Who are we?
We are the urban experiment… the seed that died and went into the ground. Urban Pioneers… many who have purposefully uprooted from comfortable suburbia and relocated their homes and base of operations into one of the most blighted and dangerous zip codes in the U.S. 64127, Lykins Neighborhood, Kansas City. We have put down our stake for the youth, the poor, and the next generation. We are here to mine the gold of human potential. We don’t claim this is good idea…. it is our lives…. We are cultivating the life of the inner-city. The Police helicopter is our favorite bird. Neighborhood meetings are our drama. Falling crime stats are our touchdown cheer. Hope is sprouting right out of the cracks in the asphalt. Just to see people walking their dogs around the block again is a sign of good things to come. Stay tuned for the great adventures to come as we document our journey from the inner-city out to some of the most difficult places on earth. See it all unfold as we give this mission everything we’ve got, no plan b. No driving home at the end of the day.
The Urban Farming Guys non profit (501c3) mission is to establish sustainable communities in the most difficult and overlooked places on earth. It begins with local food and water security, alternative energy, and local economic resilience. We are running hard to put the most innovative, accessible, low tech and reproducible solutions for self-sustaining community into the hands of everyday people from the inner-cities to the nations in a way that is caught and spread on a local level. Together we are beating a path for communities and villages to THRIVE in any economy. We are putting them to the test in the hostile environment of the inner city of Kansas City’s Lykins Neighborhood at our U.S. base of operations. Champions are being raised as we entrust these opportunities to our inner-city youth. We aim to intercept and reshape the path of the next generation. And lastly we are multiplying our efforts by putting videos, diagrams, principals, parts lists and full technologies into your hands in an open source knowledge base to make these tools reproducible around the world. Simultaneously we are working in both Mexico and extreme east India by building an off grid fish farm at orphanages in both places. We will soon return to build a bio-gas system to provide cooking fuel and electricity. UFG works to empower indigenous groups. Partnering to build economic forces from the inside out, creating jobs, building resilient communities with affordable healthy food access, and to establishing alternative water and energy solutions that ultimately preserve life in many geographic situations. This work deeply depends on your support to make a global impact. We urge you to help us equip the next generation to thrive.
- We believe that entire communities can be transformed from the inside out… from bust and blight to thriving and sustainable places to raise the next generation. People can thrive in almost any place if they have hope, a caring community, and some basic building blocks to grow from.
- We believe humans have tremendous capacity to create value from minimal resources, a good teacher, and a reason to participate – a hope for a better future.
- We believe that a sustainable community is one that has local food & water security, freedom, abundant local opportunity, and has the capacity to produce a positive value from within. Then finally a sustainable community does not inhibit future generations from enjoying the same opportunities.
- We believe it is our responsibility to provide the next generation the opportunity to be healthy and free.
- We believe in teaching a man to fish… even better teaching him how to grow a fish.
- We have seen the power of love at work, and we cannot turn back.
Our Priorities include: Building and inspiring Local Food and Water Security, Local Economic Development, Building Community Capacity, Sustainable Technology & Alternative Energy Development, Open Source Documentation, & Community Engagement.
“Phase Zero” Development
When a once thriving community becomes devastated by some external force, whether natural disaster, war, skirmishes over water, or simply giant corporations uprooting out of neighborhoods to leave behind economic ghost towns… when a community can no longer pull itself up by the bootstraps and when its best citizens run for the hills… this is where we come in. Where conventional methods are no longer a viable option. The only strategy is total immersion. UFG’s focus is “Phase Zero Development” or development in places where there is no government help on the way. There will be no cavalry coming. We are going where the city has no plan. We are focused on the most difficult places on earth where no one else will go. Yes, billions of dollars of government money can be targeted at developing these difficult communities, but rarely do their efforts go beyond the fringes. The vast majority of the urban core remains untouchable and desperately without infrastructure because no one is able create a return on government investment. But The Urban Farming Guys believe differently. We are living out this reality on the ground floor. We are seeing a grassroots movement of hope that you cannot buy, and we are establishing a foundation that you can build upon. We are watching a “two million dollar seed” sprout right out of the ground for free!
Two Million Dollar Seed
In a “Phase Zero Zone” no amount of money can build a healthy foundation for community. The human investment required is priceless, and cannot be purchased. But pretend that it could. First, you would need to purchase hope in a land where hope cannot be found, a midst a devastated community that once was. These communities have tried exhaustively only to hit their heads against an impenetrable brick wall for years on end. Their only hope is to escape if they can! But what if you could hire hope? It would cost 1 million dollars in payroll and programs to put just 15 positive workers on the ground full time in these neighborhoods, just to begin to rally positive change and try to inspire hope. But who would believe these employees have any hope for the community to start with, because they are all leaving to go home at the end of the day. Still the only hope is to escape.
Let us tell you of another way, a way that breaks every mold, a way that cannot be bought with a million dollars. It comes for free, and it is rare as gold. It is total Immersion. It is a fearless and passionate team of Urban Pioneers. And these pioneers are coming to mine for the gems of human potential. And they’ve put all their chips into the middle. No outside force could be more invested than an urban pioneer. While everyone else goes home at the end of the day, the urban pioneer is here 24/7. Their back is against a wall and they call it home.. But to them it is no sacrifice at all. You couldn’t force one of these pioneers to buy a tan house in a tan neighborhood with tan people if you tried. We choose to live here! So we begin the journey already ahead of the game. We are on the ground and off to the races building positive grassroots community with whatever resources we can get our hands on, from dirt to gardens, from old buildings to after school art programs. We go mining for the “gold” that exists in every neighborhood… the leaders that already exist within, hiding somewhere under the rubble, and the children that make up the next generation. It’s about people! And you cannot buy it! If you could buy what we do, after spending the first million dollars to payroll a team and fund some projects, then it takes a second million dollar fund to start a housing program for a blighted area. But first it can cost over $250,000 just to do a blight study before a Community Development Corporation or (CDC) will write the rest of the grants to get started. Miles ahead, bypassing all of those costs, Urban Pioneers simply inspire each other to buy homes on the same block, and they invest their own dollars and simply get the job done. Neighbors begin taking pride and taking part. This immediately increases the leadership capacity of the neighborhood and adds many potential mentors on the block: role models, block watch captains, and simply people who care and believe. Eyes are on the street with soccer balls and frisbees flying through the air once again. Kids are joining our after school art program and working in the community gardens with us. Understandably, most CDC employees would not dare move their homes into these problem areas. You couldn’t afford to buy five of these pioneers! This is the “two million dollar head start” and it goes so much farther than just a housing project. We have begun to nourish a community back to hope. This is why we can go where no one else can go. And since we are finding homes to buy anywhere from 5 – 20 thousand dollars we have lots of extra love and time to spare. We are not looking for a quick return on investment; we are in this for the long haul. Our investment is to build hope among the hopeless, to build up basic needs, to empower existing leaders to build up opportunities where very little exists. To take responsibility for whatever issues exist. We are a special ops unit with a deep love and hope for people. We believe in teaching a man to fish, even better to grow their own fish! And we do it because we care, not because we got hired to do so. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the substance of love and the power of community.
We are not advocating for everyone to become an urban pioneer. It only takes a handful of revolutionaries! Instead we are asking you to look out there and find the people who are doing good works with very little resources and get behind them, because these revolutionaries are hard to find. But if you look, you WILL find them… they will be there, on the ground floor, and they will be getting big things done with almost nothing at all. Resist the talkers, and find the doers. Invest in them slowly. As they do well with little, they will do GREAT things with more. Others will follow. Hundreds of communities around the globe have requested us to come. The spark already exists… let’s make it a flame! Our mission is to build sustainable communities in the most difficult and overlooked places on earth. We want to find and help resource the people who are already doing great things in these places. We are establishing solutions that can be made at a grassroots level, where little to no funding exists, not even for the work we are doing. We have 100% win record for grants we write for others, and 100% loss record for grants we write for UFG. Most organizations would be forced to shut down at this point. We will march on. We have invested our entire lives into building up the youth, the poor and the next generation. Like guerillas we will find a way to accomplish our mission even if we must fund it with the sunlight, dirt and rain around us. It has been a miracle this far. We are thankful for our faithful monthly supporters that we can count on giving about $500 cumulative per month. This is just about enough to keep the websites paid up and our email list managed. We were overjoyed to have some of our projects funded this last year by many one time small $5 and $10 donations. But the truth is, so much opportunity is being left behind in human potential due to a lack of resources. For every 20 full time volunteers that want to join us, we have to turn 18 away because we have a lack of financial resources, materials, computers, full time leadership etc. There is work to be done, raw resources to be cultivated, skills schools to be built, kids to be mentored, businesses to be formed, a village to be cultivated out of the rubble. See how we multiplied a half million dollars in mission progress last year, a 20x increase on our resources here.
Your donation brings a catalytic multiplication to our efforts. Our organization was built in a way that sustains and reproduces itself without relying on donations, but to make a larger impact your donations are vital… It CANNOT be multiplied without you. We are creating our own economy that is bootstrapping itself, but your donation brings multiplication like water to a seed… Rather than being used up and thrown away, your gift keeps giving. Every seed planted and every part built becomes the catalyst for a local economic force or micro business under the nonprofit that will perpetuate itself and give back to the cause again and again. We are using the available resources around us and our know how, and we are teaching and inspiring and resourcing the local people to begin to thrive. We are getting maximum outputs with minimum inputs. Thank you for considering giving to the cause. Your gift could not come at a more catalytic time than right now. Donate Here