It takes a lot to get a farm business off the ground. Growing skills need to be honed to specific microclimates, markets must be explored and established, and there are business and legal structures to develop, budgets to put together, and weed and pest management strategies to define, to name just a few essentials. However, much of this can’t happen without sufficient capital to make the initial investments in land, equipment, and farm infrastructure.
Our goal with the Headwaters Incubator Program is to identify individuals with farm experience, but who lack the capital necessary to launch their own farm business. To do this, the District makes available tools, equipment, and infrastructure essential to successfully producing in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, these items are so critical that the majority of staff time and budget for Headwaters Incubator Program’s inaugural season was committed to developing these basic assets, including a barn, greenhouse, irrigation system, wash station, and walk in cooler. Read more
Today we added a whole new set of photos to give you a look behind the scenes at Headwaters Farm, with pictures of cover crops, events at Headwaters, conservation practices, the construction of our new barn and more!
We are accepting applications for the 2014 Farm Incubator Program until 5pm November 1st! All interested applicants, please turn in your application materials by that time, and visit the Incubator Application section of our site if you have any questions about the program, how to apply, or about Headwaters Farm. You can also contact Rowan Steele, our Farm Incubator Manager, through our contact form.
As a farmer, it’s extremely satisfying to see a healthy, robust stand of cover crop germinating. Cover crops can provide a myriad of benefits, including soil retention, transferring atmospheric nitrogen into the soil, suppressing weeds, adding organic matter, reducing compaction, and improving soil depth—saving a farmer time and money in the long run. There are many types of cover crops, and proper selection depends on soil necessities, season, budget, equipment available, weed pressure, climate, and other factors. Given the dynamic problem-solving nature of cover crops, it should come as no surprise that they are a key piece of our conservation agriculture program at Headwaters Farm.
Join us for a fun, family-friendly community event to help new farmers fight back thistle! It’s also a great opportunity to meet fellow growers and small farm appreciators, learn about Headwaters Farm and the Headwaters Incubator Program, and take out any frustrations you’re harboring on spiky, invasive plants.
Headwaters Farm is a dynamic space! Besides leasing land and helping new farm businesses get established, it also serves as a demonstration site for conservation agriculture practices — utilizing modern agricultural technologies to improve production, while also protecting and enhancing the resources that production depends on.
On June 11th, that exposure went global when ten agricultural professionals from Tajikistan visited to learn about the Headwaters Incubator Program, and about how EMSWCD manages farmland. This delegation was part of the International Visitor Program at the World Affairs Council of Oregon, and included directors of agricultural districts, senior agronomists, hydrologists, and other high ranking agricultural specialists. Read more