1393 N. Cove Street, Union, Oregon
Although neither our son nor daughter have current interests in farming, they have both requested that I not sell the 52-acre farm my husband and I have operated as Dora's Garden LLC, and the 120-acre hill pasture east of the farm. Ira and I are the two members of the LLC. We are both elderly and in less than perfect health. We are no longer able to operate the farm. No longer operating at a profit, in 2019 we are hiring employees and custom contracting equipment operators to attempt to keep the farm from being abandoned.
I sketch my ideas for turning the farm over to a new farmer. When I use the word “farmer” I mean an individual or couple who operate the farm full-time. I do not mean an individual who works elsewhere and hobby farms on weekends. Operating a 52-acre farm is full-time work. While we search for and wait to meet our long-term “farmer,” we will rent sections of the farm temporarily to several different tenants.
The new farmer will live in the tiny cottage on the farm, possibly share space in the farmhouse depending on how the restoration is progressing, and possibly adding temporary housing if more space is needed. The first year we will operate according to my current farm plan. Ira and I will mentor April through September, and the new farmer will perform most of the labor. The new farmer will earn any profits from the operation after taxes, insurance and other farm costs are deducted. By the word “mentor” I mean we will teach everything we can about our current operation. I do not mean we will spend twenty years raising someone to be a farmer; we will not be around that long. Farming is skilled work; it requires intelligence, skill and experience. If the farm includes livestock, it is 365 days a year. In order to leave the farm, the farmer must make arrangements to have work done in his/her absence.
After completing a season following my farm plan, the new farmer will have his/her own farm plan. I would prefer we remain certified organic. The plan must be sustainable: (1) preserve natural resources for the future; (2) farmer earns a middle-class living; and (3) the operation cooperates and interacts with the community and farming neighbors. Unless a new local market develops, the farm will need to focus on high-value, certified organic crops that are not highly perishable, such as garlic, hay, seeds, and value-added products.
Ira hopes to spend his summers restoring old farm equipment. I want to restore and de-clutter the old farmhouse. Over time Ira and I will contribute less and less, and eventually disappear. Hopefully the old farmhouse will become habitable. I anticipate the new farmer will rent the farm from Dora’s Garden LLC, with a right of first refusal if our children, the members of the LLC, decide to sell. The land, buildings, farm equipment and tools, and household furnishings will belong to the LLC.
Contact: Susan Isabel Boyd, Manager
Email: email@example.com (email is best contact)
Mailing Address: Dora’s Garden, P O Box 6, Union, OR 97883
Telephone: (541) 562-5465