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King-Hodgson Property Bid

Jacob Springs Farm

JACOB SPRINGS FARM

PROPOSED BID

Submitted by: Andre & Vanee Houssney

Jacob Springs Farm 7602 Arapahoe Road Boulder, CO 80303

Andre Mobile: 720-201-5725 Vanee Mobile: 303-818-0350 December 3, 2015

Management Period: March 2016 through December 2017 My rent bid shall be $25 per ton of hay produced, due and payable on or before December 1st, each year this agreement is in effect. (Or $13 per AUM if applicable)

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THE CITY OF BOULDER RETAINS THE ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO ACCEPT OR REJECT ANY OR ALL BIDS.

King-Hodgson Property Bid

Jacob Springs Farm

1. DESCRIBE THE OPERATION YOU INTEND TO MANAGE ON THE PROPERTY. PLEASE INCLUDE DETAILS OF GRAZING ROTATION, IRRIGATION, PEST AND NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT.

Basic Plan

At the simplest level, we intend to run a straightforward organic haying operation on the King-Hodgson property, irrigating and cutting hay in the traditional manner. We prefer minimal intervention, choosing to accept moderate yield reductions rather than to spray fields with biocides, organic or not. For fertility management, we prefer to spread manure rather than using synthetic inputs. We source this manure first from our own operations and second from other local sources where possible.

We are experienced in surface irrigation, being proficient in the use of canvas dams (tarps), siphon tubes, gated pipe and vinyl pipe. Andre learned flood irrigation over 20 years ago while growing up in Boulder by working for former Enterprise Ditch president and Boulder area farmer Jay Niebur. Andre has been president of the Original Cottonwood ditch for three years, learning the ins and outs of ditch management from former ditch presidents Bob Pherson and Allen Patrick and serving on the board with Mike Munson and City Employee Josh Bilbao. We are firm believers that flood irrigated hay ground provides a net benefit to the watershed by storing excess spring runoff in the ground and slowing the progress of water across the landscape. (see our vimeo video: Ditches save water.)

King-Hodgson Property Bid Jacob Springs Farm 1. DESCRIBE THE OPERATION YOU INTEND TO MANAGE ON THE

Our strategy for replacing the tenant-owned gated pipe would be to use vinyl surface pipe for at least two seasons or until it wears out before purchasing permanent hard gated pipe.

One component of a workable pest and fertility management strategy on hay ground and pastures is the use of our “eggmobiles” - specially equipped wagons carrying a shelter for 200-300 laying hens. These eggmobiles are equipped with automatic doors and communication equipment to protect the hens against predators and to alert us in case of problems. When rotated regularly though a field, the hens do a fabulous job of spreading high quality fertility amendments and eating large numbers of pest insects while producing a secondary product: high quality local, organic eggs. We have built several of these eggmobiles and we are in the process of perfecting the art of their design and use. Chickens range can be effectively controlled first by using proper placement of eggmobiles

King-Hodgson Property Bid

Jacob Springs Farm

and second by using electrified poultry netting where needed. The available nitrogen produced by two egg-mobile flocks would be sufficient to replace all manure or fertilizer application on up to

Possible Additional Components Subject to Approval

At Jacob Springs Farm we are passionate advocates of Regenerative Agriculture. We define an agricultural system as “regenerative” when it results in an increase in both inherent fertility and biodiversity over time. It’s our goal to develop productive systems that become as “natural” as possible - i.e. the more productive and diverse a system is and the less chemical and mechanical intervention is needed to maintain and increase it’s productivity the better. To achieve this goal we employ several permaculture principles including the concept of stacking functions, we also look for ways to marry these principles with market needs to develop sustainable streams of income.

Asparagus

While NOT a core element of our bid, we are interested in exploring non- traditional options to build revenue streams on this property. Asparagus is a crop typically under-represented in local farmers markets, most asparagus consumed in our county in May and June is imported from far

King-Hodgson Property Bid Jacob Springs Farm and second by using electrified poultry netting where needed. The

We focus on quality first, our organic pastured eggs, on the left, have a visibly higher quality than organic “free range” eggs from the store.

away. This represents a market opportunity. Asparagus has long been a naturalized species in Colorado pastures, hay fields and along ditches. Farming families in Colorado have long harvested this asparagus for their own use and carefully guarded the locations of their favorite stands. As a non-invasive adventive perennial, we believe there is an opportunity to encourage already existing asparagus to expand in areas such as the King-Hodgson property and, eventually to begin marketing this asparagus as a secondary, occasional specialty crop to our local restaurants and markets as well as direct to consumer.

Asparagus forms a fernlike clump which is an excellent habitat for many species of predatory insects, and some species of ground-nesting birds both of which can help to control pest insect species, these habitats are fully developed by the time hay fields are typically cut - a time when such habitat is at a premium - making asparagus an ideal species to have growing on field edges and margins, along fence lines, roads and ditches. At the same time, asparagus is a non-woody perennial making it easy to access and maintain ditches, roads and fences where asparagus is present - it can be easily trampled or cut down to the ground at any time without damaging the plant’s ability to yield in future years. All these attributes make Asparagus an interesting plant for targeted cultivation in a permaculture-like wild planting environment.

King-Hodgson Property Bid

Jacob Springs Farm

Subject to the approval of the City land managers we would like to steward and expand existing stands of asparagus by:

  • 1. Hand weeding around existing asparagus stands

  • 2. Identifying marginal areas where asparagus could be growing

  • 3. Disseminating seeds from existing stands

  • 4. Encouraging seed germination through very small targeted clearings (one square foot)

  • 5. Compost applications to existing and newly germinating asparagus plants

  • 6. Cross-pollenating existing native genetics with more marketable types

  • 7. Planting and transplanting of asparagus rhizomes in key areas

We believe in mimicking and guiding natural systems which display a high degree of biodiversity as well as produce a marketable yield - these asparagus stands would not be monocultures, and in most cases they would not even be noticeable to the untrained eye, yet they could become an important keystone species for increasing biodiversity and eventually (after years of development) become a source of supplemental income for our farm.

Occasional Tree and Shrub Plantings

A traditional and historical part of the agricultural character of farm landscapes in Boulder County has been the occasional planting of fruit and nut trees as well as the encouragement of wild plums, clove currants, gooseberries and other native perennial shrubs on fringes and margins of fields. We are interested in establishing these types of plants in corners and on the fringes of fields in places where they do not interfere with the use and maintenance of infrastructure like fences, ditches and roads. We harvest and market fruit from several such trees and we are interested in cultivating these types of trees and shrubs as habitat for birds and occasionally productive elements in a farm landscape.

Intensive Rotational Grazing

Although existing fencing may limit options for grazing the King-Hodgson property, over time and where possible, we would like to work with City of Boulder staff to develop options for occasionally intensively grazing hayfields. We believe that when managed properly this can do a lot of good to the longterm fertility and productivity of the land. To clarify, we are not hoping to transition hayfields into permanent pasture, but their use as occasional pasture in a intensive rotational system can have great benefits for soil fertility and stand health.

We are longtime advocates for Holistic Grazing as promoted by Allan Savory, Andre implemented a Savory-style grazing proposal on a ranch leasing BLM and National Forest land in California’s White Mountains in 1996-1998. He saw first-hand the dramatic effect it had on increasing biodiversity, decreasing erosion and increasing the productivity of the landscape.

An example of a rotation that might be applicable for a hayfield is what we did spring 2015 (April and May) on a mixed alfalfa/grass hayfield in south Boulder. Our rotation worked like this:

King-Hodgson Property Bid

Jacob Springs Farm

Begin as soon as growing spring grass reaches a height of ~4” Portable electric fences and solar energizers are set-up into 3-4 paddocks at once. Only one paddock is used at a time - setting up extras allows farm team labor to be flexed and paddocks to be moved when it is most convenient for staff, rather than “under the gun” to ensure prompt movements of animals Ideal grazing level is determined using the 60-30-10 rule; 60% grazed, 30% trampled and 10% left standing Paddock size is adjusted so that cattle will graze to ideal levels in a period between 4 and 7 days - never more than 10 days in one spot during the spring rapid-growth season Portable water totes are set-up between paddocks and refilled by a truck-mounted tank with water from off site Hayfields are exposed to only one period of intensive grazing prior to the first cutting Cattle are removed from the last paddock at least 20 days prior to the first cutting and taken to summer pasture Spring grazing may be limited to only every second year - In alternate years, fall grazing using a similar rotation may be preferred after the last cutting. This pattern of grazing distributes manure evenly across the field, stimulates plant growth, preserves root reserves and regrowth rate relative to longer grazing rotations and increases the fraction of alfalfa in the first cutting. We have successfully implemented this grazing pattern without complete perimeter fence, however perimeter fence is obviously better, depending on the guidance of City of Boulder staff we could work to generate a plan for when, if and how grazing might be allowed and what fencing could be built. Our herd is currently small - only 9 head of cattle - this size herd would only graze a maximum of 25 acres per year

2. IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN OTHER AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISES, BRIEFLY DESCRIBE THE OPERATION(S). PLEASE INCLUDE GENERAL LOCATION.

Jacob Springs Farm is a diverse operation including several different farm programs. Financially, our biggest programs are our Meat CSA herd share program and our raw milk dairy herd shares as well as our locker meat trade in whole and half steers, lambs and pigs. Our livestock are kept both on our own properties of 6 acres located at 7602 and 7620 Arapahoe as well as on several other properties in Boulder county and in Jefferson county. We also keep bees, raise turkeys and geese for meat, we raise replacement layers for local market, and have a laying flock of chickens. We cut and baled hay on 25 acres in 2014 and 35 acres in 2015 We fed a majority of this hay to our own livestock and sold some to local customers. We additionally raise 1 to 2 acres of specialty vegetable crops each year, in 2014 we raised 2 acres of squash, garlic and potatoes, in 2015 we scaled the vegetable crops down to one acre of potatoes, garlic and onions.

King-Hodgson Property Bid

Jacob Springs Farm

Locations of operations 2015:

  • 1. Private lease Two sites in Jefferson County totaling 25 acres pasture

  • 2. Boulder Valley Christian Church, 30 acres pasture and hay

  • 3. Boulder Church of Christ 5 acres hay

  • 4. City on the Hill Church Small scale vegetable and tree crops

  • 5. Owned property: 7602 and 7620 Arapahoe Road, 6 acres, barns, equipment and hay storage, vegetable production, pasture

  • 6. Private lease near 75th and Arapahoe, 12 acres pasture

  • 7. Private lease South of Longmont near US-287 10 acres hay and pasture

  • 3. WHY DO YOU NEED THIS PROPERTY FOR YOUR AGRICULTURAL OPERATION?

We would like to expand our hay production in order to give us opportunities to expand our livestock operations, both in our small-scale raw milk operation and our beef and lamb production and to put us in a good position to bid on and secure future public and private pasture leases.

  • 4. HOW AND WHERE DO YOU PLAN TO MARKET ITEMS PRODUCED FROM THIS

PARCEL?

A portion of all hay produced on this parcel would be used to feed our own livestock - income to support this use is generated through the sales of shares in our raw milk program, through sales of shares in our meat CSA and through sales of whole and half lambs and finished cattle.

The remainder of all hay produced on this parcel would be sold in small square bales on the local market through:

Sales to current contacts on horse boarding operations Sales to new contacts we hope to develop in the local market for hay As a last resort, sales through one of the hay auction sites in the region

For other products such as fruit, eggs and asparagus we would market them through our existing customer networks to restaurants and individuals.

King-Hodgson Property Bid Jacob Springs Farm Locations of operations 2015: 1. Private lease Two sites in

King-Hodgson Property Bid

Jacob Springs Farm

5. PLEASE PROVIDE PERSONAL REFERENCES FAMILIAR WITH YOUR AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE. IF YOU DO NOT CURRENTLY OWN YOUR OWN FARMLAND, A REFERENCE MUST INCLUDE THE PERSON OR ORGANIZATION YOU CURRENTLY OR FORMERLY LEASED LAND FROM OR MANAGED LAND UNDER.

Matt Carlson; Senior Pastor of Boulder Valley Christian Church - 303-895-1867 We cut hay and graze cattle on 30 acres of the church’s property off South Boulder Road

Ruthie Niebur; Landowner Boulder County - 303-358-6347 Ruthie’s late husband Jay was a major agricultural mentor to Andre Scott Ascherman; Landowner, Jefferson County - 303-818-7894 We graze cattle on Scott’s land in Jefferson county and co-operate on other agricultural projects

List of Jacob Springs Farm Hay Equipment

Massey-Ferguson 36 Self-propelled swather with draper heads and 14’ cutter bar Massey-Ferguson 7’ sickle bar mower (backup mower) New Holland 276 Hayliner small square baler 10’ rake - brand unknown John Deere 1070 Tractor New Holland 1010 bale pickup/stack wagon F-350 flatbed truck 2 axle 16’ Flatbed hay trailer Clark plane loader all-terrain forklift

Three-point mountable forklift (backup) With successful bid we plan to buy an additional tractor, manure spreader and upgraded baler

Tillage equipment 3 point-mount moldboard plow Tow-behind bi-directional moldboard plow 8’ Toolbar with adjustable chisel points, ditching points and sweeps Tow-behind broadcast seeder 8’ hay seeder - brand unknown 8’x12’ box grader - brand unknown three-point mounted 5’ rototiller deck Tree planting equipment auger with 10” and 12” points

King-Hodgson Property Bid Jacob Springs Farm 5. PLEASE PROVIDE PERSONAL REFERENCES FAMILIAR WITH YOUR AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE.