New, aspiring farmer seeking to lease, preferably lease-to-own, 10+ acres of land in Northern/NW Washington. Looking to start organic vegetable production in the first year using 2-5 acres of land and using the remaining acreage in year 2 and onward for intensive rotational grazing of hogs, laying hens, and potentially rabbits. Hens and rabbits may be started toward the latter half of the first year of lease. Prefer a 3-5 year lease to start with options to renew - am flexible with the renewal timeframe and agreements.
I will be finishing up a farming internship in November and I am looking to lease land, preferably with the option of lease to own/purchase in N/NW Washington. I am interested in being close to a community where I could sell organic vegetables at a farmer's market or wholesale, as I would like to use 2-5 acres for organic vegetable production. The remaining acreage I would like to use for pastured animals, including laying hens, meat rabbits, and eventually hogs (3 to start, 1 boar and 2 sows, which I will breed on an ongoing basis).
I am looking for farm land with housing/accommodation that I can live in, and I am not picky about the type of accommodation. A barn with a loft where I could toss a mattress works as well as a tiny house, a garage, or a house that isn't being utilized by the current farmer/owner. Any tools/tractors/irrigation lines that I could use to get started would be greatly appreciated and I would be willing to lease those separately when needed or have them included in the monthly lease rate.
If possible, would love to arrange a trade of vegetables/meat/eggs as part of the lease payments, but am more than willing to pay cash if that is preferred. Happy to chat via phone or email before November 10th, can also meet in person after that date - I am currently farming in Oregon and will not be back in Washington until then.
I am in the middle of completing a farming internship through Rogue Farm Corps in Central Oregon. I have been interning at a full diet, biodynamic farm where we include regenerative practices, such as cover crops, intercropping, and rotational crops. As part of the full diet regimen we raise our own hogs, broiler chickens and meat turkeys - which we slaughter on farm - egg layers, and dairy cows. We breed our hogs and cows on farm "organically", meaning we bring a bull or boar and put them in with the ladies. We also grow our own grain - this year we grew hard red, buckwheat, and oats - and mill all of our flour on farm; we also make our own cornmeal and corn flour from corn grown in the field. We have about 15 acres of vegetable crops, which are broken down as follows: a 2 acre garden primarily used for salad mix, fresh greens, and radishes/turnips, a 10 acre plot used for our root veggies, storage crops, all the fun summer veggies such as kohlrabi, broccoli, fennel, etc, and hemp, and about 3 acres of hoop and greenhouses, where we primarily grow tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, eggplants, and other very hot climate crops. We also have a farm store with a restaurant, where we prepare lunch to the public using only on-farm veggies and meat, and we go to the Bend Farmer's Market on a weekly basis.
As part of the regenerative aspect of the farm we focus on rotational crop management on our 25 acre field, where 1/3 of the field is wheat, 1/3 is cover crop, and 1/3 is vegetable production and we rotate which is which annually. We also make our own compost, which we use to further build organic matter; and all of our food scraps/weeds are fed to our pigs and chickens to reduce waste.
This program is rotational, so I have spent time flipping beds, seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, taking care of all the animals - including 4 batches of baby chicks and horses that are used on the ranch side of the farm, which I have not worked on - running the farm store, preparing meals in the kitchen, and acquiring knowledge of how to sell and package for wholesale and retail.
Short term = first year:
Build organic matter in soil and start organic vegetable production, preferably on no more than 5 acres of land.
Raise 5-10 egg layers and start meat rabbit production
Sell at farmer's markets and investigate interest in CSA/CSA co-op
Mid Term = 2-5 years
Start breeding hogs - 1 Hampshire boar, 1 Red Wattle Sow, 1 Choctaw or Tamworth hog
Partner with organic dairy farm in the area so I can include milk/cheeses/dairy products in CSA
Ramp up CSA to include meat as well
Begin reaching out to restaurants/retailers to sell veggies and meat