Meet Me’Quelle Keeling, a dedicated volunteer
With assistance from Cultivate KC, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and Slow Money of NE Kansas, three New Roots for Refugees program graduates received bridge loans on their EQIP grants for high tunnel installation on their farms.
The grant pays up to $6,998 to farmers for the installation of the high tunnels, but the farmers have to first buy and build them. Then NRCS reimburses them. This can be prohibitive to applicants, since many low-income farmers can not front the money needed for this process.
Slow Money lenders stepped up and signed loan agreements with the farmers and so the process will move ahead as soon as the contractors can get into the fields to do construction. These three new high tunnels will produce food earlier in the spring and later in the fall, which means their customers will be able to eat good, local food almost year round!