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Pennsylvania

Blackberry Meadows Farm

About Documents
135%
$27,000 Funded
$20,000 Target
Closed Time Left
39 Investors
$20,000 Min. Raise
$27,000 Max. Raise
60 mo. Term Length
9.0% Interest Rate
Closed

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Overview

Blackberry Meadows Farm is a certified organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business located in Fawn Township, Allegheny County. As a CSA, customers are invested in the farm through an annual membership and/or labor in the fields. Members receive a weekly allotment of produce and products harvested throughout the 20 weeks of the spring, summer, and fall. Customers can also order meat, vegetables and other products through the weekly newsletter, and pick it up at the farm or farmers market. Uniquely, Blackberry Meadows Farm focuses heavily on balancing soil nutrition and microbiology to produce food with higher mineral/vitamin content than any other food source in the region.

Additionally, the farm has diversified to include hosting educational tours, AirBnB lodging, garden subscriptions, agricultural support services, and "homestead" coaching. The core of the business is bringing neighbors and farm fans together over the food being produced on the farm and in the region. To this end, Jen and Greg serve as chapter leaders for the Weston A Price Foundation.

The farms' approximately 150 regular customers generally live within 10 miles of the farm and include two demographics: young families (e.g. under 40 year old couples, mostly with children) and retirement age folks seeking healthier food options. All customers meet the farmers on a weekly basis and get the reward of knowing the who-how-where-whys of how their food is being produced. As well, they are able to engage with the other customers who also share the bounty.

The community farm has served as an anchor for the customers who need (1) to access healthy food; (2) to observe real (hands on) homesteading solutions; and (3) to engage with like minded community members.

We are raising $27,000 paid at a 9% interest rate with a 6 month interest-only period at a 54 month fully amortizing period.

 

Come stay on our beautiful farm with us!

 

The Project

With the funds, the Farm A is buying and installing 3 "glamping" tent units ($6500 each). Each includes a platform, canvas tent, queen bed, picnic table, two adirondack chairs, propane heater, fire pit, water jug and toilet from Tentrr. Tentrr also provides a cross-platform (15) booking service, to help with marketing and booking the tent sites. With any additional funds, the farm will purchase wood chips, mulch and landscaping supplies/services to help with beautification of the camp sites.

For several years, Blackberry Meadows Farm has developed a thriving and successful Airbnb. The farm stands out as a great local get-away for our region, and also an oasis mid-way between major cities, like New York and Chicago. Families with children and pets love to stay at the farm, stretch their legs, explore the farm and get a dose of peace and quiet.

Airbnb guests stayed in the main farmhouse, utilizing up to three bedrooms for their farm-stay. The farm has stopped hosting any BnB guests during the pandemic, to avoid risking exposure and exposing others.

Tentrr is an outdoor alternative to Airbnb and may draw a similar audience and develop a new stay-cation clientele. Tentrr sells a remote hotel room, which is a tent with queen bed, waterless toilet, fire rings, and all amenities for glamorous camping (glamping) experience. This plan is to acquire several tents and host guests on the farm, but away from the farmhouse.

The farm has many picturesqe locations; tent sites could be located by the pond, which rings with the singing of frogs and red-wing blackbirds, and is loaded with easy-to-catch fish! Between meadows and pastures, woods and fields, guests are invited for a much needed get-away or just a cozy and peaceful overnight stay.

 


Our eggs our always farm-fresh.

Business

History

Blackberry Meadows started as one of Pittsburgh's first Certified Organic CSA farms. In 2007, the previous owners sold the farm to Greg, Jen, and 2 other partners (now divested co-owners in Urban Homesteaders LLC) who signed on to the mortgage in 2008. In the 18 months it took to purchase the farm, customers became anxious and privately offered to fund the down payment; this demonstrated to the buyers that this was much more than a mere 'cornerstore'.

After finding spouses, marrying and needing jobs with security and health insurance, the 2 partners divested, leaving Greg and Jen to manage and operate the farm. In 2011 - 2015, Jen and Greg managed the farm with a team of interns, apprentices and volunteers - mostly relying on the community membership for income and community participation for labor.

Around 2013, they introduced pastured pigs into the farm system, allowing for brush and edge habitat management, while also converting invasive weeds into bacon and other deliciousness! Around this time, they opened the farm house to Airbnb, and each year, saw more visitations and all 5 star reviews.

2019 was a landmark year where after 12 years of battling across county and local politics, Greg and Jen finally sold the farm development rights to Pennsylvania's Farmland Preservation - setting about 75 acres aside for current and future farm use. No housing developments nor industrial use will jeopardize the food security in Fawn Township! This action also cleared over 50% of the debt and opened up cashflow for the farm.

2020 is the first year the farm has been able to make real investments in the infrastructure. Focusing on projects that represents a return on the investment, like solar panels and a room renovation, including a sauna, for the Airbnb rooms whenever they reopen. This Tentrr project would also enable the farm to generate additional revenue to repay the new debt.

 

We're dedicated to preserving farmland in Allegheny County.

 

The Future

Adding several Tentrr units to Blackberry Meadows Farm increases the opportunities for community events on the farm. Corporate campouts and group retreats would be easy to host, with the farmhouse serving as the central lodge. The tent sites could also be thought of as “timeshares” where folks can schedule their time to come out to the farm, decompress, get dirty, work hard, be a part of nature, participate in their own food-security, or learn a little more for their journey towards a healthier environment.

Year 1 - Install up to 3 sites and book 10-15 room nights to provide capital to service debt over winter (possibly interest only).

Year 2 - Sites will be in active use from March - November. During the summer the farmers will pilot several event types, including retreats and workshops.

Year 3 - Establish a time-share system for regular guests, outside of the Tentrr network, continue to develop various event type procedures, resulting in farm-stays that are booked out for years in advance.

Year 4 and beyond - Blackberry Meadows continues to develop unique add-on packages, including dinners and wedding options.

 

We use microbiological farming practices to ensure the most nutrient rich produce.

 

Fast Facts

Check us out at the farmers market!

 

About the Owners

Jen has been farming for over 20 years. Serving as benevolent dictator of the farm, she leads the primary operations through hosting weekly CSA/farmers market pickups, writing newsletters, administration of the business and of course all the vegetable production. On top of that she's the chef, mom, and housekeeper.

Greg has worked in many sectors over the past 15 years, usually under the umbrella of social/community entrepreneurship, across the great lakes region. On the farm, he raises the livestock, maintains all the roads and landscape, manages 5 buildings, 8 tractors/ vehicles and generally does the heavy lifting.

 

Greg, Jen, and their two children all live on the farm.

Deal Summary

Deal Summary

 Issuer

 Urban Homesteaders, LLC

 Doing Business As

 Blackberry Meadows

 Security Type

 Secured Loan

 Loan Purpose

  Purchase Equipment

 Offering Amount

  $20,000 - $27,000

 Interest Rate

 9.00%

 Payments

 Monthly, disbursed to investors quarterly 

 Maturity

 6 months interest only + 54 months fully amortizing

 Personal Guaranty  

 Jennifer A Montgomery and Gregory L Boulas

 Security Interest

 Purchase money lien on equipment to be purchased 

 Offered Portal 

 Honeycomb Portal LLC

 Offering Type

 Reg CF

 

Your Earnings Potential

If you choose to invest, you will make a one-time investment via ACH that will be transferred to a secure escrow account. If the campaign successfully reaches its target, the funds will be distributed to Urban Homesteaders, LLC.

For more information on the mechanics of Honeycomb’s crowd investing platform, please review our Education Materials

 Investment Amount   One-Time Fee 

 Potential Quarterly

 Return: Interest-Only Period* 

 Potential Quarterly

 Return: Amortization Period* 

 Potential Total Repayment* 
 $100  $2.85   $2.25   $6.78   $126.48
 $500  $14.25   $11.25   $33.88   $632.41
 $1,000  $28.50   $22.50   $67.77   $1,264.83
 $5,000  $37.25   $112.50   $338.84   $6,324.13

Your ongoing responsibilities from investing are very limited. Over the life of the loan, you will receive a yearly 1099-INT, which is a simple tax document similar to what you receive for most savings accounts.*Individual payments may vary slightly based on rounding. Potential repayments include principal and interest; they do not include the one-time fee which is assessed when you make your investment. These amounts are calculated as a hybrid interest-only + amortizing loan, which means that there is a specified interest-only period followed by a an amortization period. There are no prepayment penalties and Urban Homesteaders, LLC may pay down their loan early, which may impact your earnings potential. Please note: returns are not guaranteed and investors could lose some or all of their investment.

Urban Homesteaders, LLC pays as agreed. You will receive quarterly payments directly into your bank account. In the event of a default, you will be contacted by the administrative agent to manage the collections process on the investors' behalf.

 

How Honeycomb is Compensated

Honeycomb charges Urban Homesteaders, LLC a $250 posting fee and a 8.0% loan origination fee on the total amount funded.

Additionally, to cover expenses associated with each investment, Honeycomb charges a 2.85% investment fee capped at $37.25 per investor.

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