A loan of $10,000 helped purchase a livestock trailer, improve water storage and delivery to our pasture, and replace older hens in our laying flock.

Fiesta's story

Following very different life paths, we (Sarah and Aurelio Lopez) met in 2009. Aurelio had spent a decade working on an organic vegetable farm in Watsonville, having left his home in Oaxaca, Mexico in order to support himself and save money for school. Sarah had recently moved to the area from Maryland and was working up and down the Central Coast as a water quality scientist on behalf of farmers in the region. A mutual friend introduced us after Sarah's interest in raising chickens (for fun!) made him think his farmer-friend Aurelio might be a good match.

The "chicken project" of 2009 was a success, and in 2010 we moved to a rented a room in a barn and an acre of pasture on which to raise more chickens in our spare time, while both continuing to work full-time off the farm. We got married in the fall of 2010, and took a delayed honeymoon that winter, after which we returned to expand the farm a bit and Aurelio quit his "day job" to work full-time on it.

Fast-forwarding a few years, we now own 17 acres and rent another 18. We've built up our own CSA (community supported agriculture) program and partner with others, and also attend 3 farmer's markets. To our original broiler chicken operation we've experimented with adding laying hens, pigs, goats, rabbits, turkeys, and vegetables. Some of these pilot projects have turned into full-scale additional enterprises; others are still in "pilot" phase. Our son, Mateo, was born in 2013 and loves spending time with the animals and with us at the farmer's markets.

Farming has been a greater commitment and challenge than either of us could have imagined, but has opened doors to a special lifestyle and wonderful community of other farmers and like-minded friends. We both feel that this is the work we are meant to do, and we love the feeling of feeding others with high quality humane, sustainable, and nutrient-dense foods.

Loan details

About Fiesta Farm

Industry: Agriculture
Years in operation: 3 years - 5 years
Website: fiestafarm.net


Lenders and lending teams

Loan details