Justin Holt

NuttyBuddyCollective: working with visionary people with land to grow orchards of native trees and develop a thriving, community-supported perennial agriculture in our region. nuttybuddycollective.com

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Location: West, Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, McDowell

Total acres 10.0

Acres of cropland or tillable land 10.0

Acres of pasture 10.0

Acres of unfenced pasture 10.0

Looking for the following:

Type of opportunity:

Lease (5+ Years), Lease with Option to Buy, Business Partnership. More info: I am co-owner of an agricultural business called the Nutty Buddy Collective. The NBC leases farm and conservation land for the development of forest-like orchards of primarily native nut crops. Our aim is three-fold: to grow nut and other perennial crops for the regional market; develop pathways to stable, long-term land access; to improve the marketability of native nuts and other perennial crops. We currently hold 99-year leases with two separate landowners in the Turkey Creek watershed in Leicester totaling approx. 7 acres. We are currently seeking land for further 'native forest orchard' plantings. Our requirements vary depending on location and other factors.

Equipment & infrastructure:

More info: Our model is very adaptable and low input. Having access to certain infrastructure and equipment would be welcome, and in some cases necessary. Depending on the location and qualities of the land, vehicle access may be our only requirement. We own all the farm equipment we need to carry out our work. We are in the early stages of developing a processing facility and are looking for a location.

Current production on farm:

Field crops, Flowers, Herbs, Orchard, Woodlot or forest products. More info: Our orchards are centered on nut trees, with fruit trees and shrubs planted between for earlier yields before the nut trees begin bearing. Improved varieties of black walnut and hickory, oak and Chinese chestnut are our primary crops. Cider apples and pears and native fruits are secondary. Vegetable, herbs, and flowers have played a marginal role, but may be expanded in the future. Livestock are likely to be included in the future, either in collaboration with a rancher or managed directly by ourselves.

Current farming practices:

Ecological production but not certified. More info: Our focus on native perennial crops allows for minimal inputs. These crops are well adapted to pressures from disease, pests, and weather. We do not spray chemicals of any kind and do not plan to, although, we reserve our right to do so in our lease agreements should it become necessary. Our greatest concern in the early, establishment years of our orchards is protection from browse. We protect our trees with guards and usually require permission from landowners to hunt deer and rabbit on the leased land if it becomes necessary.

Qualifications and goals:

Previous farming experience:

Volunteer, Employee

Number of years experience:

7

Other qualifications:

More info: I am co-owner of the Nutty Buddy Collective, along with 4 others. We share in the management, development, and work of our company. We make decisions by consensus. We have over 50 years of combined experience. I personally have 7 years experience in growing. I am the garden director for a school gardening and environmental education non-profit. I am co-owner of a fruit tree nursery. I am certified in permaculture design and spent a year as an apprentice to a permaculture designer and teacher.

Production goals:

Field crops, Flowers, Herbs, Orchard, Vegetable production, Woodlot or forest products. More info: Our primary crops are black walnut and chestnuts. Hickories, oaks, pecans, hazelnuts make up the second tier. Fruits for cider and other value-added products, as well as foraged forest products make up the third tier. Two of our primary goals are to have dozens of acres in Buncombe and surrounding counties in this type of 'native forest orchard' production and to develop a facility and network of growers that will support a small, regional industry around these crops.