Description:We are a young couple currently renting an apartment, looking for a land lease or other creative set up. We raise five Lamancha/Nigerian Dwarf and Nigerian Dwarf goats, three of which have previously been in milk. They currently reside with Dominique’s parents in Maple Valley. We currently do not have a portable housing set up for ourselves, but we are resourceful and open to a variety of solutions.
David currently does landscape construction/garden work, and has worked on farms in the past. He works with people and for clients who are invested in sustainability. Some projects he's been most passionate about include building a treehouse with 100+ year old ship lap siding and reclaimed windows and flooring. He has also plumbed a friend’s house and built a greywater infiltration (branched drain) system to irrigate fruit trees with kitchen and shower water. His interests involve self sufficiency and community resilience. He enjoys fermented foods, and makes wild yeast sourdough and sauerkraut on a regular basis. He also likes to play bass.
Dominique has been working as a nanny for the past few years. She enjoys cooking, hiking, and yoga. She has encouraged a connection to nature in the kids she nannies, and has cooked them nutritious meals daily. She also forages wild mushrooms which has become a large part of her cooking. She has a background in fiber arts and has started making her own clothing, using salvaged fibers and materials. She has done a fair amount of furniture restoration. She is passionate about finding freedom in self expression and using creativity to reduce waste and give items new life.
We are looking for a place where we can live and grow food, and begin putting a solid farm business together. We would like to develop land with long term ecological impact in mind. We would like to grow food to sustain ourselves, as well as people around us. We intend to save up money to purchase land in the future, but we are open to a long term arrangement if it’s the right fit for all of us.
In our ideal land use scenario, David would seek part time work at an outside job and put the rest of his time into the farm, while Dominique would most likely work full time at an outside job. We are open to different types of agreements, and realize that some people may already have a vision/direction for their land that they want help to achieve, and others just want to see their land used. We are open to either a work trade agreement for a reduced lease rate in the first case, or potentially paying a higher lease rate for a situation where we might be starting our own business.
Although David has worked on vegetable farms in the past and enjoyed doing so, he respects the wisdom of diversifying one's business; Having a variety of profitable ventures for financial stability, and does not want to build a business solely on an operation that immediately collapses when you start putting time and energy into other business operations. He would rather put his energy into creating systems that become more self sustaining and abundant as time passes. He sees this as essential from an environmental/permacultural point of view, as well as advantageous to the landowner, giving them potential income streams in retirement.
One goal for the land to focus on early on would be to begin establishing an orchard/food forest, which could be a U-pick business in years to come. Another good first year business venture would be inoculating logs/mulch with edible mushrooms. We are more interested in a low tech mushroom growing operation that’s fully integrated into the ecosystem and produces mushrooms with seasonal cycles, although we haven't ruled out a high-tech high-input system with sheds/tents and UV lights as a possibility, given the high profit potential.
One idea we’ve had is, since we already have goats, it would be wise for us to monetize them. Commercial dairy requires an unrealistic amount of startup capital, so we would like to focus on more attainable short term goals such as goat milk soap and goat brush clearing businesses. On the farm, we are interested in developing a silvopasture system for the goats which would involve planting tree crops in conjunction with an understory that’s suitable for goat fodder. This would lower feed costs while helping to develop a biodiverse ecosystem.
Other things we are interested in doing include aquaculture integrated with an in ground greenhouse for fertilizing starts and raising fish, raising ducks and/or chickens, planting lots of seeds/rooting cuttings for a future nursery, growing grain and legume crops, and some kind of vegetable operation; A large garden to feed ourselves and share with others at minimum. Our time frame and order of operations would be determined by the site itself, as well as what work/business opportunities we can find locally, and how this affects our plans.
There is a strong mutual aid community in Seattle and the surrounding areas that we would like to use our position as farmers to be a reliable part of. We believe in this as a social responsibility, and would like to develop a business model that can support this.
David’s first job in Washington was working on a commercial vegetable production crew at Willowood Farm, a 20 acre organic farm on Whidbey Island. Job duties included cell seeding, transplanting, direct seeding, hoeing, hand weeding, flame weeding, harvesting, washing, packing and laying plastic mulches, reemay fabric, and drip tape. In August of that year, he also took on irrigation duties after another employee quit. This entailed keeping track to ensure that everything was adequately watered, moving lines, doing repairs/maintenance on above ground and buried lines, and doing frequent walks of the fields to look for dry spots. He worked for one full season; Eight months in total.
David began raising goats for dairy after leaving that farm and living with some relatives in Belfair. He purchased two Nigerian Dwarf and one Nigerian/Lamancha doe, two of which were pregnant. He took a class on goat kidding and rearing from the woman who he purchased the goats from. After the two pregnant does had triplets and quadruplets, he began milking them, and would make cheese on a regular basis. He then moved with the goats to a five acre off grid farm between Tenino and Centralia that he had found through a friend.
The new farm had very little established infrastructure, so David spent time working on fences, renovating and improving on existing structures, installing basic sink, greywater, and rainwater catchment systems, and constructing animal housing. He helped source components for and put together a solar electric system that ran on deep cycle marine batteries. It was not a high powered system, but it kept phones, power tools, and lights charged, and was able to keep the electric netting system that was set up for the goats powered 24/7. David learned about earthworks, water infiltration, and soil building. He helped start a small CSA, selling boxes of produce to 8-12 people in Seattle on a weekly basis.
Would like to find a property either with housing or the ability to bring on a tiny home/temporary housing.
Farm Business Type:
- Row Crop
Intended Farming Practices:
- Sustainable and Organic Practices