Farmer Profile for Christopher Pritts

Co-Applicant / Spouse Name

Rong Rong

Please describe your past and/or present farming experience

I grew up in a strong conventional farming community surrounded by dairy and grain farms. My grandparents trained draft horses. 10 years ago my wife and I bought land and started a diversified market farm where I grew up in Pennsylvania. The business grew rapidly even though we could only work on it 6-8 months out of the year while my wife travelled far and wide for work. We had about $40K income for the farm. This was primarily a one person operation with periodic family help. The methods were refined over the years to drastically reduce workload through various techniques so that we could live in two different places and still run a farm. We have 7 high tunnels and a nursery tunnel with 3 of them having propane heat. We have a tractor and variety of equipment and implements for a small farm. We use drip irrigation and fertigation with gravity flow spring water. We use many organic methods but do not seek certification. One prime crop is specialty heirloom tomatoes trellised in tunnels producing multiple tons per season. 2 acres in potatoes, 20K garlic, and a variety of greenhouse produce like cucumbers, peppers and eggplants. Why are we leaving this business? Because my wife has found a stable and permanent job in your region. It is not easy to pick up and move a farm but we feel this is the better choice for our family. We are not set on having the same business in Vermont. The market for diversified vegetables might be saturated in this area. While we have stable and sufficient income outside the farm, we should be at leisure to explore all kinds of opportunities from berries, to maple sugaring, to forestry etc.

Are you currently farming?

Yes

Are you interested in connecting with other farmers to explore collocation or collaborative farm ideas?

No

Counties being considered

Windham
Windsor

What is the primary agricultural enterprise you are considering?

Greenhouse

What other enterprises are you considering?

Berries
Hay/Forage
Herbs
Maple Sugaring
Vegetables
Woodlot

Total Acres Desired

100.0

Tillable Acres

10.0

Forested Acres

90.0

Acres in Pasture

0.0

Organic

No

Farm Structures Needed

Storage

Farmhouse Needed

Yes

Equipment Needed

not necessary

Which of the following arrangements are you considering?

Owner-Financed Sale
Standard Sale

Are you interested in conserved farms?

Yes

Do you have a business plan? Please write an informative description of your vision & goals for your farming future.

Since we already had a vegetable operation for 10 years we can use this experience to grow into a related local niche market, but this is not a necessity. We have stable income from outside the farm and would be quite happy to explore other areas of agriculture. Starting small and growing into the local market's needs is a low risk option that has worked for us in the past. To be honest, we would like a farm property that is off the beaten path with privacy and quietude. This is almost as important to us as the business. We are also naturalists and love wild forests just as much as rolling hayfields. ( We have also done forest farming projects for seed sales like ramps, ginseng, cohosh, and spicebush) A large acreage (100+) with a diverse landscape is high on the priority. (for instance: not just a single south facing slope for the whole property) Our current farm is set well off the road, but we have felt the pressures of development at our perimeter and we much prefer to maintain the pastoral landscape. A small old colonial farmhouse and post and beam barn would not go under-appreciated either. All things considered we are flexible and would consider a variety of situations, we'll just have to take a look! P.S. -We are serious buyers. Given the right location we are ready to purchase and move quick.