- Southern Tier
Aspiring farmer: 1 year or less of farming experience
Not currently farming
Primary reason for farming
Farm will generate the majority of my income
Farming status, plans, and practices
Our goal is sustainable agriculture using minimal chemicals for fertilizing, pest and disease control. Additionally I plan to devote 20% of the farming operation to renewable energy sources, whether that is by placing solar panels between crop rows or on separate areas of land within the farm. We will grow vegetables only and am not interested in raising animals for food consumption, with the exception of chickens for eggs and possibly a cow or two for production of milk and dairy products. My spouse and I have been vegetarians for over 30 years and are convinced a meat free diet leads to health and longevity.
The experience I have in agriculture is from raising food for consumption on our homestead in California. In addition I've learned about the fundamentals of NPK from restoring a golf course operated by a brother in Ohio where I grew up. My many tasks ranged from driving the tractor to mowing fairways to application of fertilizers and weed killers, to even weed eating when necessary. I also worked for a time with the Tru Green corporation, so I am experienced with growing of turf grass and that experience can be applied to food crops.
The interest I have in Renewable energy was originally sparked when I was 13 years old when a brother brought home a business card from the Ohio State Fair that had a solar cell on it which illuminated an LED light embedded on the card. We lived off grid in California where our electric was supplied by a solar array and a 1kW residential wind turbine. In 2008 I created an Ohio corporation for the advancement of renewable energy and at one point had qualified for a 30% Treasury grant program for one of the energy facilities I had developed proposals for. The major obstacle I had faced was non-cooperation by the PG&E utility of California and undercapitalization.
Our property in California is for sale and with the funds generated we will have a substantial down payment for purchase of an established farming operation. We currently own a house in Binghamton, both our properties are debt free. NY state has many programs and entities devoted to advancing sustainable agriculture and energy, we plan to participate in whatever programs will support our goals. Currently I am employed by Wegmans grocers where I work in the produce department, a modest position but one that keeps me somewhat grounded to earth. This will also give me a ground floor opportunity to parlay the position into a sales contract with the company as they like to partner with local farms. I will create a corporation in NY to facilitate our business goals but plan for the corporation to be closely held, primarily as a family owned business.
Farm Experience & Education
- Farmer training or workshop
- On farm work experience
Turf grass experience, golf course and Tru Green corporation. Homestead gardening. Produce worker, Wegmans grocers.
Farming Plans and Practices
Farming method or practice
- Organic (certified)
- Organic (not certified)
My spouse and I are non-vegan vegetarians and believe this leads to health and longevity. We will have chickens for eggs and possibly eggs for sale. A cow or two for milk and dairy products are also a possibility. Bees would be good for pollination of food crops and for the health and nutrition benefits of honey they produce.
The crops we grow will be consistent with whatever the micro-climate of the area where the farms is located, will be best suited for, or for whatever crops are already established on that particular farm.
Otherwise we will plan to grow basic crops. Corn, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, cooking and salad greens. Asian vegetables where conditions are suitable.
We will seek contracts with established established market chains, independent wholistic food markets, local farmers markets and so on. Any viable retail marketing business will obviously require a professional web site, a logo, professional labeling, social media and any and all current marketing devices. Meeting with corporate buyers and providing samples of products produced to them. Participating in farmers markets, fairs and any other public venues where our products can be displayed and marketed, where people can be directly introduced to our products.
Farm business plan or farm resume
Farmer housing is required. Both for our immediate family and extended family we will bring into the operation. Also, housing for managers or persons most intently involved in the farming operation would be desired. Worker housing for interns would also be a plus.
Purchase would be our first option if feasible. Transitional direction and involvement by the current owner is essential and would be an enticement for lenders. A long term or temporary partnership in the transitional period would be acceptable as long as the partnership would develop into full ownership by us at a pre-determined date.