Tori Amaral

I want to start an organic herb farm/business. I'm all about organic farming practices and maintaining/building quality soil health! Mainly herbs, medicinal plants, and some crops to start. Ashwagandha, herbs, tomatoes and peppers are my specialty!

Preferred counties/regions

  • Capital Region
  • Albany County
  • Saratoga County
  • Schenectady County
  • Warren County
  • Washington County
  • Schoharie County

Desired acreage

  • 5 or fewer

Farming Status

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

Not currently farming

Primary reason for farming

Farm will generate the majority of my income

Farming status, plans, and practices

I am currently growing food, herbs, medicinal plants and flowers in a couple of greenhouses on my property but I would love to expand beyond that and begin my own herb farm and business. My plan is to lease some land or potentially rent to own some land and begin growing herbs, medicinal herbs/flowers, and select food crops on a half acre to an acre or two of land and continue to expand from there as business grows. 

I will be selling fresh herbs and produce, selling dried herbs, and growing specific herbs and flowers for my organic herbal skincare business and other products that I plan to create and sell some of which include: oxymels, fire ciders, seasoning salts, and herbal vinegars. 

I am very passionate about making the most of every growing season and I enjoy the process of learning more each year. 

It is my goal to eventually purchase my own farm but until I do I plan to lease land and add to the property as much as I can by using organic farming practices and building the soils health. I practice crop rotation, I use companion planting for all of my food crops, and I use organic fertilizers which are a fish and kelp emulsion and a long term slow release fertilizer. Both of these products I purchase through Fruition Seeds.

 

 

Farm Experience & Education

I had no experience until a couple of years ago I wanted to start growing food for my family and I, so I started researching my zone and looked for anyone who I could follow online who was already farming in my zone and that is when I had found Fruitionseeds.com. They have an entire food growing series in their library that shows you how to grow every kind of crop. I always research everything before I start because I want to have the best possible chance of success and that is exactly what I did with the different crops I was planning to grow. 

I have always had an interest in farming and when I finally got my first greenhouse I literally stuffed it so full I had to lift containers out in order to get in. I am especially good at growing tomatoes and peppers but I have experience growing all food crops.  

I truly enjoy the whole process from seed to harvest. I currently have an indoor seed starting set up and I also winter sow in different containers to get a head start on my growing season. 

Last year I rented space at the local community garden to get some true in ground growing experience and it did beautifully! I learned how to make the most of the area I had and not only was it a truly a great learning experience for me but I now feel like I have such a better grasp of working the land. I feel so confident in my ability to farm the land and make the most of it! 

Farming Plans and Practices

Farming method or practice

  • Biodynamic
  • 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
  • black outline of a wheat germ Grains
  • black outline other crops icon Other Crops

Primary livestock

  • No Livestock

I currently have no livestock but I would like to have a few chickens and keep some bees at some point. I have an interest in keeping bees for honey production for my herbal business since I use raw honey making oxymels and fire ciders. I want to try experimenting growing only certain medicinal herbs and flowers around different hives to see how it affects the honey with taste, color, and potential added medicinal benefits from the herbs.

Crops I plan to grow includes herbs, medicinal herbs/flowers, and some food crops. I have not grown mushrooms before but I am also interested in learning about mushroom farming and adding mushrooms to my list of crops I will eventually be growing.

The crops I would like to grow this year include:

Basil: Cinnamon, Italian Large Leaf, Red Rubin, Thai, Tulsi

Black Sesame, Catnip, Chives, Cumin, Dill, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lemon Mint (Bee Balm), Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, Oregano, Purslane, Sage, Sweet Marjoram, Rosemary, Sorrel, Summer Savory, Thyme

Amaranth, Ashwagandha, Borage, Calendula, Chicory, Chamomiles, Echinacea, Marigolds, Nasturtiums, White Mignonette, Yarrow, Zinnias

Garlic, Ginger, Red Onions, Shallots, a few different tomato varieties, and hot pepper varieties.

Marketing Method

I am still working on my marketing plan and methods but I know I am going to create a Facebook business account and Instagram to start. Open an etsy store for the products I am creating to sell along with bulk dried herbs and teas.

I'm considering creating a Youtube channel as well to show case the farm, teach my methods, plant profiles, how to create some herbal products, and advertise the business. I intend to reach out to local businesses as well about sourcing fresh herbs from the farm and about the products I am making. I welcome any advice or tips you may have. 

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 tractor icon Equipment
  • Black outline of a water drop Water access

Ideally I would like to have access to water for the crops I intend to grow. Any buildings that I can use as a drying shed for herbs, flowers, and storage would be great! 

Desired Tenure

Tenure options desired

  • For Lease
  • For Sale
  • Business Partnership
  • Farm Management
  • Cooperative Model
  • Other Tenure Agreement

I am looking to lease a couple of acres to start an organic herb farm and herbal skincare business. I have a strong interest in herbalism and plants abilities to heal our bodies from the root cause of the issue. It is incredibly important to me to follow organic methods. I would love to learn from other experienced farmers and anyone who has experience or an interest in herbalism. 

My experience for growing food and herbs is for my family in our greenhouses and at the local community garden but now I feel ready to go bigger and to start my business. I am open to any advice or constructive criticism that is offered. I work hard, I work well with others, and I am committed to growing my business! Let's work together! I am open to explore any ideas, partnerships, or proposals that may be offered. Thank you for reading through my profile.

Has this farmer received a pre-qualification from a lending institution?

No

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

Unsure

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