Type: Vegetable Farm and Nursery
Years in operation: 7
Annual revenue: 50k-100k
(Average over last three years)
Corvus Landing Farm is located at the Oregon coast. We grow high quality vegetables that we distribute locally through a 60 member CSA, farmers markets, and an on site farm stand. The farm started in 2010 with 1 acre of rented land and an intention to eventually increase in size to 4 acres. It has been steadily growing since. In 2014 we bought the property adjacent to our leased land, and this year we've added 1.5 acres of production, which will soon include berries and tree fruit.
We use all natural methods to preserve and protect the health of our land and our neighbors. We specialize in crops that do well in our cool coast climate and use hoop houses to increase our variety. In the spring, we grow and sell vegetable starts specialized for organic gardens in our unique coastal climate.
Inside the Farm
How is your approach to farming different than other farms in the same category?
I believe that my intentional growth model and business management set me apart. Before starting Corvus Landing, I spent 5 years working for successful vegetable farms. I learned from the experts about everything from production to farm business management to self care. When it came time to head out on my own, I set out to make the farm sustainable not just ecologically, but also financially and personally.
I looked for a community that would embrace and support a small family farm but didn't already have easy access to farm fresh produce. I sought out land with good soil, sun, and water. I wrote a business plan with steps for growth, which I have followed and updated as the farm has evolved. I create budgets and track sales to ensure that the farm will remain profitable from year to year. And I am careful about how my time is spent, trying to always work efficiently and strike a balance between profitability, ecology, and personal and customer satisfaction.
How does your different approach contribute to a long-term profitable growth strategy for your farm and other small farms like yours?
Farming is my passion, and I want to keep doing it for years to come. But farmers have a high burnout rate. Good planning helps to alleviate stress, increases profitability, and allows space for rest and rejuvenation. That's critical if a farmer is going to get back out there and keep going.
Working on other farms gave me a model for my farm and experienced mentors to call on for help. My business plan has provided a road map for expansion, so I've been able to make strategic use of debt and capital. I've made long term investments in land and equipment that should keep the farm running smoothly for years to come. Without that planning, it would be easy to waste money on inadequate or oversized equipment, or to waste time on unprofitable enterprises.
I make a full time living from the farm. I have been able to purchase land. This year, I was able to hire employees, creating jobs and training opportunities for other folks interested in pursuing farming.
Farming is undervalued in our society. One way to counteract that is to elevate its career status through increased training opportunities, enabling more farmers to take the business side seriously, and educating as many people as possible about the complexities of running a farm. I want to provide a successful model and offer training opportunities at my farm in years to come.
How would you specifically use a Mortgage Lifter Lift or Mini Lift?
Since 2014, we have been preparing the new land for production. We've cleaned up trash and invasive weeds, removed rocks, tilled new ground, built a fence, and designed an irrigation system.
But there is so much more we want to do when we have the resources. We plan to build a barn that can house the tractor, equipment, and a wash station, and provide a better space for employees. The design would include a new farm stand to improve our customer's experience when they come to the farm. There are no buildings on the new land, and we need clean dry storage and good work spaces. $20,000 would be a huge lift to get that project underway.
A Mini Lift would finance the orchard and berries that we have planned. We've been prepping 1/2 acre for fruit, and we could use the money to purchase planting stock and mulch to complete that project.
Please share why you are so passionate about your farm and/or farming in general.
Farming is a beautiful challenge. I love working outdoors under the sky. I love sinking my hands in the soil and watching seeds emerge. I love to eat the first raspberry of the year, or watch a stand of cover crop grow. I love the puzzle of keeping all the pieces going: ecology, fertility, harvest, work, markets, and community. And I love that it keeps me healthy.
Here at the coast I am lucky to have an incredibly supportive community, and I love to grow healthy food for them. The farm is only 2 hours from Portland and its wealth of farmers markets, but there are practically no other produce farms serving this area. My farm serves a community where most services are for tourists, but I provide real value to the people who live here. I get a lot of affirmation from dedicated customers that keeps me doing what I do.
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