For Long Term Lease/Partnership/Cooperative: Up to 80 scenic acres just south of the OR border in Siskiyou County!


Description

Willow & Bone

We are looking for someone to join us in creating a working farm/cooperative. It’s not often people get to choose their neighbors & cohorts, hence the very verbose listing. We want to get this right and connect with likeminded awesome people. **Please note that we are at about 2600ft elevation, have a pretty wide range of temperatures (below freezing almost every night from late October to mid-February or later and sometimes 100º+ in the summer), intense sun year-round, 35-75mph windstorms, and low rain most of the year.

Read on if that doesn’t scare you off and you’re still intrigued:


Former biodynamic/organic garden space and Lakota traditional buffalo ranch in Shasta Valley surrounded by beautiful hills & mountains, with near-constant unobstructed sun and stop-in-your-tracks sunsets. Previous owner has passed and we (his son and daughter in law) are in the final stages of clearing enormous quantities of junk off the land to be a fresh palette and back at square one. Currently, the neighbors sometimes pasture their cattle on some of the land, but that’s it. It’s mostly just star thistle and old growth patches of alfalfa.

All of our friends & family who come to visit marvel at both the progress we’ve made cleaning it up, as well as the high potential for really amazing beauty to be had here. It’s difficult to not become an avid birdwatcher here. We get near-daily visits from both golden & bald eagles, ravens, brewer’s blackbirds, kestrels, magpies, scrub jays, meadowlarks, goldfinches, geese, barn owls, woodpeckers, doves, and harriers.

  • The community is somewhat minimal around here, but if you’re a group of adults or a young family like us, you can just bring your own community! Ashland, Oregon is about 45 minutes north, providing ample culture—and offers a range from liberal to true leftist/socialist ideology you might be harder pressed to find in siskiyou county just yet.
  • Our plan has been to grow a polycultural vineyard or hops with our permaculture and farming backgrounds, so there’s a potential of an extra 20 acres to use if this is your interest too. If we do decide to move up north for a bit, we might need to find new homes for our sweet ADGA registered Nigerian dwarf goats. If you’ve never had raw nigie goat milk, it’s the highest fat percentage and the tastiest. They could be an option for you too, as much as we loathe the idea of parting with them…but a cross-country drive is an especially tall order when we also have to coordinate a new goat-friendly living space.
  • Aside from clearing the junk, we’ve begun some garden and recreational spaces that aren’t far from complete. (Crescent moon-inspired rock wall and perennial garden beginnings with large pathway/picnic spot on top, garden pool for fish & swimming, etc)
  • There is currently no permanent living structure on the land, we have torn down the dilapidated mobile home. There is an approved 60×20 pole barn that could easily be finished with an upstairs living space and barn/workshop/potting room downstairs. Otherwise, if you want to live out here, bring your own tiny home or consider building an earthbag home (the dirt here is perfect for this!). We, ourselves currently live in a fully drivable 90% finished retro 1965 former greyhound bus/tiny home, which we are selling too.
  • Septic is fully set up, as is electricity & hookups, but the former owner lived sparsely and never built a house or used plumbing. Infrastructure is legitimately minimal!
  • We are really open to ideas and more than anything just want to foster someone with good maybe even radical ideas who wants to make them reality. Bonus points if you’re interested in viticulture/medicinal herbs from a permaculture/polycultural standpoint.
  • We are very interested in helping you with graphic, copy, and social media consulting for your budding ideas. The tentative name and branding for the farmstead is “Willow & Bone,” due to the sheer quantity of bones out here and the nearby Willow Creek, plus the sole willow tree on the property. We would be so happy to pass the reigns of this over, as well as help manage in any ways. That, along with one of us being a former chef & cinematographer, are our “professional” trades. We also have a lot of connections with distributors and grocers in Oregon. We seriously want to see good things happen in this ripe, but fairly empty region of California.
  • If names like Joel Salatin, Sepp Holzer, Ben Falk, and Bill Mollison ring any bells, then we want to talk to you! Families definitely get priority, but there’s a lot of room out here for reasonable folks.

ABOUT US:

We are not extremely seasoned growers of anything, to be clear. We both grew up with productive gardening/farming/hunting/butchering, but are kind of getting back to those roots by being here and extensively researching. We maintained an extremely lush backyard garden with our chickens in Portland, but that is worlds different than the landscape now! While it says we’re not interested in mentoring, we believe we have a lot of knowledge to share & exchange!

Zachary: 38, former chef, former owner of two coffee shops, cheesemonger, degree in cinematography, photographer, and general “Zack of all trades.” Low-key animal whisperer. Sci-fi & comic nerd.  Plans with the land include: making delicious cheese and creating a low-impact lifestyle out here.

Dawn: 33, copywriter & editor, former nanny with education in developmental psychology. Herbalist with ten years of study, along with permaculture & polyculture studies for equal time. Affinity for land & space design, researching, and raw fresh foods. Sci-fi nerd & bibliophile who enjoys baking & embroidery. Plans with the land include: vineyard/hops field, learning how to make natural wild yeasted wine, healing the land, and living a balanced enriched life.

Us Together:

  • We are both nonreligious, believe in critical thinking, and questioning authority.
  • We practice respectful parenting/RIE methodology. We strongly believe babies & children are full humans to be respected, parents are simply their gentle but firm guides to become balanced & empathetic adults. We vaccinate. We teach body autonomy. We don’t really offer screentime with our child. We research and follow the science on important topics, especially brain development, learning, and health. We self-analyze and work hard to grow & evolve ourselves as much as humanly possible. 
  • We believe intentional community is important and family is chosen. We are intersectional feminists and believe all people have the right to be respected & heard. With that, we do not tolerate any form of hatred, racism, phobia, or white nationalism. 
  • That all said, we are incredibly punny & goofy, we love a good laugh, Mystery Science Theater-level humor, gaming, and good whole food. 

Our daughter: 2.5, vivacious, inquisitive, and eager to learn. Loves to explore and read, as well as jam out to favorite tunes. She is just as likely to enjoy quiet time with a book as she is to be participating in group play, she enjoys hanging out with people of all ages—not to mention snuggling on all of the animals. 

Our pets:

  • 8 year old schnauzer: very friendly, good with kids of all ages.
  • 2 year old mixed breed dog, also very friendly & gentle with children…loves to chase & catch ground squirrels.
  • Two indoor cats, aged 8.5 and 2.5.
  • There is also one kitty of unclear age, named Ella Fitzkitty, whom we inherited with the land. She’s strictly outdoors and a total sweetheart. We’ve tried to wean her inside, but she’s not having it.
  • Three adult hens (two brahmas & one plymouth rock), our oldest being 7.5. Nine young chickens; four wyandottes & five orpingtons.
  • Four sweet-as-pie nigerian dwarf goats, one wether and three doelings who will likely be “freshened” in late winter.

You: Probably lean similarly to us. You want to build community in a farmstead setting, without feeling stuck to be in that setting 24/7. Maybe you have an outside/remote job, maybe you have some savings. Cost of living will be pretty low here, but you’ll need something to sustain you until things get going out here. You are interested in forming a worker’s cooperative at the ground level. You are interested in working towards a cooperative land share as well. You are probably a family. Maybe you’re seasoned in this setting, maybe you’ve only kept a backyard garden. You are eager to experiment with different growing/building/management techniques. You respect and are gentle with all animals. You aren’t put off by curse words or dark humor. You understand the use of a couple guns on a rural property and are comfortable with this…along with staunch gun safety. You are looking for somewhere to put down metaphorical and physical roots.

Maybe most importantly, you self-analyze and practice critical thinking. You are not averse to direct communication and don’t avoid “difficult” conversations. 

Solidarity, and thank you!


**Please note: recreational cannabis is illegal to grow in Siskiyou County, even though it’s legal in California. We are not interested in anything related to cannabis, beyond a few personal plants. The layout of the land is also fishbowl and extremely visible, it’s just not a good idea at this time. Thank you for respecting this.


Owner’s Short Term Vision for the Property

Finish clearing land of debris, figure out how the water system was laid (in other words, we need to dig up all the lines and probably replace most of the piping, there are leaks everywhere!), creating infrastructure to combat high winds & hot sun, smoothing & trenching the driveway, building out the pole barn & any other smaller structures using mostly earth bag techniques with trenching & french drains.

Solar & wind energy!

We want to have likeminded people out here to build an oasis in what is now a fairly barren open grassland. Rewilding, fire line work before summer 2019, perimeter building with mostly native plants & trees, while also breaking ground on the vineyard & medicinal herb farm in one section. A market garden/CSA is very doable. What animals and crops could you fortify this vision with?


Owner’s Long Term Vision for the Property

A worker's cooperative that affords everyone involved a comfortable and sustainable lifestyle.
A lush rewilded landscape habitat for bees, birds, humans, and small livestock alike.
Hoophouse walipinis (dug-in greenhouses) to experiment with more warm-weather fruit/veg trees...coffee would be a dream.
Thriving 20 acre vineyard/hop field & medicinal herb farm, productive blackberry perimeters incorporated into fruitful food foresting, perhaps a small goat dairy with mindful rotational grazing for goats/fowl/maybe cows (miniature cows, anyone?), and as off-grid as possible.
Space for hosting workshops, educational philanthropy & low-impact events, along with farmstays & nonprofit agritourism.
We really want to build a professional food prep and cook space to be able to share in order to produce professional-level goods. A CSA that delivers & a seasonal pumpkin patch would work well too.


Current Use

Currently, we are still clearing the mess of the former occupant; our father/father-in-law. He was a buffalo farmer using traditional Lakota practices and also maintained a small certified biodynamic plot on the land. The level of detria out here has truly been unreal, so we are still clearing the slate back to square one.

We alternate between clean-up/teardown, animal care, and of course parenting. We have cleared all major safety hazards for toddlers and children to be able to run around a bit.

Now that we have switched gears and have decided to move cross-country, we are aiming to arrange a few scrappers and if necessary also hire a crew to clear the rest of mess into piles...as our budget can allow. We're working class folk too.


Available Water / Irrigation

Water rights exist, fantastic private well!


Soil Type / Quality

Montague clay loam, then loamy silt when you get about 1.5ft down. The ph is slightly acidic at roughly 4.5-5, while the well water is very alkaline and high in calcium and magnesium. Everything we've been testing in our small test garden has grown really well in the past year. (Wine grapes, blueberries, fig tree, bamboo.)


Buildings and Structures Available for Farm Use

Approved, but unfinished 60x20 pole barn with attached small greenhouse. Could easily be finished out to have a living quarters upstairs and barn/workshop downstairs.

A lot of the structures here were not built well, so they are either slated to be torn down or are in the process of being reworked. We have adapted a small shed to house our chickens and built a temporary goat shed until the barn is finished out.

We have plans and basic schematics for implementing french drains around the property, in conjunction with earthbag/rammed earth building approaches to utilize the ample soil & dirt, as well as ensuring ample drainage.


Farm Equipment Available for Use, Sale or Lease

Weedwacker, various building tools, garden tools, hand tools available to share.


Any Restrictions That Could Limit Agricultural Production

None that we are aware of beyond it's super dry. Currently, zoning does not include permanent residences, but if you come with a tiny house or live nearby, that is a legal workaround. We are eager to get zoning set up in the long term to enable building permanent earth bag housing for anyone who is interested in this lifestyle. We have confirmed there is at least one earth bag/rammed earth home in Siskiyou County, so that's promising.


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

Farm Basics

Total Acreage: 80

Acreage Available to Landseeker: up to 57, more if you are interested in developing a vineyard or hops & medicinal herb farm

Date Property is Available: January 1, 2019

Possible Business Arrangements: Lease for cash, Lease for trade, Partnership, Other

Lease Rate / Price: very negotiable, we really want to see this land being used well more than anything else, from one working class family to another. We aren't fancy landlords and neither was the previous owner. What we envision is arranging something that covers the cost of the very low property taxes. You would be responsible for electricity and any/all waterline work, firelines, etc. We want to help success happen, but also don't want to financially inhibit that success. The land is too sentimental to sell, but we would feel very comfortable offering a land partnership/joint ownership & cooperative after a 1-2 year "introductory period" to make sure we all feel good about the arrangement. And, we would want to arrange an agreement to 10% of net profits if/when your business on the land became profitable. So, costs would be very low, but there's a lot of work to make this a usable space!

Date when this listing was created: December 19, 2018

Farming Practices

Current Farming Practices: Organic, Not Certified, 7

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

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

Farm Details

Housing Available? No

Water Available? Yes

Property Fenced? Yes

Land Holder Interested in Mentoring Land Seeker? No


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