Our Borrowers

Who Have We Helped?  

The PVGrows Investment Fund is proud to have provided financing to the following businesses whose work strengthens the local food system:
Jared’s Farm, West Newbury | Loan Date: September 2023 | Purpose: Operating Expenses
North Hadley Sugar Shack | Loan Date: September 2023 | Purpose: Operating Expenses

North Hadley Sugar Shack is a 27-year-old family farm business; growing, harvesting, producing and selling maple syrups, grass fed meats, feed hay and straw, flowering plants, fruit and vegetables, for retail and wholesale markets throughout the Connecticut River Valley and beyond. In addition to the farm, the Sugar Shack also features a farm market, deli and bakery, restaurant, and garden store.

Sawmill Herb Farm | Loan Date: July 2023 | Purpose: Infrastructure

Sawmill Herb Farm is an organic medicinal and culinary herb farm in Montague. They sell a fresh herb CSA, a variety of vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings, and apothecary products. They also host classes on herbal medicine and how to use, grow, and process herbs. Through a bridge loan from the PVGrows Investment Fund for their Food Security Infrastructure Grant award, Sawmill Herb Farm is renovating a barn to be a four-season space to pack and process herbs, operate a farm stand, and host education classes.

The new year-round space will contribute to the local agricultural economy by encouraging consumers to purchase hard-to-find medicinal herbs locally instead of online, as well as being able to provide local farm products at the farm stand.

Checkerspot Farm | Loan Date: June 2023 | Purpose: Infrastructure

Checkerspot Farm is a native plant nursery located on the former site of a dairy farm in Colrain. Owner Jocelyn Demuth started the business in 2021 after seeing the available farmland and being inspired by the ecosystem supported in her backyard from native plants. Part of the mission of the plant nursery is to “educate growers [on] how to use native plants instead of pesticides to naturally control garden pests,” and how “native grasses act as a natural carbon lock and can combat global warning.”

Checkerspot is now hoping to expand their business by converting the barn on their property to a farm store, where they will sell local produce, meat, crafts, and wildflowers. The renovated barn and farm store funded by PVGIF will provide a wholesale outlet for local farmers and preserve the rural and agricultural landscape in Colrain. A nearby wholesale farm store recently closed, so Checkerspot hopes to fill in that gap in their community.

Mayval Farm | Loan Date: April 2023 | Purpose: Equipment, Infrastructure

Mayval Farm, located in Westhampton, is a creamery and producer of maple syrup, free-range eggs, and pasture-raised Angus beef. The Parsons family has been farming Mayval Farm since 1778 and are committed to keeping their land in agriculture for generations to come. Through their PVGrows funding, they are planning to double their creamery production and increase their geographic reach to underserved communities via farmers markets and food delivery systems.

Through a bridge loan from the PVGrows Investment Fund for their Massachusetts Food Security Infrastructure Grant award, Mayval Farm will purchase a larger capacity vat, install a more efficient chiller, and construct a utility building to house the new equipment.

You can find their milk, skyr, kefir, cheese, and other creamery products at their farm store, farmers markets, and at several stores in Hampshire County and South Deerfield.

Congrats to the other farms and businesses who are not new to PVGIF but have received additional loans since August 2022:

Ginger Love Cafe (Easthampton) – July 2023

Bardwell Farm (Hatfield) – June 2023

Crimson and Clover (Florence) – May 2023

Mycoterra Farm (South Deerfield) – May 2023

Hager’s Farm Market (Shelburne Falls) – February 2023

Wellspring Harvest Coop (Springfield) – February 2023

Daily Operation (Easthampton) – October 2022

All Farmers (West Springfield) – November 2022

Wellness Croft | Loan Date: May 2022 | Purpose: Equipment

Wellness Croft is a burgeoning business that produces locally sourced freeze-dried fruits and culinary herbs. The company, located in Plymouth, sources the majority of their fruits and culinary herbs from farms located in the northeast. Owner Tim O’Neil produces these shelf-stable, hiking-friendly, plant-based snacks at their facility in two-parts. First, the produce is frozen at a couple of locations nearby and then it is dried at the Wellness Croft facility in Plymouth.   Wellness Croft sells online, through local retailers and farm stores as well as providing an option for monthly subscription baskets. Through the PVGrows Investment Fund, O’Neil is expanding by purchasing a new piece of equipment to increase capacity.   Fun fact: The FCCDC’s Western MA Food Processing Center freezes and copacks for Wellness Croft.

Crimson & Clover Farm | Loan Date: April 2022 | Purpose: Infrastructure

Crimson and Clover Farm is a diversified mixed-vegetable farm with a seasonal farm store located at the Northampton Community Farm in Florence, MA. Farmer Nate Frigard grows seasonal vegetables to supply their 600 member CSA and farm store.   

Through a bridge loan from the PVGrows Investment Fund for their MA Food Security Infrastructure Grant award, Crimson and Clover is constructing an expanded warm and welcoming year-round farm store, and a new washing facility. They will soon be able to store, wash, and distribute vegetables throughout the winter months as well. 

Full Well Farm | Loan Date: April 2022 | Purpose: Infrastructure

Full Well Farm is a vegetable, herb and flower farm with land in Adams, MA. Farmers Meg Bantle and Laura Tupper-Palches grow seasonal vegetables, herbs and cut flowers on their small family farm. They sell through their CSA, the North Adams Farmers Market, and wholesale locally. Full Well Farm partners with Berkshire Grown, Multicultural BRIDGE and Hoosac Harvest to increase access to their CSA for SNAP/EBT eligible community members.  

Through their MA Food Security Infrastructure Grant award and a bridge loan from the PVGrows Investment Fund, Banter and Tupper-Palches are financing a climate battery greenhouse. The greenhouse will allow the farm to extend their growing season and provide a winter CSA option to community members. The farm has some products available at their farm stand located across the street from the Adams Transfer Station, but you can find them Saturdays from 9:00am – 1:00pm at the North Adams Farmers Market.

All Farmers | Loan Date: April 2022 | Purpose: Infrastructure

All Farmers is a nonprofit network of over 60 farm families, refugees, and immigrant farmers who tend land located in and around Springfield, MA. They are working towards “a food system that reflects the diverse communities of our region in leadership, ownership and priorities.”   The farmers in the All Farmers network sell through their own farmstand, through informal networks, and through two farmers’ markets that All Farmers runs in the Merrick (West Springfield) and Brightwood (Springfield) neighborhoods.   Through their MA Food Security Infrastructure Grant award and a bridge loan from the PVGrows Investment Fund, All Farmers is installing a well at their new community garden as well as purchasing a tractor and other farm equipment to increase production and soil health for generations to come.

Woven Roots Farm | Loan Date: April 2022 | Purpose: Infrastructure

Woven Roots Farm, located in Tyringham, is a small no-till hand-scale farm run by Jen and Pete Salinetti. They sell primarily through their CSA and also run an education center. They have been in operation for over 20 years and farm ten acres with more than 70 different crops.   This short-term bridge loan from PVGIF is for their MA Food Security Infrastructure Grant award and will allow Jen and Pete to make some important investments in the farm including a new tractor, a new farm store, and vegetable processing and storage infrastructure.

Atlas Farm I Loan Date: July 2020 I Purpose: COVID-19 Emergency Farm Fund
Hickory Hill Farm I Loan Date: July 2020 I Purpose: COVID-19 Emergency Farm Fund
Smiarowski Farm I Loan Date: July 2020 I Purpose: COVID-19 Emergency Farm Fund
Old Friends Farm I Loan Date: May 2020 I Purpose: COVID-19 Emergency Farm Fund
Many Graces Flower Farm I Loan Date: May 2020 I Purpose: COVID-19 Emergency Farm Fund
Joe Czajkowski Farm I Loan Date: May 2020 I Purpose: COVID-19 Emergency Farm Fund
Reed Farm I Loan Date: May 2020 I Purpose: COVID-19 Emergency Farm Fund
North Hadley Sugar Shack I Loan Date: May 2020 I Purpose: COVID-19 Emergency Farm Fund
Cluck & Trowel I Loan Date: May 2020 I Purpose: Working Capital

Cluck & Trowel is a small-scale organic farm with land in Westport, MA and Little Compton, RI. Farmer Sarah Cogswell raises pastured eggs, poultry and heritange pork as well as seasonal vegetables on her small family farm. She sells primarily via the farm’s CSA and local farmstands.

Five Eyed Fox I Loan Date: January 2020 I Purpose: Equipment and Working Capital

The Five Eyed Fox restaurant in Turners Falls reopened its doors to crowds of loyal patrons in mid-February with support from the PVGrows Investment Fund. Ashley Arthur, owner and chef, made many improvements to this beloved locavore cafe especially in the kitchen and bar area.

Once the State of Emergency hit in mid-March, Five Eyed Fox quickly switched gears and began rolling out a free lunch program to help the community in need. Currently the restaurant is open for take-out and curbside delivery.

Doubleday Farm I Loan Date: December 2019 I Purpose: Construction

DoubleDay Farm is located in Hadley, MA. Thomas Doubleday, a second generation farmer, is continuing to grow his diversified vegetable farming business through the financial assistance of the PVGrows Investment Fund in partnership with The Carrot Project.

Through the PVGrows Investment Fund, Thomas is financing the upgrade of his 1900-era barn into a modern-day, fully compliant food grade processing facility. Thomas intends to access new markets with this new food-grade processing barn. According to Thomas, “This will be a game changer for Doubleday Farm.” Thomas is scaling up his production to grow and harvest almost 20 acres of potatoes and over five acres of asparagus. Doubleday Farm sells wholesale only. You can enjoy his produce at many places including another PVGrows Investment Fund Borrower Daily Operations in Easthampton, MA (eatdailyop.com).

Flat Rock Farm l Loan Date: September 2019 l Loan Purpose: High-Efficiency Boiler

Flat Rock Farm, located in Chesterfield, is an 130-acre farm producing heritage beef, wood-fired maple products, wildflower honey, and sustainable timber products. Founded in 2005, owners Jonathan and Kate Parrott work to produce sustainably healthy products. “We strongly believe in low-impact local food production as we interpret climate change as intensifying food insecurity. Additionally, the boiler system we have chosen has the potential to dramatically reduce both carbon emissions as well as fuel costs.” PVGIF financing is needed to install the high-efficiency boiler. This bridge financing will be repaid by grant funding upon completion.

Bardwell Farm l Loan Date: June 2019 l Loan Purpose: Greenhouse

As an eleventh-generation farmer, one could say that farming is in Harrison Bardwell’s blood. Harrison farms roughly 15-acres on family land as well as rented land. Bardwell Farm’s main outlet is a self-service farmstand, located on the home farm. Bardwell Farm is expanding with PVGIF bridge financing for a new greenhouse which will extend the season and give customers a covered place to shop in inclement weather. This is to be repaid upon completion through a MDAR MEGA grant.

Bardwell Farm’s mission statement says it best, “Our commitment to the community is this: we strive to grow a quality product, while having a positive impact on the environment, and educating our customers about the benefits of eating and shopping for locally grown food.”

Bolduc Farm l Loan Date: May 2019 l Loan Purpose: Working Capital

Greg Bolduc began farming his land in Westfield in 2012. He works to provide fresh, healthy food to the local community by raising and harvesting fresh beef, pork, chicken and vegetables available at the Bolduc Farmstand and local restaurants. Bolduc believes in the importance of keeping land open and works to ensure his own land is healthy and sustainable.

Garbiel Farms I Loan Date: May 2019 l Loan Purpose: Barn Repair

Two historic barns at Garbiel Farms have shiny new roofs. Garbiel Farms, located in Montague, is one of the largest farms in Franklin County at over 400 acres. Karl “Chip” Garbiel is a third-generation family farmer. This picturesque property is protected by the State’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program, which protects the land from non-agricultural development. Chip is working to prepare the farm for the next generation of farmers.

 Chip received a farm infrastructure grant from the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources. The PVGrows Investment Fund provided bridge funding to support construction until the grant reimbursement funds were made available.

LaSalle Florists l Loan Date: April 2019 l Loan Purpose: Equipment Repair

LaSalle Florists has been growing and selling fresh cut flowers and plants for over 75 years. Owners John and Anna LaSalle grow freesia, lilies and snapdragons in their greenhouses plus dahlias, ornithogoluim and a wide variety of summer cut flowers in their fields located in Whately. The LaSalles choose crops based on environmental conditions and what may not be available in wholesale markets.

John LaSalle approached PVGIF about an financing to repair the transmission in his delivery van. PVGIF was able to provide this financing quickly in order to minimize the disruption to his business.

Hosta Hill l Loan Date: April 2019 l Purpose: Equipment

Hosta Hill, owned and operated by Abe Hunrichs and Maddie Elling, is a Berkshire-based business that is committed to producing local, sustainable, and delicious fermented foods like kimchi, krauts, and kraut juices. These “field-to-ferment” experts take pride in sourcing source organic vegetables from passionate farmers between the Hudson and Pioneer Valley, helping to build community and resilient food systems. Hosta Hill won two consecutive Good Food Awards, in 2015 and 2016, and has been recognized as one of “the most conscientious and talented craft food producers in the United States.” Their probiotic-rich foods are available on the menus at over 100 cafés, restaurants,
and farmer’s markets in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York.

Simple Gifts Farm l Loan Date: January 2019 l Purpose: High Efficiency Wood-Burning Boiler

Simple Gifts Farm is a small, diversified farm located in North Amherst. Owners Jeremy Barker Plotkin and Dave Tepfer are installing a high efficiency wood-burning boiler with a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. PVGIF is providing the bridge financing for this important energy-saving endeavor for the farm. Owners Jeremy Barker Plotkin and Dave Tepfer are the stewards of the North Amherst Community Farm, community-owned land preserved in perpetuity for farming. Jeremy and Dave run a diversified farm including a CSA, year-round farm store and farmer apprenticeship training

Simple Gifts Farm | Loan Date: May 2022 | Purpose: Infrastructure

Simple Gifts Farm is a small, diversified farm located in North Amherst. Owners Jeremy Barker Plotkin and Dave Tepfer are the stewards 30 acres of land on the North Amherst Community Farm and manage an additional 20 acres leased from the neighbor to that property. Jeremy and Dave’s farm includes a CSA, year-round farm store and farmer apprenticeship training.   This PVGIF bridge loan for their MA Food Security Infrastructure Grant award is for two walk-in coolers and one walk-in freezer, which will allow the farm and farm store to both provide more of their own farm products to the community, and to increase support for other local farms and food producers. As a result, this will increase the year-round food supply for the surrounding community.   This is the second PVGIF loan to Simple Gifts Farm.

Berkshire Food Co-op l Loan Date: December 2018 l Purpose: Equipment, Working Capital

The Berkshire Food Co-op, located in Great Barrington, was founded in 1981 by local families. It offers the community a place to shop, gather, eat, and learn by providing healthy food and environmentally-friendly products at reasonable prices. The co-op is a model of a sustainable business alternative and aims to be a transformative force in the community. In addition to PVGIF participating in a loan with the Cooperative Fund of New England, the Berkshire Food Co-op raised an impressive $1.4 million in owner loans to secure a larger space, serve more members of the community, and support their continued success.

Morning Dew Farm l Loan Date: December 2018 l Purpose: Equipment

Morning Dew Farm, owned and operated by the Rida family, is a small dairy farm located in Worthington. Just after Thanksgiving, the Rida’s applied for an emergency loan to cover the cost of replacing the farm’s air compressor. The PVGrows Investment Fund was able to quickly approve Morning Dew Farm for financing and help support the farm’s final phase of winter preparation.

Chamutka Farm l Loan Date: October 2018 l Purpose: Truck, Equipment

Dave and Linda Chamutka have run Chamutka Farm, a 50-acre certified organic vegetable farm in Whately. Farming since 1982, their major crops include cucumbers, cabbage, squash, tomatoes, and strawberries. They sell high quality vegetables at local grocery stores, such as Big Y, and through a local farmer cooperative, the Pioneer Valley Growers Association.

Chamutka Farm was the very first supplier to Real Pickles (also a PVGIF borrower), growing the 1,000 pounds of pickling cucumbers in 2001 to make one of the first batches of Organic Dill Pickles!

Chamutka Farm | Loan Date: January 2022 | Purpose: Vehicle

PVGIF made a second loan to Dave and Linda Chamutka of Chamutka Farm. Dave and Linda have run Chamutka Farm, a 50-acre certified organic vegetable farm in Whately, since 1982. Their major crops include cucumbers, cabbage, squash, tomatoes, and strawberries. They sell high quality vegetables at local grocery stores, such as Big Y, and through the local farmer cooperative, Pioneer Valley Growers Association.
Fun Fact: Chamutka Farm was the very first supplier to Real Pickles (also a PVGIF borrower). In 2001, Chamutka Farm provided 1,000 pounds of pickling cucumbers to Real Pickles to make one of their first batches of Organic Dill Pickles!

Shire City Herbals l Loan Date: October 2018 l Loan Purpose: Working Capital

Shire City HerbalsOwners Dana St. Pierre and Amy Huebner have expanded their production of Fire Cider, an herbal tonic, into a new facility located in Pittsfield. They have also extended facility and equipment use to Marty’s Local and Hosta Hill, two local food businesses, with the hope that they will all grow together.

Shire City Herbals benefited early on from their relationship with the FCCDC. The business was incubated in the FCCDC’s Western MA Food Processing Center where they received business assistance as well. Once Shire City outgrew the Food Processing Center, they bought and renovated their new Pittsfield facility.

What Cheer Fruit + Produce l Loan Date: June 2018 l Loan Purpose: Delivery Truck

What Cheer Fruit + Produce sources from farms that focus on quality and diversity and is committed to supporting its farmers and buyers throughout the supply chain. Owned by Andrew Lacasse, his focus is delivering to restaurants and small grocery stores/co-ops, but we also work with farmers to truck produce to their customers in Boston, Providence, Hartford, and other points along their route.

The Gill Tavern l Loan Date: August 2018 l Loan Purpose: Business Acquisition

imagesWalker Widner is the proud new owner of The Gill Tavern. He has spent the past few years as head chef at the Tavern, and assumed the mantle of owner this summer, in part thanks to financing from the PVGrows Investment Fund. The Gill Tavern is located in the heart of farm country, and as such, Walker sources from many local farms in the area throughout the year.

Walker is dedicated to locally sourcing his products for the health benefits as well as the community benefits. “Sourcing our produce from small, local farms ensures that we are not using GMO products. It is of the utmost importance to provide as much local, organic meat, dairy and produce to our patrons as possible.”

Mundo Artisan Foods l Loan Date: June 2018 l Loan Purpose: Delivery Van

Mundo Artisan Foods is a small-scale distributor located in Easthampton. Owner Sherryla Diola is working to fill a gap in the distribution system by moving local produce and locally processed foods into stores, restaurants, and other local retail outlets from small-scale farm and food businesses.

Financing from PVGIF helped Sherryla scale up by purchasing a larger delivery vehicle. According to Sherryla Diola, “As a result of this loan from PVGIF, I can purchase a bigger van which will help me grow my food distribution business and, in turn, help me grow more small food businesses located here in the Pioneer Valley.”

Daily Operation l Loan Date: June 2018 l Purpose: Equipment, Working Capital

Daily Operation is a new restaurant sourcing locally in Easthampton. Daily Operation is the brainchild of Dave Schrier, Jessica Pollard, and David Clegg, formerly of The Alvah Stone in Montague. The backbone of the restaurant is local agriculture, and the trio work closelstatic1.squarespacey with local farms to best utilize seasonal products and keep as much of their money within the community as possible.

Daily Operation is a casual farm-driven restaurant focusing on burgers, sandwiches, noodles, salads, pies, and beer,” says Dave Schrier. “The FCCDC and PVGrows Investment Fund provided us with the opportunity to purchase the kitchen equipment necessary to give the most respect to the local meat and produce we love to cook. The financing provided by the PVGrows Investment Fund also assisted in revitalizing our restaurant to create a comfortable, relaxed, and unique space in which our community can come to enjoy delicious local food.”

Hager’s Farm Market I Loan Date: April 2018 I Loan Purpose: Infrastructure Improvements

Hager’s Farm Market, located in Shelburne, has grown steadily over the years first as a seasonal farm stand and now as a year-round operation. The farm stand sells products from Hager Brothers Farm including meat, maple syrup, tree fruits and vegetables as well as products from thirty other farms. This is an important outlet for local food in this rural area.

The Market will use this PVGIF financing to expand the kitchen and restaurant seating to meet the increasing customer demand they have been experiencing.

Hager’s Farm Market | Loan Date: June 2022 | Purpose: Infrastructure

Hager’s Farm Market, located in Shelburne, has grown steadily over the years first as a seasonal farm stand and now as a year-round operation. The farm stand sells products from Hager Brothers Farm including meat, maple syrup, tree fruits and vegetables as well as products from thirty other farms. This is an important outlet for local food in this rural area.
The Hager’s have received multiple loans from PVGIF and the FCCDC over the years. They will use this PVGIF financing to complete a hen house, purchase more cattle, and repurpose a truck.

Hillside Organic Catering I Loan Date: April 2018 I Loan Purpose: Partial Business Purchase

Hillside Organic Catering represents an important continuation of the beloved local business, Hillside Organic Pizza. After ten of years in the catering business, Bob Lindner and Craig White have sold the catering part of their business to long-time employees, Patrick and Cynthia O’Hearn.

This relationship represents a strategic partnership between the two companies. They will share assets and maximize ordering efficiencies from their Bernardston location where they will continue to be co-located. Craig and Bob have been mentoring the O’Hearns in order to ensure a seamless transition.

Ciesluk’s Market I Loan Date: March 2018 I Loan Purpose: Working Capital, Leasehold Improvements

Ciesluk’s Market is a new market located in the center of South Deerfield. Ciesluk’s features a local produce, fresh baked items, dairy, and local fresh and frozen meats, which are available year round for folks living in and around the area. Owner Nikki Ciesluk opened her doors in June, and has been busy serving customers. Ciesluk’s features the bounty of produce grown in and around the Pioneer Valley and is a welcome addition to South Deerfield’s town center.

Ostara Luna Farm I Loan Date: March 2018 I Loan Purpose: Equipment, Materials and Supplies

Ostara Luna Farm is a new 4-acre family farm located in Ashfield producing fruits & berries, dried medicinal and culinary herbs, using permaculture practices, as well as duck eggs.Unknown

Financing from PVGIF will allow owner Grover Wehman-Brown to invest in her farm with purchases such as a yard tractor to prep more beds for herbs, tree and shrub starts, wash stations in production areas, and materials needed to expand the drying room and duck shed.

Artisan Beverage Cooperative I Loan Date: December 2017 I Purpose: Equipment

Artisan Beverage Cooperative got their start brewing at the Western MA Food Processing Center. Since then, they have expanded and moved down the hall to the FCCDC Venture Center. Their current space includes a beautiful tasting room.download-1

Artisan Beverage Cooperative uses locally and regionally grown ingredients in their kombucha, mead and cyzers whenever possible including honey, cranberries, grapes, blueberries and even spruce tips.
Artisan Beverage Cooperative’s mission is to produce the highest quality beverages possible taking into account the social and economic impacts of all decisions of the cooperative, and to demonstrate, through their success, the viability of worker cooperatives and fairly traded goods.

Rosenberg Properties LLC/Real Pickles I Loan Date: December 2017 I Purpose: Processing Facility Purchase & Renovation

This loan supports Real Pickles’ original 2009 purchase and upgrade of a century-old industrial building in Greenfield for use as an organic food production facility.  Real Pickles has made extensive energy efficiency improvements, installed a 17 kW photovoltaic system, and more recently added a second floor to allow for expanded fermentation capacity and increased vegetable purchases from local farms.

Six River Farm l Loan: November 2017 I Purpose: Photo-Voltaic Solar Panels

Six River Farm is an organic vegetable farm located in Bowdoinham, Maine. The financing they received from PVGIF is part of our commitment to not only the local food system, but the regional food system as well. We are supporting our partners, Coastal Enterprises Inc., in this deal.

Owners Nate Drummond and Gabrielle Gosselin are leaders in the small, organic farm movement. This financing will be used to install a PV solar array on their farm thereby helping them to become more sustainable through lower energy costs.

Nourish Wellness Cafe I Loan: July 2017 I Purpose: EquipmentUnknown-2

Nourish Wellness Cafe, located in Northampton, approached the PVGrows Investment Fund for financing to expand their offerings at the cafe, building on the successful launch of the business.  Owners Ashley and Ethan Niles are dedicated to serving “nutrient dense vegetarian food that is organically grown, locally sourced whenever possible, and nourishing for you body and mind.” Their approach supports the local food system and takes advantage of the bounty grown here in the Pioneer Valley by buying from our local farmers and local value-add producers.

Sutter Meats I Loan: May 2017 I Purpose: Equipment20140112_163544

Sutter Meats works directly with family farms to provide locally and sustainably raised meats to the
Pioneer Valley. Susan and Terry Ragasa opened the doors to their old-fashioned butchery located in Northampton in 2014. Sutter Meats is dedicated both to preserving the craft of traditional butchery and to narrowing the gap between the eater and their food source.

Chris’ Farm Stand I Loan: May 2017 I Purpose: Bridge Loan

Chris’ Farm Stand is a family-owned and operated vegetable grower and retailer located in eastern Massachusetts. Chris Stasinos is a third generation farmer. The farm wholesales and retails a large diversified selection of its own vegetables, fruit, honey, poultry, turkey, and eggs. The farm stand plans on restoring its peach and apple orchard as well as barn restoration. This financing was provided through our ongoing partnership with The Carrot Project.

Wellspring Harvest  l  Loan: April 2017  l  Purpose: Building Expansion and Improvements

Wellspring Harvest is creating a 12,600 square foot hydroponic greenhouse in the City of Springfield. The greenhouse will grow greens and herbs for area institutions, colleges and retail outlets.WellspringCoopLogoGreenhouse

Wellspring recently purchased the 1.75-acre site in the Indian Orchard neighborhood from the Springfield Redevelopment Authority. Site work has begun and the site has been cleared, with erosion control and stonework now in place to stabilize the ground.

The Wellspring Cooperative Corporation was established to create a network of worker-owned companies in Springfield to provide jobs, on-the-job training and wealth creation opportunities for low-income residents. Wellspring Harvest is their third business to be launched and their first in the farm and food sector.

Heart Beets Farm  l  Loan: April 2017  l  Purpose: Working Capital

Heart Beets Farm is an organic vegetable farm located in the eastern part of Massachusetts in Berkley. This is PVGIF’s first Heart beets Farm Logoborrower outside of the Pioneer Valley thanks to our newly expanded partnership with The Carrot Project. The farm sells primarily through a 3-season CSA and on-site farm stand. Heart Beets is one of the few organic farms located in their county.

Heart Beets Farm is an early stage farm and was started in 2014 by Stephen and Sarah Murray. The Murray’s farming philosophy focuses on increasing soil fertility to produce healthy, nutrient-dense crops.

Mycoterra Farm  l  Loan: March 2017  l  Purpose: Equipment, Business Expansion

Mycoterra Farm grows gourmet and medicinal specialty mushrooms. Mycoterra began as Julia Coffey’s backyard business at her home in Westhampton and has grown into a diversified mushroom farm enterprise. Recently, Mycoterra has begun Mycoterra Logoconverting an old horse stable in South Deerfield into a new and larger facility in order to meet growing market demand.

According to Julia, Mycoterra Farm aims to “grow more than just mushrooms. We strive to leave the planet better than we found it. Using agricultural and forestry byproducts as our primary growing mediums, our natural methods of production accelerate decomposition, building soil and cycling nutrients – critical processes for healthy ecosystems.”

You can find Mycoterra’s mushrooms in many retail locations including River Valley Coop and local farmers markets. View their interview with PVGIF here!

Real Pickles  l  Loan Date: October 2016  l  Purpose: Building Expansion and Improvements

Real Pickles is a small, worker-owned cooperative in Greenfield that produces naturally fermented prealpicklesickle products. Financing from PVGIF and the Cooperative Fund of New England will allow Real Pickles to increase its fermentation capacity by one-third and install a high-efficiency heating system.  Real Pickles began in the Western Mass Food Processing Center.  In 2010, they moved across the street to their own building where they have continued to purchase more local vegetables, hire more local workers, and increase sales.

Real Pickles is committed to purchasing vegetables from organic farms in the Northeast. In practice, nearly all of their vegetables come from within the Connecticut River Valley. In 2014, for example, the 285,000 pounds of vegetables they purchased came from an average distance of 17 miles away from their Greenfield facility. View their interview with PVGIF here!

Appalachian Naturals  l  Loan Date: September 2016  l  Purpose: Working Capital

Appalachian Naturals produces dressings and sauces using locally grown ingredients. Appalachian Naturals has been in business since 2005 and distributes throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Since 2006, Appalachian Naturals has purchased annually from 6,000 to 30,000 pounds of tomatoes, over 2,000 pounds of onions and 900 pounds of cilantro from Pioneer Valley farms. They began at the Western Mass Food Processing Center and after several years of growth, they expanded on their property in Goshen. In 2008, they renovated a barn into a storage facility and in 2012, they added a processing facility.

Their motto, “local agriculture is everyone’s business,” is best evidenced by their quality products.

Hillside Organic Pizza Company  l  Loan Date: June 2016  l  Purpose: Working Capital

Hillside Organic Pizza began in 2001 with a commitment to the local community, making pizzasHillside Logo at the Western MA Food Processing Center for sale as fundraisers for schools and community groups. In 2006, they opened a restaurant in South Deerfield, followed by two more locations in Hadley and Bernardston. Hillside was the second business incubated at the Western Mass Food Processing Center. Hillside Pizza strives to operate using sustainable business practices that benefit the local community. They are committed to using organic and local ingredients whenever possible, and provide training and job opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.  Hillside crafts all of their products in small batches and composts and recycles their waste. Hillside believes that thriving communities are, in part, built on access to quality foods and a healthy environment. This loan will allow them to expand and renovate their processing and catering kitchen.

Carsons Cans  l  Loan Date: January 2016  l  Purpose: New Inventory

What do portable sinks and toilets have to do with the local food system? Recently, the Commonwealth of CARSONS LabelMassachusetts updated the Good Agricultural Practices (MA GAP) requirements for worker hygiene. Carsons Cans, located in Greenfield, has developed a solid reputation for providing well-maintained portable sink and toilet units to area farms in need of compliance. Farms can reap significant savings not having to plumb their barns with toilets. Carsons Cans serviced 24 local farms during the 2015 growing season, with more being added this year. This business is meeting an essential infrastructure need in the local food system.

Artifact Cider Project  l  Loan Date: January 2015  l  Purpose: Delivery Truck, Pump

Artifact Cider Project, located in Springfield, utilizes apples grown throughout the Pioneer Valley to craftArtifact Cider Logo their hard ciders. This loan from PVGIF will allow Artifact to purchase a new delivery truck and pump. According to co-founder, Jake Mazar, “For orchards in the Pioneer Valley to be viable and grow, they need strong local markets for their fruit. Artifact plays an important part in supporting these orchards. The freshness, the terroir, and the locality of the apples are what make a great cider. Our success depends on the orchards and increasingly, the reverse is true as well.”

Kosinski Farms  l  Loan Date: December 2015  l  Purpose: Equipment

Kosinski Farms is a third-generation fruit farm in Westfield.  In recent decades, the farm has Kosinski Farms expanded its acreage and added a farm store and bakery. PVGIF is proud to be part of the Kosinski’s next phase of growth, Raven Hollow Winery. This value-added operation utilizes the farm’s fruit seconds by transforming them into juice, wine and cider.

Endeavour Transportation  l  Loan Date: November 2015  l  Purpose: Delivery Truck

Endeavour Transportation is a regional distributor of produce headquartered in South Deerfield.  endeavor logoPVGIF financing will help Endeavour Transportation expand its distribution of locally grown produce to regional markets.  A new delivery truck will allow the company, which has a long-term relationship with the Pioneer Valley Growers Association, to increase sales by expanding its geographic reach.  Local distributors such as Endeavour Transportation are essential to a sustainable regional food system.

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