The Humble Huckster Farm
A loan of $10,000 helps fund the purchase of a reliable farm vehicle, to transport product to farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture members, and restaurants. The vehicle will also be invaluable for transporting bulky farm supplies.
Growing up I loved being in nature, my parents had a huge garden, and took us for adventures in the local woods, or nearby farms, rain or shine. They were big national parks and wildlife fans, and I guess I was too. In college I tried farming and I fell in love. My studies honed in on these interests, and I worked with different farms and farmers over the years. After graduation, my skill-set in agriculture grew . I gained experience with tractors and power tools, I learned about dealing with employees and budgeting.
When my husband started his business, and we had our 2nd child, I took a break from farming. I jokingly called it my sabbatical. Then an opportunity came up that met our needs as a family, and my desire to farm again. The Humble Huckster Farm was born! In the fall of 2014, I hustled to get a garlic crop planted, and 2015 was my first full season. I had never owned a business or started a farm from scratch, so that was an exciting next step. 2015 went very well, and 2016 better! I grow and sell chemical-free mixed vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, and some fruit to a farmers’ market, a CSA, and some restaurants. I’m grateful we are able to live on the farm, as prior farm jobs required a commute. What a difference living here makes. The dream really is sustainable growth. Learning, evolving, and adapting with the changing needs of the farm, our clientele, and our family. Some future possibilities: goats, pigs, fruit trees, value-added products. But I think balance is so important. It is easy to get overextended, and self-care and pacing is really important to me, in order to achieve long-term growth and satisfaction.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
I have been drawn to farming and food since 2001, and the dream was always to run my own small farm. I love working outdoors, with my hands, building things, growing things. I love using my brain and my body in an effort to make the world a better place. The Humble Huckster Farm has been in operation since the fall of 2014. It is a woman-owned/operated chemical-free mixed vegetable, herb, fruit, and cut flower farm. I am passionate about growing nutritious and beautiful crops for my community; and treating the soil, water, and air with respect and minimum impact. I sell my product to a local farmers’ market, a small CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) membership, and some restaurants. Each year I add a little bit to the operation: more land, new crops, hens, bees, etc. This is the first time that we have lived on a farm, which is great since my children are still young. My husband is very busy with his own business, but participates a lot with various projects on the farm as he is able. This is truly a first generation family farm. I don’t have any employees, but anticipate that will change over time. Right now, it is a LOT of work, but I am trying to keep it small enough that I can still handle it solo. The goal is slow and sustainable growth. We have so many interests, the possibilities are endless. I think I’m most proud of the fact that I am just doing it. Imperfectly, but successfully. With 2 kids and little help. And my product is beautiful. It’s pretty awesome.
What is the purpose of this loan?
We purchased a used minivan in early 2015, and were able to use it for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. However, the repairs needed have become cost-prohibitive. We would like a newer vehicle that can offer a longer lifespan/more reliability. We need more cargo space, as each year I grow the farm a little bit more, diversifying products and markets. A safe, reliable vehicle is essential for getting to and from markets every week, for delivering to restaurants and CSA drop-off locations. It will also be nice to have the extra room on harvest days. Or when we need to pick up some 2×4 lumber for a project; or purchase 640 pounds of chicken feed for our growing flock; or straw bales for mulching 2000 sq. ft. of garlic in the fall. Some extra room really goes a long way in these cases, and prevents us having to rent a truck to get the job done. A KIVA loan is pretty essential to making this happen for us.
Years in operation: 1 year – 3 years