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Jul 1, 2015 4:55 EST

Caroline – Stone’s Throw Urban Farm: Turns vacant lots into beautiful, productive agricultural plots throughout the Twin Cities

iCrowdNewswire - Jul 1, 2015

 

Caroline

Stone’s Throw Urban Farm

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Personal Story

Hi Kiva Zip lenders,
We are a small team of people committed to building a more just food system and city through the work of running a small diversified vegetable operation in Minneapolis Saint Paul.

Stone’s Throw Urban Farm began as a merger of three urban farms in an effort to aggregate the space and resources needed to build an economically viable small business. The farm is structured as limited liability partnership, run by three partner/owners and pursues a for profit production model to affirm our collective believe that growing food should be a viable livelihood that fairly compensates labor.

My name is Caroline. I began working with Stone’s Throw last season, as one of the farm’s first employees. While I had originally planned to go into the fields of urban planning or architecture, I’m interested in how the farm can similarly consider the connections between built environment, economy, and social justice, as we work to reinsert agriculture into the city.

Business Description

Stone’s Throw Urban Farm turns vacant lots into beautiful, productive agricultural plots throughout the Twin Cities. Since 2011, we have converted 14 different spaces into vibrant vegetable production. We are working to create a dynamic urban farm that strives toward ecological sustainability, community empowerment, and financial viability in Minneapolis and Saint Paul through growing diversified organic vegetables and building urban soils.

We grow a diverse array of seasonal vegetables using organic practices – no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. Prodigious amounts of compost, mulches, and cover crops keep our soil healthy. Using intensive production practices and infrastructure to extend the season we are able to grow over 50,000 pounds of produce on 2.5 acres of land.

Our food is marketed through a 200 member CSA, two farmers markets in the Twin Cities, many restaurants, and sell food from our farming plots throughout the growing season. In the 2014 season we formed a new and immigrant farmers marketing cooperative, Shared Ground Cooperative, with four other farms outside of the Cities, to build shared access to markets, infrastructure, and education.

What is the purpose of this loan?

In the midst of our fifth season as a farm, we are continuously thinking about strategic ways to grow as a small business. Integral will be continuing to invest in infrastructure that will help us create a more efficient operation, but that has a large investment cost. We are looking to borrow $7000 to go towards a new dump trailer and $3000 to purchase a used refrigerated box truck.

This past season we began building our own compost utilizing urban waste streams around us, such as spent brewery grains, as key inputs. Given the heavy application needed to amend depleted urban soils, building our own compost will cut our operating expenses dramatically. We plan to purchase a dump trailer that will help us deliver loads to brewery waste to our farm sites in a more efficient and physically sustainable manner.

We also need to purchase a refrigerated box truck that will enable us to store and transport our produce as we move it around the Twin Cities. We have outgrown our last storage and transportation system and in order to grow production we need a more reliable and spacious set up. Produce will be harvested and aggregated into the box truck and delivered to our marketing cooperative, restaurant accounts, and the farmers market.

Contact Information:

Caroline

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