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.
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 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.