Today, get an extra $25 to lend when you make your first Kiva loan.
Total loan: $10,000
Kalkaska, MI, United States / Agriculture
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Carissa's loan finished fundraising,
but these similar borrowers just need a little more help to reach their goals!
A loan helped install an agricultural well essential for the growth of our crops and farm.
We are two farmers who came from very different backgrounds, but today share a common goal. Nathan was raised in rural Northern Michigan, but his passion for food started young. He attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York, then traveled the country cooking at a wide variety of restaurants, including at Robert Redford’s Sundance resort in Utah, a Oaxacan restaurant in Oregon, and a wilderness lodge in Alaska (where he and Carissa later met!). As he became increasingly interested in the quality of the ingredients he was cooking with, and where those ingredients came from, he decided to switch gears from cooking to farming. He then spent two years apprenticing at Organic vegetable farms in Oregon. Carissa grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and studied Sociology and Spanish in college. She got serious about growing food while working at a non-profit in Portland, Oregon. There she facilitated community gardens in public housing neighborhoods, working with gardeners of diverse ages, ethnicities, and physical abilities. She led children’s garden clubs and cooking classes, and helped start a community-run laying hen cooperative to provide organic eggs for the neighborhood. She gained valuable experience managing the seeding and plant start programs for the gardens. Together, we decided to start our own farm, and moved back to Michigan to be close to family. We started our farming business on a couple acres of borrowed land while working other jobs to save up for our own farm. We recently purchased 40 acres, and we are so excited to expand our farm! Moving to our own land with room to grow means that we can cut back drastically on our off-farm work, allowing us to focus all our energy on innovatively growing our farming business, and finding more ways to give back to our community.