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Author Topic: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming
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  Lori Greene
  Memphis
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Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Mon, Jan 27 '14 at 04:27 UTC)

Downing Hollow Farm is our 35 acre farm nestled in a hollow in the hill country between Memphis and Nashville. Located in Middle Tennessee just east of Savannah TN, our farm is 1 ? hours from Florence Alabama and 1 ? hours from Jackson Tennessee. Olive Hill is a very pastoral community with most of our immediate neighbors raising their own cows, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs and gardens. A small community of Mennonite families residing in Olive Hill still carry on with traditional ways and often help us on the farm. For the last 8 years, we have farmed about 2 acres in (uncertified) organic crop production of vegetables, flowers and herbs, 15 acres in pasture, a small pear orchard and 2 high tunnels, 24x50, 24x105. No chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides have been applied to any of the land since at least 2004, when we purchased the land, and probably from 1994-2004, when Mennonites occupied the land. The rest is forest of beautiful old hardwoods, abundant wildlife, mossy rock out-croppings and clear, clean limestone creeks. We have a large barn and a 4 stall stable with hay loft and feed room. There is also a smaller shelter for goats and a rabbit hutch fully screened in with roof.

Tenants will be able to utilize our new processing building which houses a nearly-certified commercial kitchen equipped with 60? range, prep tables, commercial refrigerator, double sink, cool-bot room for produce storage, sun-room for seed starting,bathroom/shower and beautiful front porch. We also have a outdoor wood-fired oven. There are two options for living quarters: a secluded 3-story furnished cabin with a quaint outhouse and wood stove (no electricity) and a one room cottage with electricity (heat and air conditioning.)

In the past,we operated a 35 member CSA, April through mid-November, with pick up at the year-round Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market in mid-town Memphis, where we also sold produce at our market table. We marketed our produce to several Memphis restaurants. In addition, we had a smaller 15 member CSA in Savannah TN.
Tenants will have access to our drip irrigation, water pump, lawn tractor, tillers, chainsaw, weed-eaters, seed starting flats and pots, hoses, sprinklers, trellising, fence posts, hand tools, row covers and sandbags. Tenants are responsible for equipment repair expenses and for all farm inputs.

We are seeking tenants who have at least a beginning level of commercial organic gardening or farming experience and references for their work. We will be selecting tenants based on their business or vision plan, farming methods, prior experience and ability to pay. Tenants will be responsible for the electricity bills on the processing building and cottage. We will offer a one year short term lease with option to renew after a year based on satisfaction of both parties. Plus we will ask for a security deposit. We continue to keep our farm dogs there and ask that the tenants keep them happy and loved.

Once our farm is leased our family will continue to visit often to stay in our main house and enjoy the property, keep a garden for ourselves and entertain friends and family. We also will host a writers and yoga retreat sometime in 2014. We look forward to seeing our farm in full blossom again in 2014 and are eager to mentor young farmers in achieving their visions. Since we know the area well, we can offer guidance on markets and opportunities and we are open to different farming visions, whether it be livestock or artisan breads or soap-making, we just ask that our land and animals are cared for responsibly and sustainably.

Visit us to see photos at
www.downinghollowfarm.com
www.wwoofusa.org/Farms/Details?UserId=5e030569-98bb-4c95-a808-f7663006250a
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Downing-Hollow-Farm/127253656871

Lori Greene
 Lori Greene
 Memphis
Re: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Mon, Jan 27 '14 at 04:30 UTC)

Regarding the Middle Tennessee farm for lease: Email Lori at
for more info.

Lori Greene
 idigbeets
 Laurel Highlands PA
Re: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Mon, Jan 27 '14 at 08:20 UTC)

How much is the rent?

 Lori Greene
 Memphis
Re: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Tue, Jan 28 '14 at 04:04 UTC)

rent is negotiable based on how big a farming operation the tenant proposes and experience

Lori Greene
 idigbeets
 Laurel Highlands PA
Re: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Tue, Jan 28 '14 at 06:09 UTC)

So..if someone wanted to rent the whole farm... how much?

I don't see how someone's farming enterprise should dictate the value you place on renting the property and it's equipment.

 Lori Greene
 Memphis
Re: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Tue, Jan 28 '14 at 11:33 UTC)

It really has to be based on the tenants ability to earn income. I really want to see beginning farmers succeed.

Lori Greene
 idigbeets
 Laurel Highlands PA
Re: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Wed, Jan 29 '14 at 11:27 UTC)

I don't understand why you are being so evasive here...

What are the low and high values for your sliding scale rental costs?

So let's say as an example:

I'm a beginning farmer with 5 continuous years of farming at a variety of farms, livestock, vegetable, poultry, CSA etc etc. I have a business plan to utilize your acreage to start a small vegetable and meat CSA share. It will take 12-16 months for the cattle to reach slaughter size (meaning no income from that enterprise).

what is the rent?

 Lori Greene
 Memphis
Re: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Wed, Jan 29 '14 at 04:11 UTC)

I'm not trying to be evasive. I'm new to this and just trying to be fair to beginning farmers and not shut them out. If you are truly interested in leasing our farm you can email me at

Lori Greene
 AlexTuzzo
 Franklin
Re: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Tue, Feb 4 '14 at 11:34 UTC)

If you read and search the user idigbeets and his/her postings, you will find out that he/she is very sour on internship nor does this person offer any helpful guidance or sincerity to farming life. I would not trust this person working or renting from any farm.

Living according to Eden
 idigbeets
 Laurel Highlands PA
Re: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Tue, Feb 4 '14 at 12:08 UTC)

You searched a couple posts and offer an opinion as to my work ethic?

Yes, I am sour on internships. They are an unfair labor practice, over utilized in all facets of labor in this country. I've worked numerous internships on farms, for low pay and long hours, often taking place of what should be a full time paid employee position. I've ran my own farms, I currently manage over 160 acres of land, 35 cow/calf pairs, 2 dozen steer/replacement heifers, haylage operation, row cropping, a custom mixed poultry feed operation (averaging 8 tons a month), along with on farm sales of beef, poultry, and eggs, sell to a number of food co-ops etc..

My credentials are not the point of this conversation. I'm merely trying to get potential employers/landlords/owners of farms to realize that labor is not a cheap commodity. That renting this farm out should not be such a wishy washy endeavor.

 AlexTuzzo
 Franklin
Re: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Wed, Feb 5 '14 at 08:16 UTC)

idigbeets, if you go back and read some of your post, your tone comes across disingenuous. I think most of us realize that interns do not get paid their worth, but consider the term "intern". It is an opportunity for young farmers to get real world farming experience. This happens in the corporate world too as many are more than willing to accept an unpaid internship to gain experience. Unlike in farming, the interns in the corporate world are rarely fed for free, housed, or treated like a family member. You act as if the farmer is trying to get free labor for nothing, which far from the truth and incorrect. Both parties benefit and one helps out the other. For the intern, especially if they desire to have a career in farming, they get real world experience, which is much more beneficial than paying $1000?s of dollar to a university. Even if the intern graduate with honors, they lack the hands on skills needed to excel early in their careers. As for the farmer, we benefit by controlling labor cost and offset it by giving other benefits such as free room and board, free healthy meals, and our farming knowledge and practices. You forget that internship is a volunteer position. Interns are or should be well aware of what he/she is getting in return. And the farmer should know if he does not treat, respect or appreciate the interns for their hard labor, they will lose their help. It is a two way street. I think you are misguided if you think farmers only intern for free or cheap labor. Many of us to do it share our knowledge and to help a young farmer. There are plenty of large and wealthy farms in America who have paid labor positions -- young farmers just have to look to find them. Of course many of these large corporate farms are not using natural horticulture applications, organic measures, or sustainability methods nor do they teach using innovated practices and equipment geared towards smaller farms.
Perhaps I am wrong, but it appears that you had some bad experiences in your past internship and are using this forum to vent your frustration.

Living according to Eden
 idigbeets
 Laurel Highlands PA
Re: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Wed, Feb 5 '14 at 11:51 UTC)

I dont want to hijack this thread more than I already have. If you want to continue this discussion about interns, we can start a new thread.

Look up the Dept of Labor definition of intern and employee. Then compare that to the ads one sees from farms on various websites such as this one. Most farms ask for full time labor, set hours, set duties, etc etc.

I personally know a few farms fined and cited by their state Dept of Labor for violations regarding interns, and it just about cost them the farm. They were acting in the same manner with which most farms that ask for interns do.

The benefits you described, free housing, food etc.. have no bearing on whether or not someone is an employee or intern. In fact, they are considered compensation, and in many states (at least 2 I've lived in) are required to pay taxes on.

With that said, I hope the OP finds the person they are looking for to rent their property. I've tried to get them to open up with more details as to the actual costs of renting their land (as I'm not far away, and know a lot of young farmers) and not base it upon subjective measures such as work experience, business plan etc (good plans fail all the time).

 Frank hearson
 Bolivar
Re: Fully functional farm for lease in Middle Tennessee-ready for you to step right in and start farming    (Posted Wed, Feb 12 '14 at 06:10 UTC)

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