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FARMING OPPORTUNITY, Eastern Shore of Virginia  RSS feed

 
                                      
Posts: 22
Location: Eastern Shore of Virginia
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Willowdale Farm is looking for a partner farmer (or couple) who wants to live on our beautiful waterfront farm and operate a profitable, organic farm business here.  Ideal for a CSA, market garden, mushroom operation, flowers, herbs, fruits, etc.  We are particularly interested in planting niche fruits (elderberry, persimmon, goji, etc).  We would also be interested in planting pasture for a rotational grazing operation and investing in foundational livestock with a negotiable equity share in the operation.  We will make the needed capital investments: fencing materials, irrigation, hoop houses, outbuildings, etc. 

You will pay no rent for housing or use of the land, and we will share utility expenses.  To start you would share the historic farmhouse with the owners (well, usually just me) for approximately six days per month, with your own bedroom and den; in the future I’ll be building a separate house for the partner farmer. Caretaking responsibilities, in addition to running your farming business, will include keeping the lawn and cemetery mowed, as well as tending the wood lot, forest trails and orchard plantings.  I pitch in when I’m there.  I’m open to ideas about modifying the homestead for greater productivity in ways that enhance the land, avoiding practices that will cause soil erosion, damage to wetlands or destruction of property, or that detract from the beauty of the property (did I mention it’s a very pretty farm?).  You would not be an employee, and would need to be able to support yourself until you start bringing in income from the farm. 

The farm soil is a sandy loam, well-drained, and has been continuously owned and farmed by our family for over 350 years. Zone 7b.  Currently conventionally farmed in corn, soy and wheat.  We intend to convert much of the acreage to organic orchard, garden, livestock grazing and wildlife conservation over the next 10 years.  We currently own 16 acres of cultivated land, homesite/lawn and wetlands. An additional 105 adjacent acres are family owned and will be available for gradual expansion in the future.

There is abundant hunting and fishing on the farm, with plentiful deer, geese and duck, plus crab, oyster and mussel.  Recreation opportunities are wonderful: kayaking and swimming directly from the farm, mountain bike in the woods.  Assateague National Wildlife Refuge is half an hour away, with broad sandy beaches.  Multiple public boat ramps provide access to the Atlantic ocean and the Chesapeake Bay.  Virginia Beach resort is an hour away; Washington, DC is four hours.  There are many beautiful historic towns nearby with good restaurants and small town cultural activities.  This is a farming community with a good infrastructure for agriculture.

Our guiding principles are respect for the wetlands, producing health-building foods and natural products using sustainable and humane farming practices that improve the land for future generations, being good neighbors, and providing a high quality of life for residents and visitors to the farm. 

We’re hoping to find someone familiar with organic and permaculture principles and practices, physically capable of the work, and practical about the financial realities of farming as a business.  Must be a good steward of the property and practice humane animal husbandry.  This can be a long-term arrangement or an opportunity for you to experiment and learn for a few years on someone else's land and capital before setting out on your own. 

Timing: You could move in fall of 2011, but the majority of the land is under lease until December 2012.  Until that time there are approximately 4 acres available for gardening or a small operation, plus the woods. 

Please pass this message along to anyone who might be interested, and do let me know if you know of other places you think I ought to post.  I’m also interested in ideas and feedback from this community on the idea of partner farming or the way I’m approaching this, even if this isn’t for you.   

Catherine 
 
                    
Posts: 2
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Hey I am a young Farmer in the parksley area that is interested in expanding my crop operation, to organic grain.  Would be interested in talking to you more.  Email me at farmer_jim.shore@yahoo.com. Thanks hope to hear from ya.
 
                    
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Hi Catherine, I tried responding to your email a couple of times with no reply recieved.  I sent you a personal message with my cell number, if your interested in chatting.
 
                            
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Hello,
I am new to this site.  I just read your post looking for a partner for your farm. I see that you posted in Jan., and was I was wondering if you are still looking for someone.  I would be interested in learning more about the opportunity and sharing my information with you.
thank you
Amy P.
 
SadaSuhk Sorensen
Posts: 1
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Good Morning!

I see that these posts are from last year and am wondering if you are still looking for someone. I am very interested and fairly experienced. I owned and opperated a small herb farm in the mid nineties called "Tangled Up in Greens". Currently, I am a Tai Chi teacher and avid organic gardener with a strong boyfriend who shares the enthusiasm of farming. Let me know. I would love to come see the property.

I hope your day is blessed,
Emily
 
Alexandra Budz
Posts: 29
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Hi my name is Alexandra Budz,

I am a recent graduate of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. I have always loved gardening , and my family tries to use organic produce, meats, etc. and I have become very interest, in doing more. I don't not really have a great deal of experience with permacullture farming, but have done a great deal of research and I would love to learn more.

If you have any opportunities please let me know,

Thank you in advance for your time
 
Libby Carmines
Posts: 1
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I am actually looking for property on the Eastern Shore for retirement, homesteading situation. I've been working on cut flower/vegetable farm in Newport News for the past 3 years. Would love to hear how your venture is going. Would also possibly be interested in working, volunteering, interning with you so that I could learn more about the local area.

Libby
 
Chris Lumpkin
Posts: 49
Location: Richmond, VA (zone 7a)
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My family and I are looking for property on the Northern Neck, just across the Bay - also for retirement/homesteading. Just saying hello, and wondering how any permies in the "Middle East" area are doing these days!

-Chris
 
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