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First:

Alex

Last:

Hallett

Co-Applicant / Spouse:

Stefanie Hallett

Email:

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Past and present farming experience:

For the last 2 years: Hobby indoor propagation and cultivation of hydroponically grown strawberry plants (up to 100 plants at a time) using suspended gutter system. Experience with 6 cultivars: Seascape (our favorite!), Albion, Galletta, Sweet Charlie, Ozark Beauty and Maria Des Bois. Hydroponic strawberry training at the Univ. of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. Every spring/summer I also grow soil and hydroponic tomatoes and peppers in containers in my garden. I am a real estate attorney by training working in DC (past 12 years) and I have been a member of the Maine Bar for 5 years.

Counties being considered:
  • Androscoggin County
  • Cumberland County
  • Kennebec County
  • Lincoln County
  • Sagadahoc County
  • York County

Types of enterprises considered:
  • Berries
  • Greenhouse
  • Vegetables

Total Acres Desired:

3+

Organic:
  • Doesn't matter

Farm structures needed:
  • Barn(s)
  • Storage

Equipment needed:

Barn or other large agricultural building. Prefer electric already in place, but not necessary. Existing greenhouse would be a bonus.

Arrangement(s) considered
  • Standard Sale
  • Owner-Financed Sale
  • Long Term Lease
  • Lease with Option to Buy

I am interested in farms with Conservation Easements:
  • Yes

Here is a summary of the vision for my farming future and/or business plan:

Controlled environment agriculture in greenhouse with initial focus on year-round strawberry production (out of season forcing). Closed loop fertigation (no run-off) and little to no pesticide use with appropriate IPM. Mix of perlite and coco coir media. Mix of artificial (HPS) lighting and solar radiation. We intend to expand to other suitable crops once strawberry production system is established - other promising crops include cane raspberries and compact vegetables. Once suitable farmland with an existing agricultural building is purchased or leased (long term), we will obtain a building permit and construct approximately 3,000 square feet of greenhouse structure (from Rimol Greenhouse of New Hampshire) and all required environmental controls (heating, electric for lighting, exhaust/air circulation, dehumidifier, fertigation system, CO2 enrichment). We will purchase the greenhouse and environmental controls outright (i.e., they will not be financed). Significant insulation (interior) of barn or other agricultural building will be necessary as part of establishing controlled environment. Year round propagation of strawberry plantlets by runners will occur in the barn or agricultural building for establishment into the greenhouse hydroponic growing system - to enable year-round production of fruit. Packing and short term storage of harvested strawberries in barn or agricultural building. Strawberries will be sold fresh at local Maine farmers markets and a roadside farmstand (assuming applicable zoning allows). This endeavor will be our primary business and source of income. My wife and her family are from the Augusta area (China), my dad lives in Windham and my mom lives in Northern NH - we are moving to Maine this summer (2017) with our three young daughters and I will be quitting the practice of law to focus on establishing and then expanding our controlled environment hydroponic strawberry farm.