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First:

Nick

Last:

Mullins

Co-Applicant / Spouse:

Elizabeth Mullins

Email:

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Past and present farming experience:

Though I haven't done production farming, I grew up in central Appalachia where our families engaged in a lot of subsistence agriculture to help weather downturns in the coal markets. I carried on with this tradition myself, raising gardens, canning, and doing what we could to supplement our own food stores. After leaving the coal industry in 2010, I attended Berea College as a full-time non-traditional (older student). While there, part of my academic focus was in sustainability and environmental studies and Appalachian studies, specifically in bridging the subsistence agriculture and food security of Appalachian communities with modern day sustainable agriculture, including permaculture, aquaponics, composting, ecological design etc. I am also very mechanically inclined with experience in various trades and skills such as electrical (including solar PV), carpentry, plumbing, welding, hydraulics, auto mechanics, diesel mechanics, etc. I enjoy learning and can do just about anything I set my mind too.

Counties being considered:
  • Knox County
  • Lincoln County
  • Waldo County
Types of enterprises considered:
  • Apple/Fruit
  • Berries
  • Goats
  • Grains
  • Greenhouse
  • Hay/Forage
  • Herbs
  • Pasture
  • Poultry
  • Row Crops
  • Sheep
  • Sugaring
  • Vegetables
  • Woodlot
Total Acres Desired:

100

Tillable Acres:

20

Wooded acres:

50

Acres in Pasture:

25

Acres in Pasture:

25

Acres in Orchard/Fruit/Perennials:

5

Organic:
  • Yes
Farm structures needed:
  • Barn(s)
  • Storage
  • Shop
  • Greenhouses
  • Other Housing
Equipment needed:

Utility tractor 50hp + and a diesel truck and trailer. I will likely rent implements at first and determine what I might buy later based upon the land and needs.

Arrangement(s) considered
  • Owner-Financed Sale
  • Lease with Option to Buy
  • Work to Own (Gradual Transfer of Responsibility & Farm Assests)
  • Partnership
  • Joint Venture with eventual sale
  • Apprentice with a Farm Owner for a year or more
I am interested in farms with Conservation Easements:
  • Yes
Here is a summary of the vision for my farming future and/or business plan:

Not exactly. We (myself, my wife, and our teenage daughter) are in the initial stages of planning. Our vision is to create a permaculture farm/ small co-housing community for foster families. The primary focus will be to help children heal from previous trauma through growing food and tending small scale livestock. Production will be largely subsistence based, however, if we are able to produce more, it will go toward local food security. The possibility will also exist to help reunite children and families separated due to poverty and guide them toward a more agriculture based life. In addition, this farm will act as a community educational center on sustainability, ecological design, permaculture, energy efficiency, and renewable energy, or, in other words, getting back to the basics. It may be important to point out that this will not be a "hippy commune" and we are trying to avoid some of the negative stereotypes surrounding intentional communities. In terms of financing, the farm will operate as a non-profit with financing coming largely from grants and donations. We will also partner with other non-profits in the areas of child development, agriculture, and sustainability. As we consider this vision and our goals, we are naturally up against the chicken and egg problem of how to begin, start the non-profit organization and then procure the land, or procure the land and start the non-profit. We also face the issue of getting our family to Maine to start with and will gladly accept any offers of temporary housing, work-trade, or employment to help us begin this exciting new adventure.