{kickstarter campaign} Building Soil w/ Pedal Power!

Collard City Growers’ Group Hug. Credit, right now, Unknown!

Food Cycle is a Kickstarter campaign that is close to my home and near to my heart.

Troy Bike Rescue and Collard City Growers are two great projects happening around the corner from where I first lived. I learned to ride a bike in the driveway of my house on Second Avenue. The first self-portrait I hold in my head is a picture of me on my little red Schwinn, newly stripped of training wheels. I remember the struggle of trying to pedal up the ever so slight incline of the driveway to the barn – the house was a Victorian mansion and the cavernous barn was once used for horses and carriages.

Troy Bike Rescue, 2012. Credit: Ellie Markovitch of Story Cooking

Struggle, self, flight – that’s what bikes give us, and what I’ve always loved about them. Even when my sister’s tooth punctured her gum as she crashlanded off a jump in the neighbor’s back yard, I never learned a fear of the bicycle. Until I finally learned to drive – at age 23 – and saw how much metal and engine I’d been flirting with all those years, on country roads, fighting taxis in NYC.

What I am trying to say is bicycles lend a person a super sense of self, and Troy Bike Rescue (TBR) is a collective that helps people earn bikes into their lives. They bought a building last year, and the place is a beautiful hive of opportunity and action. Kids come to the bike shop and learn skills. Adults do, too. There’s workshops five nights a week.

Food is becoming part of the TBR day now that the kitchen is up and running. Mae and other volunteers are making snacks. The Veggie Mobile Sprout comes by once a week and TBR stocks vegetables and fruits. These go into the mouths of neighborhood kids who are working on bikes.

Troy Bike Rescue. Credit; Ellie Markovitch of Story Cooking.

Ideas about eating are also expanding down the street at Collard City Growers. Started last year by Abby Lublin, these three empty lots between The Sanctuary for Independent Media and TBR are a brand new experiment in urban farming.

One big part of Collard City Growers (CCG) is compost. These city lots used to hold houses, and these houses were not made from the most ecologically friendly materials. The best way to handle compromised soil is to build new dirt.

The first venture at Collard City Growers was a series of compost bins made from pallets. The Kickstarter campaign supports the further explosion of compost plans and projects.

“It’s a natural growth from what we’re already doing at the garden and TBR,” says Abby Lublin. “We’ve been building more cargo bikes and we have this big compost bin at the garden more and more households and collectives are adding to it.”

Interest in CCG and TBR is growing in the neighborhood, and more youths are looking to get involved. Marry this to another development: people in Troy looking into municipal composting, and Food Cycle is the baby.

“Compost is in the air in Troy and this is one small, neighborhood scale experiment with what it would look like, without commercial hauling,” says Abby.

Funds from the campaign will be used to fence in a vacant lot and get it ready to hold the fleet of cargo bikes that is crowding TBR. The money will also go to buying uniform pails to start doing residential collection, and building a locked storage structure for the fleet.

“Once Uptown Summer comes in July, youth are going to be custom building their own cargo bikes,” says Abby. Uptown Summer is a month of activities geared at kids and youth at TBR, CCG and The Sanctuary for Independent Media.

Inspiration for Food Cycle comes from Northampton, Massachusetts where Pedal People run a residential garbage and compost hauling business.

In Troy, the vision is to gather compost, and find ways to pay youth for the hauling, perhaps through grants or government assistance. An obvious cash flow for the project will be selling the compost, for which there is a ready market. Gardeners are often asking CCG if they sell compost, and soon, they will.

They will do this much, much sooner with the help of the Kickstarter campaign. That’s why I’m standing here with a virtual can in my hand asking you to contribute.

I love Food Cycle.

I love bikes and I heart compost and I am so proud of TBR and CCG.

I want this project to succeed.

I want it so bad that I’m going to kick in to the Kickstarter rewards:

– If you urge it along at the $50 level, I owe you a bag of homemade pancake mix – gluten free if desired.

– Give $100 and I’ll come to your house and make pancakes for your family.

– Find $250 for this and I’ll make pancakes for a dozen guests, and teach you my griddle tricks.

– Give more and we can negotiate what else I can offer from my 35 years of pancake devotion.

THE RULES: Just make sure to comments below that you donated. If you would like to keep your donation amount unpublished, please send an email to Christina at fromscratchclub (at) gmail (dot) com with your donation total so we can reward you with the appropriate pancake “level”. You can also mention, when prompted during the donation process, that FSC sent you. Okay? 




Any U.S. Resident that donates ANY amount of money to the campaign, AND comments below that they did so, will be in the running for a book!

Win a copy of my FAVORITE food preservation (waterbath canning, freezing, infusing, drying) book- Put ‘Em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton.

Read all about our love for this book: Here, here, here and here.

(The author nor the publisher is involved in this giveaway. We are purchasing the book from Amazon & shipping it straight to the winner)





8 Comments Add yours

  1. Jessica R says:

    I just pledged $100!

    1. Amy Halloran says:

      Thanks Jessica! I owe you some pancake mix!

      1. Jessica R says:

        I thought the $100 level was a pancake breakfast.

        1. Amy Halloran says:

          Yes, breakfast! Sorry about that. Contact me through Chris (email above) to arrange!

  2. Great additional support. I gave 100 just because.

  3. Eric Davenport says:

    Donated! For the cause of Dirty Pancakes.

  4. Amy Halloran says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You all get pancakes and Troy gets brand new dirt. Quite the deal!!!

  5. Virginia! says:

    I did it for $50. Gimme my pancake mix! And if I don’t win that book, I’m gonna buy it….

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