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  • (319) 800-8108

SILT is offering this informal list of SILT farms and farmers available for matching. We have no staff to manage these relationships. We ask farmers and landowners who still reside on SILT properties to consider being flexible and creative when thinking of the many arrangements you can make or food you can grow. Breaking out of the mold is how we find new, better solutions! Thank you.

Farms (see Farmers below)

Calmar (near Decorah): Walk-on Farm, Mentor Available

SILT’s newest acquisition and an amazing opportunity for small livestock, organic grain, annual vegetable and/or agro-forestry. There will be stiff competition for this 170 acres 10 minutes from lively, progressive Decorah in NE Iowa. 70 acres is available for farming now, plus a 4-bedroom updated farm house, a number of outbuildings and equipment.

Be sure to apply on time. If you don’t get chosen this time, you’ll have many of the materials for the next SILT farm that becomes available! Current farmer – the donor of this farm – is offering to transition his small, successful lamb operation and orient the new farmer to the place which has been in his family since 1873.  Application and farm description.

Corydon: A great way to get started in Central Iowa!

Low-cost lease on up to 25 acres

  • fruit and vegetable production
  • livestock such as poultry, goats, rabbits, sheep or hogs

Includes good boundary fences, hydrants (on rural water), electric, one metal building approx. 60’ x 30’. Available for use are riding mowers, walk-behind mowers, chipper shredder, chainsaw, air compressor, many hand tools and a 1952 Ford 8N tractor with front scoop and rear blade. New concrete in workshop.

An individual or couple may live rent-free by pulling up an RV or mobile home and hooking up to water and electric on site seasonally. First year land rent only $50/acre in keeping with SILT’s mission of affordable access to land. The current resident is interested in helping get a hoop house for the farmer’s use.

This is a 40-acre parcel, 18 acres of which are timber with a 2-acre pond near the house. The 25 acres have been in pasture and should qualify for immediate organic certification. Marketing opportunities include a new Amish distribution center near Corydon, Hy-Vee 17 miles north in Chariton and Des Moines 75 miles north, among others. Two fruit-growing operations have begun in the area in recent years.

Long-term, affordable lease available to eligible farmers after initial trial period. Interested applicants should send a business plan, resume and references with proof of at least one year of recent on-farm experience to info@silt.org. Farmers involved in a nonprofit apprenticeship/mentoring program preferred. Women and veterans encouraged to apply.

We’d love to give a new farmer the opportunity to grow healthy food on your farm. Contact us today to discuss the possibilities. 


Garber – 15 minutes from Elkader – LEASED

Great opportunity for a young or beginning farmer! 22 acres available for sustainable food beaumont-farm-smallerproduction in coveted Northeast Iowa. Supportive environment just an hour from Dubuque includes 10 acres in prairie for the last 15 years, suitable for transition to organic vegetable production, orchard, and/or grazing. Balance is in timber, mostly steep, with many downed trees for firewood. Good potential for agroforestry production in some areas.

Site includes a 60’x60’ barn plus use of tractor and other equipment for the right tenant. Landowner is a retired carpenter willing to assist in building additional outbuildings or small house or will allow farmer to bring in mobile home, tent or RV (bathroom facilities provided).

Long-term, affordable lease available to eligible farmers after initial trial period. This opportunity brought to beginning and disadvantaged farmers through the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT), dedicated to protecting land to grow healthy food. (silt.org)


Honey Creek – 53 acres – LEASED
Driscoll garden smaller

Joe and his wife Susan had 53 acres just 15 minutes from downtown Omaha and wanted young people on it learning how to grow good food like he did as a child on that very property. Joe’s dream of a Young People’s Farm was about to fade away when he learned about SILT. Through some very creative relationship-building, SILT was able to acquire this farm with help from a Slow Money investor. We now need to raise $232,000 in two years to be able to keep this choice land that is 31 tillable and the rest in an oak savanna – perfect for raising some acorn-fed pork! If we don’t, monies raised will go toward permanent protection of the land with a perpetual ag conservation easement.

Ed and Tricia Jackson and their family are now farming the land, transitioning to organic hay and hoping to graze goats in the savanna once they can cash flow the fences they’d need. Ed and Tricia helped host SILT’s Showcase Day at the farm in the summer of 2016 which drew more than 50 guests and an exceptional front page article in the Omaha World Herald. But we are still $200,000 from our goal of making this farm a permanent addition to SILT.

Contact us today to help secure this property or to donate some of your own. Every new farmer deserves a chance to grow healthy food for Iowa.


Farmers Seeking SILT Farms

Kenn and Ashly want to heal the soilJenkins family

We are both 27.  I’m originally from Colorado.  My wife Ashly (maiden name Priestly) and I met through work, and after living together for two years in Colorado, we moved to Iowa.  Ashly grew up in Belmond, in northern Iowa.

While I have been working towards my degree in Agronomy with a focus on soil quality, we have found a deeper connection to the land, food, and animals and both strongly believe in sustainable agriculture.

This is our dream. Your farm or easement donation can help.

Contact SILT if you can help us provide a farming opportunity for Kenn and Ashly.

Paul and Meganjoy envision a nature-friendly farm


We are passionate about working harmoniously in the ancient thriving process of nature. We are especially interested in propagating wild, hardy, low-maintenance plants, especially natives, that serve multiple functions, including human and animal forage, dynamic accumulation (mineralizing soil as green manure) and pollinator attraction. We have experimented a bit with forest gardening and hope to invest more time and energy in that magical process this year. We are also interested in designing abundant edible ecosystems based on our observations of naturally abundant wild landscapes. These systems will take more time and energy to set up, but will require very little human intervention once established.

Paul and I (Meganjoy) have been best friends since we met in 2009. We just gave birth in December 2014 to our firstborn, a healthy baby boy. We are seeking a place to raise him in fresh air, with hard work, connection to nature, and a better view of the stars. We are blessed by his incredibly happy nature and excellent sleep habits. We take him on adventures through public forests (our favorite learning environments) almost every day.

We believe in eating “weeds.” We are studying all kinds of growing strategies for high value crops including mushrooms, sprouts, and microgreens. With hard work and commitment, we can turn any land into high yielding paradise.

We are visual, linguistic, musical and culinary artists and inventors. Creative thinking keeps us active. We view problems as opportunities to spawn new ideas. To learn more about us, please visit our website www.symbiology.tk

Interested in art-inspired farmers working your land?Contact SILT today about how we can get young families like Megan Joy, Paul and their son growing healthy food.


Refugee families looking to work the land

Lutheran Services in Iowa’s Global Greens agricultural programs coordinate land access, production education and business development training for refugees in the Des Moines metro who want to reconnect with the land.Burundi farmers smaller
Many refugee families coming to Iowa have agricultural backgrounds, hailing from Burma, Bhutan, Rwanda and Burundi. Growing food and caring for the land in a holistic manner has always been a way of life for our farmers. Most families owned their farms for many generations but lost their land due to war and persecution. Re-connecting to land has so many benefits for both our farmers and the community!

• Reduced grocery costs and better access to healthy produce
• More income and business opportunities for families
• More social connections with neighbors and less isolation
• Emotional healing for refugees who have faced past trauma
• More connections to cultural traditions and ethnic crops not found in Iowa
• Opportunities to share agricultural traditions with the next generation

Global Greens farmers are currently growing on ¼ acre plots at the Global Greens training farm in Des Moines however, farmers are eagerly looking for larger land in order to grow their businesses and provide more food for their communities.

For more information about Global Greens and to learn more about our 8 Advanced Market Farmers looking for land, visit www.lsiowa.org/globalgreens.

Contact SILT if you know someone with a parcel they can dedicate to these dedicated, passionate new Americans.


Looking to farm with family in eastern Iowa

Mike grew up in rural North Liberty.  After attending Oberlin College he started a small vegetable farm on his parents severino-patterson-familythree acres, before joining the Peace Corps in Ecuador as a Sustainable Ag volunteer, where he met his wife Jackie, an indigenous woman from the Ecuadorian Amazon.  Returning from the Peace Corps Mike got his Masters in Science Education from University of Iowa, had a daughter, Millie (age 6) and for the last 6 years has worked at Scattergood Friends School and Farm where he teaches Biology, Ag Research, Prairie Management, and a variety of other subjects.

Mike and his family are looking for a larger piece of land – from 10 to 40+ acres –  where they can put into practice what they have learned.  Mike has worked extensively on his parents’ land as well as at Scattergood replacing invasives with natives, planting a small prairie restoration, and constantly monitoring the health of the soil and the plants, as well as the bird and insect populations as indicators of ecosystem health.  While at Scattergood, Mike learned a lot about prairie restoration & management, managing Scattergood’s 26 acre restored prairie.  In an endeavor to connect the farm more with the school Mike started an agricultural research class where students engage in applied research on the farm that they then present at the Iowa State Science and Technology Fair in Ames.  Mike also assists the farm manager in conducting PFI experiments, as well as writing several SARE and Trees Forever grants and working with the students on the farm, day to day, on a variety of projects.

Mike and his family want to practice horticulture/permaculture with potential rotational grazing of chickens, turkeys, sheep and/or goats on restored prairie, but ultimately will do what the land needs.  They are excited for the opportunity to do some great work on a larger piece of land.

Contact SILT for more details.