Atkinson Memorial Farm Conservancy Co-Farmer Invitation
We are the Atkinson Farm Conservancy, a 50-acre farm, held by our family since 1964. The farm is located about 15 miles southwest of Eugene, Oregon, in the Coyote Creek basin of the southern Willamette Valley. The historical vision for this place has always been self- sufficiency. How do we make it possible to produce all of our food from this farm? In recent years we have created the conservancy (legally a 501-C6 mutual benefit corporation), overseen by a 3-5 member family board, dedicated to “preserving and protecting the farm for future generations.” We have enhanced the stability of that vision by donating a conservation easement to NWLCT with the mission of feeding and powering “at least a family” from on-site sources, while “enhancing habitat for all climatically appropriate flora and fauna.” No chemical fertilizers have been used on the property for over 40 years, so organic certification is possible. With solar power installations, we are significantly advanced in powering the home and farm from on-site sources. We are also hoping to pursue bio-char production using wood thinned from surrounding forest land. The purpose of the conservation easement is to assure legal farm permanence. The farm property is also paid for.
I, Paul Atkinson, have been renting use of land and buildings as Laughing Stock Farm for many years, integrating pastured poultry, dual-purpose cattle, dairy goats and cheese-making, pigs, sheep, and large gardens and fruit trees to work towards a sustainable farm eco-system. I am 70 years old, in good health, and intend to farm as long as I’m alive, while looking forward to spending more time on the habitat improvement of this place in the future. We currently don’t have a younger family member who is interested in the life of day-to-day farming.
Possible Farm Projects and Resources
There are many possible farming projects that could be pursued here to enhance the mission of our conservancy, depending on your dreams and farming passions. A full-diet CSA, small dairy, or cidery are possibilities, as well as expanded poultry production, more sheep, draft animals, more fruit trees, tea plants, and greenhouse vegetables. We are open to most farm ventures, but cannabis production is not one of them.
We have some legal irrigation water and constantly work at water storage, but careful, limited use is important. Our domestic water is from a small steady spring and is legally purified for dairy, egg, and other food projects.
Housing is limited on-site. We have a barn with an insulated room upstairs with electricity and water, along with a bathing room and composting toilet room downstairs. Adjacent to the upstairs room is a large deck that could support a yurt, if someone needed additional living space. There are possible housing rentals on a neighboring property in the future.
The farm conservancy board has the ability to offer up to a 99-year lease of parts of the farm to co-farmers whose farming work fits the conservancy mission and who decide they wish to farm here long term. A new co-farmer would begin with a basic rent toward maintenance of any fields, orchards, and buildings they use. The conservancy mission doesn’t include making a profit on leasing land or buildings.
We are seeking a co-farmer who…
is an individual or couple old enough and experienced enough in farming that you can know yourself/yourselves to be called/inspired to farm life and farm dreams despite the prospect of long hours and low financial returns. You are the next generation, at least 20 years younger than I am, and could potentially continue farming here after I am gone.
is morally/spiritually/or religiously motivated to “care for land” during your life and pass it on more “whole” than when you began, rather than “owning” “your” land to increase your financial position during your life.
appreciates the fact that you couldn’t pay for land with farm income and care for it as you should, and you don’t foresee having the financial resources to buy your own farm.
is interested in living simply. Integrating the plants, animals, and people (wild and domestic) of this place into the web of life that “might be sustained” is an exciting, worthy, and motivational purpose for your life.
see land listing description
see land listing description
Mostly as pasture for poultry, sheep, cattle, and goats
Large seasonal garden
Many fruit trees, mostly apple varieties
There are water rights to a storage pond, about 1/3 acre surface area.
Class III /clay-loam
Parts of a large livestock barn with concrete floor and manure storage
Cheese-making room with storage
Basic tillage equipment, manure spreaders, pasture harrow
Domestic water from spring and irrigation water from ponds is limited.
To contact a land holder, you must first fill out a land seeker profile and have it approved by our staff. Thank you.