Erica Gassmann

Farming Status and Plans

Farming status:

Not currently farming

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

My partner Will Nelson and I are looking for land to start our sustainable farming business in a supportive community where we can set roots and raise our family. We plan to grow organic fruits and vegetables, raise pastured poultry, keep honeybees, and host Airbnb guests and farm-to-table dinners at our farm. We use sustainable farming practices, including beneficial insect management, cover cropping, rotational grazing, and water conservation practices.

Description of marketing method:

We will market through local farmers markets, natural food stores, and restaurants. If the property allows, we would love to have an on-site farm stand where customers can shop and explore the farm. We will also like to host on-farm dinners and Airbnb guests, which will both include food grown on the farm. 

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester, Southeast

Desired acreage:

1-5, 6-10, 11-20, 21-50, 51-100, >100

Infrastructure required:

Onsite housing, Barns or other facilities for storage of equipment, livestock, and crops, Water access, Electrical Access

Description of buildings required:

We hope to find a property which has some infrastructure in place - preferably a useable barn for equipment storage, a building to be modified for crop storage, and some sort of structure to be used as poultry housing in the winter. We are prepared to build additional infrastructure if need be.

Description of water access required:

We will require access to water, whether it be a well or city access. Water will be needed for our animals and our crops. 

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits

Primary Livestock:


Description of livestock/crops:

We plan to grow diversified vegetables and fruits. We hope to have space for perennial berries and an orchard. We plan to raise pastured poultry for eggs and meat. If space allows, we would also like to rotationally graze sheep.

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

For Lease, For Sale

Description of tenure options desired:

We would prefer a long-term lease or lease-to-own agreement. We will consider purchasing if the property is right. 

Additional Information

Will this farmer's operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?


Experience & education:

Formal agricultural education, Farm management, Farm employee, Farm internship/apprenticeship

Experience description:

We have six years of farming experience, including most recently owning and operating a small farm business in Northern California. We started as interns and worked our way up to farm management. We are currently working for a non-profit food hub which consults with local growers and increases local farmers' access to markets.