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204 acre Sepp-style orchard in PEI, Canada ($312,000 USD)  RSS feed

 
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Hello everyone,

I have put my 204 acre "Sepp style" farm located in Brookvale, PEI, Canada for sale for. It's 20 minutes to the capital of Charlottetown, and 40 minutes to the second largest city of Summerside. We've listed it for $385,000 Canadian dollars, which at today's exchange rate is about $312,000 US dollars. You can check the listing here:

http://markcorney1.propertysites.point2.com


I'll add some more detail and background that people on Permies will understand but which didn't make much sense to put into the real estate listing. My brother and I purchased the farm and planted in the summer of 2012. My brother did the design, and we broke ground right after he returned from the very first Sepp course that Paul hosted in Montana. Prior to that he had attended a course with Dave Jacke on Edible Forest Gardens. These were the two primary design "inspirations", along with the work of Brad Lancaster in Water Harvesting for Drylands and beyond.

We planted fruit trees on either side of shallow swales/ditches that were dug on contour, as per Lancaster's suggestions for catching rainfall and allowing it time to absorb into the soil. There is room between each row of trees to drive a truck or tractor. We planted a large variety of seeds as a cover crop, with clover as the primary one for putting nitrogen into the soil, but also wildflowers, pollinators, herbs, etc. PEI is known for its amazingly fertile red soil.

In total there are about 450+ trees on 10 or so acres, ranging in age from 2-6 years old. All trees are "standard", with no dwarf stock. Some are starting to produce a little bit (chums, cherries, apples, etc.), most reach productivity after 7-10 years. The upside to this delayed maturation is that they get bigger, produce more, are hardier and live longer. For instance, there are approximately 50+ heartnuts that are now in the 10-12 foot high range, but which will grow to upwards of 50 feet and provide an overstory/canopy, as well as very large crops of nuts. Other trees include pears, asian pears, quince and mulberries.

There is a large 10 foot high windbreak at the north side of the main tree area to block the cold wind, as we designed it to be a south-facing microclimate. PEI has no deer or grazing animals, which makes keeping young trees alive relatively easier. On the east side there is a large hugul bed with Jerusalem Artichokes and various berries (currants, black raspberries, etc.). There are also black raspberries at various other spots around the farm.

There is also approximately 150+ hardy and arctic kiwis (Actinidia Arguta & Actinidia Kolomitka) on trellises over approximately 2 acres. The oldest females are ready to produce next summer, but our males for pollination didn't do as well and won't be ready for a year or two. We planted about 20 more 2 year old males last summer. The kiwis are true to their name and ver hardy, and the ones that have produced so far (kolomitka's) are absolutely delicious. They are also very easy to clone, so it would be quite simple to take cuttings and sell to local nurseries.

There is a large 40 x 60 foot wood-framed barn with steel siding and steel roof and clay floor. There is even a rocket stove mass heater that Ernie and Erica built when they hosted a seminar here. It's functional, but not sufficient to heat such a massive space. Still pretty cool though! hahaha Along with that there are two smaller sheds, a hoop house frame that is standing but hasn't been covered in plastic since we bought it as we didn't need it. It would be perfect for a tree nursery.

We don't have bees ourselves, the biggest beekeeper on the island puts a large number of them in one of our fields after he's done pollinating blueberries elsewhere on the island. In return, we get free pollination and two large containers of the most delicious raw honey you've ever tasted.

When we purchased the farm it was certified organic, and we kept it that way for two years but realized the cost of doing so was not worth it for us as it wasn't adding any value. However, we haven't done anything that would change organic status (no pesticides/herbicides or even fertilizers), and certification could be gotten again quite quickly.

In behind the steel barn is a converted food container (the kind used behind large trucks to ship fresh food). It has been converted to a mushroom production facility, with a temperature and humidity controlled grow room and fridge. While this is not included in the listed purchase price and will be moved, we would certainly consider including it for a very reasonable price (basically at cost, not including the hundreds of hours spent converting it). We use it to grow oyster and Lion's Mane mushrooms, and this would provide a guaranteed source of income in year one.

PEI has a large summer tourism industry, and the province is selling itself as "the food island". There is an incredible culinary scene here, and selling the mushrooms has been very easy. Not only do these world-class chef's want to buy local, they want a product no one else can get them, and fresh oyster and Lion's Mane mushrooms simply aren't available anywhere else since they don't travel well. Last year PEI's premiere hotel/restaurant basically bought everything I could produce, so there is room to grow with increased production.

There are approximately 60 acres of cleared fields that have been used to grow straw/hay and soy beans in the past few years. We rented it out as we don't have the machinery or time to do such large acreages. Out back there is 130+ acres of mature forest, with a beautiful stream running through it (pic on the webpage). Work was done downstream by a local conservation group two years ago to allow fish to reach the top of the stream, which is out back where there is a waterfall. As part of the restoration efforts they stocked it with salmon and trout as well, which will return to spawn when mature.

There is a 3-4 bedroom farmhouse in decent shape as well. It's not new by any means, and won't be the dream house that makes you want to buy our place, but it's been great to live in for the past 5 years. Indeed, we're going to miss the place. But the reality is that my wife and I work full-time elsewhere, and with two little kids we simply aren't able to commit the time needed to do this place justice.

Alright, I'm sure you're probably tired from reading this wall of text, but if you'd care to learn more feel free to contact me at beckrory@gmail.com


 
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Hi Rory,
Your place sounds fantastic!! If I was younger and enjoyed the cold more, I'd be there!! If you don't mind me asking, where did you get your mushroom cultivating skills? I have been working with oysters for a while but not really hit my stride.
Thanks and best of luck with this wonderful property!
PermJen
 
Rory Beck
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Megan LaCroix wrote:Hi Rory,
Your place sounds fantastic!! If I was younger and enjoyed the cold more, I'd be there!! If you don't mind me asking, where did you get your mushroom cultivating skills? I have been working with oysters for a while but not really hit my stride.
Thanks and best of luck with this wonderful property!
PermJen



Thanks!

I basically got a crash course in mushroom cultivation, it was really cousin and business partner Jason Giffin who took courses (possibly with Stamets, and also spent a few months working for someone with a small business somewhere in the states. The trailer was his start in the business, and he's since gone on to bigger facilities. His company is called Maritime Gourmet Mushrooms.

http://www.maritimegourmet.ca/

Cheers,

Rory
 
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Location: NB, Canada
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That's a really nice property you have developed, I've spent the last 24 hours dreaming of the possibilities! If I win the 6/49 draw tonight you will be hearing from me right after I pick up the cheque😎
If I don't win the lottery and you happen to have trouble selling and decide you need to lease it out or are looking for a steward/ caretaker or even a business partner contact me on here, I'm on reading daily.

I'm not very far from you and have been wanting to try mulberries where did you source your from? How do they handle our winters?

Rob
 
Rory Beck
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Rob Clinch wrote:That's a really nice property you have developed, I've spent the last 24 hours dreaming of the possibilities! If I win the 6/49 draw tonight you will be hearing from me right after I pick up the cheque😎
If I don't win the lottery and you happen to have trouble selling and decide you need to lease it out or are looking for a steward/ caretaker or even a business partner contact me on here, I'm on reading daily.

I'm not very far from you and have been wanting to try mulberries where did you source your from? How do they handle our winters?

Rob



Hey Rob,

Thanks!

Everything came from Green Barn Nursery in Quebec, although the kiwis were actually sourced from Cornhill nursery in NB. I'm definitely interested in having a steward/caretaker there for the coming season. If that's something you're interested in, my email is beckrory@gmail.com.

Cheers,

Rory
 
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