I thought I'd put this out there and see if anyone else might be in the same
place as I am, and would perhaps like to join forces so that our efforts might
be able to achieve more than they otherwise would on our own.
I'm a beginning farmer, hoping to start farming independently in the next 3-5
years. I have a background in horticulture and landscape design, working for
landscaping companies and a garden center in the past couple years. I'm
currently interning at a 40 acre farm in Asbury, NJ, helping them expand their
orchard and grow annual veggies, along the way encouraging them to grow more
perennials and develop their more wild systems, food forests, riparian
buffers, renewable energy, etc. They're open to the ideas, but somewhat set
in their ways, so it's a challenge. I plan on interning for two more years
after this at different places, getting as many different experiences as
possible, and hopefully earning a PDC along the way, and trying my hand at a
wild crafting start-up as a side business. After that, I'd like to lease land for two years, hopefully building up enough capital to put a down payment on a
permanent property. I don't have a specific location or general region in
mind, but I would like to have some impact and interaction with a degenerating
urban area, while residing primarily in a rural or peri-urban setting. Camden
and Newark NJ, and Detroit MI are the three regions I've been considering. A
very big recent inspiration has been Mark Shepard's new book Restoration
Agriculture, that calls for the creation of large scale farms that mimic the
native ecology, while producing staple crops for humanity. This is the frame
of mind that I am coming from, large scale systems, intensively and complexly
designed, having an impact on urban areas by providing food security, plant
stock for community gardens/food forests, and education.
Is there anyone out there who is interested in pursuing this same route? A
huge roadblock to my pursuit of this idea is the sheer cost of land in the
Northeast. Perhaps, if we were to combine forces, the two or three or four of
us could afford to purchase a large plot of land (I'm thinking 100 acres
minimum, but the bigger, the better in my opinion), whereas on our own, we
would be economically forced to stay on smaller plots, having less of an
ecological impact overall.
If you're interested, please get in touch, and we'll at least
discuss our ideas. If nothing comes of it, at least let's share our paths and
experiences, and see what we can learn from each other. Even if you're not
interested in joining forces, critiques and analysis of my overall path and
plans is certainly appreciated.
Hi Robert! I'm also from Jersey (southern NJ), and I can attest that we have quite a bit of land down here, but your biggest issues will be cost (it might not be North Jersey, but it' still Jersey), Pinelands restrictions, and finding parcels your preferred size. It is possible to find acreage in the area of 10-20 acres, but unless it's a disaster (or a superfund site), it won't be easy.
That being said, I totally groove on what your goal is, and actually our goals align. We'd like to set up an enviro/permie farm and teach the outflow of city kids from the Camden/Philly area how to grow their food, live off the land, and not trash it. Feel free to Facebook me (Jenn Haven Maven Jennings) or email me at thehavenmaven at gmail.com!
I dream of finding good partners to tend nearby land with a permaculture ecovillage and education center. I think an angle towards kids, with garden-based daycare, home-school groups, adventure camps, etc. similar to http://trackersearth.com would be lovely!
All the best,
see my visual bio:
Interested. I'm in Hudson Valley, NY right now. Ulster county NY seems to have some cheapish land. I've been considering that for myself down the road because its really remote and close enough to do business with restaurants in NYC. And its not like other rural New York counties that have giant monocrop farms littered everywhere. I drove through there last weekend and there seems to be large plots for sale. 80 acres, 100 acres, one was even 750 acres.
I am another person in New Jersey and on a roughly parallel course. My plans involve relocating to SE Michigan (back to my wife's home town) which will put us within a reasonable distance of Detroit for many purposes.
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