ABOUT THE LAND
We have a 43 acres total with a 4 acre field suitable for market gardening (currently 1 acre is fenced & irrigated), the remainder in pasture, hay orchard and forest. It has been farmed certified organic for 8 years. I raise livestock (currently sheep and ducks, facilities for chickens), orchard and hay, but only at a hobby scale right now.
The property is mixed soil types with approximately 20 acres of organic hay fields and pasture, a small heritage orchard within the pasture, 4 acres of good sandy loam with 1 acre fenced and irrigated for a market garden, and about 7 acres of forest. There is a 3000 sqft pole barn for equipment and hay storage, a 200 sqft chick brooder, a 288 sqft broiler barn with fully fenced runs, a ~350 sqft barn for sheep and pagewire fenced area is about 6 acres. I have a small glass greenhouse, maybe 150 sqft.
We have one well and the water quality and quantity is excellent. We have 7 acres of peat soils in pasture, which is a sponge for our water supply all summer, it’s awesome! There’s a 5 acre sandy field used for hay. Most of the rest of the farm is sand or sandy gravel, ideal for orchard and pasture for winter.
The location is Merville BC, close to Williams Beach, Miracle Beach and Mount Washington plus the top rated Farmers’ Market in BC! The farming community here is fantastic, in addition to Merville Organics, we have two farmers’ institutes and all kinds of groups. We have a nice view of Mt Washington over the pond adjacent to us, and also a nice view of our fields from the hill that the farm buildings are on, with the Coast Mountains in the backdrop. The slope and diverse soil types offer a variety of microclimates and make it ideal for permaculture, and other sorts of mixed uses. So much potential!
ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY
My vision for this farm is to have a permaculture/agroecological system that is agriculturally diverse and productive, farmed collaboratively with a group of people. I would love to farm either formally as a co-op, or alongside in some way to share the load and the land with others, as it is much more farm than I can handle or afford to keep on my own. To that end, I’ve built extra housing, and I’ve had other collaborators here doing the market gardening, mainly. Still looking for that perfect farm partner or group though. Truly, for me my vision is to be farming with other people, it doesn’t have to be here. This just seems like the perfect place for that! It has everything!
I have a 1 bedroom cabin and a camperized bus available to live in, and 2 additional road access points that are potential new homestead sites. There is a possibility for you to place a tiny home or RV. I live in the 4 bedroom farmhouse which I rent out a room in, but I could move to the cabin if that made more sense.
I am seeking serious, experienced folks, who are also financially capable of becoming eventual co-owners of the land. I would prefer to have joint ownership or co-op so that there is more stability in tenure and you and I both could have some stability. I think sharing ownership is better in terms of removing the hierarchical lessor/lessee dynamic in the long run- I prefer collaboration. I’d like to have a co-op and be able to collaboratively farm and own equipment, infrastructure and housing, though I’m pretty flexible about how that looks, of course it needs to be a collaborative process that depends on what your needs and resources are. We don’t necessarily have to be business partners, but that would be great! One of the benefits of having a co-op is that the farm and business activities could be sold as shares when members want to retire, so there’s built in succession and hopefully the operation can live on sustainably without having to sell the land outright to retire. Until the right folks come along, I’ve been doing yearly lease or license agreements, which is a great way to find out if we can work together and if you like the area.