Seeking Lease: .5-5 acres in Whatcom County

Description:

Bud and Bloom Botanicals is a flower and herb farm offering organic and sustainable plants, honey products, and value added products with the intention to support the earth and our community. These herbal products are made to create as little waste as possible and contribute pollinator-friendly plants to the farm’s ecosystem. We want to bring excitement to the community around local farming, native flowers, planting for pollinators, and using plants to live a healthy lifestyle.

Who I am and What I'm looking for:

My business parter Shannon and I are looking to lease an acre or two to launch our start-up, Bud and Bloom Botanicals. We are going to be offering value added products such as teas, flavored syrups, lip balms, face scrubs, essential oils, honey, and infused honey, as well as floral bouquets and dried herbs. We are hoping to grow lavender, rose bushes, raspberries, calendula, chamomile and many more herbs and flowers particularly ones that support pollinators. There will also be 10 - 15 bee hives. It would be ideal to have a kitchen, office, and storage available on property, although that is not necessary. Thank you for considering us!

Farming Experience:

Nai’a’s Experience: Living on my grandparents cattle ranch in Montana for 8 years, I picked up many skills and strategies for running a successful farm. They not only ran cattle but had chickens, goats, alpacas, a large garden and grew alfalfa. I was always the most passionate about plant planning for our family garden, strategizing irrigation design and constantly working towards a more sustainable and efficient garden. I always had a curiosity about the business planning side of the farm as well, coming along for supply runs and observing budget planning. As I grew older, I moved into town but kept my love of gardening alive by creating a community garden for my apartment building. That garden ran for two years in my time living there and although I was the only one working on the gardening, it was a great experience in garden planning for many people and helped build a stronger community amongst my neighbors. Moving to Washington was the launch of my dreams to start a farm. Seeing the huge green fields in the Skagit area was a tremendous inspiration. In the first year living in Washington my partner and I took a trip to Germany where we worked on a WOOF farm and learned all about beekeeping and distillation. After that trip, I really fell in love with the idea of incorporating bees into my farm plan. When we returned from Germany, I was constantly looking for opportunities to learn about bees and farming. I was able to get a lot of hands on experience in small scale herb and flower farming while I opened my business and have run that for over a year now. I was also very lucky to find a mentor in Kim Otto, who owns Moon Valley Organics who has taught me much about beekeeping. I was able to purchase two hives this spring. I am constantly looking for more information and knowledge around business management, sustainable agriculture, beekeeping, and flower and herb farming, reading every book I can, listening to podcasts, reaching out to local farmers for hands on experience, and participating in online meetings and summits to stay up to date on current farming tactics. Shannons’ Experience: The importance of sustainable agriculture truly hit me in 2016 when I was in Cuba. After the embargo, the Cuban people took what they had and grew food for themselves. Small farms were prioritized. Without access to the pesticides and fertilizers of the green revolution they were organic. Cuba has an incredible system of sustainable agriculture. I was convinced that every small farm and community garden can help build food sovereignty. While earning a bachelors of arts in sustainability studies I focused my work on sustainable agriculture. I worked an internship for a year with a local farmer. He grew micro-greens out of shipping containers and oyster mushrooms out of PVC pipes. At his home farm he grew edible flowers in a greenhouse equipped with an aquaponics system made out of old hot tub parts and other scrap materials. I was on the board of directors and several committees of Yampatika, an environmental literacy nonprofit in the Yampa Valley. My favorite event was their fall festival. I was the president of the beekeeping club at Colorado Mountain College so I was excited at the opportunity to set up a beekeeping booth. The observation glass with a frame of live bees was a popular attraction and no one was stung, despite the interest of the free nearby bees. Over the course of four years I went to community beekeeping meetings, attended workshops, planned bee maintenance meetings, and exchanged donations for honey to fund the club. I volunteered with the community Agriculture alliance. I worked landscaping in the summers during college.

Crops preferred to work with:

Vegetables
Berries
Greenhouse crops
Other

Short term plans for the land / farm business:

Leasing this land will allow us to build our company and increase capacity for production. We are hoping to sell our products at a few farmer's markets in Bellingham and Seattle, sell wholesale to the Bellingham Co-ops and local boutiques, and sell online through our website and other online sites built for small businesses (Etsy, EarthHero, Grommet, ect). We are hoping to lease this land for a couple years while we save and grow to purchase land of our own.

Housing needs:

No