Lending Successful

Land Purchase & Expansion For Diversified Vegetable Farm

by Fireside Farm
Land Purchase & Expansion For Diversified Vegetable Farm

Stacey and Casey of Fireside Farm are expanding their diversified vegetable farm by purchasing their own property and expanding production on owned land.

Project Summary
  • Location: Loudoun County, VA
  • Products: Events Fruit & Vegetable Grain
  • Loan Term: 24 months
  • Net Interest Rate: 8.00% APR
  • Repayments Begin: 1 month after disbursement
  • Individual Lender Cap: $10,000
100% of $447,000

Funded on 05/20/2024



Stacey Carlberg and Casey Gustowarow have been farming side-by-side for 15 years. In that time they have worked on—and managed—two large diversified vegetable operations: Potomac Vegetable Farms in Purcellville, Virginia and The Farm at Sunnyside in Washington, Virginia. The two farmers have earned a reputation for producing incredible vegetables—but particularly hot peppers, tomatoes, and radicchio, and a wide variety of herbs—with incredible colors, flavor, and nutrient-density.

In 2021, Stacey and Casey decided to launch their own farm and food business: Fireside Farm—a diversified vegetable farm that's focused on improving soil health, rebuilding community, and growing delicious, nutritious, flavorful food. The produce grown at Fireside has become a favorite with locals, at the regional farmers’ markets, and at the DC restaurants they service. And, their community pizza nights have become a popular celebration and reaffirmation of the importance of farming, food, and flavor.

Fireside Farm is now operating on 4 acres of leased land. Stacey and Casey are ready to expand and own the soil they’re working so hard to improve. This land purchase would move Fireside Farm across town to a 42-acre former cow pasture near the center of their village of Waterford, Virginia—an important and historic village with a deep agricultural legacy.

With this expansion, Stacey and Casey will be able to expand their production to ten acres of vegetables and grains. They will have an ideal location to host their community pizza nights, open a farm stand for the village, and service their larger markets and restaurant accounts.

The work of regeneration going on at Fireside goes beyond the soil. They are regenerating community, an appreciation for local food, and an agricultural legacy lost to history.

Use of Funds

This loan will allow Fireside Farm to purchase a 42-acre parcel of land and purchase the deer fencing needed to protect the production areas. This will be Fireside’s new home farm and allow them to build their business with the security of land ownership.

This is the first loan for the development of Fireside's own land. In the future, Steward may or may not lend in a pari passu position for improvements to the land or facilities. Any additional lending will only enhance the collateral value and not compromise the leverage position we maintain.

Regenerative & Sustainable Management

Both Casey and Stacey have a record of drastically improving the soil health at each farm they’ve tended. They are known for transforming neglected fields into productive, healthy spaces. Some of the practices they employ are:

  • Strictly organic growing practices (although not certified organic);

  • Cover Cropping;

  • Crop Rotation;

  • Mulching;

  • Minimal tillage, w/ sections of the farm dedicated to no-till, when appropriate;

  • A diverse mix of vegetables, fruits, herbs, small grains, cover crop, native and perennial plants are grown on-site, indicating rich plant biodiversity;

  • Biologically-active compost production occurs on-site, along with on-site hay mulch production;

  • Heavy mulching of hay in and around vegetable beds lends to an increase in organic matter and minimal plastic use;

  • Beds are either in cash crop, cover crop (diverse species), or mulched. No beds are left fallow to prevent risk of erosion and run-off into local waterways and the loss of topsoil;

  • Edges of the farm are not heavily mowed, resulting in habitat creation for pollinators, birds, and other animals.

This loan will be made to Food Camp, LLC, DBA Fireside Farm, a Virginia Limited Liability Company, which grows and sells organically raised vegetables to community members.

This loan will be used to purchase a property in Loudoun County, which will allow Fireside to grow and expand their business on owned land. The loan will also fund a portion of the closing costs and fees as well as a portion of the costs to install a perimeter deer fence, which will be the first improvement needed on the land to prepare the fields for the 2025 growing season. Fireside is contributing approx. 25% of total deal costs from equity. Steward’s total loan amount is $447,000. This is a secured loan with a First Priority lien on all business assets. 

The borrower’s interest rate for this loan is 8.5%, with a net interest rate of 8% being passed on to the lender (accounting for a .5% servicing spread). The loan has a 24 month term with interest only payments beginning one month after the loan is disbursed. 

This is the first loan for the development of Fireside's own land. In the future, Steward may or may not lend in a pari- passu position for improvements to the land or facilities. Any additional lending will only enhance the collateral value and not compromise the leverage position we maintain. 

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