We are Ben and Chelsea, both in our early 30’s, hardworking and easy going folks. enjoy the exchange of collaboration while also valuing personal space. We both come from backgrounds of working on farms with animals. We have 2 well behaved dogs who have grown up around a variety of livestock and other dogs.
Ben is an Ohio transplant and has been living on the west coast for 15 years, the last 10 years spent in the southern willamette valley on small farms and homesteads. I grew up spending a lot of time at my grandparents homestead learning how to grow vegetables, raise livestock, put up firewood, and fix just about anything. Since moving to the west coast he has spent a lot of time learning and working with:
Chelsea is a southern Willamette valley native, loves to cook extravagant meals, bake delicious treats, care for animals, and make healing teas and salves amongst many other things.
We are both passionate about organic farming and growing quality food. We work great together and feel confident in accomplishing what we set our minds to. Over the years our main interest has become incorporating livestock into a perennial landscape. Through precise rotational practices and the planting of perennial fodder crops, we want increase fertility on the land while diminishing off farm inputs and feed costs.
Essentials include well and/or spring, mixed woodland and pasture, and some means of housing.
For the last 3 and a half years we have raised pastured hogs and poultry on rotation in order to restore 15 acres of fallow pasture. We also managed 8 acres of forest for timber, hazel and maple coppice, as well as for native forage species. We built a modest off grid cabin from the managed forest and brought an old fruit orchard back into production.
We both have also spent time working on a ranch that raises beef cattle, dairy cows, hogs, pastured poultry, and laying hens with on farm butchery.
Ben grew up in Ohio helping out on hos grandparents’ homestead/ small farm. Since moving to the southern willamette valley 10 years ago, he has worked on raw goat milk and vegetable farm in southern willamette valley, a mushroom farm, as well as owning and operating a small scale perennial food crop nursery for the last 6 years.
It all depends on the landscape and senario. We have many interests/skills and the direction we are wanting head in is raising beef cattle and chickens in rotation/mob grazing, tending toward a closed loop system. Animals will be bread for herd resilience. With precise rotations and the addition of perennial fodder crops, little to no feed will be purchased off farm.
That being said, short term plans could look something like:
Establish perimeter fencing, set up water systems, work on access routes, implement rotational grazing with cattle and poultry tractors(potentially hogs and/or sheep depending on the land), planting out fodder species for hedgerows, establishing alley cropping fruit and nuts as well as berries perennial vegetables, harvest quick growing perennial crops for market and direct sale, continue to grow and wholesale perennial food plants, and of course lots of marketing!
It depends on the property but something like:
Dial in rotation patterns stocking rates. Harvest fruit, nuts, and perennial vegetables for market and direct sale. Managing forest for timber products (milled lumber, round poles, mushroom logs). Build dairy barn and on site butchery. Mushroom production. Build pond(s) for irrigation and livestock, and wildlife.
We are looking to land on a farm with housing available..... Ben is a self-employed carpenter off farm and given the right property/senario, we are willing to build a new or renovate a structure or a space in an existing structure for housing purposes.
Diversity breeds resilience...Keeping the farm open and inviting to community and those interested in learning/contributing is a high priority.
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