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Chris

Little Rock Urban Farming

Little Rock, AR

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Personal Story

Hi, my name is Chris. I live on Coleman Creek in a garden home in Midtown Little Rock that my friends call the tree house. I am 30 years old. I am an organic farmer, pragmatic food activist, minimalist, artist and yoga practitioner. I was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. My mother and father are from small towns in the Arkansas Delta. From an early age, our parents instilled the importance and value of a hard work ethic, discipline, accountability and responsibility to community in both myself and my identical twin brother Joseph. Joe is a successful entrepreneur, wonderful father, my life coach and best friend.

In 2009, I was fortunate to be accepted into a leadership program through the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas. Through this experience, I learned about economics, politics, industry and agriculture in communities all throughout the state of Arkansas. We also learned about access to our political system so that we could be agents of change. At the same time, I immersed myself in organic farming through the apprenticeship program at Dripping Springs Garden, an organic farming operation in the Ozark Mountains in northwest Arkansas. While I sharpened my horticulture skills and marketing know-how, I was simultaneously creating a strong professional network and developing my skills in leadership.

Organic farming started as a hobby, became a passion, and has been an obsession ever since. I love growing organic fruits, vegetables and flowers for market.

Business Description

Little Rock Urban Farming has a new vision for agriculture in Arkansas. As a community based food enterprise, we are actively engaging our community about the need to address public health through sustainable agriculture. We grow organic fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs for local restaurants and farmers' markets.Through education and increasing awareness LRUF acts as a catalyst for the development of a food system that is equitable, just and profitable. Our demonstration gardens and model community food enterprise have empowered individuals in our community to take control of their food security and equipped them with the knowledge they need to actively choose health for themselves, their families and our agricultural system. In making the choice to eat food that has been locally and sustainably produced our community is choosing to protect our environment and conserve our natural resources. Every time we make a connection with our clients and allow them to learn about this important link between the health of our environment, economy, and community we add one more positive agent of change to this grassroots movement to help transform our agricultural system to one that is good for the environment, local economy and the people who live in our community.

LRUF is a new farmer incubator. Every year we accept 4-6 apprentices who come to learn about the production, distribution and marketing of fruits, flowers and vegetables. At LRUF, we believe it is our duty to connect these young people with the resources they need to start their own community food enterprises throughout the state of Arkansas. Little Rock Urban Farming is building a movement while moving a product that is good for all stakeholders involved including Mother Earth.

What is the purpose of this loan?

We would spend $5,000 of the loan on a greenhouse that would allow our farm to extend our growing season into the winter months and produce seedlings in the spring. We anticipate a significant increase in revenue in the winter months from salad mix production and in the spring from plant sales at market.

In addition, we would like to purchase a used triple bin stainless steel sink from a local restaurant supply store for $1,500 and a commercial lettuce spinner for $2,000. This equipment will allow our crew to work much more efficiently to wash and process our produce in preparation for market.

For $1,500 we can purchase a used and refurbished commercial range that will allow our farm to make value added products from our abundant produce like strawberry jam and dill pickles. Our clients have requested these type of value added products at our markets.

This loan will allow us to purchase the appropriate technology to make our business more dynamic, efficient and profitable.

Chris's loan is endorsed by Central Arkansas New Agrarian Society (CANAS). The information below explains why his trustee thinks Chris is a great candidate for a Kiva Zip loan.
How long have you known this person?

1 year - 3 years

Tell us about your relationship with this borrower.

We were drawn to Chris and Little Rock Urban Farming because of their commitment to sustainable agriculture and food culture. They produce healthy, delicious produce that is available at several local farmer's markets. We follow their progress and celebrate the success of their mission!

Tell us about this borrower's personality and character, and why you are endorsing him or her for a Kiva Zip loan.

Chris and the rest of Little Rock Urban Farming are educated in sustainable farming practices. They aim to help under-served communities develop fresh, healthy food resources such as community gardens and fresh produce markets. We at CANAS see that Chris and LRUF are committed to empowering other growers and enterprises as well as expand their own operations.

Tell us about this borrower's business, and why you believe a Kiva Zip loan will contribute to his or her success.

They fill a needed niche in our local economy. Their model of urban agriculture is important for the future of fresh food production in the city of Little Rock.

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PAYING BACK

A loan of $10,000 helps me to purchase a greenhouse, commercial range, triple-bin stainless steel sink, and commercial lettuce spinner to increase efficiency and profitability on our farm.

Disbursed Mar 28, 2013
Repayment Term:
24 monthly payments
Grace Period:
6 months
Listed:
Mar 14, 2013
Disbursed:
Mar 28, 2013
Paying Back:
Mar 29, 2013

About Little Rock Urban Farming

Industry:
Agriculture
Years in Operation:
3 years - 5 years
Website:
littlerockurbanfarming.com
Follow:
Facebook
Badges:
None

What are Borrower Badges?

Borrower Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward borrowers’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

This loan is endorsed by

Trustee Type:
Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Tier:
Third Tier trustee
Location:
Little Rock, AR
On Zip Since:
Mar 14, 2013
(28 months)
Loans Endorsed:
8
Total Value:
$70,000
Fundraising/Raised:
0
Paying on Time:
6
Paying Back Late:
0
Repaid in Full:
2
Defaulted:
0
Repayment Rate:
100%
Why are you endorsing Chris?

Chris and the rest of Little Rock Urban Farming are educated in sustainable farming practices. They aim to help under-served communities develop fresh, healthy food resources such as community gardens and fresh produce markets. We at CANAS see that Chris and LRUF are committed to empowering other...

What are Trustee Badges?

Trustee Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward trustees’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.