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Deployed Projects: Free Union Farm Sustainability Hub

Multi-year, multi-tier sustainability project with opportunity to preserve a historic site and address black family land loss in rural eastern North Carolina.

Our Vision

Bridging climate investment and social equity starts with creating replicable, scalable, and bold model communities. 


Free Union Farm (formerly named Vera Brown Farm) is a 52-acre parcel of land in a historic freedmen's community in an economically distressed region of eastern North Carolina. Under the management of Rural Beacon Initiative, it will become a multi-phase, multi-enterprise sustainability hub for renewable energy, regenerative agricultural practices, and regional food access.

Good for the Land. Good for the People.

How Free Union Farm Makes a Diference

Scaling BIPOC Ownership

Creates a replicable model of economic development that centers rural, BIPOC ownership in the emerging clean economy.

Food Security

Supports a regenerative food network that shortens food supply chains, advances BIPOC ownership, and increases food security for generations of BIPOC land owners.

Reimagining a Sustainable Supply chain

Demonstrating a new model of agriculture centered around zero-harm, net-beneficial practices for public health, sustainability, and revenue.

Our Partners

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Slow Money NC

From 2010 to mid-2022 Slow Money NC catalyzed the flow of affordable capital to sustainable small food enterprises, connecting neighbors and friends ~ ordinary people who care ~ to their local farmers and local food businesses to “bring our money back down to earth.”

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Croatan Institute

Croatan Institute is an independent, nonprofit research and action institute whose mission is to build social equity and ecological resilience by leveraging finance to create pathways to a just economy.

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Foodshed Capital

We exist to build more equitable, regenerative foodsheds. We prioritize borrowers who may have difficulty accessing capital through traditional lenders, particularly low-income, BIPOC, female, immigrant, LGBTQ, or indigenous individuals. We equally prioritize borrowers who use regenerative practices, foster soil health and biodiversity, and produce nutrient-dense, culturally appropriate food for their foodsheds.

Interested in adding your name to this list? Get in touch today.

Ready to be a part of the solution?

Donate Now

Rural Beacon Initiative, LLC's Free Union Farm project is fiscally sponsored by the Croatan Institute. All donations are tax-deductible.

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