Co-Applicant / Partner Name:
Please describe your past and/or present farming experience:
I grew up raising market lambs every summer through 4-H, and my partner managed educational gardens (1-2 acres) through most of her young-adult life at summer camps. Celeste and I met in college and always had a backyard garden or community garden plot. In 2018, we left our jobs to travel through WWOOFing for 7 months, working on 5 farms for 3-4 weeks each. In the spring of 2019, we attended the farm internship training at Cloud Mountain Farm Center in Washington state because of its strong curriculum and part-time work experience. The combination of vegetable, fruit and nursery production provided both deep and broad exposure to the challenges and benefits of a widely diversified, centrally managed farming operation. We loved our experience there, but our families drew us back to the Midwest for the long haul. *Update* Now that we are back in Cleveland, I have been working on perennials across northeast Ohio. I am currently wrapping up at a vineyard near Ashtabula and am transitioning to finishing the season at an orchard near Akron. Celeste is teaching, but we both also work at an urban farm in exchange for produce.
Are you currently farming?:
Are you interested in connecting with other farmers to explore collocation or collaborative farm ideas?:
What is the primary agricultural enterprise you are considering?:
What other enterprises are you considering?:
Total Acres Desired:
Acres in Pasture:
With diversified production and a plan to scale-up slowly, tools and equipment can be sought out gradually based on production needs.
Tenure Arrangement Considered:
Apprentice with a Farm Owner for a Year or More
Lease with Option to Buy
Work to Own (Gradual Transfer of Responsibility & Farm Assets)
Have you been qualified by a lending institution? (if applicable):
Do you have a business plan? Please write an informative description of your vision & goals for your farming future.:
Through our internship, we wrote a business plan that focused on fermented value-added products. We envisioned our farm growing some specialized ingredients, but working to primarily source vegetable- and fruit-seconds from neighboring farms. The idea is to preserve the harvest, add value to potential farm waste, and provide another salable product for small diversified farms to extend their marketing season into the winter or be able to start earlier in the spring. This plan is only one aspect of our vision and would require a commercial kitchen (or partnership) to be legally compliant. Other enterprises we plan to investigate are fruit production, vegetable-seed production and an on-farm early-education program. Sam has been working on and with a variety of orchards and hobby growers, though fully qualified to manage their own orchard. Seed production has its benefits in fewer plants required for sizable yields, a shelf-stable product, and local-market niche. Seed challenges include longer season requirements and fewer potential customers. Celeste is a certified early education teacher with over 6 years of classroom experience and another 6 years of outdoor education experience; teaching little ones how to grow and explore and learn about food in the dirt is a real opportunity and interest of ours.