Type of farm?
The larger portion of the farmhouse may be used for an adventurous small family. On the first floor is a full kitchen with appliances included, laundry is shared with the vegetable farmer (locks provided on all doors), living room, 1 bedroom, 1 office, 1 full bath. The upstairs is a half-story with 2 small rooms that would accommodate small beds or futons. (It's an old 1850s farm house with peculiar dimensions). A portion of the basement may be used for storage, as well as a portion of the garage. There is no car space available in the garage. The rent for this side of the house is $800 per month, which INCLUDES utilities of electric and propane. Water is free.
The owners carry farm insurance. A standard lease agreement and Memo of Understanding will be signed. Pets may be allowed, as long as they are not destructive or otherwise disruptive. Please ask us first.
You will be required to be positive and considerate toward others! We are a community, working together to share and heal the land. We are reasonable, we love to give freely, and we expect to be rewarded with kindness and thoughtfulness. We will be 3 separate entities using the same 16 acres, so humbleness and communication are imperatives. Experimentation is welcome, within reason, as long as the benefits outweigh the risks for all parties. There will likely be bartering of goods and services among the separate parties. Aside from all that, the grazer/pasture business (or whatever you foresee doing on the land) will be your own business - or fiefdom, as Salatin explains. We try our best to keep up with the landscaping and landlord duties, but you might need to do some minor repairs and upkeep if we are unavailable. A strong back and building capabilities would be nice, but a good attitude and work ethic are most important!
Though we are rural here, there are several small-town farmer's markets and restaurants nearby. Also, there are larger cities in which to sell wares, such as a 25-minute drive to Mansfield, a 1-hour drive to Columbus, and roughly 2 hours to Cleveland. We have an EXCELLENT local butcher right in our town (Dee-Jay's), which does typical grazers, and the USDA poultry processor is a little over an hour away.
Goals/Vision for Farm
Within the next 5 years, the owners hope to save enough for 1) an Aquaponics greenhouse close to the farm house, 2) renewable energy infrastructure, and 3) a large barn for wintering livestock, storage, etc. However, in the meantime, we are very interested in getting some grazers on the land - at least for the growing season - which means starting with permanent fence installation. Specifically, we are wanting 7 individual paddocks for daily rotation of a few/small grazers. (In between the paddocks we will be planting mast-producing trees such as fruits and nuts) We would like to pay for half of the cost of all fencing and animal shelter. We have a small tractor, trailers, and well water. There are nearby Amish communities, and old-timer livestock farmers to learn from. The longer you stay, the more you benefit from using the infrastructure, and you get to show the bank that you know how to run a small farm business, before your own future farm loan.
This land had been commercially row cropped for many decades before we purchased it in 2013. A significant portion of the farm land is currently being used as annual vegetable/flower crops by our other subcontractor (who rents the smaller part of the farmhouse). This includes a greenhouse and 1 large high tunnel, with probably another high tunnel in the future (EQIP grant pending). There is an area of cultivated blackberries/raspberries, perennial herbs, and roughly 30 fruit trees. -- The unused portion of the land is about 2-3 acres and needs some TLC, although it has been feral for 3 years. There is also a lovely stream/wetland and a wooded area on property. Nice wildlife diversity.
An in-person meet and greet would be great! But if not, Skype or FaceTime would be next best... or a phone call might work. We would prefer to get a sense of your personality, and we would also like to include the veg farmer in the process, since you will be sharing the house with him. Let us know your previous farm experience, your expectations, and dreams. We need to have the place rented by August, so we will let everyone know our decision ASAP.
The owners are naturalists with degrees in Forestry and Wildlife. We have personally used the land for commercial vegetable crops, but have decided to specialize in certain on-farm aspects, while allowing others to create their own fiefdoms on the land (leasing the farm house and conducting their own farm operations). We are not organic certified, but may be eligible to apply in 2018. Currently we have an annual vegetable/flower farmer renting (seasonally) the smaller portion of the farm house. He is hard working, quiet and very amiable. We are looking for a couple or small family to lease the other half of the farmhouse and land, to interact positively with the other farmer, and generally pull their weight in our happy little Permaculture community.