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.