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Sharing the Load

It’s official. We’re now sharecroppers/land-sharers/what-have-you. Yesterday we walked the property for several hours with Jonathan, a young experienced organic farmer looking for somewhere to put down roots, literally. In exchange for the use of our land, he’ll help out with grounds-keeping and property stuff 5 hours a week . 
We’ve actually had the idea to do this for some time, but the right moment hadn’t really presented itself. Where we call home is situated on 12 acres, down a dirt road. While much of the property is made up of a wooded mountainside,  there is a 1 1/2 acre parcel that can be farmed.  Inspired recently by British chef/teacher/gardener/t.v. personality extraordinaire Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his campaign for landshare in the U.K., I posted an a.d. with a local agricultural non-profit and began the search for the perfect person. 
Here’s the greenhouse Jonathan will be using in its current state. The previous owners ran an organic herb and edible flower farm out of here (in addition to another 2 greenhouses up closer to our home). 
He’s planning on putting up new plastic sometime around the end of February and installing a pump in the creek running adjacent to the greenhouse. Tomatoes will be grown indoors and peppers will be grown in the field, in addition to other crops. 
I couldn’t be more thrilled. With no money being exchanged, he gets a place to toil the soil while I have a real live farmer to direct all my questions about soil composition and irrigation and tomato hornworms at. 

6 Responses to Sharing the Load

  • Anonymous says:

    I’ll help share the load by offering to eat a fair amount of the tomatoes and various other crops. I am now offically signing in as the offical CROP TESTER! ALL RIGHT GIRL GO AHEAD WITH YOUR BAD SELF!!!!!!!! MOM

  • Anonymous says:

    Ah-the life of a sharecropper!

  • Emily says:

    I hope your barter with the sharecropper works out well. Sounds like a win-win!

  • Bonner says:

    That is so cool. So is the food to be grown going to be sold? (What’s left over after you all partake anyway?) If so will you share the profit?

  • Hi Bonner! Jonathan will be selling what he grows at two local tailgate markets. We’ve discussed the possibility of some form of profit sharing once he is making money from his crops. We’ll decide at a later date whether to switch to profit-sharing from labor-sharing or just stick with things are they are. Either way, I’m thrilled!

  • nicole says:

    i look forward to watching this story unfold and seeing someone make use of such great gardening space.