October 2013

Summary of October 27th Mixer
By Sally Godschalk

The recent mixer on October 27 at Peterloon had approximately 35 attendees.  We were happy that a number of students in the Environmental Science class at Brown Mackie College were able to join us.  The mixer began with short descriptions of the loans that occurred last year by some of the lenders.  Though the returns will not likely be as high as other loans, it was extremely satisfying to offer flexible terms, offer support and confidence to some of these small local businesses, and to support our local food systems with local dollars.  Also for some lenders, this experience gave them the confidence to want to continue to provide financial support to local businesses.  The lenders were in agreement that it has been a positive experience.

Some of the beneficiaries of these loans spoke about their experiences.  Shagbark Farms, Our Harvest Cooperative, Urban Greens shared the positive things that have happened as a result of these partnerships.  More food is now being offered to customers in this region as a direct result of these loans!!

Two enterprises addressed their need for additional funding.  The first, Finn Meadows Farm, a farm on land leased near Montgomery, raises produce, along with flowers and herbs.  They also are raising beef cattle, meat chickens, layer chickens, hogs and turkeys.  Primarily their sales occur through a CSA and two farmers’ markets.  After three years of growth, they seek to continue that trend with the purchase of some farm equipment.  To learn more about their operation, visit their website www.finnmeadowsfarm.com.

The other enterprise, Greener Portions, is a new aquaponics farm in Delhi. With their 2,000-square-foot growing operation, they are currently growing heirloom tomatoes, romaine lettuce, bell peppers, wheat grass, cilantro, basil, parsley and more.  Produce is available for purchase on both individual and wholesale scales.  They are currently selling at a farmers’ market.

Future plans are to become USDA organic certified and to increase the varieties of produce harvested, plus fish, who provide the natural by-products that the plants need.  Rather than continuing to rent, they are interested in locating a greenhouse they can purchase, or building their own greenhouse. To learn more, visit  http://greenerportions.squarespace.com/

A mixer followed with representatives from the various producers/farmers at tables with their products and literature.

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