Seeking Lease, Partnership, or other Collaborative Arrangement on about 5-15 acres in Willamette Valley area


Land Seeker Description

My partner and I are 19 and 21, respectively. My name is Naima, and I do most of the computer work and planning. My partner’s name is John – he’s the farming obsessed one. We are looking for a piece of land we can have a long-term relationship with. We are starting out on our farming adventure, so flexible and willing to compromise if a place seems promising. We would like to find a relationship that we feel stable in, to have the security to embark on a long-term investment. Our interests are in a sustainable diversity of food crops, animal products, and fruit/nut trees. We are open to adapting our vision to the specific needs of a piece of land and the local market. An ideal piece of land would have an area of good farming land, pasture, and a more wild, wooded area to enjoy rambling, with water on-site. We don’t have the funds to purchase land, so are looking for a partnership situation. We live in Santa Rosa, California. We can be flexible with when we start. Let’s talk!

What features of the property are essential?

Access to water for irrigation and animals is a must. It doesn't have to be in the form of a well, as we can figure out our own drinking water filtration or catchment system if need be. Accessible roads, pasture and farmable land are the only other things we absolutely need.

Describe your farming experience

John has worked on farms in the past, primarily as part of an internship at a Camphill in Vermont. In that situation the farm's purpose was to feed the residents rather than to generate a profit. He mainly did the animal chores. After doing that for a year he helped out on another farm in Vermont during harvest season, and helping my mom with more animal chores. I grew up around farms but worked on them only intermittently, usually for transplanting and harvesting.

Are you currently farming?


What are your short term goals for the land

The very first step in our farm business would be to start a CSA, similar to what John is working on now. For the first few years I see this as being the main market for the bulk of our vegetables. CSA members would receive a weekly bag or box of produce such as lettuce, squash, cabbage, peas, tomatoes, etc. Excess could be sold at farmer's markets, as well as specific crops that might sell well at the market. I'm thinking berries, sweet corn, lettuce - it will depend on the location I'm sure. In the second or third year, when the vegetable side is figured out, I would like to get a bigger flock of chickens and feed them almost entirely on food scraps from local markets, restaurants, grocery stores, or schools. They would create compost for the farm, soup birds and cockerels, as well as a steady supply of eggs. Ideally we could form a contract with a local restaurant to sell our eggs to, but adding them to the CSA as an extra and selling at farmer's markets would work too. We would also like to have sheep for wool, meat, and milk. This would start very small, as we feel out the market: do people want to buy sheep's milk, or is cheese a better option? Is there a market for wool, yarn, or for knitted products? Are people interested in buying a whole lamb, a monthly meat share, or specific cuts? After five years, we would have a large vegetable farm that rotates around the land, alternating lots with the sheep. A section of the farm would be enclosed with chickens and compost. We would have a weekly CSA, relationships with nearby restaurants, and a strong farmer's market presence. The land would be sustainable, with as few inputs as we can manage.

What are your long term goals

In the long-term, the vegetable CSA would continue, as would the chickens and sheep. We would expand our sheep flock to cater to whatever preferences we determined earlier, and focus on growing more staples: grains, beans, corn, and squash. The objective with this is to grow a complete diet, deriving all of our food from the farm and thus reducing our dependence on the global supply chain.
The biggest difference between our long-term and short-term plans is that, in the long-term, we hope to have established an orchard. Ideally, this would generate most of our income through the sale of fruit at farmer's markets and young trees as part of a nursery. I would be interested in starting our own business as a tree farm, but in the beginning it might be more practical to sell to other nurseries.
After ten years, the vegetable CSA will have been going steadily for a long time. We will have a dependable market each year for these perishable crops. Our compost needs will be provided by the chickens and supplemented with sheep manure. All of our personal food will be grown on the farm, with a small amount of staples, meat, cheese, and vegetables sold at farmer's market. CSA members will have the option to purchase a meat or dairy share in addition to their vegetable share. Eggs will go to a local restaurant, with any extra sold at market. Fruit from the orchard will make up the bulk of our farmer's market sales, and nursery stock will generate added revenue. The farm would continue to be a self-sufficient, ecologically responsible environment.

Describe your housing needs

Our housing infrastructure needs are pretty minimal. I grew up living off-grid in tents and tipis, catching rainwater and charging cellphones off a solar panel. We are comfortable in this lifestyle, prefer it even, and are willing to build such a set up if that is appropriate. We can also live in a small cabin or other building, provided it is clean, dry, not moldy, and functional. I am comfortable with a trailer in the short-term but am really looking to create something more beautiful. We're flexible.

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

One thing any person can and should do is always be open and welcoming, on an individual level. Smile at the people you pass, offer your help when you see a need for it, reach out to people from other cultures who might not be comfortable reaching out to you, and treat people with the dignity and respect we all deserve. I believe that being a safe and welcoming person will naturally create an environment of trust.

Additional Land Seeker Details

Regions interested in farming:
Central, Coastal, 5, South Willamette Valley, North Willamette Valley, Portland Area, Southern

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

Seeking land access by:
November 1, 2025

Interested in raising the following crops / livestock:
Beans, Bees, Berries, Dairy, Fiber Animals, Goats, Grain, Hay, Herbs, Hogs, Nursery Stock, Nuts, Orchard/Fruit, Pasture, Poultry, Sheep, Vegetables, Other

Interested in these business arrangements:
Lease-to-own, Lease for cash, Lease for trade, Partnership

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

Date when this profile was last modified or created:
July 1, 2024

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