- Looking for a farm in:
- New Brunswick
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Number of years farming:
- Not yet started
- Farming experience
- I have practical farming experience (including work as a farm intern or employee)
- 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
My Story: I grew up gardening alongside my grandparents, and continued after their passing until my family sold their house when I was in my mid twenties. It was about a 1/4 of an acre and it was an Urban Garden in Cobourg, Ontario. 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 with friends and neighbours. For me, the process of starting seedlings, planting, growing and then sharing the efforts was incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. My vision at the time was to continue growing for self sufficiency and also to provide the community with fresh food as my grandparents, and great grandparents had done before them. I did not have the joy of having loving parents, and after I came out as a gay man in my mid twenties I found myself pretty much alone struggling to find my way. I ended up in Toronto and while I have had a busy career, it has for the most part not been one that is sustainable or in line with my true self. I have over the years managed both small and large volume retail stores. Corporate and Independents. I have played strong roles in internal marketing, visual display, planning, and buying. I have also held positions in H/R, warehouse control, and operations. More recently I worked for an independent design firm running their brick and mortar stores, organizing trade shows, staging homes for resell and for magazine print. At this point I have a pretty good skill set for running a business as I am able to see how all components are needed to work together, and being a creative person, I can visualize things fairly quickly and know how to market products. What this career did not provide me with is capital nor a good feeling about mass consumption and waste. The pandemic has only proven this further in terms of layoffs, and pay cuts. What I truly envision is being able to get back outside, getting my hands dirty, and picking up where I left off. To work alongside people with the same shared values and love of nature, and growing things. What I love most about small scaled gardens in a more urban environment is the sense of community. I'm pretty introverted by nature, but when you are surrounded by people who want to talk about food, or nature, flowers, trees and animals you tend to forget you are introverted and can talk about all these things for hours. I would love a little farm shop, a place we can invite chefs to teach in, or sell our wares and perhaps other artisan products that suit our vision. Perhaps the garden can be open to the public on certain days in an effort to bring more people together. I am not in a position where I could do this on my own. Financially it wouldn't be possible and I still need to pay off a bit of debt for a couple of years. So ideally I am looking for like minded souls who also have a vision, but maybe just want company and friendship to go along with building their dreams. I am thinking long term with the right people. I like to set roots rather than transplant every few years. In the end all I need is a roof over my head, and some money in the bank for later years and everyday expenses. Wealth beyond needs does not interest me so much. I'm open to more rural type environments, but at the moment I do not drive hence my preference for more urban type enterprises. I'm also not a handy man so to speak only because my career never required me to be. So while I am willing to assist and learn, its best I be honest about that. Despite not having a garden for years, I have continued to try and keep up to date with growing trends and the lifestyle movement. I am currently doing a home course from Charles Dowding, and have my heart set on practicing no dig growing. I also keep up to date by watching several modern farmers such as Charles Dowding, Richard Perkins, Curtis Stone, and The Dutch Farmer on You Tube, and I follow several homesteading/farming accounts on Instagram. When not working, you can find me still out in nature whether its parks, or woods, public gardens or water side. I enjoy reading up on the benefits being in nature has on mental health and believe in the theories of forest bathing, meditation, and earthing. Being a visual person, I also enjoy photography. I used to sell both nature and architecture prints and have had a few exhibitions. (Granted this was before Instagram and iPhone photography.) I'm currently vegetarian, and l do love animals but respect others decisions to eat a diet that includes meat. I would love to learn about egg laying chickens, goats, and alpacas if that opportunity arose. I think that pretty much sums up who I am and my vision, but please do not hesitate to reach out to me if something is unclear or if I can expand on an area. You can also find me on Instagram. My account is based on nature, design, and lifestyle. Combining all my areas of interest. I also whenever possible try to support discussions on mental health, especially with men as I know from my own experience there is very little discussion around it. My handle on Instagram is @gsy716 Finally, thank you. Thank you for reading my profile, and also for being here. I think this site is a wonderful way to bring people together that are looking to ensure our food systems stay healthy and abundant. I wish you much luck!
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 were 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, (agrotourism) or on site market shop. In short, I would love to help establish the farm as a lifestyle or educational experience.
Relationship with Farm Owner
Currently my goal is to assist other(s) who have the land, the capital and want to open and expand their dream with someone who has a shared vision and values, but otherwise may not have the opportunity to do so. I believe in small scale market gardening, and I believe the no till method of gardening is the way forward as is Agrotourism. My hope is that by working closely together this would lead into a close knit, long term friendship and partnership. 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.