This sounds like a fantastic idea, a new(ish) program supporting farmers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The project they’ve profiled — developing hazelnut cooking oil and hazelnut flour — is on Salt Spring, but I imagine one day soon there will be farmers on Gabriola making use of this funding source too.
From Eat Magazine: Zero-interest Microloan Program For Local Farmers:
Everybody gets by with a little help from their friends, including – maybe even especially – farmers and food producers who are trying to go from low-key to profitable on Vancouver Island. That’s where a new zero-interest microloan program brokered by the Island Chefs Collaborative (ICC) and FarmFolk CityFolk comes in; for-profit farmers and processers who might not normally qualify for credit can borrow up to $10,000 for a project or piece of equipment that will take their business to the next level….The money itself is lent from and entirely administered by VanCity but the loan criteria are simple: the funds must increase sustainable food production on Vancouver Island (or one of the Gulf Islands), meaning the money can go towards anything from tools to vehicles to plants… The money to do this is raised entirely through ICC’s annual Foodfest and FarmFolk’s Feast of Fields.
With 50% of our household unable to eat gluten, we’ll definitely have to check out this hazelnut flour when it hits the market.
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