Abby’s Acre Update #3

Abby’s Acre Update #3

Dear Community,

Hello again everyone! We have exciting news from the Abby’s Acre team. We have completed all the kits and have started distributing them! We have given our first one to a gulf war era veteran here in Freetown! We have 4 more scheduled this week to 2 post 9/11 army vets and 2 Vietnam vets. We are also talking to the HERO program in Opelousas to receive several kits after we have given the initial 15 to put on their campus.

We have had our share of difficulties throughout this process. We had 3 different rebuilds after having some issues with our initial designs, as well as finding it difficult to find veterans who are interested in this program. Through our growing network of veterans we have had a recent spike in interest. One of the biggest challenges is coordinating installation of the garden and the boxes. Fortunately we have several volunteers available to help me install these!

The biggest change to our design is the change from a wooden vermicomposter to a plastic one. We had continuing issues with the wooden boxes leaking even with plastic liners. Although its not the most eco friendly option. We feel that the ease and convenience will encourage people to continue using it.

We are excited to grow this program over the summer and offer these kits all over Acadiana! Thanks again for your continued support. We’ll be tagging you our upcoming B6 posts!

Abby’s Acre Update #3

Abby’s Acre Update #2

Dear Community,

What a busy quarter it’s been! We have been busy re-designing our boxes. After 2 test kits went out, we had several big design flaws surface, and we had to change the materials with which we were building. Because the boxes were made from rough cut lumber the weight was considerably heavier than we originally expected. The result was significant difficulty in installation. To mitigate this, we reduced the dimensions of several of the items as well as a redesign of what hardware we will be using. We also changed our installation method to make it easier on our volunteers.

The shop we were set up to rent has also recently moved, and our master carpenter is exceptionally busy, so our workaround has been borrowing tools and setting up in another empty shop. This has allowed us to work on boxes for free but limits what tools are available.

As of this writing, we have 4 completed (updated) kits and another big build day tomorrow. I’m expecting to have another 4 completed, with the wood processed and cut to finish the other 7 shortly after. With the materials we’ve been able to gather, we are hoping to build another 5-6 kits past the 15 promised!

Abby’s Acre Update #3

Abby’s Acre Update #1

Dear Community,

From the entire Abby’s Acre organization, we sincerely thank everyone involved in the 24-Hour Citizen’s Project. From the flawless organization and execution of a fantastic event to the other teams inspiring everyone watching, and to the backers, without your generous donations and suggestions, none of this would have been possible. It was the best way for all of us to spend Veteran’s Day this year! We benefitted greatly from our coach and the panel of experts provided the night before our pitch! Although this program has been in the works for several months, this was exactly the push we needed to get it fully online and operational.

In the month since, we have been incredibly busy! We have built each of our designs in CAD and have streamlined our building process so we can build like we farm, with zero waste. Making sure the money awarded is used in the most efficient way possible. We have decided to hand-build every piece of the kit to provide our compatriots with the highest quality product possible. We are expecting to have our first full prototype built before the end of this year and have all the kits built and ready by the end of January!

The plan moving forward is to start reaching out to the veterans in our neighborhoods who we know would benefit from these, as well as work with the local VFW post to find those who we have not yet met. As discussed during our Q&A, we have started our planning process to make these kits available to the public, as well as start offering classes veterans can attend to teach carpentry skills and provide the materials for them to build kits of their very own! Our goal is to offer this by the 2nd quarter of 2024.