Monthly Archives: October 2013

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0% Interest, Crowd-Funded Microloans ~ Q&A with Kiva Zip’s Amy Lambert

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Amy Lambert from Kiva Zip wants to help you get a microloan!

This week we spoke with Amy Lambert of Kiva Zip about the their highly successful crowd-funded, microloan program for small and medium-sized farmers.

If you’re a farmer looking for an interest-free microloan or know another farm that is, keep reading!  With an easy application process and manageable payback period, several farmers in the FarmsReach community have already taken advantage of this great opportunity!

FarmsReach: Let’s cut to the chase: What is Kiva Zip and why would a small or medium-size farm be interested in a microloan from your network versus anywhere else?

Amy Lambert: Kiva Zip aims to revolutionize small businesses’ access to capital throughout the United States. It’s a website that enables financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs to access 0% interest small business loans. These loans are crowd-funded by hundreds of lenders from around the world, each loaning as little as $5 each. Kiva Zip bases lending decisions on a small business owners’ character and trustworthiness rather than on their collateral or credit score.  The crowd-funding aspect of Kiva Zip creates valuable connections between small businesses owners and Kiva Zip’s growing network of lenders.

Continue Reading →

0% Interest, Crowd-Funded Microloans ~ Q&A with Kiva Zip’s Amy Lambert

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 12.55.42 PM

Amy Lambert from Kiva Zip wants to help you get a microloan!

This week we spoke with Amy Lambert of Kiva Zip about the their highly successful crowd-funded, microloan program for small and medium-sized farmers.

If you’re a farmer looking for an interest-free microloan or know another farm that is, keep reading!  With an easy application process and manageable payback period, several farmers in the FarmsReach community have already taken advantage of this great opportunity!

FarmsReach: Let’s cut to the chase: What is Kiva Zip and why would a small or medium-size farm be interested in a microloan from your network versus anywhere else?

Amy Lambert: Kiva Zip aims to revolutionize small businesses’ access to capital throughout the United States. It’s a website that enables financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs to access 0% interest small business loans. These loans are crowd-funded by hundreds of lenders from around the world, each loaning as little as $5 each. Kiva Zip bases lending decisions on a small business owners’ character and trustworthiness rather than on their collateral or credit score.  The crowd-funding aspect of Kiva Zip creates valuable connections between small businesses owners and Kiva Zip’s growing network of lenders.

Continue Reading →

Team Member Spotlight: Tiffany Nurrenbern ~ Bringing Farmers Together!

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Today we are excited to feature the latest addition to the FarmsReach and Farmers Guild team, Tiffany Nurrenbern.

For those who don’t know her already, she has been working in food and farming for many years, most notably at Roots of Change (ROC), where she coordinated and led the California Food Policy Council, a council of councils across the state. Prior to ROC, she worked in communications at Gigantic Idea Studio, which specializes in marketing of environmental programs.

After a great first few weeks helping to get the first Mendocino Farmers Guild and Sonoma Valley Farmer Guild rolling, we sat down with Tiffany for a casual Q&A to introduce her to the FarmsReach community:

FarmsReach: What are your thoughts moving from agricultural policy to farmers and ranchers directly?

Tiffany Nurrenbern: I think that though we all come from different vantage points, most people would agree that we need a food system that brings health to our people, our communities, and our environment. It’s going to take a lot of people working on different fronts to make that a reality for everyone. At the core of the issue is ensuring that farmers can farm in a sustainable and profitable way that enables us to feed our communities more affordably. Policy change can help us to remove barriers that make this work harder and incentivize a new path forward, but that conversation can feel very far away when you’re busy making sure that your crops get to market. I’m excited to be working directly with farmers to support their work on the ground, and provide links to the conversations happening off the farm that impact them.

Continue Reading →

Team Member Spotlight: Tiffany Nurrenbern ~ Bringing Farmers Together!

320528_10150403992549073_1831019680_n

Today we are excited to feature the latest addition to the FarmsReach and Farmers Guild team, Tiffany Nurrenbern.

For those who don’t know her already, she has been working in food and farming for many years, most notably at Roots of Change (ROC), where she coordinated and led the California Food Policy Council, a council of councils across the state. Prior to ROC, she worked in communications at Gigantic Idea Studio, which specializes in marketing of environmental programs.

After a great first few weeks helping to get the first Mendocino Farmers Guild and Sonoma Valley Farmer Guild rolling, we sat down with Tiffany for a casual Q&A to introduce her to the FarmsReach community:

FarmsReach: What are your thoughts moving from agricultural policy to farmers and ranchers directly?

Tiffany Nurrenbern: I think that though we all come from different vantage points, most people would agree that we need a food system that brings health to our people, our communities, and our environment. It’s going to take a lot of people working on different fronts to make that a reality for everyone. At the core of the issue is ensuring that farmers can farm in a sustainable and profitable way that enables us to feed our communities more affordably. Policy change can help us to remove barriers that make this work harder and incentivize a new path forward, but that conversation can feel very far away when you’re busy making sure that your crops get to market. I’m excited to be working directly with farmers to support their work on the ground, and provide links to the conversations happening off the farm that impact them.

Continue Reading →

Farmers Unite in Mendocino: the First Farmers Guild Gathering!

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Written by Evan Wiig of The Farmers Guild & FarmsReach.

Never have I had so much fun preparing for a potluck. Last week I drove north from my home in Sonoma County to attend the very first official gathering of the Mendocino Farmers Guild! Inspired by Gowan Batist, a young Fort Bragg-based farmer and founder of Eat Mendocino (a project for which she spent over a year eating nothing grown beyond her own county), I decided that for my part I’d bring a Mendocino-only dish. With the help of my friend, chef Matthew Elias and locavore grocer-extraordinaire Scott Cratty, in a one-day “gleaning spree”, we experienced first-hand what this burgeoning local food shed has to offer.

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All Mendocino-sourced dishes

For the pasta dish, we used flour from Doug Mosel’s Mendocino Grain Project, pastured pork from the McGruder Ranch in Potter Valley, beautiful tomatoes from Floodgate Farm out near the coast, eggs from the Brady Family Farm, and olive oil from a local orchard. Even the salt, thanks to Gowan’s sea-side harvesting, came from Mendocino!

Continue Reading →

Farmers Unite in Mendocino: the First Farmers Guild Gathering!

IMG_8397

Written by Evan Wiig of The Farmers Guild & FarmsReach.

Never have I had so much fun preparing for a potluck. Last week I drove north from my home in Sonoma County to attend the very first official gathering of the Mendocino Farmers Guild! Inspired by Gowan Batist, a young Fort Bragg-based farmer and founder of Eat Mendocino (a project for which she spent over a year eating nothing grown beyond her own county), I decided that for my part I’d bring a Mendocino-only dish. With the help of my friend, chef Matthew Elias and locavore grocer-extraordinaire Scott Cratty, in a one-day “gleaning spree”, we experienced first-hand what this burgeoning local food shed has to offer.

IMG_8382

All Mendocino-sourced dishes

For the pasta dish, we used flour from Doug Mosel’s Mendocino Grain Project, pastured pork from the McGruder Ranch in Potter Valley, beautiful tomatoes from Floodgate Farm out near the coast, eggs from the Brady Family Farm, and olive oil from a local orchard. Even the salt, thanks to Gowan’s sea-side harvesting, came from Mendocino!

Continue Reading →

Farm Advocacy Attorney Reflects on the CASFS Apprenticeship Program

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Written by guest blogger, Neil Thapar, 2012 CASFS Apprenticeship Program graduate and attorney focused on agriculture issues.

The shorter days and cooler nights of fall remind me that the year is coming to an end. As the planting season winds down, this is a time for reflecting on the past year and planning for the one ahead.

For the 35-40 apprentices who just completed the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food System’s (CASFS) Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at UC Santa Cruz, this past week vividly marked that transition. After six months of “farming boot camp”, where they each lived, worked and learned both the theory and practice of small-scale, capital-S sustainable agriculture, the apprentices have graduated as its newest class of proponents, practitioners and advocates.

Continue Reading →

Farm Advocacy Attorney Reflects on the CASFS Apprenticeship Program

lettuce_varieties

Written by guest blogger, Neil Thapar, 2012 CASFS Apprenticeship Program graduate and attorney focused on agriculture issues.

The shorter days and cooler nights of fall remind me that the year is coming to an end. As the planting season winds down, this is a time for reflecting on the past year and planning for the one ahead.

For the 35-40 apprentices who just completed the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food System’s (CASFS) Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at UC Santa Cruz, this past week vividly marked that transition. After six months of “farming boot camp”, where they each lived, worked and learned both the theory and practice of small-scale, capital-S sustainable agriculture, the apprentices have graduated as its newest class of proponents, practitioners and advocates.

Continue Reading →

Farm Hack Davis – DIY Farm Innovation!

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Farm Hack is a community-driven movement that brings farmers together with engineers, builders, welders, architects, software designers, and other skilled non-farmers to develop, document and build accessible, appropriate technology for more resilient agriculture. It’s based on the principles of sharing, open publication, and the evolution of design.  And, the first one in California is taking place in Davis on November 16-17!

Written by guest blogger, Marisa Alcorta of ATTRA/NCAT.

High tech agriculture, here’s your answer to how small and mid-size farms will feed the world: one region at a time. Guided by high ideals, which include self-determination, democracy, and open source sharing, Farm Hack has developed a community of 20,000 members who design, develop, improve and share tools that make farming and food production accessible to all. This community exists both on-line and in person, with most of the design work and collaboration happening at events held on farms across the country.

Continue Reading →

Farm Hack Davis – DIY Farm Innovation!

IMG_10991

Farm Hack is a community-driven movement that brings farmers together with engineers, builders, welders, architects, software designers, and other skilled non-farmers to develop, document and build accessible, appropriate technology for more resilient agriculture. It’s based on the principles of sharing, open publication, and the evolution of design.  And, the first one in California is taking place in Davis on November 16-17!

Written by guest blogger, Marisa Alcorta of ATTRA/NCAT.

High tech agriculture, here’s your answer to how small and mid-size farms will feed the world: one region at a time. Guided by high ideals, which include self-determination, democracy, and open source sharing, Farm Hack has developed a community of 20,000 members who design, develop, improve and share tools that make farming and food production accessible to all. This community exists both on-line and in person, with most of the design work and collaboration happening at events held on farms across the country.

Continue Reading →