- Looking for a farm in:
- New Brunswick
- Nova Scotia
- Number of years farming:
- Not yet started
- Farming experience
- Other experience
- Agricultural products:
- Seeds, seedlings or nursery stock
- Planned marketing strategies:
- Farmers markets or farm stand
- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
- Other marketing strategies
- Land needed:
- 1 acre or less
- 2-5 acres
- Facilities and equipment:
- Irrigation capacity
- Irrigation equipment
- Cold storage
- Planned farming practices:
- Ecological production, but not certified
The Truth. The truth is I grew up gardening alongside my grandparents, and continued after their passing until my family sold their house. I was in my mid twenties. It was about a 1/4 of an acre and it was an Urban Garden. Along with the skills they taught me, I trained myself with textbooks, tv shows, and good old fashioned trail and error. In the end I was growing a variety of vegetables, herbs, some fruit, and perennial flowers. It was plenty to live on, and there was plenty to be shared. The truth is, I came out as a gay man and I lost everything. I lost all the support and encouragement a family provides to help young people grow and establish. Even today, I still fend for myself in all that I do along with the help of some very good friends. The truth is, I survived some pretty serious child abuse. As an adult I am a survivor of some pretty serious bouts with depression and anxiety related to those earlier years. While most people spent time developing friendships and establishing their finances I invested my time in getting better with some pretty great therapists. I have learned to let go, how to meditate, be quiet, set boundaries, and be grateful. What helped me get through all that (other than therapy work) was nature. Whether it was growing things on the balcony, spending times in parks, adopting 50 houseplants during the pandemic, or visiting the farm here in the city.... nature has been the constant. The truth is I am pretty good with my current job and I have been given opportunities to grow with it. I have worked in the Retail Industry as Management, as HR, Inventory Controller, Planner, Buyer, Merchandiser, Training and Development and Creative Director. I have worked for a Design Firm and staged homes, manufacturer showrooms, styled for print magazines. I'm creative by nature, organized, thoughtful, kind, empathic and a hard worker. I care more about others succeeding, than my own self. The truth is that I no longer want to be part of the more is more movement. Almost everything about mass consumption goes against everything I believe in. I see beyond the marketing, the corporate verbiage, and the employee 'incentives'. I see waste. I see low wages. I see poor work/life balance, I see greed, clever phrases, and a lack of sustainability or genuine care for the earth or community. The truth is I want to be around people who care. I want to be part of a community who cares. A community who cares for each other, and cares for earth. I want to grow things again, and get my hands dirty. I want to plant seeds, care for plants, and harvest food with fellow minded people. I want to be able to bring my skills I've learned, but apply them back to what brought me joy before. I think a creative mind, combined with a love of nature could lead to an exciting life and beneficial partnerships. The truth is I can't do it on my own. Financially I am unable too. Nor do I necessarily want to do it on my own. I would much rather be a part of something a bit bigger. A piece of a whole. I'd much prefer a dynamic that is akin to friendship or family. Building something that can be passed down. Being a part of something that gives back. I do need a source of income in order to pay off some debt and to have some set aside, but otherwise my needs are few. I also do not presently drive, so would prefer to be closer to a community if possible. Not afraid of a good bike ride, or learning to drive if in the end it is necessary. It just wasn't needed living in the city. The truth is I've been using this down time with the pandemic to further educate myself on no dig gardening which I fully believe is the way forward. Charles Dowding and Richard Perkins have become my instructors. I'm itching to try tunnel gardening, successive plantings, and even egg production amongst other things. Perhaps I can help set up and merchandise a shop. Need help styling your farm, home, b&b operation? I can do that too. While not the best cook, I love making soups and salads. I've even made chili sauces, and pickles from my grandmothers recipes. The truth is I know this is a very unique way to present myself. Some will question the way I've approached this. The thing is... I believe in vulnerability. Being open and honest. Genuine. They say nature and food can bring people together, and I firmly believe that. This is my chance to be as real as I can be, and to plant the seeds for the next 25 years. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. p.s. I'm on Instagram if you wanted to get a better feel for things I'm interested in. Its a blend of nature, lifestyle blogging, art and design. I'm a huge supporter of artisan products, and independent shops. @gsy716
Urban Gardening I grew up alongside my grandparents who were active urban gardeners until their passing. There they gardened on about 1/4 of an acre. Summers were spent growing root vegetables, plus tomatoes, corn, squash, cucumbers, onions, cabbage, lettuce, peas, beans, strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb. Food was mostly grown for our own consumption, however we did sell excess to neighbours. After my grandmothers passing, I moved into their home and paid rent to my grandfather to help offset some of the nursing home fees. I carried on with the gardening, plus made additional beds for herbs, and also added perennial gardens to attract pollinators. Seeds for much of the garden where started indoors under grow lights, and then transitioned outdoors as the days warmed up. I taught myself how to make compost, and when to use mulch. My knowledge other than from my grandparents, came from television (Victory Garden, Mark Cullen, and others) and also textbooks. After 3 years, my mother decided to sell the property, and as I had no available funds was unable to purchase my grandparents home and had to leave everything behind. My career took me into cities but no matter where I have lived, I have somehow managed to grow a few things either in a small spot in a yard, or even on a sunny balcony. Currently with the pandemic I have become a plant parent to no less than 50 houseplants. While it is not food, they do keep me connected to nature, and provide a learning experience. Even with the lack of gardening in recent years, my love of it has not wavered. I enjoy watching videos and following the accounts of both popular and unknown farming/gardening accounts such as Charles Dowding, Richard Perkins, Curtis Stone, and more lifestyle driven accounts like @mysuburbanfarm on Instagram. After the loss of my home/garden I ended up pursuing a career in the retail industry full time. My college degree was in marketing and merchandising. While I struggled in high school, in college I managed to get myself on the Deans Honour list and won the marketing award for having top marks in both the marketing courses and with my paper on lifestyle marketing. (This was before lifestyle marketing was a thing). I should mention that my only success in high school was in winning the Biology award. I have worn many hats in my retail career from General Management to HR. The majority of my career has been mostly dealing with the product, rather than direct sales. I travelled across Canada opening stores for one retail company, where my primary focus was on store display and internal marketing. I have held visual merchandising roles in large companies such as H&M, Sears, Pottery Barn, and Roots. From 2010 until the end of 2019 I worked for an independent design firm where I assisted the designer in opening up a bricks and mortar store, and then a second one. I assisted in trade shows, home staging for print (magazines) and resell. I was kept on after the business was sold and was in charge of the entire operations as the new owners preferred to stay mostly handsfree. There I focused on the retail part of the business, and became the retail director in charge of the overall vision of the store, the buying of the product, and also the direction of the social media accounts. At the end of 2019 after several disastrous floods the owners decided to close the retail business and moved the design firm to another city. One of the things I was most proud of was that I had started moving the business into the realm of 'Buy Canadian' and was working with several artisans to design products for the store. I was even planning on using the unused courtyard as a weekend market for local growers of food and flowers.
I am currently single. I would like to note that any opportunity I consider would have to be one that ensures equal opportunity for everyone regardless of race, sexuality, and gender. I myself am a gay male. As farmers/gardeners we should all focus on what brings us together...our love of nature. Not what our differences are.
The farm I envision working/living on is one in which I can combine my love of growing things with some of the strengths I have developed over my career. I am not looking for a large industry farm, but rather a smaller scale market farm/garden gate enterprise. One that fosters a sense of community and sharing. Sharing in terms of selling produce and flowers, but perhaps also opening the doors to tours, workshops, artisans, perhaps a B&B or on site shop. In short, I would love to help establish the farm as a lifestyle or educational experience.
Relationship with Farm Owner
The end result I hope to achieve is not to own a farm, and this is simply because I have no descendants (or a partner). Rather my goal is to assist others who have the land, the capital and want to share the experience with others who may not otherwise have the opportunity. I would love to work alongside people with shared values and who not only want to teach me the processes, but also to learn new things alongside of me. Ideally we would become good friends, or a family dynamic. I do have a small debt load that I would need to continue paying off, so I need some sort of income in order to do so. Plus be able to put money aside for basics and retirement. I'd prefer my own space to retreat to when not working/gardening, but open to various thoughts around that.