Proposals

 

Dear Friend,

On behalf of the Pepperfield Project, we bring you an invitation. Founder David Cavagnaro is making his transition from the Pepperfield Project into retirement. We are interested in finding the next caretakers of this property and mission. Might this be you? Might you have inspiration or insight to offer the next iteration of this Project?

The Pepperfield Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Decorah, Iowa with a mission to “promote the health and development of body, mind, and spirit through food and gardening in harmony with nature. Pepperfield Farm serves as a living example of wellness, including an environmentally sensitive lifestyle and its symbiotic relationship with the surrounding community and natural ecosystems.”

The Pepperfield Project was conceived in 2008 as an educational program and a place where people could experience good food and how to grow it, and where they could expand themselves personally among gardens surrounded by Iowa’s beautiful natural wilds. Once Pepperfield was awarded official nonprofit status in 2010, co-founder David Cavagnaro was able to donate his home, gardens, a restored 1851 pioneer log cabin, and 55 acres of his farm as an education and retreat center. See below for more information and also the About section of the website for more about the facilities, the land, and the region.

Our Invitation

The Pepperfield Transition Board invites proposals (1) from existing non-profit organizations who could receive the Pepperfield Project property as a donation, (2) an individual, family or other private party who could buy the property at fair-market value, or (3) individuals or groups who could take over running the existing non-profit corporation.

If you are interested in making a proposal, please follow these instructions. If you have any questions, please email us at pepperfieldproposals@gmail.com

Instructions

Your proposal must provide four things:

  1. A description of your organization or program and how it would make use of the Pepperfield property.
  2. A description of how your proposal will serve Pepperfield and David Cavagnaro’s mission of increasing “the health and development of body, mind, and spirit … in harmony with nature.” We want your proposal to serve this goal in a broad sense. Your proposal does not need to resemble the existing Pepperfield Project.
  3. A description of how your proposal will interact with the local neighborhood and community. We want your proposal to express “its symbiotic relationship with the surrounding community and natural ecosystems”: the neighborhood, Canoe Creek watershed, Decorah, Winneshiek County, and the Driftless Region.
  4. A plan for financial viability of the resulting program that will involve the Pepperfield Project property. We want the result of this to be sustainable over the short, medium, and long term.

We are interested in receiving a full application from all organizations and individual inquiries alike. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask.


The following things will be beneficial for your proposal:

  1. Proposals that redress systemic injustice in our society, including white supremacy, colonialism, and heterosexism.
  2. Letters of support for your proposal and its leadership. We want to know that the people who will be involved have the skills necessary to succeed at what is being proposed.
  3. For existing organizations, any policies you have that support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I). Also, any policies you have that ensure that your staff and volunteers are protected from harassment and discrimination.

How to Apply

  1. To help our Board receive proposals that are a good fit, we would like to hear from you as soon as possible if you are thinking about submitting a proposal. Fill out this short online form and we will respond to you as soon as possible (within two weeks at most) to talk with you about how your proposal matches our guidelines. Submitting this form is the first step toward making a proposal.
  2. Send your proposal on or before September 1, 2021 by email to pepperfieldproposals@gmail.com. Be sure to include the four required items listed above. Please limit your proposal to 1000 words, not counting attached policies or letters of support.
  3. After you submit your proposal by email, we will acknowledge within one week that we have received it.
  4. After the September 1 deadline, we will read all of the proposals and evaluate them based on the following with particular emphasis on mission fit:
    1. Mission/Values Fit (see #2 under Instructions)
    2. Long-term Financial Viability
    3. Community Involvement
    4. Justice focus, letters of support, DE&I policies
  5. We will schedule interviews with the top-ranked proposals and inform the other proposals that they have not been chosen. We don’t know how many proposals we will receive and how long it will take to make our decisions. By September 15, 2021 we will know more about our timeline for decision making and we will inform all proposers of that timeline.
  6. Following the interviews, we will make our final decision and inform the proposers of our decision.



We thank you in advance for your time and thoughtfulness if you choose to be involved in this process. If this opportunity isn’t right for you, please consider sharing a link to this information (pepperfieldproject.org/propose) with other people who might be interested.

Thank you,

The Pepperfield Project Transition Board

Liz Rog, President
Lara Martinsen-Burrell, Secretary
Neil Martinsen-Burrell, Treasurer
Randi Berg
Hannah McCargar

About the Pepperfield Project

The Pepperfield Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Decorah, Iowa with a mission to “promote the health and development of body, mind, and spirit through food and gardening in harmony with nature. Pepperfield Farm serves as a living example of wellness, including an environmentally sensitive lifestyle and its symbiotic relationship with the surrounding community and natural ecosystems.”

The Pepperfield Project was conceived in 2008 as an educational program and a place where people could experience good food and how to grow it, and where they could expand themselves personally among gardens surrounded by Iowa’s beautiful natural wilds. Once Pepperfield was awarded official nonprofit status in 2010, co-founder David Cavagnaro was able to donate his home, gardens, a restored 1851 pioneer log cabin, and 55 acres of his farm as an education and retreat center. In 2012, by means of a very generous grant from the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, the Pepperfield facilities were enhanced, rendering the farm more suitable as a teaching center. In addition to offering a wide range of classes, workshops, retreats, and events on the farm, Pepperfield also collaborates with other educational organizations, serves the community through outreach programs, and makes available its commercial kitchen for use by others working to enhance local food security.

Over the last 10 years, the Pepperfield Project’s main efforts have included education, gardening and the combination of the two. Interns have lived and worked on the farm each summer, working in the gardens on-site and in a garden on the grounds of the local hospital where the produce is used in the hospital kitchen. In the commercial kitchen on site, classes in food preparation and preserving have been offered. There is also a program to send out seeds to local schools for classroom gardens. Visitors to the farm can rent an 1850 log cabin to stay on site.

The non-profit owns a house, a restored log cabin, assorted out-buildings and the surrounding 55 acres of gardens and wild land ( look here for photos). Because of the restrictions of non-profit status, this property caneither be donated to another 501(c)3 organization or sold at fair market value to a person or entity that does not have that status. The yearly property taxes and insurance on the Pepperfield Farm property cost $5,000 annually, with additional annual operating expenses including heat, utilities and maintenance. In the past, these expenses have been paid for by renting the cabin as an AirBnB, a paid gardening program for the local hospital, and occasional revenue from classes and commercial kitchen rentals.