Nevada County #1472: Turn key farm operation for lease
Heaven and Earth farm comprises 11.5 acres, of which approximately 3.5 acres are in production. The farm is a mixture of wooded areas, grasslands, hillside and bottomland production areas. The farm has been in diversified production since 2000. We grow mixed seasonal vegetables, numerous fruits including apples, pears, cherries, plums, figs, mulberries, peaches, nectarines and nuts, 8 vars of table grapes grapes, seed crops, flowers, herbs, chickens, bees, hops, boysenberries, marionberries, ollalieberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants, and more.
All production uses organic farming principles since the farm was established. We use cover crops extensively, composts both from on farm and purchased, rock minerals, foliar feeding, fertilization, animal protein nitrogen sources. The farm is currently registered organic with the state of California, and is eligible to become certified organic, which will be one of the requirements of the lessee. Soil is a mixture of Class II and Class III bottomland and foothill soils. Irrigation is provided by a 35 GPM well.
We utilize limited motorized equipment, predominately relying on hand work with rototillers, hand tillage, backpack sprayers, and other assorted manual tools. The farm is completely equipped for virtually all needs for the production of the crops now on the property. The lessee will have access to all of the equipment, tools and necessary infrastructure. Equipment includes mowers, weed eaters, rototiller, push seeders, motorized backpack sprayer, large array of hand tools, lots of irrigation supplies, propagation supplies, harvest tools, and much more. We have all the equipment for marketing as well including scales, tents, F150 Ford pickup, tables and other materials.
The lessee will occupy a small, modern wood heated cabin with kitchen, power and potable water, sleeping loft, outdoor heated shower, covered outdoor composting toilet, wifi and more. The space is very comfortable for one, and two will be cozy. Also there are two small trailers, powered by solar electricity, which have been used for employees or apprentices.
The farm has numerous small fields, each individually fenced to exclude deer, rabbits and other critters. The largest area is approximately 1 acre of vegetable ground, bottomland, and the rest are in smaller blocks, mostly flat, some on hillsides. Irrigation is a mixture of mini sprinklers, sprinklers, drip tape, drip emitters, and some dry farmed crops. Currently the well is powered by electricity from PG & E, although we are installing solar panels this winter to offset a portion of the electricity charges.
There is a 24’ x 50' double poly unheated greenhouse, with production area for starting seedlings using supplemental heat; approximately half of the house used for seasonal crop production, the other half for seedling production. Most propagating supplies and equipment are available. There is also a 24’ x 50' seasonal hoop house. We have a 8’ x 12’ walk-in refrigeration, dry storage, freezer, and additional storage. The walk-in is equipped with lighting and heat for use as a seed germination chamber, when not used for cooling produce.
There is a large, completely equipped outdoor kitchen, used seasonally for production of on farm value-added products, as well as harvest, cleaning and packing of crops. This area has been used by us, employees and apprentices for meal production, processing, gatherings and relaxation. We have nearly all the equipment for preserving foods including juice press, extractors, fermentation supplies, canning equipment, dehydrator, freezer and more.
We are very willing to share their knowledge as needed including all the basic aspects of how the farm works to date, and encourage ongoing conversation and advice as needed. We have extensive experience and knowledge in all aspects of running a small farm, food processing, herbal preparations, homesteading skills and much more. We are willing to provide training and advice as needed with all aspects of the farms crop production and overall management.
Heaven and Earth Farm is located on the San Juan Ridge of Nevada County, California in the Sierra foothills at 2400 feet elevation, between the South and Middle forks of the Yuba River. We are in the zone of transition between oaks and pines, with madrone and manzanita, with long Mediterranean summer and fall, rainy cool to cold winters, and usually rainy spring. The average rainfall is 60 inches, however the range has been between 30 and 115 inches in the last 10 years. We have four distinct seasons. Most years we get little or no rain from early May to mid October. We get occasional snow, 3 to 5 times per year, usually no more than a few inches per snowfall. The Northern Sierras, a vast and beautiful mountain range, is our back yard. Recreation opportunities are huge.
The farm is located in a rural area, populated by long-time residents and a mix of long time and new back to the landers. We are 15 miles from the nearest urban area, Nevada City and Grass Valley. The county population is approximately 100,000. We have an extremely active community with social and political diversity. Although the towns are relatively small, they have all of the features of a large city. Where we live on the ridge is much smaller, but it also has an active social and educational scene. If you're interested in social, entertainment and educational opportunities, the list is almost endless.
We need a highly motivated, friendly and innovative person(s) to lease this small farm and grow it to its ultimate potential. The successful applicant will have a minimum of three years of organic farming experience, preferably in a management role. We are not able to accommodate recent apprentices or interns, as we need a more experienced farmer. Applicants should have extensive experience in a wide variety of vegetable and flower production, greenhouse and hoop house, and preferably perennial crops as well. Knowledge and ability to organize a farm work plan, manage interns or employees, market crops, use basic farm equipment and maintain as needed, crop rotation, fertility, pest and weed management, irrigation, bookkeeping skills, record-keeping skills are all essential.
We look forward to hearing from you and establishing a great, nourishing, mutually beneficial friendship.