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First:

Jonathan

Last:

Graziano

Co-Applicant / Spouse:

Sarah Duprey

Email:

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Past and present farming experience:

I have a total of 8 years of farming experience. 7 of those were spent at small organic vegetable farms (under 2 acres) in Connecticut and Massachusetts. I currently live in Portland and work at a larger farm, Harvest Tide Organics, in Bowdoinham, Maine, while I look for land in the Durham/Topsham area to start a small farm of my own.

At the farm where I gathered most of my experience, Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset, MA, I was in a managerial role responsible for budget planning, day to day sales and production, and the construction and maintenance of much of their critical infrastructure. Much of my planning for what I hope to start here is a replication of what I accomplished during my 5 years there. I built and operated a microgreens grow light system that produced over $1500 worth of microgreens per month in 2019. I built 2, 27x72ft high tunnels and designed and operated the no-till, organic field growing systems on what was only 1.5 acres but from which 115k worth of vegetables were produced and sold in 2019, and was part of a garden seedling operation there that sold over 75k/annually.

I know that there are already many small farms operating in southern coastal Maine, but also that there are growing numbers of people who already live here and who are moving here who prioritize eating locally, healthily, and starting gardens of their own. I know that if I can find the right property to make a home and small farm on, that I can be a helpful part of the region's local food movement. Please email or call with any questions. I am hoping to buy a property in Durham or Topsham or as close to it as possible and to get started as soon as possible.

JonathanGraziano.com for full Resume

Counties being considered:
  • Androscoggin County
  • Cumberland County
  • Sagadahoc County
Types of enterprises considered:
  • Greenhouse
  • Herbs
  • Nursery
  • Vegetables
Total Acres Desired:

1-2

Tillable Acres:

1-2

Organic:
  • Yes
Arrangement(s) considered
  • Standard Sale
  • 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:

With an initial investment of my 30k in personal savings and some financial help from family I plan to get started right away with a decent down payment on a mortgage and some heated nursery infrastructure. While keeping my job at Harvest Tide Organics, I hope to spend my time off in the winters and early spring growing and selling microgreens for distribution in other farm's CSA programs and at small grocery stores in Portland and Brunswick. In the spring I hope to sell garden seedlings on consignment through those same grocery stores, and potentially through FB Marketplace and direct to neighbors, friends, etc until the business grows. Over the next two years I hope to transition to working full time and get into serious production of year round greens; by building additional unheated high tunnels for winter production, and by using shade cloth and irrigation to fill the production gaps of many local farms in the summers with a reliance on heavy compost mulching and other no-till growing methods throughout. My goal would be to graduate from selling wholesale through small grocery stores to eventually selling directly to customers by starting a 50-100 person vegetable CSA program serving my local community and potentially delivering to drop off sites for folks along 295 from Brunswick and Portland. I believe I can accomplish 100k in production by year 4, with strategic infrastructure investment and the help of 1-2 additional employees.