Help Asparagus Grow!

Asparagus Magazine tells large and small stories of sustainability. With your help, we'll take the leap off the screen and onto the page.

Jessie
Modern Media
$5,970
pledged of $10,000 goal
97
Backers
12
Days Left
Support now
Project Ends on July 31, 2018

Project Description

Hi, friend!

Hello there, my name is Jessie, and I'm the founder of Asparagus Magazine. I've spent 14 years working in magazines and digital media, including fact-checking and blogging at National Geographic Traveler, selling ads in indie magazines, and project-managing website development for social-value organizations.

I've also spent the last 10 years dreaming up a publication I hoped to start one day. Earlier this year, I decided the day had come. Having accumulated these various professional hats, I've put them all on at once, and am making my publishing dream come true.

What is Asparagus?

Asparagus is a publication dedicated to telling the large and small stories of how we can live sustainably, from an environmental, social, and cultural perspective.

In this age of climate change, plastic pollution, and nightmare politics, so many of us want to help build a just society on a healthy planet. But it can be really hard to figure out how — we're all bombarded by endless media and marketing messages that aren't grounded in evidence. Who can we trust?

From everyday decisions, to understanding the bigger picture, Asparagus aims to be the trusted source we can rely on — digging into our questions about sustainability and sharing the answers. We've been doing that online since February: publishing journalism that is intersectional, impactful, grounded in science, and fun.

What is the money for?

The next step is to put out our first print issue, but to do that we need your support. So, what will the money be spent on?

  • Most importantly, paying creators (writers, photographers, illustrators), editors, and designers who contribute to the issue and complementary web content. Paying contributors is something I've been committed to from the start, and that's not going to change.
  • Printing Asparagus Issue #1 on 100% post-consumer recycled paper
  • Mailing issues to supporters and subscribers

In addition to those three main costs, some of the money raised will go toward getting Asparagus distributed on newsstands. If we're going to put out more than one issue (which we absolutely intend to do!), we need to get the magazine into more hands.

Why print?

You may be asking, isn’t print dead? Well, the world of publishing has certainly changed in recent decades, but there are still plenty of successful magazines. They're just figuring out how to do things a little differently from the past. Asparagus wants to be part of that reimagining of the modern magazine.

We believe some stories are better told in one medium than another, and know that some readers prefer one format over others. Asparagus wants to tell as many kinds of stories to as many kinds of people as possible, and that means extending our presence off the screen, and onto the page.

There’s another reason, too. When I researched magazine publishing’s carbon footprint for my master’s degree, I found an industry making endless excuses for why it couldn’t print on environmentally responsible paper. Six years later, things haven't changed much. I don't just want to argue for why that needs to change; I want to show that it can, and with beautiful results.

What do you get?

All donors will be thanked on the Asparagus website. Depending on your level of support, you might get a copy of Issue #1, some custom Asparagus swag, or a lifetime subscription. Most importantly, you will be on the receiving end of undying gratitude from the Asparagus family.

If You Can't Donate — You Can Still Help!

Whether or not you're able to contribute to this campaign, you can help us reach (or surpass!) our goal. Please spread the word about Asparagus and the campaign, using whatever social media and other tools you have available. Like and share our Facebook Page or subscribe to our email newsletter for updates on fundraising progress and publishing activities.

Remember: Every dollar you help raise is the same as a dollar you would have contributed if you could have.

With your help, Asparagus can be the trusted source we’ve been looking for: answering large and small questions about living sustainably, so we can all spend less time looking for answers, and more time taking concrete steps to make a better world for everyone.

 

 

Video Credits/Acknowledgements

Video created by: Zori Media

Additional footage by: Gaspard Roche

Music: "New Boots Rag" by Doctor Turtle

Special thanks to: Joyce Rosario for her star turn as "puzzled shopper"; Kunakar Pou and Ja Kim at Pharmasave on the Drive, the volunteers at Peace Meal, and the farmer's market stalls for Klippers Organics and Hannah Brook Farm for allowing us to film in your spaces; Millicent the cat for making everything fluffier.

Updates

The Project FAQs

Asparagus is a food magazine, is that right?

In fact, it's not! We love food (especially our namesake vegetable), but Asparagus publishes all kinds of stories about sustainability, including, but not limited to, sustainability in the food realm. We named ourselves after asparagus because it's delicious, green, and a little whimsical, qualities we aspire to as a magazine. If you want to learn more about what we're up to, check out the Asparagus Manifesto.

You really don't think print is dead?!?

Sounds crazy, but we really don't. If you go into any bookstore and take a look at the magazine rack, there are hundreds of titles for sale, and it's not the first or last issue of most of them. It is unquestionably harder to run a successful publishing business in 2018 than it was before the internet, and there's no guarantee we'll be able to make a go of it long-term. But it also seems true that no one is entirely sure what the recipe for a successful publishing business is in this day and age, so we figure we've got as good a chance of figuring it out as anyone else!

Ok, but isn't printing on paper the opposite of sustainable?

It can be, but we're really determined to make sure that the way we go about publishing in print is as sustainable as possible. So, we'll be printing on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and looking for a printer that shares our passion for sustainable business practices. And we'll only ever put out a few print issues a year — most of our publishing activity will remain online.

It's also the case that reading in print can be more environmentally friendly than reading online; it really depends on the kind of reader you are. If you're someone who likes to read a magazine cover to cover, or if you're in a household where more than one person is likely to pick up any magazine that's lying around, reading on paper could have less of an environmental impact than reading on a device — even more so if you live somewhere where electricity is produced by burning coal or natural gas. We also tend to behave as though our electronic devices don't have an environmental impact, and they absolutely do. We know our readers care as much about sustainability as we do, and hope they will choose the most appropriate medium to read in based on their personal circumstances.

You're a Canadian company, why are you fundraising in US dollars?

Good question. The short answer is because that's the currency supported by iFundWomen, and we really wanted to use this platform to fundraise — they offer excellent resources and community to entrepreneurs, and we wanted the benefit of that. We did, however, take the exchange rate into account, and set reward costs in a way that is considerate of Canadian wallets (at today's exchange rate). Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, we'll work to make subscriptions and merchandise available in both Canadian and US dollars.

You've published a lot of West Coast stories, are you just a West Coast magazine?

We're based on the West Coast, we love it here, and we love telling the sustainability stories of this region. So, in that sense, we're a West Coast publication. But, in the same way the New Yorker publishes listings and reviews that are mostly intended for actual New Yorkers, but also plenty of articles that are of interest to the rest of us, Asparagus aims to shine a light on West Coast stories while also publishing articles about — and hopefully of interest to — the rest of the world.

Can I write for Asparagus?

Maybe! Check out our Submission Guidelines and send us a pitch. We can discuss further from there.

I have more questions. How can I contact you?

No problem. You can drop us a line at asparagusmagazine@gmail.com, or contact us through our Facebook Page.

06/21/2018
Superfan
$150
06/21/2018
Monetary Contribution
$50
06/21/2018
Badge of Hono(u)r
$15
06/21/2018
A Year with Gus
$25
06/21/2018
Early Bird
$25
06/21/2018
A Year with Gus
$25
06/21/2018
Bright. Green. And Clean!
$40
06/21/2018
Early Bird
$25
06/21/2018
Superfan
$150
06/21/2018
Early Bird
$25
Monetary Contribution

(All donations processed in U.S. dollars.)

The zero-waste donation option, as it were, for those who want to help Asparagus grow but don't want to receive a reward.

Every little bit counts! Donors of any amount will be thanked publicly on the Asparagus website (unless you prefer to remain anonymous, of course). Donors of $100 or more will also be thanked in print in Issue #1. All will be recipients of undying gratitude.

15 Supporters
Contribute
$10
Issue #1

(Approx. $13 CAD)

You'll receive a copy of Asparagus Magazine's Issue #1, and be thanked on our website.

2 Supporters
Select this reward
$15
Badge of Hono(u)r

 (Approx. $20 CAD)

You'll receive a copy of Asparagus Magazine's Issue #1, thanks on our website, and a campaign-exclusive "Environmentalist from Hell" pin to rock with pride. (If our iconic asparagus stalk graphic is more your style, that's an option too.)

5 Supporters
Select this reward
$25
Early Bird

(Approx. $33 CAD)

You know who loves an early bird? Millicent the cat, Gus' Feline-in-Chief. To reward early adopters, she will send a paw-written postcard to the first 10 campaign contributors. Those lucky people will also receive all of the perks of the A Year with Gus reward.

4 Supporters
None available
$40
Bright. Green. And Clean!

(Approx. $53 CAD)

In addition to all the perks of the A Year with Gus reward, you get a reusable dish towel, custom-printed with Gus' iconic asparagus stalk graphic. Reduce household waste in style!

11 Supporters
Select this reward
$45
Double the Fun

(Approx. $60 CAD)

You get a 1-year subscription for yourself, plus one to send to that special someone. AND you save $$$! (You will also be thanked on the Asparagus website, and you both get free admission to all issue launch parties for the year you are subscribers.)

5 Supporters
Select this reward
$55
Totes Awesome

(Approx. $73 CAD)

In addition to all the perks of the A Year with Gus reward, you get a gorgeous and durable Carrall Street Canvas Co. tote bag, emblazoned with your choice of Gus' iconic asparagus stalk, or "Environmentalist from Hell." Whether your farmers market style is about subtlety or swagger, we have the tote for you!

5 Supporters
Select this reward
$75
Your Coffee Cup Makes Us Love You

(Approx. $100 CAD)

In honour of one of Asparagus' most popular articles to date, you get a reusable travel mug, loudly declaring to those single-use cup users: "Your coffee cup makes me hate you." You also get all the perks of the A Year with Gus reward.

6 Supporters
Select this reward
$100
Superfan

 (Approx. $130 CAD)

You're a Gus superfan, and you're not afraid to show it! In addition to all the perks of the A Year with Gus reward, you get a dishtowel, tote, AND travel mug. You will also be listed as a supporter in Issue #1.

35 Left
15 Supporters
Select this reward
$500
Lifetime Subscription

(Approx. $660 CAD)

As long as you and Asparagus are both alive and kicking, each issue we publish will be delivered straight to your door. In addition to your own lifetime subscription, you get to send a 1-year gift subscription to a special someone, and you get all the perks of the Superfan reward.

18 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
$1,000
Sponsor an Article

(Approx. $1325 CAD)

Show the world you support independent journalism by sponsoring an article in Issue #1! After we've confirmed our editorial line-up, we'll let you choose which article you want to be a sponsor of. You also get 10 copies of the issue containing your sponsorship, and all the perks of the Superfan reward.

5 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$2,000
Sponsor a Column

(Approx. $2650 CAD)

Show the world your passion for free expression by sponsoring a column for a year! After we've confirmed our editorial line-up for Issue #1, we'll let you choose which column you want to be a sponsor of. You also get 3 copies of each the Year 1 issues containing your sponsorship, and all the perks of the Superfan reward.

4 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$5,000
Sponsor an Issue

(Approx. $6600 CAD)

Sponsor one of the three issues published in Year 1. You'll get 10 copies of the sponsored issue, 2 full-page ads, and be listed on the Table of Contents and our website as the issue sponsor. You also get all the perks of the Superfan reward. And did we mention undying gratitude? That too. In spades!

3 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

(All donations processed in U.S. dollars.)

The zero-waste donation option, as it were, for those who want to help Asparagus grow but don't want to receive a reward.

Every little bit counts! Donors of any amount will be thanked publicly on the Asparagus website (unless you prefer to remain anonymous, of course). Donors of $100 or more will also be thanked in print in Issue #1. All will be recipients of undying gratitude.

15 Supporters
Contribute
$10
Issue #1

(Approx. $13 CAD)

You'll receive a copy of Asparagus Magazine's Issue #1, and be thanked on our website.

2 Supporters
Select this reward
$15
Badge of Hono(u)r

 (Approx. $20 CAD)

You'll receive a copy of Asparagus Magazine's Issue #1, thanks on our website, and a campaign-exclusive "Environmentalist from Hell" pin to rock with pride. (If our iconic asparagus stalk graphic is more your style, that's an option too.)

5 Supporters
Select this reward
$25
Early Bird

(Approx. $33 CAD)

You know who loves an early bird? Millicent the cat, Gus' Feline-in-Chief. To reward early adopters, she will send a paw-written postcard to the first 10 campaign contributors. Those lucky people will also receive all of the perks of the A Year with Gus reward.

4 Supporters
None available
$40
Bright. Green. And Clean!

(Approx. $53 CAD)

In addition to all the perks of the A Year with Gus reward, you get a reusable dish towel, custom-printed with Gus' iconic asparagus stalk graphic. Reduce household waste in style!

11 Supporters
Select this reward
$45
Double the Fun

(Approx. $60 CAD)

You get a 1-year subscription for yourself, plus one to send to that special someone. AND you save $$$! (You will also be thanked on the Asparagus website, and you both get free admission to all issue launch parties for the year you are subscribers.)

5 Supporters
Select this reward
$55
Totes Awesome

(Approx. $73 CAD)

In addition to all the perks of the A Year with Gus reward, you get a gorgeous and durable Carrall Street Canvas Co. tote bag, emblazoned with your choice of Gus' iconic asparagus stalk, or "Environmentalist from Hell." Whether your farmers market style is about subtlety or swagger, we have the tote for you!

5 Supporters
Select this reward
$75
Your Coffee Cup Makes Us Love You

(Approx. $100 CAD)

In honour of one of Asparagus' most popular articles to date, you get a reusable travel mug, loudly declaring to those single-use cup users: "Your coffee cup makes me hate you." You also get all the perks of the A Year with Gus reward.

6 Supporters
Select this reward
$100
Superfan

 (Approx. $130 CAD)

You're a Gus superfan, and you're not afraid to show it! In addition to all the perks of the A Year with Gus reward, you get a dishtowel, tote, AND travel mug. You will also be listed as a supporter in Issue #1.

35 Left
15 Supporters
Select this reward
$500
Lifetime Subscription

(Approx. $660 CAD)

As long as you and Asparagus are both alive and kicking, each issue we publish will be delivered straight to your door. In addition to your own lifetime subscription, you get to send a 1-year gift subscription to a special someone, and you get all the perks of the Superfan reward.

18 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
$1,000
Sponsor an Article

(Approx. $1325 CAD)

Show the world you support independent journalism by sponsoring an article in Issue #1! After we've confirmed our editorial line-up, we'll let you choose which article you want to be a sponsor of. You also get 10 copies of the issue containing your sponsorship, and all the perks of the Superfan reward.

5 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$2,000
Sponsor a Column

(Approx. $2650 CAD)

Show the world your passion for free expression by sponsoring a column for a year! After we've confirmed our editorial line-up for Issue #1, we'll let you choose which column you want to be a sponsor of. You also get 3 copies of each the Year 1 issues containing your sponsorship, and all the perks of the Superfan reward.

4 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$5,000
Sponsor an Issue

(Approx. $6600 CAD)

Sponsor one of the three issues published in Year 1. You'll get 10 copies of the sponsored issue, 2 full-page ads, and be listed on the Table of Contents and our website as the issue sponsor. You also get all the perks of the Superfan reward. And did we mention undying gratitude? That too. In spades!

3 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward