farm or three ring circus? maybe both

posted March 27, 2017

BK Grange LIC (1)

Greenhorns correspondent Julia Caruso spoke with Anastasia Cole Plakias of Brooklyn Grange about the farmer’s perspective on the relationships between urban and rural farms and Brooklyn Grange’s biggest challenge.

It is undeniable that real estate is skyrocketing in metropolitan areas with New York City arguably leading the pack. City dwellers are being pushed out, businesses are being forced to move, and urban farmers’ creativity is being tested. That’s why when Anastasia Cole Plakias, Ben Flanner, and Gwen Schantz, co-founders of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm were looking to purchase land in New York City in 2010, they looked up towards the sky.

Brooklyn Grange began as the largest rooftop soil farm in the world with one-acre of land atop a commercial building in Long Island City. They broke even their first year and two years later they expanded and purchased 2.5 acres of rooftop space above the Brooklyn Navy Yard on a 20-year lease. Anastasia, VP of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, said that the only way they could be fiscally responsible and create a replicable and scalable urban farm, was by purchasing land closer to the sun. But even with their success it is becoming exceedingly difficult to sustain.

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New financing for small farmers:

posted October 19, 2016

Kiva and Greenhorns working together to help small farmers grow their businesses

tinyfield-farm-bk-ghKatrina and Keely, Founders of Tinyfield Farm in Brooklyn, NY

The Greenhorns and Kiva are working together to help farmers access the capital and customers they need to successfully grow their businesses. Over the next few months, The Greenhorns will host a series of articles and podcasts about how farmers can benefit from a 0% interest, crowdfunded loan from Kiva at various stages in their business’ lifecycle.

 

Imagine the perfect growing season for your farm. It’s probably a warm, sunny one and the frost stayed away long enough for you to complete your harvest. You’re popular at your farmers markets, always selling out, and your delivery van didn’t break down once! People are raving about your produce: they’re writing great reviews and are signing up for your CSA.

It’s the type of season that fills you with pride.

Now imagine a season where things start to go wrong. The weather takes a turn for the worse and a field gets flooded, your delivery van breaks down on the way to market, the birds are more numerous than usual and are destroying your food…The list goes on and on.

Running a farm can be a stressful affair, especially when it comes to dealing with uncertainty.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Hundreds of farmers have found peace-of-mind by raising 0% interest capital for their businesses from Kiva, a nonprofit that supports U.S. entrepreneurs.

Since 2012, Kiva has helped hundreds of farmers raise over $2 million in funding – all without charging a single cent of interest or fees.

As a nonprofit, Kiva is dedicated to increasing access to capital for business owners who need it the most: people who are unable to raise money for their business from traditional sources, like banks.

With 8,000 small business loan applications rejected in the U.S. every day, more and more entrepreneurs are turning to alternative sources of financing, and Kiva is here to help.

Kiva is a crowdfunding platform like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, except instead of donations or purchases, the “crowd” makes 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs fundraising on the platform.

Kiva’s “crowd” is made up of 1.5 million supportive lenders around the world, many of whom lend locally and become business’ new customers, brand ambassadors and fans.

Like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, entrepreneurs create a campaign where they tell their story and why they’re raising money. Unlike Indiegogo and Kickstarter, entrepreneurs on Kiva have a 90% public funding success rate.

Even better, farmers have a 98% funding success rate on Kiva!

Over the next few months, The Greenhorns will post a series of articles and podcasts about how a Kiva loan can support at different stages in a farm’s lifecycle. These posts will be anchored in stories of real entrepreneurs, who have grown their business through Kiva.

 

theo                  liz

Theo, Co-Owner of Helios Farms                        Liz, Co-Owner of Happy Hollow Farm

These entrepreneurs are people like Liz, co-owner of Happy Hollow Farm, who borrowed $10,000 to build three high tunnels that extended her growing season; and Theo, co-owner of Helios Farms, who borrowed $5,000 to help purchase a refrigerated trailer to serve as a butcher shop and walk-in cooler.

More than just capital, Liz and Theo had 337 people from Kiva’s community lend to them! These entrepreneurs now have larger networks of people who believe in them and their businesses.

This is the power of Kiva. Kiva’s community of lenders truly believes in supporting small business owners and shows so by expecting only the money they lent in return for their investment.

Every farmer has their off-days, and Kiva is here to help them realize more perfect ones.

Check in again next week for a new story, and to learn more about Kiva, visit us.kiva.org/greenhorns or email questions to borrowers@kiva.org.


tickets now available for the rural route film festival!

posted July 26, 2016

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Tickets are now available for the 12th annual Rural Route Film Festival!  Get yer Opening Night tix at Brooklyn Grange here!  Get yer Museum of the Moving Image tix here!
 
 
The line-up includes a mix of new movies and all-time classics, plus top notch shorts from around the globe.  Features include Yared Zeleke’s LAMB (“Sheer brilliance knits together first Ethiopian film at Cannes” –The Guardian); plus New York premieres of German director Veit Helmer’s Little Rascals-inspired FIDDLESTICKS, and Moein Karimoddini’s documentary, ATLAN, about a young Turkmen Iranian horse trainer.  Rounding out the line-up are gorgeous favorites, THE BLACK STALLION (1979) and WHITE MANE (1952) by the director of The Red Balloon.  
 
The Brooklyn Grange event includes a ukulele performance by local Japanese/Bossa Nova guru, Sakai, plus a mix of narrative, animated, documentary and experimental short films from Maine, the Netherlands, Tennessee, the Georgian/Armenian border, Iowa, Iceland and beyond – w/several filmmakers in attendance!  There will be food and beer specials afterwards courtesy of COFFEED and SingleCut, w/the support of the Dutch Consulate!
 
Get special leaks & updates — FOLLOW @: https://www.facebook.com/RuralRouteFilms
https://twitter.com/ruralroutefilms

GOOD DIRT premier @ BAM, april 10

posted March 13, 2016

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GOOD DIRT is a multimedia performance based on real stories from six diverse farm families in the Hudson Valley. Written by Jeremy Davidson and directed by Mary Stuart Masterson of Storyhorse Documentary Theater, GOOD DIRT illustrates the fragility of our agricultural heritage and inspires the audience to rebuild what’s been lost. 

APRIL 10, 2016 // PREMIER
Show starts at 4pm // at the BAM Fisher (Fishman Space)
Cocktail reception at 6pm // at BAM Lepercq Space, 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

The proceeds from this event go to support the work of our good friends at the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Buy tickets here!



Brooklyn Food Conference, May 2nd

posted April 24, 2009

If you’re in NYC, or anywhere close, this will be an amazing day.  There are dozens of workshops planned, including “Passing the hoe: our new farmers share stories and experiences”.  See you there…bfc

Brooklyn Food Conference

A grassroots event for a just, secure, sustainable, healthy and delicious food system.
A project of the Brooklyn Food Coalition.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
P.S. 321 and at John Jay High School, 7th Avenue in Park Slope
Conference is FREE and open to allFood activists, local farmers, health advocates, academics, union leaders, elected officials and restaurateurs will gather this day with concerned citizens to discuss the changes and challenges in our
global food economy and how it impacts our communities. Workshops and speeches will provide education and networking opportunities for individuals to get involved for improving our diet, health and environment. (more…)