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Equity Trust Fund loans

To learn about some of the Equity Trust Fund borrowers, scroll down or select from one of the following choices to view particular types of loans.

Current borrowers
Past borrowers
Farms and food system loans
Community land trusts and other affordable housing
Borrowers from the Francis Fund for Southeastern Connecticut

Nutwood Farm

Nutwood Farm

Nutwood Farm is a regenerative agroforestry farm cultivating a wide variety of edible perennial nuts – primarily hazelnuts and chestnuts but also including walnuts, pecans, butternuts, and heartnuts – for local distribution in Western Massachusetts.  As the state’s first small-scale nut farm, it is “in the forefront of young innovative farms shaping the future of community-based, ecologically sound, regenerative food …

New London Landmarks

New London Landmarks

New London Landmarks is a historical preservation nonprofit whose latest project is the renovation of the longtime home of Linwood Bland, Jr., founder and past president of the New London, Connecticut branch of the NAACP and author of a memoir of the Black experience of the mid-to-late 20thcentury in that city.  When complete, New London Landmarks will break the link …

Koinonia Farm

Koinonia Farm

Koinonia Farm, an intentional community founded in rural Georgia in the 1940s, was a pioneer in the property stewardship movement out of which Equity Trust itself eventually emerged, and it is still going strong more than seventy-five years later.  Membersemphasize simple living, racial equality, nonviolent resistance, the sharing of resources, and cooperative work.

It became a flashpoint in the …

Natural Borders Farm

Natural Borders Farm

Natural Borders Farm is a grass-fed beef and lamb farm in central New York run by Elva Svendsen.  Inspired by our work with Caretaker Farm in Western Massachusetts, she is seeking to permanently protect her land as an affordable working farm using Equity Trust’s model.  Our loan refinanced her bank mortgage, freeing up some cash to invest in farm infrastructure …

Hart’s Mill Ecovillage and Farm

Hart’s Mill Ecovillage and Farm

Hart’s Mill Ecovillage and Farm is a planned intentional community in North Carolina that “embodies a world in which people live in justice and harmony with each other and the land.” It will utilize a limited-equity ownership model to preserve the long-term affordability of its homes and provide a farmer an affordable shared-equity ground lease on part of the property. …

Berkshire Co-op Market

Berkshire Co-op Market

Concept art for Berkshire Co-op’s new home by Gruskin Architecture + Design / Benchmark Development

The Berkshire Co-op Market is a thriving forty-year-old consumer-owned grocery store in western Massachusetts.  In 2018, we joined a coalition of community lenders led by Cooperative Fund of New England and including PVGrows, Common Capital, Franklin County CDC, Coastal Enterprises, Inc. to pool funds …

Southeastern Connecticut Community Land Trust

Southeastern Connecticut Community Land Trust

Since 2010, we have offered financing to charitable projects in Southeastern Connecticut, often involving the acquisition of property.  Until recently, we did not have a local partner positioned to ensure the permanent affordability of the properties that have benefited from Equity Trust Fund loans, though we were happy to make those loans anyway because of the borrowers’ importance to …

Equity Trust Completes Sale of Former Office

Equity Trust Completes Sale of Former Office

Over twenty years ago, a group of residents in a small brick building in downtown Turners Falls, Massachusetts contacted Equity Trust (then located in Voluntown, Connecticut) for help.  The building, home to two families and the Brick House, a community resource center, was on the market, and the residents were concerned that it would be sold to an investor with …

Echo Farm

Echo Farm

Echo Farm is an organic farm with an unusual niche operating on former dairy land in Essex, New York now protected by a conservation easement held by the Open Space Institute. Doing business as Farmstead Catering, it bills itself as “a CSA for your wedding day,” offering farm-to-table catering for celebrations set in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. …

Simple Gifts Farm

Simple Gifts Farm

Simple Gifts Farm is a community-oriented organic vegetable and meat operation stewarding the North Amherst Community Farm (NACF) in Amherst, MA, with a long-term lease agreement that Equity Trust played an important part in helping to create. NACF brought in Jeremy Barker Plotkin and Dave Tepfer as farmers in 2006 and they run the farm as an ecological unit, integrating …

Ancient Stone Landscapes

Ancient Stone Landscapes

Several years ago a landowner in western Massachusetts discovered remnants of potentially significant prehistoric stone formations on land she has been restoring to its pre-Columbian state as a natural orchard. While she seeks to validate her observations and identify a long-term steward for the land, Equity Trust made a loan to enable her to purchase an adjacent property with additional …

Kroka Expeditions

Kroka Expeditions

Kroka Expeditions is a wilderness education school in southern New Hampshire. The campus includes many acres of forest, stream, and hill, plus a three-acre organic farm where they grow a portion of their vegetables, berries, milk, and eggs. A loan from Equity Trust in 2016 enabled them to purchase and protect prime farmland nearby that was under threat of development, …

Making a Dairy Farm Affordable in NY

Delapenta farmscape

Dean Zapp, a third generation dairy farmer, and his wife Michele, wanted to protect the property where they operate Delapenta Farms — 83½ acres in Ancram, NY, in the central part of the Town of Taghkanic, in Columbia County — by adding conservation and affordability restrictions to their land, and to use proceeds from the sale of those restrictions to …

Protecting a Farm, Conserving a Rare Cattle Breed

Randall cattle at Artemis Farm

Artemis Farm, in New Lebanon, a rural community located in the northeast corner of Columbia County, New York, is home to Cynthia Creech’s Randall cattle and her genetic preservation work to restore this hardy, historic breed. Randalls are a rare breed of purebred cattle developed in southern Vermont in the early 1900s, descended from the indigenous landrace cattle common in …

Three Springs Community

Three Springs Community

Three Springs is a twenty-year-old intentional community near the geographic center of California.  It holds about 160 acres of land in common “to promote and demonstrate ecologically sustainable living and agricultural practices” and “to protect the unique flora and fauna of the Sierra Nevada foothills.”  Members grow flowers and native plants to sell at farmers markets and to local restaurants; …

Tryon Life Community Farm and Cedar Moon

Tryon Life Community Farm and Cedar Moon

A new loan made in 2015 not only enables an evolution in a property ownership arrangement originally designed in part by Equity Trust, but also represents an innovation in our lending practice that could become a model for future projects. With the participation of project supporters recruited by the borrowers, Tryon Life Community Farm and the Cedar Moon collective, we …

Coalition for Occupied Homes in Foreclosure

COHIF rehab project

The Coalition for Occupied Homes in Foreclosure (COHIF) is a Boston-based coalition of more than two dozen tenant, community, nonprofit, legal, and government agencies and organizations that came together in 2008 to work on keeping homeowners and tenants in their homes during and after the foreclosure process. It seeks to promote household and neighborhood stability and resident and community control …

Reeves Home Place Farm

Reeves Home Place Farm

The Reeves Home Place Farm, aka Whiskey Pigs Farm, is a 150-year-old seventh-generation family farm in the Little Sandy Mush region of North Carolina. They raise heritage cattle, pigs, and poultry on a beautiful and productive mountain pasture, supplementing the animals’ diet with whiskey mash from a local distiller. While they wait for an agricultural easement to be purchased …

Full and By Farm

Full and By Farm

Full and By Farm (the name is a nautical term referring to steering into the wind) is a CSA operation farming agriculture-only conservation land purchased from the Eddy Foundation in northern New York. When farmers Sara Kurak and James Graves launched their farm, the land and infrastructure were suffering from years of neglect, but with big dreams and hard work …

Woodland Community Land Trust

Woodland Community Land Trust

The Woodland Community Land Trust operates in an impoverished Appalachian community in northeastern Tennessee, where access to land and political and economic power has been tightly controlled by a few major extractive companies.  For almost forty years, Woodland and its sister organizations, Woodland Community Development Corporation and Clearfork Community Institute, have acquired 450 acres of land and become involved in …

Caterpillar Hill Initiative

Caterpillar Hill Initiative

View from Caterpillar Hill

Sometimes we take on challenging loans – because the projects they support are innovative or intriguing, or because conventional lenders are wary of financing them – and usually we (and our borrowers) are rewarded. But they don’t always work out as planned, so we strive to be flexible enough to come up with a satisfactory alternative …

Rocky Corner Cohousing

Rocky Corner Cohousing will be the first cohousing community in Connecticut and will include nine affordable units among the thirty planned, as well as commercial agricultural land that could be made available on long-term leases using the Equity Trust model. Our loan finances predevelopment work necessary to secure a construction loan that will replace the coalition of acquisition and …

Voluntown Peace Trust receives Equity Trust loan

Voluntown Peace Trust receives Equity Trust loan

The Voluntown Peace Trust (VPT) is a nonprofit educational center and retreat dedicated to social change and sustainable living, occupying 57 acres in southeastern Connecticut near New London. It provides hospitality and resources to “people constructing alternatives to the violence of our age” and serves as the home of the Cooperative for Nonviolent Action (CNVA), a coalition of grassroots groups …

Crimson & Clover Farm

Crimson & Clover Farm Crimson & Clover Farm is the CSA vegetable operation chosen by Grow Food Northampton to lease the Northampton Community Farm that Equity Trust played an important part in helping to create. In 2013, Crimson & Clover received a loan to enable it to purchase a leasehold interest in the barns and other structures that belong to the farm.

Stone Soup

Stone Soup Stone Soup is a coalition of community groups, grassroots activists, and artists who came together in 2006 to serve a disadvantaged neighborhood in central Massachusetts through a variety of projects and activities – most notably the establishment of a community center that functions as a neighborhood anchor and safe haven for children and adults.

The Lockhart Family Farm

The Lockhart Family Farm The Lockhart Family Farm is a small family farm in Caroline County, Virginia, dedicated to a triple bottom line of social and environmental returns along with profitability.  In addition to heirloom vegetables, flowers, fruits, value-added products such as soaps and preserves, it raises heritage pigs and turkeys on a CSA-like model.

Co-op Power

Co-op Power Co-op Power is a consumer-owned renewable energy cooperative operating as a decentralized regional network of autonomous Local Organizing Councils (LOCs) to “create a multi-class, multi-racial movement for a sustainable and just energy future.” Equity Trust’s loan will help Co-op Power, through the Southern Vermont LOC, develop a 30.6 KWP solar electric (photovoltaic) system on the roof of the brand new Brattleboro Food Co-op building in downtown Brattleboro, VT.

New London Homeless Hospitality Center

New London Homeless Hospitality Center The New London (Connecticut) Homeless Hospitality Center (NLHHC) is a non-profit human services agency whose mission is “to serve as a bridge out of homelessness by helping our guests pursue their self-selected path to permanent housing.” Begun as a coalition of citizens, faith communities, and service organizations, the Homeless Hospitality Center has operated a daytime hospitality center and overnight shelter since 2007, and also offers employment and health care assistance.

White Earth Land Recovery Project

White Earth Land Recovery Project

White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP)’s mission is to facilitate recovery of the original land base of the White Earth Indian Reservation, in northern Minnesota, while preserving and restoring traditional land stewardship, language fluency, community development, and spiritual and cultural practices. A key strategy is to purchase back land from non-Indian owners, and receive donated land. Currently only 10% …

Pie Ranch

Pie Ranch

Pie Ranch, a non-profit in San Mateo County, California, combines farming and education to “inspire and connect rural and urban people to know the source of their food, and work together to bring greater health to the food system from seed to table.” Equity Trust’s land acquisition loan, one of our largest in recent years, supports the purchase and permanent …

Riverland Farm

Riverland Farm

Riverland Farm is a certified organic CSA farm in Sunderland, Massachusetts growing a diverse array of certified organic vegetables for 400 member families, as well as for local grocery stores, and local producers of value added products. Equity Trust’s loan was used to renovate their tobacco barn to create a space for their farm office space and a vegetable washing, …

Newtown Florist Club

Newtown Florist Club

Equity Trust’s loan to the Newtown Florist Club, in Gainsville, GA, enabled them to purchase four lots to build four CLT homes for low-income families as part of a long-term effort to strengthen and care for their community.

Sixty years ago, a group of African American women established the Newtown Florist Club to provide aid to neighborhood families during bereavement. …

Jubilee House Community

Jubilee House Community Jubilee House Community (JHC) is a non-sectarian faith based community that has that has been working in Nicaragua since 1994 through their nonprofit Center for Development in Central America. JHC has helped organize 1,600 small farmers into a cooperative business to market their organic crops, strengthening existing agricultural cooperatives and developing new ones.

Good Humus Produce

Good Humus Produce

Jeff and Annie Main have been developing their organic farm, Good Humus Produce, on 20 acres in Capay, CA, since 1976. When they arrived on the property northwest of Sacramento in Yolo County, there was a single olive tree. The Mains built a beautiful house, a barn, greenhouses, and other infrastructure and their plantings include hedgerows of native trees …

Holyoke Community Land Trust

Holyoke Community Land Trust, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, provides quality homes to low-income families, with a commitment to increasing resident homeownership. Residents own their own homes, but the land beneath is held by the nonprofit, to ensure owner-occupancy and on-going affordability. Formed in 1992, after a recent several-year period of dormancy it was reinvigorated in early 2010. A cash-flow loan …

Alice Acres Farm

Alice Acres Farm

Alice Acres Farm and Greenhouses, a diversified 20-acre farm in Gales Ferry, Connecticut, received a loan from Equity Trust 2009 to strengthen the farming operation. Alice Acres offers a great variety of plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and animals, as well as educational fieldtrips for schoolchildren. 2009 was farmer Pete Bargmann’s first year operating a CSA, but it was such …

Real Pickles

Real Pickles Real Pickles, a small Western Massachusetts business producing organic raw pickled products, received a loan from the Equity Trust Fund in 2009 to help finance a the purchase and renovation of an energy efficient processing facility. The purchase is enabling Real Pickles to expand its business and continue contributing to the local food movement.

Just Food

Just Food

Just Food is a non-profit organization that works to make fresh, locally grown food accessible to all New Yorkers by connecting communities and local farms with resources, support and one another. Since 1995, Just Food has promoted the creation and spread of sustainable food programs, including CSAs, community-run farmers’ markets, community gardens, and farm-to-food pantry programs. Just Food serves thousands …

H.O.M.E.

H.O.M.E.

H.O.M.E. (Homeworkers Organized for More Employment) in Orland, ME, was organized in 1970 when a local shoe manufacturer closed its doors. Under the leadership of Sister Lucy Poulin, H.O.M.E emerged as a craft collective to generate home-based work and market the products as a source of income for the women who had been doing skilled piecework for the company.

For …