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Crop Suggestions for 23 acre Farm

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We have recently purchased a 23 acre farm which is along side our in-laws 37 acres in the Okanagan Valley in Canada. The property is currently all Alfalfa but we are looking for different crops to explore. We have plans to do some St Johns Wort and Lavendar on the property but would like to hear suggestions on other crops that would be in demand and could be profitable. The property is on a lake and we have a water license with irrigation system so watering is not an issue. The soil is fairly clay like with some top soil on the top so the ground retians moisture very well.

We are new to the farming world and appreciate any feedback or comments.


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Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Hi Matt,

I commend you on looking at markets early rather than just picking a crop and hoping.

I would consider reaching out to companies selling herbals and see what they need more of. You may be able to get a contract to sell at a given price and would allow farm finance planning. I have been looking at growing several herbs such as echinacea and skullcap for a US supplement maker. The overstory would be ginkgo. I can’t justify it on my small acreage but you might be able to do it.
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Location: Carnation, WA (Western Washington State / Cascadia / Pacific NW)
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Hi Matt, and welcome to permies! That's a great first post and question. I think there is almost always a market for lavender! A few years back, Paul and I visited with a gal who grows and sells lavender here in Montana and then we talked about it in a podcast:  paul wheaton podcast 123 - market legality and doing what you love

To help you get some additional answers, I moved your thread to the farm income forum since that seemed a better fit than the wheaton lab project forum which is about wheaton labs in Montana. I also added this thread to the regional forum for Canada - great white north.

Are there other forums that might fit for you, such as carbon farming, or small farm, or market garden? I didn't want to make any assumptions about your plans.

For anyone else new to permies.com, just use the report to moderators button to ask for your thread to be added to additional forums. It really helps expand the conversations!

All the best to you with your farm, Matt!

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Location: Western Washington
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I recommend crops that are drought tolerant,  especially perennials. Trees and shrubs often fit that category. Our region is facing challenging water issues as time goes on, and even if you have a good water source, irrigation equipment gets expensive long term.

There are lots of varieties of fruit and nuts that I think could potentially do well there. Hazelnuts,  some chestnuts,  apples, plums, apricots,  serviceberries, gooseberries,  currants,  and more could thrive there. You might consider planting some acreage into diverse agroforestry now and using the other acreage for faster crops. You can even grow things like rhubarb and lavender in between the trees and shrubs while the trees get established. The rhubarb will be able to grow in the shade too once the trees grow up
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