This project was successfully funded by a loan from Steward Regenerative Capital.
Emma Rastatter and Wiley Webb are establishing a regenerative farm ecosystem to meet gaps in the regional food system and reopen a treasured community space.
Funded on 11/29/2023
Saturn’s Return is a diversified production farm that draws from all ecosystems on the property—wetlands, forest, and agricultural land—to yield vegetables, cut flowers, perennial food crops like nuts and berries, and pastured livestock. While the primary goal is to steward the farm ecosystem and produce food for local markets through the San Juan Islands Food Hub, the farm business is also bolstered by an on-site inn that diversifies the farm’s income and serves as an avenue for education and community engagement.
Note: Emma and Wiley’s farm was previously known as the “San Juan Center for Regenerative Economy,” (SJCRE) a temporary name that has now evolved into “Saturn’s Return.” While the name has shifted, the farm, goals, and participants are all consistent with the SJCRE project listing.
The farm property was purchased on the summer solstice in June of 2022, which kicked off the process of observation, farm design, planting trials, and establishing infrastructure for both the farm and the inn. A short-term bridge loan for the property purchase is now transitioning to a long-term mortgage.
Saturn's return contributed 20% equity to the property purchase and has self-financed start-up costs over the past year to get the Farm Inn and property ready for guests.
In order to fit within the unique agro-ecological niche of the NW islands and mitigate the expense of importing inputs, Saturn’s Return utilizes a broad range of regenerative practices to invest in the farm soils and ecosystem:
Thank you so much for your generous contribution to our Steward campaign!
We’re deeply grateful to steward these 42 acres of wild abundance, to bring fallow pasture into diversified production, and to invite community into the journey. Your support directly makes this work possible, and we hope you'll come visit soon to experience it in person!
Here are a few updates from a busy spring and early summer on the farm:
Our inn is up and running, and we’ve booked over $160K in revenue for 2023 so far. If you know of someone visiting the San Juans this year, please send them our way!
For our first farm season, we've put 1 of our 13 agricultural acres into production, including intensive vegetable and flower production, 35 pastured hens, 2 honey bee hives, and a trial agroforestry block of 30 fruit and nut trees.
Local ecology non-profit, Kwiaht, was awarded a $21K grant by a private donor to restore the riparian corridor along our stretch of Garrison Creek, critical habitat for the last population of native cutthroat trout on San Juan Island. Funds will be used over the next year for planning, propagation, and planting, both along the stream itself and in our forest and wetlands where vegetation can contribute to water management.
We're currently working with our county Conservation District to develop a comprehensive farm plan, including a farm-scale composting system for which we can tap up to $50K of cost-share dollars.
And stay tuned for the second installment of our Steward campaign this autumn. We'll be refinancing the last $1.1M of our bridge loan, and we'd appreciate your referrals!
We hope to meet every one of you here someday soon. Cheers to making a world with more life in it!
- Emma & Wiley
This loan will be made to SJCRE LLC, DBA Saturn's Return, a Delaware limited liability company, which hosts guests at their farm Inn and has diversified crop production on-site.
This loan will be used to refinance their short-term 9-month loan which was used to secure the property in June of 2022. This loan is secured by a first mortgage and a first priority lien against all business assets of Saturn's Return.
This loan is set at a 7.5% interest rate, with a term of 84 months. Repayments are made to participating lenders each month with interest-only payments for the first 12 months of the loan and monthly payments of principal and interest on a 20-year amortization schedule thereafter.
The first 12 months of the loan are interest only, in other words, Saturn’s Return will make monthly payments equal to the interest due but will not make any principal payments that decrease the balance of the loan.
Beginning in month 13 the loan will start amortizing on a 20-year schedule. At this point, Saturn's Return monthly payments will increase to an amount that covers the interest due and a small portion of the principal.
At the end of the loan term, there will be a principal balance remaining. Saturn’s Return will be responsible for paying off the outstanding principal balance. This will most likely occur with a new loan provided by Steward or another financial institution.
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