CSA Opportunity (fwd)

Lawrence F. London, Jr. london at sunsite.unc.edu
Sat Sep 27 01:04:34 EDT 1997


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 1997 15:33:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Walt Blackford <waltb at whidbey.com>
To: sanet-mg at ces.ncsu.edu
Subject: CSA Opportunity

Hello Sanet-mg,


I'm helping a local landowner realize his commitment to recruit a person
(or persons) to operate a CSA on his organic certified land on Whidbey
Island near Seattle. I'll paste the "offering" below which outlines the
opportunity. Please feel free to pass this information along as
appropriate.

Best wishes to all,

Walt Blackford


[NOTE: the document is formatted in Word 6.0 for Mac platform....]


Our Farm
5544 Bayview Road
Langley, Washington 98260


The current steward of the land known as Our Farm, Barkley McLaughlin, is
seeking an experienced individual/couple to create a CSA operation on
Whidbey Island in beautiful Puget Sound. Details of this opportunity are
provided below.

The Land: Nine acres of organically-certified farmland near Langley,
Washington on the south end of Whidbey Island about 40 miles northwest of
Seattle. The property is near the intersection of Bayview Road (one of two
main access routes to Langley) and Hwy 525 (the only north-south corridor
that runs the length of Whidbey Island). A storage building and a well are
in place. A crop of echinacea was harvested in 1996. During 1997, the
property is being managed and maintained in preparation for planting in
1998.

The Intention: Our goal is to develop the land into a productive,
economically viable agricultural project that serves the needs of the
Island community. We anticipate a diversity of programs and activities
integrated within the overall project.

Our further intention is to behave as responsible stewards of the land
through a commitment to sustainable land use principles and practices. This
will include using production methods and materials that satisfy or exceed
standards required to maintain organic certification.

In all of our work we will strive to achieve these additional objectives:

*       to provide a model of sustainable agriculture that will motivate
and inspire conventional farmers on Whidbey Island to adopt this approach,
and that will attract new people to farming as a livelihood;

*       to incorporate farm-based educational opportunities for young
people and adults -- including on-site instructional programs for student
groups from the Whidbey Island community and from nearby urban areas
(Everett, Lynnwood, Seattle, Bellevue, Bellingham, Edmonds, etc.); and

*       to address the needs of the local community as our primary tarket
market.

page 2

The Programs: A number of possibilities are being explored. Our goal is to
identify a sustainable mix that will make efficient use of the land while
being economically viable within 2-3 years. The immediate objective is to
have a CSA operation, possibly including a limited number of farm animals
(sheep, goats, and/or chickens), in place for the 1998 growing season.

As a complement to the CSA program, we are open to the idea of offering
small plots (allotments or pea patches) for individuals and families who
wish to learn about organic gardening and/or who simply want to produce
food for themselves.

In cooperation with experienced local educators, we plan to offer on-site
educational programs for young people and adults. We do not anticipate this
program will be offered during the 1998 season.

The Timeframe. During 1997, a soil-building cover crop of rye and vetch is
in place. Weed control is being carried out. Civil engineering for a pond
has been completed, and an application for a permit has been submitted to
the County. Recruitment of a CSA operator is underway, and selection will
be made as soon as a qualified individual/couple is identified.

Terms and Conditions. Financial terms and responsibilities of the parties
are negotiable. The CSA operator(s) will contract to lease the land and
equipment for a specified period and amount. The property owner is prepared
to consider deferred payments and/or other arrangements that reduce some of
the risk for the operator(s).

Operator(s) must satisfy the property owner that sufficient working capital
is in hand for living expenses, start-up costs, and to sustain operations
until subscription revenue is collected.

A partially-furnished, two-bedroom house is available for rent on land
adjacent to the farmland. One of the bedrooms will be retained as an office
and may be used occasionally as a sleeping room (Saturday nights only).

Project Coordinator. Initial research and concept development is being
provided by Walt Blackford. He has been a management consultant for more
than 13 years and served for three years as an advisor and board member for
the Colorado Organic Producers Association.

For more information about this project, please contact Walt
 by phone at 360/221-6296 or by email at <waltb at whidbey.com>




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