Queer abolitionist couple w/ cats, seeking land + mentorship!


Land Seeker Description

Hello! My name is Madi (20, any pronouns w/ respect, white) and my partner is Cam (21, they/he, white + japanese). We are beginning farmers looking for space to practice sustaining ourselves while fostering community + healthy relationships with the land. We are hoping to engage in and study regenerative vegetable, fruit, and grain farming, using traditional indigenous techniques such as no-till, cover cropping, remediating contaminated soil, etc. Similar methods we’ve been studying include permaculture and Masanobu Fukuoka’s “natural farming,” but often these modern labels deny the historic relationship between Native people and their environment as well as hinder our ability to imagine the ways our farm must respond to the needs of the land/community beyond food production. We also want to care for animals, possibly starting with chickens, pigs, or sheep, including shearing, milking, and butchering. We hope to implement techniques such as rotational grazing, silvopasture, and utilizing every piece of the animals.
All this to say, we are fully committed to creating whatever this blooms into, and we’re looking forward to honest and genuine collaboration with you, so that we learn with humility and openness, preventing the build up of resentment and distrust in whatever our partnership may be. We’re aware of the immediate effects of food apartheid, and maintain long-term goals for weathering climate change and educating folks on self-reliance and interdependence in our communities.
We hold values from Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown (https://www.concentricstrategy.org/post/principles-of-emergent-strategy), and take inspiration from farms such as Soul Fire Farm in Albany, NY and Wildseed Community Farm in Mid-Hudson Valley.

What features of the property are essential?

As mentioned, it is important for us to learn how to sustain ourselves, so while not much is essential, we desire to learn as much as we can to prepare us for the future!

Describe your farming experience

Cam and I both have experience backyard gardening; additionally, Cam volunteered for a vegetable farm for a fall season in Massachusetts, and I have had 3 summers’ experience taking horseback riding lessons and helping out around the stable as a teenager. Together, we also have had one successful growing season of medicinal mushrooms! Finally, since the beginning of 2024, we have been self-studying from afro-indigenous farming and Cultural practices, mainly figuring out what knowledge we still need and how to access it.

Are you currently farming?


What are your short term goals for the land

The first steps that Cam and I would take would be to learn about the land and what it needs before being able to produce. During this time, we would establish our small business in the community and begin offering community workshops and gatherings, as well as inviting volunteers onto the farm to aid in preparing the land. We hope to offer both our produce and our workshops on a sliding scale, so we will be able to stay afloat while the land gets ready and grows. We also plan to offer produce and products via farmers markets and farm-to-school & -to-table. Most importantly, however, we aim to make a wage in an ethical way that does not exclude the most marginalized members of our community, but instead is built to be accessible for them to benefit from! So while these are our short-term goals, inevitably, they all require long-term steps that ensure community trust and an interdependent willingness––to name a few.

What are your long term goals

In the long-term, Cameron and I plan to make a farm business that prioritizes accessibility and engagement with community members over profit, while being able to sustain itself. We plan to do this through sliding-scale CSA’s, with income being self-reported. Those that report making a higher income will be asked to pay more to cover those that cannot pay as much. We also plan to provide workshops, retreats, classes, and community events on the land, as well as farm volunteer days and residencies. Allowing the farm to be a place of community will ensure that CSA members care about one another, and are willing to help one another when needed. Finally, we hope to sell medicinal herbs, live-culture foods from farm produce, baked goods, and online resources and tutorials, all of which will also be offered at this sliding scale.

Describe your housing needs

While Cameron and I are able to return to work, we have some housing needs that will most definitely require further deliberation and communication! Please feel free to reach out and we’ll see what we can make work. First, there’s the two of us–we don’t camp in a tent (bad backs!), but are open to practically any other arrangement, such as an RV, room in a shared house, etc. We both have experience living with others in a dorm before we left college, and have had some not so great experiences with roommates that have certainly taught us the importance of communication. There’s also our two emotional support cats, Prior and Garm! They are both inside cats but we are working on harness training Prior, and would love to have him hang out with us outside. Garm is quite shy and would probably most like to remain an indoor cat, however he does not require a lot of space. In the past we have considered staying in a yurt or restricting the cats to whatever room we are sleeping in, and, while not ideal, is certainly an option that we can discuss! Our cats are a part of our family, and it is very important that they stay with us and have a good quality of life.

What will you do as a farmer to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for everyone on your farm and in your community?

Neither of us are religious people, but through our research we’ve embraced many different indigenous wisdoms and Buddhist ideas of Zazen that help guide our activism and land stewardship goals. Until October of 2022, Cameron and I were planning on pursuing careers in academia; unfortunately, we encountered health issues from schooling that left us both disabled. While we now feel ready to re-enter the workforce, we openly identify as disabled people. By taking this time away to rest and rediscover our goals, we feel even greater confidence that we can be successful farmers by being informed of our needs and advocating for them. Our oppressions are too rarely forgotten as a force that can injure *anyone*, so organizing around these communities is essential for our success, let alone survival. Furthermore, disability justice has helped us understand what it means to be truly accessible. We intend to leave no one behind, or expect others to hurt themselves to be “included.” Our disabilities have taught us that everyone is at a different place with their unlearning, so taking accountability for ourselves and encouraging others is sometimes all we can do. Additionally disabling has prompted us to take further time to reflect on the characteristics of white supremacy culture/capitalist culture (https://www.thc.texas.gov/public/upload/preserve/museums/files/White_Supremacy_Culture.pdf) that led to our burnout and disabling to begin with. All of this knowledge empowers us to approach our community from a place of curiosity, vulnerability, and invitation, for that is where true relationships come from!

Additional Land Seeker Details

Regions interested in farming:
Central, Coastal, Eastern, Gorge, 5, South Willamette Valley, North Willamette Valley, Portland Area, Southern, Neighboring States

Acreage desired:
Less than 1 acre, 1 - 5 acres, 5 - 10 acres, 11 - 20 acres

Seeking land access by:
January 1, 2025

Interested in raising the following crops / livestock:
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

Interested in these business arrangements:
Sale of Land, Lease-to-own, Lease with option to purchase, Lease for trade, Partnership, Other

Interested in these growing practices:
Organic, Not Certified, Biodynamic, Dry Farming, Season Extension, 7

Date when this profile was last modified or created:
July 5, 2024

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