Mar 3, 2017 US United States
By Jessica Hansen
Growing big dreams in tiny fields: A rooftop farm sows seeds and creates community

This story is part of Kiva’s International Women’s Day Campaign. Through March 8th, we’ll be sharing inspiring stories of women borrowers. You can back a woman entrepreneur today by visiting kiva.org/lend/international-womens-day.

A new concept in agriculture is coming to life on rooftops in cities across America.  With city land at ground-level often over-priced or simply unavailable for growing produce, urban farmers are turning to rooftops as places to cultivate locally grown fresh food.
Photo by: Miguel Rivas

 
Tinyfield Rooftop Farm is a small-scale rooftop farm established by Kiva U.S. borrower Keely (along with her former business partner, Katrina) and funded by 202 Kiva lenders.  Keely’s mission is to cultivate locally grown micro-greens, hops, edible flowers, and other green vegetables closer to the point of consumption.  She also offers educational and social events, teaching the community about rooftop farming as well as providing a place for diners and drinkers to socialize and spend time together in her unique urban setting.

Check out Keely’s story on Medium and learn how her dream of creating a collaboration between farming and community became reality in her tiny field on a rooftop in Brooklyn, NY. 

(This piece was written by Kathy Gledhill and Junho Hyun-Sack.)

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Jessica comes to Kiva with a background in international education, local capacity building, and global engagement in sustainable poverty alleviation. She heads up Kiva’s education initiative to enhance understanding, involvement, and the mobilization of students and teachers around micro-finance. Prior to this, she worked in remote rural Kenya with Nuru International and has also worked with the U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants, Mercy Corps, the IRC/Women’s Refugee Commission, UNHCR, the Centre for Refugee Research, and MSF (Doctors Without Borders). She holds a BA of International Politics from the University of Central Oklahoma/University of Leicester and an MSW in International Social Development from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Her overseas work has been mainly in East Africa and Southeast Asia, and she is conversational in French, Thai, and Kiswahili. She loves people and travel, bouncing between the wilderness and big cities, savoring amazing food, and regularly fawning over children and animals.

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