What would you do with 1-4 acres of quality farm ground?

Victory Acres, a 114-acre non-profit farm in Upland, IN, is recruiting five Partner Farmers for our Growing Growers Program.  If you are interested in small-scale, alternative agriculture, then this program may be your ticket.  

The Growing Growers Program is a small-scale agricultural incubator at Victory Acres Farm that will work with five partner farmers to develop the production of small-scale, specialty crops.  The long term goal will be for these five farmers to either transition to their own independent farms or to continue farming at Victory Acres and contribute to the program as mentors to new farmers.

Victory Acres will provide these fledgling farmers with:
  • An experienced Agricultural Coach,
  • A Community Liaison to assist in marketing,
  • Affordable land, durable tools, water,
  • A pre-existing market through Victory Acres’s established CSA base, and
  • Weekly instruction emphasizing sustainable farming techniques, farm management, marketing, and nutrition fundamentals.


Since some of the greatest barriers for new growers are access to affordable land, lack of knowledge and experience, and the lack of a reliable market base, the Growing Growers Program will address each of these critical issues enabling our partner farmers to establish a solid foundation before transitioning to their own farm.

We are now accepting proposals (up to three pages) answering the following questions:  

What would you do with 1-4 acres of quality farm ground?  Be as detailed as possible.  
What crops would you like to grow?  
What experience do you have with growing (none is required)?  
How would this opportunity fit into your life’s goal?
Why are you the right person for this pilot program?  
If you're interested, you can contact us directly: www.victoryacres.org is our website.  You can also email: vacsa@vicm.org
Happy Growing!
Eric

Tags: Agriculture, Community, Incubator, Supported, agriculture, alternative, growing, scale, small

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I'm not interested in moving away from my current location, but there is a lot a person could do with 1-4 acres of land.

First, I would plant three acres in pasture and put in fencing and a good water source (well). Once the pasture was established, I would bring in 10 dual purpose sheep (meat and wool), a dairy cow, and a steer and perhaps a dozen or two dual purpose chickens. These critters would graze rotationally, with the cows first, followed by sheep and finally chickens.

On the fourth acre, I would install shelter/milk parlor for them. In addition, on that fourth acre, there would be a large 1/4 acre garden and 1/4 acre fish pond stocked with catfish and perch. Near the pond I would plant fruit trees (apples, pears, plums, fig  and a pecan and/or walnut) I'd also put in a row of thornless blackberries and blueberry bushes.

Given an additional, 5th acre, I would plant that in trees for wood. Eventually, the wooded acre would also support turkeys and a pig. The trick with the sheep, is that the ram needs to be separated from the ewes when not breeding, that means he would have to live with the cattle for a good part of the year until we got a few ram lambs that could be wethered to keep him company. The dairy cow could be IAed each year. I would harvest the steer when cow produced another male. A second heifer would result in a reduction of the sheep flock by five.

Extra meat, fiber, milk (or milk products), produce and fruit would be sold; but only after I had put up enough food to care for my family.

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