I am a passionate farmer in my 30’s. I grew up in towns outside of the Catskills of New York and the Appalachians of Pennsylvania and now bring my roots with me to the PNW. I have been here for a year and a half now and have found that the country soil here is well-suited to these roots of mine.
Back in Pittsburgh, PA, I worked on two different small-scale diversified organic produce farms for three years. For several years during and after, I helped with farmers’ markets for one of the farms I had been growing produce on. After that time of farming (and selling) for other people, I came to realize my interest in working for myself and (to my surprise) my knack for business. But I was living in the city and not ready to own land or settle down. So I began my back-and-front yard farmette for personal consumption and ferments and apprenticed with a permaculture organization. I soon thereafter began my work in ecological landscaping both independently and along with a collective of other women landscapers for five years.
Before ever traversing the paths of farming and landscaping, I had graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in Interdisciplinary Arts and Psychology. More and more, I am glad to find that the subjects of art, music, and the mind are very at home in the potato patch with the red-winged blackbird or the mason jar of “interdisciplinary” garden contents.
Currently, I am both stewarding a small farm and doing residential gardening in the Willamette Valley and Portland. I have worked hard to find the intersections of the things that I enjoy and that support me. I love what I do and I am hopeful to discover some land to build a relationship with and bring this love to over time.
Land/housing that can accommodate an indoor/outdoor cat who is an excellent hunter
Organic farmland (certified or not)
Not essential, but already-established fruit trees would be wonderful
My related experience is mostly in annual vegetable cultivation and sales (5 years), perennial garden design & business (5 years), some (1-2 years) livestock and poultry experience (goats, sheep, pigs, turkeys, chicken), and the study and practice of healing with herbs and food - both cultivated and wild.
Short-term goals are both educational/design and business oriented.
Educational/Design goals include:
Learning (both short-term and ongoing) about the local ecosystem, soil building, outdoor cultivation of mushrooms, fruit trees, berries, livestock, agroforestry, and silvopasture.
Designing a regenerative/permaculture plan
Business goals include:
Depending on the land and situation, I would like to begin a CSA and/or sales to restaurants of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and/or mushrooms, as well as value-added products as soon as I am able. Another option is to develop a native plant nursery to support my part-time residential gardening business while I build a full-time farm business. The potential nursery could extend to support the long-term goal of growing perennials and pollinators for the farm.
I would like to eventually establish a mushroom, herb, fruit tree, and perennial vegetable farm that includes animals (sheep, pigs, poultry). I am interested in incorporating woodlands into the animal and food systems over time, experimenting and recording-keeping my experiences in agroforestry as I go, in hopes to support the research and development of this field.
Medicinal and culinary mushrooms are my primary sales interest. Additionally, I would one day like to develop my value-added products like tea blends, tinctures, ferments, and crafts. I am currently studying herbalism (mostly in the garden!) and working on a certification that I hope to fold into my work as a farmer.
Lastly, I am a dirt-minded designer who really enjoys the behind-the-scenes work of creating beautiful, accessible, and enjoyable spaces. I envision the farm ultimately having experiential and educational components with minimal campsite/retreat-style offerings and workshops on topics like mycology, ecopsychology and fermentation. I would love to steward a place where campers and community members can more deeply experience the farm and surrounding nature. I have experience in hosting through the HipCamp platform and am interested in continuing this work, as the space allows (and possibly in the short-term too).
I would need housing on-site or nearby. I am open (and depending on the learning opportunities, possibly preferential) to shared land, but not interested in shared housing.
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