With any luck, our crowd funded loan will go live tomorrow! I say that with fingers crossed, because as of right now, I haven't gotten the final signature page... but the person I'm corresponding with is currently in New Zealand, so... it could still happen!
I've spoken about this before, but it's a pretty cool setup - Steward (the company I'm working with) acts as a bank, and the community acts as the lender. I'm hoping to raise between $60-85,000. The first $60,000 will go to fencing, water, electrical, labor and getting enough organic matter and compost brought in to maintain our no-spray ethos while jump starting the soil food web. After that, the money will go to actually purchasing the property. And it will be paid back on a 5 year term with 8% interest. So you can support Ecosystem Farm and maintain returns on par with historical stock market yields. I pay Steward, and they split my payments into monthly payments back to my lenders.
I'm still pursuing other loan options - particularly SBA and FSA - but with the government, nothing happens quickly. The FSA officer I've been working with told me last week that she was going on maternity leave and wasn't sure who'd be handling my loan package. I'm currently working my way through the list of forms SBA customer service gave me after determining that they somehow have my social security number wrong and have two companies on file for me. So if I can get the funds through Steward quicker, it'll get the plants in the ground quicker and increase my ability to actually get a crop and pay said loans back on time.
Keep an eye out for an announcement when the campaign goes live - you can lend as little as $100 or as much as the entire amount, and I'll definitely need your support.