Check all experience and education that apply to you and your farming partnersInformal apprenticeship, General college degree, General farming (over 3 years), Other experience/license/agriculture or business training
Other experience/license/agriculture or business training:Experience wwoofing on over 20 farms throughout the world; have worked professionally in stone masonry and forestry; students in CFAC's Multifunctional Agriculture class; experience respectfully slaughtering and butchering chickens, turkeys, and pigs; many years experience studying permaculture through lectures, workshops and reading.
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.My husband and I are not currently farming. Anthony is working for the National Park Service in Yellowstone as a permanent employee with the Plumbing and Maintenance divisions driving trucks and plows, among other things. We have a personal garden, and harvest our own meat and are raising our toddler while saving money to buy land soon. We have each spent many years working as WWOOFERs on 2 dozen farms where we have gained experience in CSA operation, market gardening, dairy farming and cheesemaking, rotationally grazed livestock, bee keeping, orchard and vineyard tending, coffee growing and processing, among other things. We also spent a year on Paul Wheaton's permaculture start-up farm where we built rocket mass heaters, hugelkultur gardens and taught workshops on tree felling, chainsaw use and maintenance and roundwood building. We were students in many workshops where we learned about solar power, hog harvesting, and earthworks (with Sepp Holzer). We also spent a year on 100 acres in Viola, Wisconsin borrowing land to operate our LLC where we grew a 1/2 acre market garden; raised, processed and sold 200 meat birds; kept 100 laying hens for eggs, and 25 meat turkeys.
Counties of interestAnaconda-Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Cascade, Chouteau, Flathead, Gallatin, Glacier, Granite, Judith Basin, Lewis & Clark, Liberty, Madison, Meagher, Mineral, Missoula, Park Livingston, Pondera, Powell, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Teton, Toole
Planned OperationHay & Forage, Grain, Large Animal (cattle, sheep, goats), Small Animal (pigs, rabbits, poultry), Dairy, Vegetable, Fruit/Orchard, Other
Farming PracticesOrganic, Other
Please elaborate on the type(s) of agricultural operation you plan on running.We plan to follow permaculture and organic principles and hope to develop interconnected and multi-faceted operations that build soil and increase biodiversity on the land. We hope to plant fruit, nut, and nitrogen-fixing trees as soon as possible using a keyline system and ultimately integrate other edible species to create food forests. We want to establish a sizable annual market garden for a CSA or buying club and want to integrate as many perennial vegetables and fruits into the system as possible. We hope to have woodland on the property to establish some forest gardening, including mushroom cultivation and potentially wood products. We hope to integrate animal systems including pastured laying hens, meat chickens and turkeys, pigs, and ducks. We also hope to add a small dairy operation with goats and if the land allows, cows. We also hope to establish a sizable medicinal garden.Ultimately we hope to sell meat, eggs, vegetables, potentially milk, honey, and value-added products through direct sales, a buying club, CSA, or Farmer’s Markets.
Elaborate on the farming practices you plan on using.We will farm organically but also intend to use the principles of permaculture to go “beyond organic” to diversify the landscape by planting a variety of both perennial and annual plants, incorporate animals using a paddock shift system, and will seek to build soil, rather than deplete it. We have had experience farming in this fashion and have taken many workshops and read dozens of books detailing these practices. We believe that a multifunctional and interrelated farm will be more resilient and open up possibilities.
Land TenureBuy/Sell, Lease, Partnership
If you are interested in another type of business arrangement, please explainWe are primarily interested in finding land to buy but are open to other possibilities.
Please elaborate on the kind of additional training/information that would help you:In particular we are interested in finding resources to help us develop solid business plans, financing farmland, and finding the right location. We would like to stay in Montana and hope to be in Northwestern Montana but are open to other possibilities and insight. We hope to get on some land and start planting trees as soon as we can!
Please attach any photos that support your application.