Hello! My name is Sam and I am a 34-year-old man who has been working on small-scale organic vegetable farms in and around the Portland- area over the last 6 years. For some time now I have been interested in harnessing the power of local food production to improve food security and the overall health of the surrounding community. Recently, I received a degree in nutrition, and I dream of establishing a small educational farm that will act as a site for gardening and nutrition classes available to underserved communities. I plan to take this one step at a time; therefore, I would first like to focus on getting a small CSA up and running with the educational portion of the business coming later. My vision is to keep the farm relatively small with less than an acre in production at one time. For now, I would be happy to start with around .25 acres and then expand if necessary. Since my long-term plan is predicated on the farm being accessible to the community, it would be ideal if I could find a small plot of land within Portland or just outside the city.
- Water source that is available for irrigation and washing produce
- Small structure for storing farm tools
- Land has not been conventionally farmed in the last five years
- Land is easily accessible by road
From 2014- 15, I completed Clackamas Community College's organic farming program where I gained hands-on experience and took classes related to soil biology, fruit and vegetable production, and small business management among other areas of focus related to small-scale ag. Since that time, I have worked 6 seasons on small-scale mixed vegetable farms ranging in size from a half-acre urban compact farm to a 7-acre peri-urban farm.
- Establish a small CSA in the neighborhood of 20- 30 shares
- Erect a small high tunnel/propagation house for growing transplants
- Incorporate nutrition and garden classes into my business by utilizing the farm as the backdrop for these classes
- Expand my CSA to 50 shares
- Hire employees to help with completing farm tasks and teaching classes
- Erect a larger high tunnel for season extension
I would like to grow food for marginalized communities within the Portland area that have had to endure a disproportionately high volume of diet-related conditions and diseases. I plan to grow culturally appropriate foods for these communities and through grants offer my CSA for free or at a reduced price. I also plan to hire individuals to work with me that come from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
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