Check all experience and education that apply to you and your farming partnersAgriculture-related college degree, General farming (over 3 years)
Briefly describe your current occupation(s) and responsibilities and list previous agricultural employment and experiences. If you are currently farming or ranching, please state the size, type(s), and location of the operation.I am currently working as an organic vegetable farmer in the Shenandoah mountain region of Virginia. I work with a crew of 12 to farm about 15 acres in diverse organic vegetables and cover crops. This is my third growing season with The Farm at Sunnyside, and each year I have learned more and added more responsibilities. Currently, I manage four high tunnels as well as a small area of raised bed growing space. I also attend and manage a mid-size farmers' market each week. I also worked to prep beds, fertilize, seed, transplant, cultivate, harvest, wash, and pack crops. Working with many aspects of the farm has given me a good understanding in how to complete a variety of farm tasks and also allowed me to understand the diverse skills needed to have a successful farming operation.
I have also spend a year at Dickinson College Farm in Pennsylvania. Here, I managed a crew of ten and also gained skills in windrow compost making and tractor work.
Type of OperationVegetable
Farming PracticesOrganic, Other
Please elaborate on the type(s) of agricultural operation you plan on running.I plan to run a diversified vegetable operation. I plan to grow both staple crops for a CSA/wholesale/markets as well a few unique crops for local restaurants and makers. I plan to start out relatively small, on an acre or less. I do hope to erect a high tunnel on the property to extend the growing season and also allow for protecting growing in the summer months.
I would like to market via a CSA and also to local restaurants. I would consider selling at markets and via wholesale depending on the land availability and size of the operation.
I am considering applying for loans to invest in startup equipment.
Elaborate on the farming practices you plan on using.I plan on using organic methods, but am unsure if I will choose to become certified organic. I believe in farming in a way that builds soil health and works with soil biology instead of against it. I hope to apply naturally derived fertilizers, compost, and other microbial inoculants to my fields.
I will be growing some crops intensively, with close spacing and heavy reliance on hand tools such as broad forks and dibblers. Other crops will be grown with more traditional spacing.