100%

funded

Total loan: $10,000

Michael

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Honokaa, HI, United States / Agriculture

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A loan helped us protect our plant production area from rain and wind, which provides the promotion essentials for opening two more days per week. This restores a nearby farm lot, thus adding diversity to our business for little extra cost.


Michael's story

I have been an entrepreneur in diverse fields for most of my adult life, but it wasn't until I tried my hand at a plant nursery that I felt most at home. I was president of the local farm cooperative about ten years ago when I got an unexpected call from a local landowner, inviting me to set up a roadside farm market on an inspiring property with views of the ocean and great highway visibility. It seemed that all of my related interests (farmers markets, organic orchards, permaculture design, youth gardening programs and farm festivals) were promisimg to come together. With the help of a string of talented people who seemingly just happened by, a “farm hub” type of project that we came to call Hamakua Harvest came into being six years ago and has enjoyed steady progress ever since. My nursery, Elemental Plants, has become part of the mix over the past year, and though it's only open one day a week, it is showing signs of a successful business – enthusiastic responses from our customers and regular questions about when we will be open more hours. The association with the other components of the farm hub are most inspiring to me, as they make up what Donella Meadows referred to in her inspiring news columns out of New Hampshire as “whole systems”, that together make up something more than the sum of their parts. Being part of the farm hub is the best context I can imagine for my own business as it gives me a chance to enhance the other components of Hamakua Harvest while they enhance mine. Hamakua Harvest (hamakuaharvest.org) presently consists of a youth gardening program, a 160-tree demonstration orchard, a weekly farmers' market, an annual farm festival and, now, a retail nursery!