Earn while you Learn, Immersion Agriculture at Natural Harvest Farm: 20 organic acres near Canby, between Portland and Salem


Earn While You Learn
Immersion Agriculture at Natural Harvest

Goals of the Program
This is a hands-on comprehensive experience, consisting of targeted education, research and practice, in the operation of a small-scale organic farm as a for-profit business and way of life.

Participation in the year-round program has varied from 2 to 5 years, until the student(s) feel ready to go on to their own land or decides that operating a small farm is not the way of life they desire.

This program is intended for student(s) who have a thorough grounding in soil preparation, seeding, tending, harvesting and post-harvest handling of crops, and, if applicable, raising animals.

As with any new business, start-up costs precede income, so student(s) must have adequate funding to cover costs. An outside income is desirable, but other sources of funding may suffice.

Quarterly tuition is $3,600, payable in monthly installments of $1,200.

Note: income earned from the farming operation is solely that of the student(s), and usually is more than adequate to cover tuition and living expenses by the end of the first year.

Activity by the Year
Review of Student Experience & Training/Coursework Adjustment
Harvest & Post-Harvest Handling
Layout & Irrigation/Permaculture Zones
Organic Standards & Practice
Pruning & Grafting
Seed Starting/Transplanting/Transpotting/Direct Seeding
Weed & Pest Control
Financial Realities of Small Farming & Record Keeping
Planning – short term: Beds, Annuals, Perennials, Animals, Irrigation
Markets and Marketing, Outreach & On-Farm Education Events
Farm Care & Maintenance – basics: Soils, Pruning & Grafting
Evaluate past year: Review, Reflect, Revise, and Report

Second Year
Planning – long term
Improvements: Harvest Shed, Fencing & Gates
Farm Care & Maintenance – intermediate
Carpentry, Electricity & Plumbing on a Small Farm
Evaluate past year: Review, Reflect, Revise, and Report

Years Three and On
Review, Reflect and Revise Planning – short and long term
Seed Saving & Plant Breeding
Animals in the Operation
Evaluate past year: Review, Reflect, Revise, and Report

Areas of Study & Practice:
Economics of Small-Scale Farming
Land Access/Mortgage
Utilities & Services
Tools & Equipment Maintenance & Repairs
Supplies Costs & Cash Flow
Planning & Goals
Short Term & Long Term Financial
Crops – Annual, Biennial & Perennial Plants, Animals
Time Management
Record Keeping
Markets & Marketing
Annuals & Perennials
Value Added Sales/CSA/Subscription Farming/Delivery/Wholesale
Building a Customer Base
On-Farm Agricultural & Educational Events
Additional Hands-On Education, Research and Practice
Seeds/Seed Saving/Breeding
Pruning & Grafting
Layout & Irrigation/Permaculture Zones
Seed Starting/Transplanting/Transpotting/Direct Seeding
Weed & Pest Avoidance & Control
Harvest & Post-Harvest Handling
Carpentry/Electrical/Plumbing/Mechanical for Farmers
Tool Maintenance
General Site Maintenance

Owner’s Short Term Vision for the Property

To continue in OSALT's (Oregon Sustainable Agricultural Land Trust) work of keeping agricultural land in agricultural production, and to provide research and education in the sustainable/regenerative production and distribution of agricultural bounty.

Owner’s Long Term Vision for the Property

Continue the work, with, at some point in the fairly near future, having a student/student couple take over the teaching role.

Current Use

As an advanced training site for growers

Available Water / Irrigation

Extended season water rights for private well, 50 gpm irrigation system.

Soil Type / Quality

Rich and productive clay-based soil managed to support a healthy and diverse soil food web since 1988. Our last students said it was twice as productive as the prior soil they had been growing on, and that had been good soil.

Buildings and Structures Available for Farm Use

Barn, 2 greenhouses, equipment shed, yurt, summer kitchen, well houses.

Farm Equipment Available for Use, Sale or Lease

No power equipment is available, but myriad hand tools

Any Restrictions That Could Limit Agricultural Production

No farming practices may be used that will prevent a grower fro being certified organic in the next growing season. Water use needs to be managed, but has been sufficient in the past to irrigate 8-10 acres in vegetable production.

Locations of land listings on map are not necessarily exact. Many are located on the nearest town or city.
County: Clackamas

Farm Basics

Total Acreage: 20±

Acreage Available to Landseeker: 18±

Date Property is Available: April 4, 2020

Possible Business Arrangements: Other

Lease Rate / Price: Please see the listing description.

Date when this listing was created: April 5, 2020

Farming Practices

Current Farming Practices: Certified Organic, Season Extension

Farming Practices Allowed: Certified Organic, Organic, Not Certified, Biodynamic, Dry Farming, Season Extension

Agriculture Types Suitable: Beans, Bees, Berries, Cattle, Fiber Animals, Flowers, Goats, Grain, Hay, Herbs, Hogs, Mushrooms, Nursery Stock, Nuts, Orchard/Fruit, Pasture, Poultry, Rabbits, Sheep, Vegetables, Vineyard, Other

Farm Details

Housing Available? Yes

Water Available? Yes

Property Fenced? No

Land Holder Interested in Mentoring Land Seeker? Yes

To contact a land holder, you must first fill out a land seeker profile and have it approved by our staff. Thank you.