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17 July 2014

by Tiffany Do  |  SF Weekly

What are farmers to do if all they want to do is actually farm and not have to deal as much with the ins and outs of business? Devil's Gulch Ranch's Mark Pasternak has taken to the Internet, setting up a Kiva Zip loan campaign (much like crowdfunding sites IndieGoGo and Kickstarter, but for loans).


He says that the money will go towards hiring "additional employees to help with consumer direct retail sales," which will allow him to focus on the animals and the farm and farming practices on his Nicasio ranch.


Endorsed by the Agricultural Institute of Marin, the people behind several local farmers' market including the Stonestown Farmers Market the campaign started on June 23 and as of July 16, has raised a little over half the goal of $10,000 with the help of 110 lenders.


According to their Kiva Zip site, Pasternak will repay lenders in monthly increments of $277.78 over the span of three years through PayPal. It also states that he has a six month grace period before he needs to make his first payment.


The ranch doubles as a vineyard, the first in West Marin County, and produces pig, rabbit, sheep, wine grapes, and asparagus. They have been vendors at the Sunday Civic Center Farmers' Market of San Rafael since 2007. The ranch has also imported coffee from Haiti since 2011.

Photo: More farm time for Pasternak could mean more tours like this one on the ranch.




Farmer Just Wants to Farm, Turns to Lenders to Help Fund Additional Employees

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Devil's Gulch Ranch

A diversified family farm located in Nicasio, Marin County, within California’s North Coast region, produces rabbits, pigs, sheep, premium wine grapes and asparagus for retail customers and direct sales to high-quality restaurants. Sustainable, humane agricultural practices are utilized, organic whenever possible.

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