Friday, March 9, 2012

New Land Listing in El Dorado County: El Dorado County ID #1383: 10 acres on historic farm for lease to organic farmer

In October, 2010 the American River Conservancy (“Conservancy”), a non-profit river conservation organization, purchased a 272 acre historic farm first established by Charles Graner in 1856. This farm was sold by Graner in 1869 to twenty-two (22) Samurai colonists from Aizu Wakamatsu in northern Japan following their defeat in Japan’s civil war (Meiji Restoration). These colonists established the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm, growing citrus, tea, mulberry shrubs for silkworms, sesame, bamboo and other traditional Japanese crops. The Wakamatsu Farm became the first Japanese colony site in North America and has recently been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Over the past 140 years, the farm was managed by the Francis Veerkamp family which successfully grew and sold a variety of grain and fruit crops as well as chickens, turkeys, hogs and beef and dairy products. The Conservancy currently conducts tours of this historic ranch, coordinates volunteer restoration of wetlands and oak woodlands on a portion of the farm and, plans to host multiple events and install a museum within the restored 1856 farmhouse. The Conservancy seeks to lease 10 acres of excellent soil to an organic farmer. This 10 acres is suitable to the growing and selling of produce. The 10 acre site will be deer fenced and serviced by a 2” inch El Dorado Irrigation District water meter. The site also contains a corrugated metal shed suitable for the processing and sales of produce and other products produced off-site. The lease of an additional 80-100 acres of quality soil suitable to orchards and vineyards may also be considered by the Conservancy. The farm is located on Cold Springs Road, a major arterial roadway between Placerville and Coloma, 35 miles due east of Sacramento. The Conservancy seeks a partnership arrangement with an organic farmer that extends beyond a traditional lessor-lessee relationship. The Conservancy has broad local support and would assist the organic farmer in establishing a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) campaign amongst its 2,500 members and supporters and within El Dorado County at-large. The Conservancy would also ask the organic farmer to consider participating in farm-to-school programs, public tours and the selling of organic produce that would serve special events elsewhere on the Wakamatsu Colony Farm. The Conservancy will provide the farmer with a certificate of liability insurance naming the farmer as coinsured with respect to all Conservancy tours and educational programs. There is a house onsite that could be made available, as funding permits.