We are a couple in our 30s looking for a 10-100 acre property (flexible) in the Willamette Valley region. Brother- and sister-in-law would be going into business with us. We are seeking to own the property eventually, so ideally could partner with current owners looking to transition out of farming. We are hoping to establish or take over management of a small, diversified operation concentrating on pastured small ruminants (especially sheep), poultry (layers), orchard and berry crops, vegetables, and/or grain crops managed with regenerative principles. A buildable property or one with existing housing would be ideal. We are looking to make this our long-term home and a thriving small hobby farm for ourselves and our immediate family.
Water rights are optional depending on the enterprises we end up going with but a good well is essential. A greenhouse or two and pole/hay barn would be wonderful. Some livestock infrastructure (sheep holding, fencing, watering, etc) would be excellent but not required to start with. Zoning should allow agriculture and residential. Would love to have the opportunity to establish a conservation easement and do some ecosystem restoration e.g., with a wetland or riparian area. Site history that does not include use of hazardous chemicals with long-term soil residency.
I (Caity) grew up on a horse farm in Florida, founded a community garden during college, and have worked internationally and domestically in agricultural research and development. Both of us have academic backgrounds in agriculture – I have a PhD in agroecology and my husband has a PhD in Horticulture/Agronomy – and are currently working in the agribusiness and technical service sector. My brother-in-law has small acreage farm management experience and currently runs a commercial grape stock nursery operation.
Short-term plans are to establish a homestead with small veggie/herb garden, get fruit/nut/berries planted, and begin pasturing hens and growing/finishing lambs, potentially for the ethnic market. My husband and brother-in-law will begin working on side businesses to support the farm, including a heritage-grain bakery and a nursery or edible landscaping business. I would be working 50% time on the farm and 50% off-farm income from independent consulting. My brother-in-law would assist with day-to-day operations. My husband would be working primarily off farm to provide the majority of our income.
Long-term goals are to run a self-sustaining direct-to-market enterprise for our lamb, wool, eggs, and potentially value-add products from the orchard and garden such as essential oils or jams and pies. Bakery and/or nursery would be sustaining themselves and potentially providing income to support the farm. I would be working 75% time on the farm. Would would potentially have hired additional labor for the farm and/or contracted out a heritage grain farmer given enough acreage to work with.
We need a buildable property or one with an existing home for our immediate needs (myself and my husband), and ideally a property with multiple building sites or houses for my brother- and sister-in-law as well.
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