On the heels of a very successful growing season here at Indian Ridge Farm & Bakery, when we for the first time were able to employ four paid employees (two on the farm, two in the bakery), we’re going to offer yet another opportunity for some budding farmer.
We know you’re out there: the farmer who’s been through the training rigors of apprentice or internship programs; the farmer who’s been employed on a farm somewhere on this planet; the farmer who wants to seriously pursue organic farming but doesn’t have the means to either buy land or doesn’t have the opportunity to join forces with their families or other partners. The farmer, clearly, who wants more responsibility without the attendant capital risks.
To that end, we’re going to lease our CSA garden for this growing season. This is a 1.5 acre bio-intensive garden that’s been feeding as many 70 households for the past 14 years. We served 55 households last summer and about 21 this fall. The soils are rich and fertile, the infrastructure is in place, the business plan is intact, our customers are all very satisfied and the region is hungry for more agricultural economic stimulus.
Sound like something you might be interested in? Read on for more details.
Right off the bat, let’s be clear that this is an opportunity for a farmer with experience. You will be paying your salary from farm revenues; this is not an apprentice or employee type arrangement! You’re your own boss. It’s your business plan (though we highly recommend continuing the successful CSA program) and it’s your budget. It’s your hiring decisions for fellow farmers and/or interns, it’s your work scheduling, it’s your garden plan (of course, we’d be happy to provide some assistance here). Your inherent risk is that you won’t make a dime by the end of the summer. We seriously doubt you won’t be successful if you know what you’re doing.
The other very important prerequisite is that you have experience growing in climates with short frost-free growing seasons. Because of our 7000′ altitude in the foothills of the San Juan Mountains, we have about 100 days when it’s highly unlikely (though not impossible) that there will be a killing freeze or frost. This implies that you have more than a few season extending tricks up your sleeves.
Read on if you’ve made the cut so far.
The vegetable production is part of a holistic, farmer-owned enterprise that includes pastured poultry and a thriving bakery. The successful applicant will be working in concert with the other enterprises on the farm. The lease includes a fenced garden, two hoophouses, tools, a drip irrigation system, a BCS walking tractor with several implements, a walk-in cooler and a distribution shed. The owners of the farm will also be available for consultation and advice (we will continue farming, focusing on pastured poultry, the layer hens, the bakery and all other enterprises!). Housing options exist on or off the farm. The nine-month renewable lease runs from March through November.
The lease price is $1,200 per month. The lease runs from mid-March until mid-November.
We are confident this turnkey operation is setup so the leaseholder enjoys success. Won’t you join us in stewarding a healthy relationship with the soil and the regional community?