Hannah Wizeman

I am a young woman farmer who has about nine years of farming experience and a degree in food systems and ecological agriculture. I am looking for a small piece of land to begin my own organic farm business on.

Preferred counties/regions

  • North Country
  • Capital Region
  • Hudson Valley
  • Mohawk Valley
  • Central
  • Finger Lakes
  • Long Island
  • New York City

Desired acreage

  • 5 or fewer
  • 6-10
  • 11-20

Farming Status

Emerging farmer: 2 years or more of on farm work experience

Currently farming full-time

Primary reason for farming

Farm will generate the majority of my income

Farming status, plans, and practices

I currently work on a regenerative, bio-dynamic farm in California. I plan to settle down in the Northeast, where I grew up. I hope to build a farm business that is organic, regenerative, and community-supported. While I grow the business, I will likely be working another job to supplement my income.

In the perfect world, about 2 acres of vegetable production, 1/2 acre of flowers, 2 acres of assorted berries, and a small orchard would be a manageable load for me starting out. In the beginning, I will use basic hand tools, a weed wacker, and a rototiller to build raised beds. When I can afford a tractor and expand production, I will make that purchase. I will rotate the following crops over the 2 acres: lettuce, kale, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, cucumbers, squash, onions, garlic, asparagus, peas, beans, carrots, watermelon radishes, beets, cabbage, broccoli, and herbs. I will covercrop using buckwheat, oats, peas, and rye. I have a small greenhouse, but I will build a larger propagation structure that is about the size of a backyard shed; eventually, a high-tunnel greenhouse would be ideal. In the 1/2 acre flower patch, I will grow strawflowers, sunflowers, dahlias, statice, sunflowers, peonies, globe amaranth, other cut-flowers, and medicinal and edible flowers. I am a skilled bouquet and wreath-maker, so I will sell these to restaurants and local purveyors as well. Everlasting flower garlands and wreaths will be valuable products to sell in the colder months. Medicinal and edible flowers will be used in value-added products. In the 2 acres of berries I will opt to plant a few rows of strawberries, blueberries, and several varieties of raspberries and blackberries. These will help support value-added products, so it isn't crucial that the beds are suitable for pick-your-own. With the right varieties, two 200' beds of blueberries will produce more than enough for the farm stand and other products (and a manageable harvest load for 1-2 people). I will plant a small number of trees and expand the orchard as revenue permits. Some of the trees/bushes that I will prioritize planting include apple, peach, cherry, mulberry, elderberry, holly, and juniper. When the commercial kitchen is ready, fruit will provide a huge source of value added to any product. Space to grow mushrooms indoors or outdoors would also be useful. A small flock of chickens would also be useful. 

Farm Experience & Education

  • Farm internship/apprenticeship
  • Farmer training or workshop
  • Formal agricultural education
  • Farm manager
  • On farm work experience

I have about nine years of experience working on a diverse variety of farms. When I was fourteen, I starting working in the market at a pick-your-own fruit farm near my home in New Jersey. I worked there throughout high shool and started working in the field more as I got older. I learned about how to manage a small market, about pick-your-own crops and agro-tourism, and the basics on taking care of chickens. I attended the University of Vermont from 2018-2022, graduating with a degree in food systems and ecological agriculture. Throughout my time there, I worked on many farms: several research farms for class requirements; an organic farm in Germany; a high-end farm-to-table restaurant owned by investors; a medium-sized wholesale organic vegetable farm; and a newly-purchased berry farm where we installed an an entire market garden and did a lot of work to build the business from scratch. All of the farms I worked on through college were organic. I learned about many different streams of revenue during that time. Now, I work on a regenerative and bio-dynamic farm in Southern California. Their income is from an investor, and a separate entity that has added to the farm's success is a film production made by the farm director. Myself and one other person manage the landscaping on all 234 acres, the landscaping on the investor's estate (about 4 acres), and their personal gardens complete with vegetables, flowers, berries, and grapes. 

Farming Plans and Practices

Farming method or practice

  • Biodynamic
  • Organic (certified)
  • Organic (not certified)
  • Regenerative/Sustainable

Primary crops

  • black outline of a carrot Vegetables
  • black outline apple icon Fruits
  • black outline of a flower Flowers or Ornamentals

Primary livestock

  • Black outline of a chicken Poultry
  • Black outline of a bee Bees

I would love to expand to rotational grazing eventually, but chickens and bees are my main experience so far. 

Marketing Method

My dream business would focus on value-added products made using ingredients grown on the farm and by other local growers. Examples of value-added products include pre-made meals (examples- roasted roots salads, sauteéd mushrooms with garlic and greens, yogurt with granola and berries from the farm, sandwiches), ice cream flavors using fruit from the farm, lots of fermented and pickled goods, flower garlands and wreaths, and herbal and medicinal products (examples- tinctures, salves, soaps, honey, syrups, etc.). I would focus on selling in a small brick-and-mortar farm store on-site, and partnerships with local and regional purveyors. 

I am choosing this as the focus of the business for several reasons:

  • The profit margin is greater for these items than for raw produce, even with the costs of packaging and labeling. Prepared meals are something that most organic farms are not doing. It adds time and requires labor. I have been farming for almost ten years, and it takes me roughly five minutes everyday to build my lunch from ingredients on the farm. Once my recipes are set, the added time and labor is manageable and can be dialed in even more for bulk quantities. 
  • The biggest deterrent for buying raw produce is the commitment of future food preparation. By taking that step out of the way for consumers (and charging for it accordingly), I am accessing a wider market- busy people who don't have time to make an elaborate salad but still want to eat healthy and support the organic movement (or just eat a good ready-made salad).
  • I want to build a brand that is known for its excellent-quality, unique, convenient products that are worth paying an extra dollar for. With the best ingredients coming straight out of the field, the simple, nutritious, and super delicious recipes are highly attainable.
  • I want to build a company that supports other local farmers by using their products as ingredients in mine. 

Some challenges that I am expecting are a lack of capacity for storage, retail space, commercial kitchen space, identifying how I can support the business while simultaneously improving those facets, and of course building a brand. 

I believe the way that I structure the enterprise will be largely dependent on the property itself. Of course I will put my own spin on the business, but factors like the existing plantings and the overall profile of the site, existing "improvements" and buildings, relationships with local community and business partners, etc., are all very difficult to abandon when beginning a new farm business. For example, if there is a well-known pick-your-own blueberries patch on the site, I will keep that enterprise going as long as I have the facilities to support it. 

Farm business plan or farm resume

My business plan or farm resume is in progress

Farmland Needs

Infrastructure required

  • black outline barn icon Barns - Equipment Storage
  • black outline electrical icon Electrical access
  • black outline house icon Farmer housing
  • Black outline of a water drop Water access

Farmer housing on-farm or very close by is important to me, even just a single bedroom will do. At least one barn and storage space would be useful. A farm-stand or store would be great. Access to water and electricity are required. 

Desired Tenure

Tenure options desired

  • For Lease
  • Farm Management

Ideally, I would be leasing a small plot of land while I grow the business until I can potentially purchase when I have grown the business and seen a profit. I am also willing to manage the farm under a different owner, as long as I have the ability to grow my personal business at the same time. I am very flexible about tenure arrangements. 

Estimated price range for a lease or a purchase of a farm property

Maximum $1200/month (with housing); flexible on tenure agreement

Will this operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?


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