4 campaigns

      Iris Beemster
      2016-04-26 21:19:07 UTC

      Iris Beemster has pledged on 3 campaigns

      Followers of Teaching disadvantaged youth to Grow Food Instead

      This project was successful and got its funding on 28/04/2016 at 9:00 AM.