Housing and land access in exchange for labor on 28 acres near Donald


My mother and her husband own this prime farmland with water rights and an almost new well. They are both in their late 80s and finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the work required to maintain the property. They have recently leased about half the land to a neighbor who planted wheat. I believe his lease is up when he harvests it, probably next July. Most of the rest of the land is in evergreen forest, a lovely grove of Oregon white oaks, and a small fruit tree orchard, but there is a a full-sun garden bed approximately 100 feet by 40 feet that we cultivated with the help of CSA farmers this past season. These farmers have decided to grow all their vegetables at other locations this coming season (including in my backyard in Raleigh Hills where they had good success this past summer in selling as well as growing produce). My parents and I would like to find a farmer who wants to live in the small (315 sq. ft.) private apartment above their garage (with its own separate access apart from their farmhouse) in exchange for help on the farm. Such a farmer could use the large garden bed for whatever he/she wishes. Work around the rest of the farm would include mowing the lawn (riding mower provided), weeding, pruning, assisting with irrigation and watering, and helping with some repairs and maintenance of structures and machinery. The farmer would have the opportunity to learn how to operate a small sawmill on site, and how to operate several tractors and other machines like a stump grinder and wood chipper. Once the neighbor’s lease is up, if the farmer has prove dependable and hardworking, I think my mom and her husband would consider letting that farmer put the rest of their fields to other uses, such as intensive rotational grazing of livestock, as we all observed when visiting Polyface Farm in Virginia.

Owner’s Short Term Vision for the Property

Make it easier for my parents to continue enjoying their farm without having to work so hard on it. Give a new farmer a chance to interact and learn from them and the land.

Owner’s Long Term Vision for the Property

I hope to see this land produce an abundance and variety of the highest quality food while also supplying habit for wild animals and plants in uncultivated areas. I want to keep it in our family if possible, but share it with other people too who want to live and work on a permaculture farm. I want to create meaningful work and community for my grown son with autism and others who care about him and the land.

Current Use

about 12 acres planted in wheat; about 1/4 acre in fruit trees; about 1/4 acre in yard around 1911 farmhouse (renovated in 2011-14); approx. 100' x 40' garden plot used for corn, beans, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, melons, and some flowers in the past. My parents don't want to go to the work of planting it again next spring, and neither do I. That's one place we need help.

Available Water / Irrigation

Water rights for whole farm, I think (28 acres), though most of the land has not been irrigated for at least 10 years. New, deep well drilled about three years ago.

Soil Type / Quality

It's pretty good, especially in the garden bed since we've added compost the past few years. We did some soil analysis a few years ago and were pleased with the results... not too acidic, quite a bit of organic mater. This land has been farmed for more than a century by European settlers, and was likely tended by Native Americans for thousands of years before that. We want to build it up with good stewardship.

Buildings and Structures Available for Farm Use

Recently renovated & enlarged barn with workshop and lots of tool & tractor storage; garage and small tool shed below private apartment for quick access to most often used tools and supplies

Farm Equipment Available for Use, Sale or Lease

Several tractors with various attachments, lots of hand tools, chipper, stump grinder, riding lawn mower, some irrigation supplies

Any Restrictions That Could Limit Agricultural Production

There's a small stream that originates by the oak grove and runs into the evergreens. Its banks are steep in places. We would not want the trees around the stream cut down to increase the farmable area. We also would not want any smelly operation on the farm because my mother and I are sensitive to bad odors... that's why we wouldn't want a dairy, or hogs. We don't want dangerous animals raised on the land either.

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

Farm Basics

Total Acreage: 28

Acreage Available to Landseeker: Immediately: about 1/4 acre; eventually: about 15.

Date Property is Available:

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

Date when this listing was created: December 7, 2020

Farming Practices

Current Farming Practices: Organic, Not Certified, Dry Farming, Conventional

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

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

Farm Details

Housing Available? Yes

Water Available? Yes

Property Fenced? Yes

Land Holder Interested in Mentoring Land Seeker? Yes

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