SAN LUIS VALLEY - SOIL Sangre de Cristo, the new peer-to-peer community-agriculture lending club, is accepting applications for its first round of zero-interest farm loans. The application deadline is Oct. 15, 2020, and the application is available at soilsangredecristo.org. Funds will be awarded by the SOIL Sangre de Cristo membership Nov. 12, 2020
Local farmers and food producers who are members of SOIL are eligible to apply for loan amounts $500 to $5,000, with flexible repayment plans of one to five years. Loan-application finalists will pitch their proposals live at the virtual Nov. 12 meeting.
Farmers and food producers can join SOIL for $25 annually. General memberships start at $250 per person and include a vote on loan distributions. The mission of SOIL Sangre de Cristo is to unite the communities of South Central Colorado through direct support for local farmers, ranchers and food producers, improving food security and resiliency for all residents.
SOIL Sangre de Cristo’s member-funded zero-interest lending model is based on the Slow Money Principles developed by author and activist Woody Tasch. In Colorado, SOIL-affiliated groups are creating more resilient food systems in the communities around Boulder, Durango and Carbondale, with more than $700,000 in loans for crucial items such as tractors, worker housing and irrigation.