Shannon Kiesel

Hi!
My name is Shannon, and I am an aspiring organic market gardener! I am looking either for a position to manage a farm, opportunities to co-own, or available land to grow on and grow my own farm business, either as employee/partner or work/trade possibilities. My goal is to own and operate a profitable CSA driven farm, marketing to home and restaurant CSA’s and Farmers Markets. My experience is in organic vegetable production, cut flower production and raising poultry.

Experience

After growing up in my mothers' gardens, I attended Colorado State University and studied horticulture before starting my career and passion for growing. I have worked in large scale greenhouse and field production: first with the Colorado State Forest Service growing tree seedlings for reforestation efforts. Then at a smaller, family owned flower farm, growing all types of annuals and perennials for retail sale.

Later I spent two years working on a small scale organic farm and ecology center in Alaska, where I learned the practices needed to start, build and nourish a permaculture farm and develop animal husbandry practices.

I currently work at a private estate, caring to over 1,000 specimens vegetables plants in experimental gardens. We focus on growing rare and heirloom varieties for research, seed saving and educational efforts.

I have many years of experience with power tools, basic carpentry, small engine tools, different brand tractors with PTO accessories, tiller, brush-hog, plow and driving large equipment and trailers.
Greenhouse Management, including seedling propagation and IPM. Field Management including cultivation with hand tools, row tunnel, proper harvesting, washing and packaging for sales. Irrigation Set Up.

Farmers markets, CSA & Restaurant Deliveries, Fundraising, Advertising and Marketing and Crew Management.

I have experience with chickens, ducks, sheep and goats.
I have experience living both off the grid, and very remotely.

Partner(s)

I will be farming alone, but hope to grow into a business that can support more employees and volunteer/internship opportunities.

Farm vision

I am looking to have a small scale organic farm & homestead. It would be a mixed vegetable/flower/egg/meat operation that would utilize CSA (home and restaurants) and markets (farmers, local groceries). The first year I would aim for a 40 person CSA, growing by 15-20% each following year. I would focus on higher value, quicker growing crops for farmers market, cut flower bouquets and fresh herbs (both cut and potted). I also plan to raise poultry, the first year for egg production solely, and in the following years, growing into meat birds as well.

Years 3-5 would focus on expanding growing space to accommodate growing customers, adding pigs and goats into the farm (for meat, and dairy respectively).

Berries and Fruit production are another focus I will have after the vegetable production as started to peak. After 5 year, I would look into growing finished project goods development from the farm. Canned goods, packaged/smoked meats, dried herbs and spices, goat milk products, honey, dried flowers, etc...

Over time I would love to grow the farm as an educational experience too. Offering workshops and classes for both children and adult, teaching them home gardening information, or young kids about animals and how plants grow. Communities help farms to survive, so I think it is important to be community orientated.

Relationship with farm owner

I'm open to all possibilities and look forward to speaking.. Whether you are farm owners looking for a partner to come on board, or maybe are looking to retire from farming and want to transition into new hands. Lease, Lease-to-Own, or other options considered. Land/Work share Possibilities as well...
I believe strongly in land stewardship, organic and permaculture practices and sustainability throughout all of our actions.