Update: Farmers Found! (see the Horse Lake Community Farm Facebook page for details).
CO-OP FARMERS WANTED!
Horse Lake Community Farm is seeking energetic person(s) to take over the third lease occupying the farmhouse and sharing a half acre portion of the market garden.
The Horse Lake Community Farm Co-operative was formed in 2006 after the original homesteading family intended to sell but wanted the 130-acre property to be kept as agricultural land. The property consists of forested areas, pastures, hay fields, a campsite on the lakeshore and a one-acre market garden. There is a creek running through the property passing right by the garden. There are two dwellings on the property, one mobile home on the east side of Doman Road, and the other, a three-bedroom farmhouse with all utilities (water, power, septic and laundry) down a 200-metre driveway on the west side of Doman Road. There are currently two leasees. One couple owns their mobile on the property, raises sheep and chickens, and gardens in the market garden, the other couple live off the property and run their cattle on the farm’s pastures, work on the fencing and make hay.
The person, couple or group of likeminded people would be required to pay the rent ($550/month) and utilities, cut firewood to keep the farmhouse heated during the winter (which can be cold and snowy for at least 4 months), and possibly plow snow. The farmhouse requires upkeep with small repairs and maintenance. This is a rural setting twenty-five kilometers from the community of 100 Mile House and a vehicle is necessary. Having tools or small equipment would be an asset. Besides growing in the garden, we are receptive to other suitable farming activities such as animal husbandry, beekeeping, alternative crop production, value added food processing, garden expansion, etc. The Co-op is looking to have the whole property maintained and improved over time so there is room for input in all areas.
The garden has been farmed according to organic standards and a new gardener would be expected to follow that standard. The garden needs to be productive, weed controlled, and a source of healthy, sustainable food. This can provide the gardener income by selling produce at the local farmers’ markets in 100 Mile House and surrounding area. Co-op shareholders have “first dibs” to purchase produce raised on the farm. The person(s) would need to work collaboratively with other people using the garden. If the garden does not provide sufficient income for the year the lessee should be prepared to find other sources of income in the off season.
The successful applicant will need to sign a lease and abide by the conditions set out. While our goal is to create a long-term farming opportunity for the right person(s), we would like to have a trial period of one year to determine on both sides if this is a good fit. The Board would like to see the new farmer tenants become members of the Co-op, but this could be worked out after the trial period.
There are currently 63 Co-op shareholders, each having paid the $5,000 membership fee. Co-op members conduct fund-raising and cultural events as part of our Memorandum of Association and new farmer tenants are encouraged to participate in these activities. This might include contributing computer and organizational skills, helping run events or creating something new they are passionate about.
See our story, TURNING A FARM INTO A CO-OP – HORSE LAKE FARM CO-OPERATIVE at: https://youngagrarians.org/transition-casestory-horse-lake/
We welcome interested young agrarians to apply with a resume and references, if possible.
Horse Lake Community Farm Coop
6298 Doman Rd., Lone Butte, BC V0K 1X3
Ph: 250-395-4042 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org