Farm-Based Incubator

The Essentials

 

What You Need to Know to Get Started

Land: All land is certified organic. Incubator farmers have access to a range of acreage depending on location and experience, ranging from .25 – 5 acres at the Rural Incubator, 2 – 10 acres at the Agricultural Park, and .25 – 2 at the King County Incubator.

Training & Technical Assistance: Viva staff are available to offer farmers production, food safety, and business technical assistance. We also offer a series of workshops (link to workshop page) each year on a wide range of topics. For any issue beyond the expertise of our staff, Viva relies on close relationships with many community and regional partners (link to partners page) to offer farmers the resources and support they need to build successful farm businesses. The incubator farm model also encourages informal mentoring among farmers, where more experienced farmers share knowledge with beginning incubator farmers.

Infrastructure & Equipment:

  • Irrigation – Viva Farms provides irrigation access to all incubator farmers. The Rural Incubator and Agricultural Park in Skagit County each have a well that supplies water close to each farm plot. Irrigation is included in the lease. The Urban Incubator in King County metered per site and farmers are invoiced for use.
  • Green Houses & High Tunnels – To start the growing season or season extension.
  • Wash/Pack Facility and Cold Storage – Incubator farmers in Skagit & King County have access to a GAP-certified facility for post-harvest washing and packing, as well as walk-in cold storage. Use of these facilities is included in the lease.
  • Equipment – Incubator farmers have access to several tractors and a variety of implements.

Capital: Our revolving loan fund serves as collateral to support farmers in accessing financing for operating or equipment loans.

Markets: Viva provides market outlets for farmers’ product by selling, aggregating and distributing through our Wholesale channels, and selling direct to consumer through our CSA program.

Expenses not covered by Viva: seeds, transplants, greenhouse supplies, row covers, hoop house construction, irrigation supplies, packaging, marketing materials, farmers market fees, business licensing fees, transport — these costs are all borne by each farm business.

Interested in joining Viva Farms’ Farm Business Incubator?

Eligibility Requirements to Join Farm Business Incubator

  1. Complete Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture*
  2. Complete written farm business plan and production plan

Once you have completed all eligibility requirements, Viva Farms will schedule a consultation with you.

*Under certain circumstances, Viva Farms may consider an applicant’s experience in lieu of completion of the Practicum. Please note that only farmers with extensive production, management and business experience will be considered for this exemption. Please contact info@vivafarms.org if you think you may be eligible.