Live the dream: Lease a park farm

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BRECKSVILLE, Ohio – Two long-term leases are available through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy.
The Countryside Initiative encourages farmers to live and farm in the park using sustainable methods appropriate for a national park, while promoting farming that will produce high quality specialty products for direct, local, retail sale.
Properties. The current recruitment seeks lessees for the Garvey and Grether farms located in Peninsula and Cuyahoga Falls; each farm includes a residence, outbuildings and fields – three and 12 acres, respectively.
The farms are suitable for operations including fruit and vegetable production, management-intensive grazing, and integrated crop-livestock enterprises.
The farms are available for long-term leases up to 60 years. The selection of proposals, managed as a competitive process for the individual farms, will be based on the proposal’s agricultural and economic soundness, responsiveness to a national park setting and engagement of the public.
Currently, the park has seven farms under lease through this program, including a vineyard and winery, vegetable and egg operations, livestock, pick-your-own, and a community-supported vegetable farm.
Farm products are marketed through a growing range of venues including pick-your-own farms, community-supported agriculture, roadside stands, local farmers markets, and direct sales to individuals and restaurants.
Proposals. The Countryside Initiative and the process of submitting farming proposals are fully described in the request for proposals publication now available.
The request includes background information, information about the two farmsteads available, a description of the process of proposal evaluation and selection.
To receive a copy, contact Stephanie Webb, CVCC, 2179 Everett Road, Peninsula, OH 44264, 330-657-2542, or swebb@cvcountryside.org
or visit www.cvcountryside.org.
Open houses. Open houses for the farms will be Dec. 13 and 19. Call 330-657-2542 for times and locations.
Completed proposals are due by 3 p.m., Feb. 1.
Final selection of proposals is expected in spring 2007 with occupancy to follow by the summer.

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