what we’ve accomplished thanks to the amazing generosity of all our supporters:
We’ve contributed $80,000 in loans to the Virginia foodshed to date.
So far, we’ve made 12 SOIL loans - and we’re just getting started!
Meet some of our partners
Commune is a vertically integrated farm-to-table restaurant with locations in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. The business is owned by local food trailblazer, Kevin Jamison. He opened the Virginia Beach location in 2015 and since then the business has grown to include two restaurants, a bakery, a 21-acre organic farm nearby and an events business. Commune has a reputation for its high level of commitment to sourcing seasonal ingredients from local farms and suppliers. The business received a 0% SOIL loan in September 2019 to make some modifications to their kitchen that will greatly improve operations. Read more about Commune and their SOIL loan.
Muhammad family farm
The Muhammad Family Farm is located in Southampton County near the towns of Branchville and Boykins. The farm is owned by Shelton Muhammad and his wife Adriene, where they live with their four boys. They are opening a farm market in the town of Boykins as a hub for growers all around the region to connect with local residents who want to live better. As Shelton describes it, the market will “provide convenience to community members who normally have to travel 30 minutes away to buy something as simple as an onion or tomato." The farm received a 0% SOIL loan in August 2019 to help them purchase much needed equipment for the market. Read more about Muhammad Family Farm and their SOIL loan.
heart & Bones Hollow
Heart and Bones Hollow is a Certified Naturally Grown farm located in Fluvanna County on property owned by Karen Mann and Mary Beth “Bones” Fannon, otherwise know as "Heart" & "Bones." The 25-acre farm has been in operation since 2015. They grow a variety of seasonal vegetables using regenerative practices. They also raise heritage breed pigs in the woods and recently planted a blueberry orchard. The farm received a 0% SOIL loan in August 2019 to purchase a wood chipper to mulch downed trees on the property. The wood chips will serve as animal bedding and provide mulch for their vegetable production. Read more about Heart & Bones Hollow and their SOIL loan.
Panda Homestead is located near the town of Franklin in Southampton County. The property is owned by husband-and-wife team Arcel and Paula Dullas and consists of 10 total acres. They started the business in 2018 after relocating from Norfolk. It currently focuses on growing produce - including a UPick blueberry patch - raising livestock, which they sell at a Hampton Roads farmers market, and inviting visitors to stay on the property at their guest house to learn about sustainable agriculture and self-sufficiency. Their goal is to empower families to become self-sufficient through sustainable farming. The farm received a 0% SOIL loan in August 2019 to pay for a fence around the livestock portion of their property to ensure better safety for the animals and visitors. Read more about Panda Homestead and their SOIL loan.
Althea Bread is a Charlottesville-based business owned by Andrew and Susan Bayker. They started it in 2018 and went through the 16-week entrepreneur workshop at the Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) in Charlottesville in early 2019. Althea Bread is named after the Greek word for wholesome and healing. To that end they use whole grains and grind much of the flour they use with a stone mill. They have also shown a commitment to local grain farmers by sourcing when they can from local organic grain growers around the region. The business received a 0% SOIL loan in August 2019 to purchase two new stone mills to help them boost production and sales. Read more about Althea Bread and their SOIL loan.
delli carpini farm
delli Carpini Farm is near the Beaverdam district northwest of Richmond, about 30 miles from downtown. The farm gets its name from the Italian heritage of owner Dominic Carpin. He started the farm in 2015 and uses organic practices to grow a wide variety of legumes, leafy greens, root vegetables, and fruiting crops, specializing in hard to find GMO-free, open-pollinated heirlooms from all over the world. The farm received a 0% SOIL loan in August 2019 to purchased a used tractor and some equipment. Read more about delli Carpini Farm and their SOIL loan.
River oak farm
River Oak Farm is a diversified livestock farm located in Nelson County. The farm was started in 2014 and is run by husband-and-wife team Adam Aucoin and Cassy Kelly. They raise pastured chicken and turkey, grass-fed beef and forest-fed heritage breed pork. Poultry is their specialty and the foundation of their business. The farm received a 0% SOIL loan in June 2019 to help outfit an 8x20 walk-in freezer/refrigeration combo box for outdoor use, which will greatly improve efficiency on the farm and allow them a better opportunity to boost poultry production and sales. Read more about River Oak Farm and their SOIL loan.
Little hat creek farm
Little Hat Creek Farm is a diversified ecological vegetable farm with on on-farm wood-fired bakery. The farm is located in Nelson County and is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Ben Stowe and Heather Coiner. Ben oversees the dozens of varieties of seasonal vegetables, herbs and berries, while Heather keeps the bakery pumping out delicious breads and pastries. The farm received a 0% SOIL loan in April 2019 to purchase a new commercial bakery dough sheeter, which will not only reduce labor hours, it will greatly increase production to meet the demand for their pastries. Read more about Little Hat Creek Farm and their SOIL loan.
Twenty Paces is a farmstead sheep dairy and creamery located near Charlottesville. The farm produces fresh ricotta along with four raw milk Pecorino-style aged cheeses. The business is run by Kyle Kilduff, Tom Pyne, Melanie Pyne, and Bridge Cox. Utilizing management intensive grazing methods, their grass-fed sheep herd has grown each year since they officially launched in 2015. The farm received a 0% SOIL loan in March 2019 to purchase additional ewe lambs to help them increase production and grow revenue more quickly. Read more about Twenty Paces and their SOIL loan.
Free union grass farm
Free Union Grass Farm is a diversified livestock farm run by Erica Hellen and Joel Slezak and is located near the Free Union community in Albemarle County. Using rotational grazing practices, the farm, which started in 2010, produces pastured chicken and duck, free-range eggs, 100% grass-fed beef, and forest-fed pork. The farm received a 0% SOIL loan in February 2019 to help them make several investments that will strengthen their business for many more years to come. This included roll-out nest boxes for their laying hens, which make it easier to collect, clean, and package chicken eggs. Read more about Free Union Grass Farm and their SOIL loan.
Vanguard Ranch is located in Louisa County and is owned by Renard and Chinette Turner. For about the past ten years they have been raising pastured goats and growing organic heirloom vegetables. The farm received a 0% SOIL loan in January 2019 to help purchase supplies to build a squabbery. Squab is meat pigeon, a delicacy not being produced on any other small-scale farms in the region. The Turners intend to sell their squab to local restaurants. Read more about Vanguard Ranch and their SOIL loan.
Sharondale Farm is a certified organic mushroom farm located in the community of Cismont in Albemarle County. Owner Mark Jones started the farm in 2004 and now produces more than 20 varieties of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms including oyster, lion’s mane, bear’s tooth, chestnut, pioppino, reishi, portobello, and shiitake. The farm received a 0% SOIL loan in January 2019 to help purchase new equipment that will improve efficiency and help free up time to develop new business opportunities. Read more about Sharondale Farm and their SOIL loan.