I just went through the application process and was approved for an similar EQUIP contract .
I am astonished that you weren't aware of this financial piece- early on in the application process ! It is a prime objective of the NRCS to draw contracts that stabilize farms, rather then hedging them to commit to financial obligations that they cannot sustainably honor.
If this is their short fall i recommend that you write a letter to your co.NRCS office , to make them aware that they need to better support new EQUIP applicants in understanding the contract. -What a mess !
I know that financing is available for High tunnels through most dealers.. and then you could reserve your cash for the drain bed/lumber.
Also there is a document review service you can request through certifying agents that allows for a lower cost transition , for low earning farms. I'm not sure if this will be sufficient to meet your contracts requirements.There is usually cost share for cert fees offered on a federal level to most states (first come first served).
This really seems like an opportunity for CSA- find 15 families to "invest" in a share of veggies , w/ your short growing season you could probably find people who would really value the opportunity to support you, in establishing a season extending HT .
What about your tribe.. cant you draw a loan from them ?
- that's all i got ! good luck !
Chris & Mari Reijmerink
Kismet Organics, A family fruit farm.
Fennville Michigan 49408
--- On Mon, 4/12/10, Martha (Dindoffer) Dopkowski <[log in to unmask]> wrote: