Websites that connect would-be farmers to land are blooming
A new website called the Midwest Farm Connection aims to connect new farmers with established farmland owners, and to the resources they need to get a sustainable operation up and running — from small-business advice to lists of possible funding sources. Farmers can also post classifieds with equipment for sale and internship opportunities.
A project of the Illinois-based Land Connection, the site just launched, so there were only five listings of land available to start, ranging from 4.4 acres of former horse pasture near Madison, WI, to a certified organic 34-acre property in Indiana perfect for “a small holding farm, artisanal goat cheese production.” While it’s certainly not the first land match-making program of its kind — the Center for Rural Affairs’ Land Link program has many success stories to its credit, and there are other similar resources out there — it does look to be one of the simplest and cleanest interfaces to use. Sort of like the Craigslist for Midwestern sustainable agriculture, only without the romantic ads. For that, lonely hearted corn farmers and grass-fed cowgirls can turn to FarmersOnly.com (“City folks just don’t get it!”).
But what about the average apartment-dwelling Grist reader, who’s feeling her first springtime itch to plant lettuce? Check out online yard-sharing community hubs like Hyperlocavore or Portland’s Yardsharing. In England, Landshare operates a single, 46,000-person-strong registry for both would-be farmers and wannabe veggie growers.
What other land-matching programs do you know about?