Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Looking for Land part 2

Crossing the St. Johns Bridge
photo pulled from video by Ryan Creason

Back in May I posted about this being the last year that Slow Hand Farm will farm on Wild Goose Farm's Land. It's been a great four years but it's time to move on. I've managed to put off finding a new spot, growing in my own backyard and my neighbors' yard for the winter season. At this point I need to start up the search again. It's not that there aren't options out there, but for now I'm being picky. 

In my first post in May I listed the few essential characteristics for a new piece:
  • At least 5000 square feet of growing space, but 1/2 and acre or more might be nice for possible expansion (I am also considering contracting, so maybe less space?). 
  • I need at least 5 gallons per minute of clean water (more is better). 
  • It needs to be within a 12 mile radius of North Portland.
  • No pests whatsoever (I can dream can't I?)

But really there are a few other things that I'd like, and one of them is a space that's appropriate for having folks out to the farm to show them what I'm doing, and give them ideas for what they could do. The photos in this post were taken during a day that I had some folks from the OSU Small Farms program out making a video about the farm for part of a larger teaching series they're putting together.

Making deliveries to Near East Yoga
photo by Garry Stephenson
Over the past four seasons I've taught multiple workshops at the farm, had many visitors stop by for a tour, and almost as many folks come out to volunteer their labor in exchange for an opportunity to learn some of the techniques and to connect with the growing that happens on the farm. I've also hosted seasonal farm parties (not enough recently), and all of this is essential to my vision of agriculture being a community effort, and recognizing that as an essential part of our modern food system, it should also be more accessible and recognizable.

So, I'm back in the search and I have a couple more criteria that, while not essential, are important to me:

  • Space and capacity for hosting small workshops, parties and visitors
  • Good access to town by bike

If you know of anything please let me know. It's getting to be planning season and I'd love to start planning next season with a particular space in mind.

Josh Volk, Slow Hand Farm
photo pulled from video by Ryan Creason

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