The new Sierra Intensive Farmer Training program has an eager batch of farmer trainees who will soon be seeking land to farm. The SIFT program is working to connect these farmers with local landowners who are interested in leasing space for food production.
Ideal plots of land can be as small as one-eighth of an acre, up to 5 acres or more. Access to water and decent sun exposure is essential, and fertile soils are a plus. Land can be flat or on a moderate slope, and even somewhat rocky soils would be considered.
The SIFT trainees will dive into an intensive 10-month training program in January 2013, through which they will gain the business and hands-on skills necessary to launch their farm businesses.
Trainees will design their own diversified, small-scale operations to serve local and regional markets. Each farmer will build a hoop house, set up irrigation systems, amend soils, and plant and harvest crops during his or her first year. Some trainees may also choose to incorporate animals into their farming systems.
Though most of the farmer trainees in this year’s program are located in the Quincy area, SIFT is interested in cataloging available land across Plumas County for future reference.
Interested landowners are encouraged to contact Elizabeth Powell at Plumas Rural Services to learn more about farmers’ needs and arrange for a site visit. Call 283-3611, ext. *839, for more information, or visit plumasruralservices.org/cfn.html.
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