Hello there, my name is Kyle. I would have loved to meet you in person, but this will do until then. I am searching for land that needs tending. Im looking for any opportunities to expand cut flower production intermixed with pollinator/wildlife habitat and food-producing plants. Since 2018 Ive been managing and creating regenerative landscapes in urban residential yards in Portland Oregon. I started growing food for myself and my roommates out of garden boxes I built in the front yard where I rented. I manage 5 different gardens and yard spaces where I also grow test gardens and produce cut flowers for the local farmers market.
After graduating from college in 2020 I began experimenting with value-added products made with ingredients from urban gardens. Through PDX Urban Gardens, since 2020 Ive sold herbal skincare, artisan foods, cbd, fresh/dried herbs, cut flowers, and houseplants at the local farmers market and online through my website. My passion has become sharing the abundance from the garden as well as teaching others to create that for themselves.
On top of the ecological benefits of stewarding space, there are so many ideas for social programming as well. Yearly I have hosted educational events in the main gardens I manage. I have plans to create a YouTube channel to document things as well. I have a commitment to give back to the local community and support organizations working on increasing food sovereignty and improving biodiversity. Monthly donations and volunteering hours will continue to be apart of this commitment.
I planted 100 varieties of dahlias this year and harvested the seed anticipating SO many new and exciting genetic crosses for the bees to enjoy. Maybe those cool new dahlias will be on the land you are currently thinking about. I would love them to be. It would be my greatest privilege and bring me the most fulfillment to find economic security through growing flowers, doing regenerative landscaping, and researching native bees. Any opportunities you have in this endeavor are greatly appreciated.
water, irrigation?, greenhouse for starts, barn for storage
Ive completed the OSU Master Gardener Short course. series, with plans to get Master Gardener and Master Melittologist certified in 2023. Since 2018 residential landscaping installation and maintenance has slowly become a significant portion of my business, I'm also currently in the process of being certified with the Oregon Landscape Contractors Board.
I have learned a lot from the Oregon State University Dry Farming Institute and try to conserve the most amount of water. Drip irrigation has also been shown to be 90% more effective than overhead watering and thus in the primary watering method when needed. Lasagna mulching with cardboard and wood chips has been used to reduce evaporation, add organic matter, and smother weeds. To avoid the use of pesticides I plant dahlias, sunflowers, or zinnias flanked with a mix of pollinator attractant plants. Using plants like yarrow, fennel, nasturtium, lavender, Douglas aster, and/or calendula attracts beneficial insects that prey on pests confused by which flower to land on.
Minimalizing chemical inputs reduces/eliminates the risk of harming biodiversity and pollution due to runoff. Rotating crops and cover cropping returns a natural balance to what is being taken out and put into the soil - improving soil health. No-till or low till reduces soil erosion and maintains the mycelium structure due to minimize soil disturbance.
The main barrier to expanding cut flower production has been access to growing space. I was able to make ~$1500/month during the 2022 growing season (May-Sept) selling flowers weekly at the Hollywood farmers market and as a pop up vendor in front of Tin Shed Cafe on Alberta. My main gardens total about 2700 sq ft combined, 6% of an Acre, equaling a revenue 55 cents per sqft per growing month. With 1/3 of an acre, or 5.5 times the current sqftage, monthly revenue with the same $0.55/sqft would be ~$8000/month. This is an achievable number with proper team management and sales funnels. Fruit, flower, and veggie csa's are all potential revenue streams with enough space.
Ive already gotten connected with wholesale buyers at the Portland Flower Market (PFM), they are just waiting for me to have enough volume of flowers for them. With my current space capacity, small retail popups were best. The funeral and wedding industries present other opportunities instead of/alongside wholesale with more growing space and volume. I expect monthly revenue from markets could be $4500+ with 10-12 markets/popups per month. Wholesale monthly sales as a specialty grower at the PFM ranges between $3000-$6000 per month *data from PFM staff. Dignity Funeral Services or Brookdale retirement are large clientele that are untapped markets. Just from cut flowers the goal is to bring in $5000-$7000 per month during the growing season in year 1, 6000-7500/month year 2, 7000-8500/month year 3, 7500-9000/month year 4, and 8000-10000/month year 5.
I plan on creating a YouTube channel and host more events starting Spring 2023.
Rather than seeking to achieve zero or no waste, regenerative farming thinks about going beyond making the most positive impact. Replicating patterns in nature, using lessons from nature, Traditional Ecologial Knowledge, these are principals behind our vision of sustainable farming. We think of ourselves as interconnected within the ecological system, apart of a whole living system, and thus seek to improve the health of our land and ourselves.
Our long term goal is to create a sustainable business model while improving the health of the land and ourselves.
I currently rent and am willing to move for the right opportunity. Would just need 1 bedroom
While I haven't been able to hire many employees within this business, I hope with this grant of land I can provide workforce development and educational opportunities for people of all backgrounds in the community. In the first year of its inception, my business donated 10% of each months sales to local non profits like NAYA, Learning Gardens Lab, Slow Food Portland, & Growing Gardens PDX. Supporting local non profits with similar values in creating equitable food access and/or soverignty will continue to be an essential part of our community vision.
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