Seeking Lease/Lease-to-Own 2-15 acres in NW Oregon: Poultry, Eggs, and Herbs


Land Seeker Description

We are Valley of Drakes; a family run, start-up, farm looking for land to get our business going. Ideally we would love a lease-to-own of 15 acres, but realistically leasing 2-5 acres would be a great leaping-off point for getting started. We like being close to Portland. Right now we have a small flock of ducks laying eggs that we sell under the name of the farm where we live and work; Campfire Farms. We’d like to relocate our birds and our fifth-wheel to the next property and expand. (An affordable lease of a 2-3 bedroom house is also a very favorable option.)

Our business plan is to start with about 30 laying ducks and 100 laying hens as well as groups of <50-60 broiler chickens and ducks at a time, seasonally, according to what we are able to sell at market. Initially we would do our own processing and sell direct to consumer (<1,000 birds per year) to allow for better profit margins while our farm operations are small, but the long term plan would be to sell more birds and have them processed off-site, allowing us to open other marketing options.

Our birds will all be free range on pastured/orchard/silvopasture land depending on our location. We would work to plant and replenish cover crop growth as they cycle around the land. Our layers would each have an egg-mobile for safety at night and convenient egg collection. Depending on the field lay-out and fencing, electric poultry netting would be used to control the range of the flocks.

I feel that a rotation of ducks on fallowed farm land followed by crops could be very productive either for ourselves or in partnership with a vegetable farmer. I am also interested in recycling duck pond water (movable plastic ponds) through a vegetable bed, as “fertigation,” using irrigation tubing and/or swales. (This is just for conservation reasons. Why waste the fertilized pond water upon replacing/refilling?) I’m very interested in helping supplement the feed for the layers with personally grown crops and vegetables, even if it is just scraps, stocks, and leaves that would otherwise not be sold. I intend to breed 5-10 pounds of worms as treats for the birds and good compost for the land. Beetle Larva would also serve well in quite the same way, and useful for processing waste consumption.  We’re not shooting for certified organic, though ‘no corn, no sow’ is a best practice, as well as being a humane and regenerative farm.

We’re new to owning a farm but we’re serious. There are three of us and as family and we have all been working with our animals and those on this farm, as well as working the market stands. We’ve worked hard to learn the rules and regulations about what can and can’t be done with individual farm lands in Oregon as well as what can and can’t be sold with or without certain licenses. We’re learning as much as we can about soil health, composting, regenerative practices, cover crops, and rotational grazing. We have used that information to map out a very specific farm plan that seems to fit best with our financial abilities and the fact that we are just beginning. We have created a name, have a logo in the works, a website, and social media pages established. We are ready to market ourselves. We come independently with our own home. This is a very exciting dream for us and we are working very hard to make it realistic, attainable, and successful.

Start-up is a two year plan with expansion within 5 years and solid land and home ownership (15 acres) within 8-10.

For the LONG HAUL: We have other interests such as bee-keeping and working an orchard. Both can contribute to our farm stand sales depending on the land option we obtain. And we would like to eventually have a farm kitchen to produce sauces and herb blends to go with our egg and meat sales. “Poultry and Produce” is a good long-term or small-scale plan, though it would probably be most successful as a very basic farm-stand partnership if it were to have any substantial sales volume. We would really like to learn more about vegetable production in general.

We are excited and very grateful, in advance, for everyone who will be a part of making our dreams happen.

-Vanessa, Andrew, and Nathan (age 12)

What features of the property are essential?

Electricity, Cell Service, and a well. Personal Privacy, though not necessarily requiring a great distance.

Describe your farming experience

We have experience with pasture raised pork, including land management and animal movements, breeding, farrowing, vaccinations, and castrating. We have experience with free range, pastured meat ducks and chickens, as well as free range layer chickens and egg production. We have experience with some of the marketing and sales of these products. We have farmer's market experience and customer service. We can operate equipment well.
I have a very small no-till personal garden. We have a small personal flock of laying ducks and a few laying hens. We have a tiny bit of experience incubating.
We have building and repair experience.

Are you currently farming?


What are your short term goals for the land

Working on 2-5 acres: Year 1 - Transfer our flock and RV. Andrew will work off-site while I get our farm started. A slow start, with very intentionally timed additions, well thought-out budget and expenditures to keep a clean and orderly farm that grows as we are ready and we don't get in over our heads or burned out. Find a good fitting farmers market. Purchase processing equipment. Transfer any brooders and mobile layer houses that have been built, build more as needed, and establish several shed/work spaces as necessary. Begin growing and processing poultry, building a solid supply for the markets to come. Grow/adopt layers timed to align with egg sales for the start of our market stand. Plant a garden for personal use, learning, and duck treats. Most likely grow herbs for our market stand. Create a vermiculture/vermicompost system. Have two layer flocks and 2 broiler flocks rotate through pasture, with an additional group of broilers in the brooder. Market our name, Valley of Drakes, and build clientele.

Year 2: Have Andrew work the farm full time and increase the volume of poultry and egg sales. Outsource the processing of birds. Establish a farm kitchen for herb blends and sauces. Expand the garden for animal feed and potential market sales. Build healthy soil across the property with regenerative practices and composting.
There is potential to raise hogs for a separate partnership, but it would depend on the location and acreage of the land.
Possibly have 1-3 bee hives.
Plant trees and shrubbery for long term land health and animal well being depending on lease/lease-to-own.

What are your long term goals

Years 3-7: Expand our acreage to also include a house. Continuing the practices listed above on a larger scale, plus any new 'ventures' or skills we have learned along the way.
Have an established name in the market and a refined list of products.
Potentially raise hogs (and maybe other live stock) for marketing our own meat.

8-10 Years: Own 10-15 acres.
Have a designated part of the property set-aside where our son can/can eventually run his own farmstead.

Have a well enough established farm to take on some more humanitarian projects such as:
Have a petting zoo (or other farm experiences) for special needs children and adults, and emotional therapy for all ages.
Have a small cabin or two where guests can come and work-camp for a while, get back to nature, and heal.

Describe your housing needs

We need to be able to park our fifth wheel trailer either on the property or on an adjacent parcel. (Or have an affordable housing option, similarly.)
Available Water, Electric, Cell Service.

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

We want to build a business that offers it's products to all people; something for everyone, and at every budget. We want to have a safe place for people to visit and leave feeling fulfilled, happy, and healthy. We're grateful for the opportunities we have been given by fellow humans, and we want to be open, caring, and loving to others in return.

Additional Land Seeker Details

Regions interested in farming:
North Willamette Valley, Portland Area

Acreage desired:
1 - 5 acres, 5 - 10 acres, 11 - 20 acres

Seeking land access by:
April 1, 2024

Interested in raising the following crops / livestock:
Beans, Bees, Berries, Herbs, Hogs, Mushrooms, Orchard/Fruit, Pasture, Poultry, Vegetables

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

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

Date when this profile was last modified or created:
December 29, 2023

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