Alexis Deeken

I want to be able to raise a family off the land and share the wonders of nature with children of all ages.

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Location: West, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yancey

Looking for the following:

Type of opportunity:

Sale (Standard), Sale (Owner Financed), Lease with Option to Buy, Employment with Transfer. More info: I am mostly interested in any plot of land larger than 5 acres in the mountains. I would love some acreage that is pasture, some that is tillable for growing some food, and some that is woodland to practice sustainable forest management. Me and my boyfriend have a wide skill-set but not much money to our names and are looking for the perfect piece of land that will fit our lifestyle.

Equipment & infrastructure:

Barn, Fencing, Well / Pond / Other water source, Greenhouse, Farmer housing. More info: Preferably land that is set up to house some livestock like chickens and goats already.

Current production on farm:

Hay or pasture, Herbs, Orchard, Poultry (Broiler/Layer), Sheep/Goat (Dairy/Meat), Vegetable production, Woodlot or forest products. More info: I would prefer land that has pasture raised animals and some sort of vegetable production even if it is only a small home garden.

Current farming practices:

Ecological production but not certified. More info: Any sustainable farming practices preferred over conventional.

Qualifications and goals:

Previous farming experience:

Volunteer, Employee

Number of years experience:

1

Other qualifications:

Higher education in agriculture or related field. More info: ENS bachelors degree from Warren Wilson College, my concentration was in Environmental Education but all of my electives were the Sustainable Agriculture classes, then only class I did not take was the capstone project courses for a double concentration. I worked Landscaping crew at Warren Wilson as well as having gardened all my life.

Production goals:

Hay or pasture, Herbs, Orchard, Poultry (Broiler/Layer), Sheep/Goat (Dairy/Meat), Woodlot or forest products. More info: I ideally want to pasture raise goats and chickens (layers and broilers). I want the orchard for personal use and production, and I want to be able to run my chickens in the orchard for pest control. I would love to grow more food than I will be able to eat but doubt that I would be able to manage that along with everything else. Also, I want my main enterprise to deal with horses. I have looked into equine therapy and am also experienced in riding myself, and could give riding lesson as well as board horses. I would keep the horses mostly in pasture following natural horsemanship techniques and training.

Personal experience and production goals summary:

I want to be able to sustain myself and a family off of the land rasing goats and chickens and growing most if not all of our produce. While I would love to be able to grow more than my family can eat I slightly doubleful of my ability to produce extra produce and run my main enterprise which will be perople driven. I love being outside and working the land but more than that, I love being able to share nature with others. My capstone project in school is a program designed to partner a farm with a public elementary school to bring a class or a few classes out to the farm multiple days a week to let the kids grow some food and learn about all sorts of NC essential standards and national Common Core standards throuhg experiential education. I believe that to change our world and envirnment we have to start young, and that is backed up by a lot of evidence. What we know is what we have experienced, and I believe in more meaningful learning experiences that are more likely to stay with the child longer than simpily hearing it over and over in a classroom. If you look at how children naturally learn it is through experience and with the rise of technology todays children have less and less meaningful experiences in nature. While I appreciate technology for what it is, I think we need to look back and learn from the past and learn to enjoy nature. I think that these lessona re easier to start to teach at a younger age but are important for all ages. I want to provide meaningful experiences for people of all ages on my farm.