We (Michael & Brenda) have spent the last 20 years living in the city while raising our children and building an engineering firm. Brenda was born and raised in a rural Minnesota. Brenda’s grandfather (and most of her community) lost their farms in the 70s. It’s been our goal to reestablish a multi-generation family farm once we knew at least one of our children would want to carry it forward. With all three of them expressing interest and Michael about to retire from the Air Force, we’re ready!
Ideally, we’d like to work directly with a retiring farm couple that doesn’t have family interested in continuing their work and would be willing to let us carry on their legacy – though we’re motivated and will start from scratch, if needed. We come with experience in both farming and business but are willing, wanting and eager to continuously learn more. Finding a mentor that is interested in sharing knowledge with us would be most welcome.
Our heart is in the Columbia Gorge region. It’s likely we’ll need to be a bit further out for affordability and will consider all options. We can be creative and flexible with the transition of property. It’s most important for us to find a solution that works best for all parties, including the land and any existing animals or crops.
Existing well with water rights is optimal, as is an irrigation system and some kind of barn structure. We would enjoy taking over a property that has become too much for the existing farmer to manage and "needs some love" but are willing to start from scratch.
We are a husband-wife team with several years of farming and business experience - husband is a former dairy farmer / wife is a certified permaculturist. While living in the city to run our engineering firm together while raising children, we've turned our urban property into a homestead with chickens, quail, rabbit, several fruit trees, shrubs & vegetables. We've raised our (now grown) children to be stewards of the land and to participate in growing and preserving their own food. Two of them now independently tend large plots in community gardens.
We'd like to grow vegetable and pasture-raised poultry and pork to sell directly to the consumer at the farmers market or via CSA. While we do not have experience farming sheep, cattle, hay, &/or grain, we are open to doing so under the guidance of a mentor. Most important to us is to work in concert with the land and the seasonal realities so that we can be most productive. We practice organic and regenerative methods so that our practices can be beneficial to the land and animals. We'll farm what the land is best suited for and local experience has shown to be a profitable crop.
It's our hope to connect with others and contribute in a positive way to the area in which we live. We are Grangers so would love to find our place in an active community. Leveraging our technical engineering and business backgrounds, our long-term goal is to achieve and maintain an off-grid, sustainable farm through the use of wind &/or solar electricity and water catchment systems - or get as close as we can to be viable. We feel strongly that local, small farms will be critical to a sustainable future and that education is a key part of that. We'd like to participate in or develop programs to help connect people with where their food comes from &/or share our business skills/resources to help small scale farmers.
Housing is not immediately critical. We own a home and have a 2019 self-contained camper van with solar electric, hot running water & a compost toilet. Long-term we would like to build a small (under 1,000 sf) home on the farm if a house is not already in place. The ability to install a septic system and drill a viable well is important. Electricity isn't a concern.
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