"Simple, encouraging, and a good life choice!"

- Amanda, Hummingbird Farms

I'm Amanda and I live in Richmond, VA with my husband, two cats, and four chickens (we got out first egg this week!). I've always wanted to own my own business, and I finally made the leap almost exactly one year ago, because I wanted to fully use my graduate degree in Food Studies and make the most impact I could while doing work that I felt really good about doing every day.

Hummingbird Gardens is a business of two things: education and market gardening. I teach garden education, mainly in early childhood education but also grade school, which includes each step of the life cycle from seed to harvest to eating to composting. I also farm my yard of less than half an acre, specializing in culinary herbs, edible and cut flowers that I sell mainly to area restaurants but also at markets from time to time.

I heard about Kiva from a farmer I used to work for, and I used my Kiva loan for everything! I bought my greenhouse, business cards, market table, chickens, seeds, soil, literally everything. During the fundraising process (in the depths of winter), it was so amazing to be getting contributions from people that I'd never met, as well as folks I knew. I was on the cusp of my first growing season and it was a time where I was really full of doubt and very nervous to get started, and seeing people contribute and have confidence in me really helped propel me forward into the Spring. It gave me access to supplies that I needed to be successful, and I found the Kiva team very helpful in making sure my profile was clear for everyone.

If I had to give advice to potential borrowers, I would say that if you're thinking about applying, apply! The loan terms are great, the sense of community you feel is really helpful as a new business, and you have a team of people there to help you should you need it. I would also encourage potential borrowers to tell their story as fully as they can. I know as a contributor myself, I'm drawn to borrowers who give the reader a sense of themselves as well as their business goals.


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About the author

Kathinka Nakstad