Urban farmer turns to crowdfunding to support growing business

Crowdfunding effort helping local businesses

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Just blocks from busy Pennsylvania Avenue and not far from the heart of downtown Savannah, there’s a business venture you might not know about, or think could be that close to downtown. In fact, it’s growing so much that its loyal customers and folks who support them are chipping in to help them grow.

“I am the owner and sole employee of Vertu Farm," said Chris Molander.

Molander started Vertu Farm on Savannah’s east side about three years ago after cultivating a passion for farming in high school and college.

“When an opportunity opened up out here at the old dairy farm, I just jumped on it," Molander said, as he picked some of his crops from the ground.

On two acres of leased land, Molander’s farm has grown to provide Savannah’s residents with local greens, on sale at the Forsyth Park Farmer’s Market, as well as at some area restaurants.

“I can’t say enough about our Farmer’s Market. There’s a lot of really dedicated people that come out every single week to support the farmers," Molander said.

About a month ago, Molander realized he had an immediate need for greenhouse space. A loan would take too long to help, and when someone suggested crowdfunding, the urban farmer saw how much further that small business support could go.

“It’s literally past everything that I could have thought would even possibly happen, and all the responses, individual responses, people coming out here to talk to me, they’re just interested in the farm. They want to see it, they want to know more about it, and it’s just awesome," Molander admitted.

With four days left, the Indiegogo campaign goal is more than 90-percent complete.

Funds raised will help this local business owner complete his own greenhouse space, and keep Vertu Farms producing homegrown greens for Savannahians to enjoy.

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