I and my partner have a combined 9 seasons of experience working on organic farms. Owning our own farm business has long been a dream for us, but access to land has always been the biggest obstacle to getting started. We have other careers in Portland now, but nevertheless feel an inspiration to start experimenting with farming on a small scale. Medicinal herbs are our focus (both western and Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs) and we’ve been trialing them for years on a garden scale, but we are also interested in incorporating mixed veg since many herbs establish for multiple seasons before harvest. We are also potentially interested in small grain production, and have been growing quinoa in our garden for years now. In addition to enjoying the healing benefits plants provide for us, one of the aspects of farming that interests us most is the opportunity to steward land in a way that helps heal the environment as well, by supporting biodiversity and regenerative agriculture through soil building.
Most essential: soil that tests clear of residual pesticides or heavy metals.
Next most important, but not essential, would be: water rights, on-site private well, and irrigation structures.
Would be helpful, but most likely not essential: barns/structures, electricity, equipment.
My partner has 6 seasons' experience on organic vegetable farms, in roles including agricultural research, irrigation management, tractor work, and all necessary production tasks from seeding to harvest/processing.
I have 3 seasons' experience on organic vegetable farms, in roles including agricultural research, production tasks from seeding to harvest/processing, and volunteer management on a food bank farm.
We'd like to make the jump from our backyard garden to a small amount of leased land, ideally as of Fall 2020 so we could get some cover crops in by the winter and begin crop planting most likely in Spring 2021. The first couple years I see as being focused on production: testing out dozens of herbs on this commercial scale, and learning what works and what doesn't in the site. We may grow some vegetables early on since it's something we're familiar with and could add an early revenue stream as we establish our main herb crops, many of which require multiple seasons to establish before harvest. Marketing, in the beginning, will be limited to a few direct relationships with local herb stores and a new aggregator that connects producers with herbal practitioners.
Five years from now we will endeavor to have an established local clientele of practitioners and herb shops. Having built these relationships, we will be interested in scaling up acreage/production and possibly relocating to a rural setting. By that point we hope to have a few key crops dialed in but to still be experimenting with bringing some more obscure, specialty herbs into production. Another long-term goal is to have a role in education in the herb community, as we have learned these farmers are not only few and far between, but working to establish a market that is far behind that of organic vegetables, for instance. We'll definitely be thinking about ways to best support this emergent community and market as we navigate these early days, and ways to pass on whatever we’ve been able to learn.
To contact a land seeker, you must first create a land listing and have it approved by our staff. Thank you.