Lending Successful

Diversified Crop Production And On-Farm Hospitality

by Saturn's Return
Diversified Crop Production And On-Farm Hospitality

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.

Project Summary
  • Location: Friday Harbor, WA
  • Products: Fruit & Vegetable Poultry Perennial Crops
  • Maturity Date: 06/21/2030
  • Interest Rate: 7.50% APR
100% of $2,863,800

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.  

Use of Funds

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.

Regenerative & Sustainable Practices

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:

  • After establishment, garden beds will be managed as “no-till”

  • On-site compost production and vermicomposting of food scraps from the inn’s commercial kitchen will scale to meet farm needs and ideally yield surplus for sale

  • Alley cropping and agroforestry combine the benefits of perennial fruit and nut production with annual rows of vegetables and flowers

  • Pastured poultry and other livestock will graze the agricultural lands adding diversification, disrupting pest life cycles, and improving soils

  • Licensed seaweed harvesting adds the most local possible form of micronutrients to agricultural soils and contributes to a “closed-loop” farm model

  • Riparian plantings and restoration work along the Garrison Creek watershed will protect the spawning grounds (on the farm property) of the island’s last population of native cutthroat trout

  • Diversifying the farm business with on-site hospitality and events contributes to a more sustainable bottom line and the ability to pay living wages to farm staff 

  • July 10, 2023

    Thank You For Your Support!

    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.

Repayment Schedule Explanation

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.

Lender Participation Agreement Download
Steward Underwriting Analysis Download
Saturn's Return Pitch Deck Download

Join the Steward Newsletter

Get project announcements, farmer introductions, company updates, and more by subscribing to the Steward newsletter. Join our growing community of people who are making regenerative agriculture the foundation of our future.

Become a Steward Lender

Join a growing community of sustainably-minded lenders reaping the rewards from responsible farming