Kayla M  
 l    ID:

6785

Interested In:
For Lease
Preferred Acreage: 1-5
Preferred Location: Grays-Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Thurston
Description:
Seeking 1-5 acres in Western WA.

I am a single woman in my early 30s. I was born and raised in Seattle, WA. I spent 13 years in the Army as a medic, and I am currently employed as a Registered Nurse in Pierce County. After working my whole adult life in the healthcare field, I am looking forward to a future where I can transition out of nursing and do farming for my livelihood instead. I discovered farming as a young 20-something after returning from an overseas deployment in the Army. For seven years between 2013 and 2020, I volunteered as a ""workshare"" member at Jubilee Farm, a family-run biodynamic farm in Carnation, WA (Snoqualmie River Valley). Working in the Earth helped me find my center. I loved tending to fruits and vegetables in the fields. Going to the farm every week and getting my hands in the soil became therapy for me. Farming was my retreat - a way to escape from the rigors of day-to-day life as a college student or nurse in Seattle. The reward for working on the farm was bringing home a hefty CSA box every week. I learned how to do meal planning, cooking, and mindful eating according the seasons. Over the years, I taught myself how to water bath can, ferment, dehydrate, freeze, and store the bounty for later consumption during the winter months. My passion for sustainable farming and living is a direct result of the years I spent at Jubilee Farm, surrounded by an incredible community of hard-working, like-minded individuals.

I am looking to spread out on some land, hopefully farmland that someday I can call my own! The older I get, the harder it is to suppress my passion for sustainable farming. I am SO sure my purpose in life is to be a grower and steward of the land. Obviously the military life involves continual uprooting and travel, but Washington State, my native home, always seems to call me back. If I'm being honest with myself, I am an irrepressible introvert and homebody looking for a simple, grounded life. I know from experience that farming and gardening is able to replenish and nourish my soul, in a way that nothing else in life can. Farming is quite a drastic contrast from nursing, I know. Taking care of sick people at work leaves me feeling burned out and exhausted. When I retreat to the company of my plants, animals, and the solitude of my country-themed kitchen, I am hopeful and energized. Farming and cooking go hand in hand, and I LOVE to cook! I look at all my mason jars, fermentation crocks, dehydrator machines, spice jars, and cast iron pots/pans, and I am inspired to create with only the best, local food that WA state can produce. I want to be involved in that food chain, our Washington State agriculture economy, because I believe our climate and soil is the best in the world, and I would be honored to dig in and grow my roots here.

Currently I rent four raised garden beds in my community and grow what I can from the balcony and windowsills of my urban townhome. I feel strapped for space, and I am looking to rent a larger plot of land next year. As a single person, I am hesitant to take on more than a couple acres alone, but if I am able to meet or locate a business partner, it might be possible to do a larger operation. So here's a shout out to any other aspiring farmers and land seekers: Does anybody else out there have BIG BIG dreams? More than just one person can achieve? Let me know, and maybe we can collaborate to create something larger!

For seven years, I worked at Jubilee Farm, supporting their CSA program. I worked one shift per week through the duration of the 20-week summer season. Summer work mostly consisted of planting, harvesting, washing produce, packing CSA boxes, weeding, rotation of irrigation pipe, hay bucking, assisting with moving cattle between pastures, constructing trellises for tomatoes, or manufacturing hot houses from rebar/PVC pipe/row cover. I have some experience operating the John Deere during hay bucking. We adhered to organic farming practices, although Jubilee is not USDA certified organic. For about four years, I also volunteered in the off-season. Spring season work was a lot of pounding soil blocks for seed propagation prior to planting. Autumn season revolved around the pumpkin harvest festival. We harvested tons of pumpkins, squash, gourds, and corn stalks for sale to the public.

At Jubilee Farm, besides the CSA, the other mission was raising cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry. The organic fertilizer obtained from the cattle manure made all the crops flourish. As a workshare member, I was not able to participate very much with the animal operation. In my future farming ventures, I hope to gain more experience tending to animals, specifically sheep and goats. I started volunteering at Puget Sound Goat Rescue in Maple Valley, WA a few months ago to get more experience with the ruminant animals. I absolutely adore those goats!

I want to start out growing all types of pumpkins, gourds, and squash. Autumn is simply my favorite season, and I love everything to do with pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple cider, and Halloween festivities. I figured I could start my farm as a U-pick farm for pumpkins/gourds/squash, and eventually expand into a CSA farm. I want to create a CSA that is available for military families living and working on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), because nothing like this currently exists for delivery/pick up on JBLM. After being in the Army for so long, I am stubborn and crusty, dedicated and determined, and I believe these traits will make me successful as a farmer entrepreneur.

Ultimately my mission in life is to create my own small CSA farm and homestead. I want to settle on 20-30 acres of land somewhere in Western WA. I want to grow every fruit feasible in our climate - several heirloom varieties of apples (my favorite is Gold Rush), plums, pears, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, figs, and kiwi berries. I will grow the full plethora of vegetables, so I can have the freshest ingredients imaginable for my cooking hobbies. I want to grow plenty of green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and tomatillos, because one of my favorite projects is canning dilly beans, pickles, and salsa in the summer. I want to have a huge flower garden and tend my own bee hives. I want to grow herbs so I can make my own tea. I want to have a couple greenhouses, and one will be dedicated to growing microgreens. I want a full menagerie of farm animals: 10-20 chickens so I can have fresh eggs all year round. Sheep and/or goats so I can harvest their milk and create my own yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. Two shepherd dogs and a guard donkey to watch over my sheep and goats. A pen of pigs to eat all the farm scraps! Of course, a few cats and ducks roaming around. Within my means, I will rescue any odd variety of farm animal that needs a home. That is my dream!
Farm Business Type:
  • Row Crop
  • Livestock
  • Dairy
Intended Farming Practices:
  • Sustainable and Organic Practices
Need Housing:
No
Currently Farming:
No