Check all experience and education that apply to you and your farming partnersFarm/Crop management (over 3 years), Informal apprenticeship, General college degree, General farming (over 3 years), Other experience/license/agriculture or business training
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.We currently operate a 1.5 acre specialty cut flower farm, Kokoro Flowers, on leased land in Gallatin County. Kokoro Flowers is nearing the end of it's 5th year (Oct. 2020) in operation serving the Bozeman & Big Sky Areas. We originally sought a lease where we could operate a diverse organic vegetable & flower operation. Being limited to 1.5 acres, we have chosen to focus our efforts on organic cut flowers while leasing. Through our time here we have expanded our operation to six hoop houses (4 100'x17', 2 65'x17'), one green house (24'x32'), & 3-4 seasonal employees. For 2021, we will be downsizing our production scale in order to be able to put the necessary energy into seeking land. We will be producing on a half acre and putting 1 acre into a cover crop / grazing plan. This will afford us the opportunity to stay engaged with the communities we serve, while allowing more time & energy for securing land. Meara Cassidy & Travis Cox previously worked on a 4 acre, Homegrown Certified vegetable farm in Moiese, MT. Meara for two years, Travis for one.
Meara began working & interning on small scale organic farms in 2010 in Paonia, CO.
Counties of interestBroadwater, Carbon, Cascade, Chouteau, Flathead, Gallatin, Glacier, Granite, Judith Basin, Lake, Lewis & Clark, Madison, Meagher, Missoula, Musselshell, Park Livingston, Powell, Ravalli, Rosebud, Sanders, Sheridan, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Teton, Yellowstone
Acreage11-40, 41-100, 101-500
Planned OperationHay & Forage, Grain, Large Animal (cattle, sheep, goats), Small Animal (pigs, rabbits, poultry), Vegetable, Fruit/Orchard, Other
Farming PracticesOrganic, Other
Please elaborate on the type(s) of agricultural operation you plan on running.We are planning to establish a flower and vegetable operation on 2-6 production / rotating acres. This farm will implement all natural practices, done mostly by hand and some tractor work. We would like to hold some type of Organic certification-federally or by state. Our primary crops will be vegetables, fresh and dried cut flowers, seed production, and poultry. Our markets will be wholesale, farmers market, CSA and co-operative CSA, farm stand, online ordering for farm pick up, & events or weddings. We would also like to eventually raise some small animals mostly for our consumption and benefits. We are open and flexible to different locations and ideas!
Elaborate on the farming practices you plan on using.We believe in regenerative, organic practices! Along with running a sustainable business, our goal is to be stewards of the land. We would like to move towards no-till and less invasive farming practices as we develop our business. We imagine implementing hedgerows, perennial orchards, and managing woodland and riparian zones where applicable. We would also like to do our part in giving back to our community in the long term, partnering with local food banks to be able to donate extra foods to non-profit organizations. Partner with universities and organizations striving to effect food sovereignty, land access, & food system access. Ideally, our business would grow to a point where we are able to employ people with an adequate living wage, contributing to our greater community with our products and employment opportunities.
Land TenureBuy/Sell, Cropshare, Lease, Partnership, RSA Grass Link, Open to other arrangements
Other experience/license/agriculture or business training:Owners / Operators of 1.5 acre specialty cut flower farm for 5 years.