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I am just finishing a 5 year stretch working as a manager for Holly Hill Farm, a 2 acre organic vegetable farm in Cohasset, Massachusetts. Living on site, I helped manage their 140 wooded acres, mowing field edges and processing firewood. Myself and a crew of about 3 seasonal workers grew the farming business to 100K/yr in vegetable sales building several greenhouses and making other infrastructural improvements. In coordination with a non-profit education component, the farm was a great place for the whole community to visit for school group tours, farm to table dinners, plant sales, and workshops as well as the farm store on site. In addition to my most recent farming experience, I worked for 2 yrs at Urban Oaks Organic Farm, and have 6 years of experience as a Special Educator in various high schools prior in Connecticut, where I am originally from. It is my hope to settle down in Maine and start a vegetable growing operation of my own. The farming community has been very welcoming to me so far. I've been able to connect with several small farm owners who have shared with me their start-up experiences and suggested that I make this profile and try to connect with folks here. I am currently working for a property management company and for the Census in Portland, ME while I use this year to focus on my search for potential farmland. I am lucky enough to have a decent savings with which to get started should I find the right opportunity. Thank you to whomever is reading this for participating at whatever your capacity to make this a great resource to keep growers growing and land protected. Feel free to reach out by email -GrazianoJon@gmail.com-
- Androscoggin County
- Cumberland County
- Kennebec County
- Knox County
- Lincoln County
- Sagadahoc County
- Waldo County
- York County
- Row Crops
A tractor with a bucket loader, mower deck would be helpful, but I either already own or would purchase equipment as needed.
- Standard Sale
- Short-Term Lease
- Long Term Lease
- Lease with Option to Buy
- Work to Own (Gradual Transfer of Responsibility & Farm Assests)
- Joint Venture with eventual sale
- Farm Manager
- Maybe (Please send me information)
My current strategy is going to a different farmer's market every week, meeting market managers and vendors, and getting a better idea of where there might be more room for another vegetable producer like myself and work backwards to land near that location. My focus would be organic greens and microgreens but other typical vegetables as well (carrots, beets, summer squash, radish, cucumber, tomato, etc.) and potentially flowers and spring seedlings. I might have 1/2 acre and an indoor light rack in production year 1, transitioning to 2 acres in production by year 3. The sales goals are: $500/wk, 25k year 1; $1,000/wk, 50k/yr, year 2; $2000/wk, 100k/yr, year 3. I would be the farm's only employee at first, transitioning to having my partner full-time and another seasonal employee year 3. Building a propagation greenhouse with propane heating, and a second unheated high tunnel, and cold storage would be my first investments. Applying for an NRCS grant for a third tunnel year 2 or 3 would be the next target. There are other purchases as needed depending on the water, storage, and transportation needs of the business and what already would exist on property. There are other sales considerations like proximity to population centers and CSA interest, restaurant prospects, online sales, natural foods stores, etc.