First NO Interest Loans Awarded by SOIL Sangre de Cristo Members
SOIL Sangre de Cristo awarded its first round of zero-interest farm loans to Rocky Mountain Garlic and Strawn Berry Farms November 12, 2020.
Tiffany and Mike Collette of Rocky Mountain Garlic will use their $5,000 loan to build a low-tunnel hoop house, improve their vegetable wash stand and expand their refrigeration and storage capacity.
Rocky Mountain Garlic has been growing multiple varieties of garlic in Salida since 2017 and this year partnered with another Chaffee County farm to provide vegetables and herbs including beets, radishes, sorrel and mint. You can find Rocky Mountain Garlic at the Salida Farmers Market and online at rockymountaingarlic.com.
Strawn Berry Farms is a one-year-old micro farm located in Del Norte that uses organic and regenerative techniques to cultivate high-value specialty crops, including sustainable strawberries. Proprietor David Strawn will use his $2,000 SOIL loan to build a temperature-controlled “Market Mobile” retail trailer that can transport fresh produce to markets.
Local farmers and food producers who are members of SOIL were eligible to apply for the no-interest loans. Loan-application finalists pitched their proposals live at the virtual November 12 meeting. The loans are repayable over three years and as they’re repaid the money will roll back into the available funds for future loans. SOIL Sangre de Cristo will call for the next round of applications in early 2021.