First Step to Building a Working Farm: Choosing Good Farmland

| 9/9/2018 3:31:00 PM

Old Barn Farm Restoration Project 

The first step toward building a working farm: choosing the land. More than 20 years ago, my parents decided to turn their hobby into a small business. In an effort to grow the business, they made the decision to acquire land for growing small crops of helpful plants that may become future ingredients.

The idea for me now is to continue the foundation passed on by my mom before her death, a foundation of growing small crops without chemicals. Eventually, my own family and I decided to acquire a 2.5-acre foreclosed property with many features that likely deterred other buyers but made it the right fit for our purposes.

Assessing the Terrain of Farmland

First, the land is a long rectangle that is quite hilly with a shallow creek running across a portion of it. The land also is on the side of a larger hill. This means the soil is well drained, no matter how high or low it is.

Situated in Central Arkansas, it's also quite rocky. On the plus side, that means any digging uncovers rocks to use as garden borders. On the negative sides, digging any hole can become a labor-intensive task. While it may be hard to visualize, the hill sloping down toward the creek is ideal for building a small factory as it would be protected from high winds or harsh weather on three sides by the hilly nature of the area.

Reviving Gardens

Second, we learned that, more than a decade ago, the owners had lush beautiful gardens, the remnants of which were visible once pointed out. This was a foreclosure that sat vacant for at least a year and had become very overgrown. Hiding in the weeds were several paved walkways and paths that snake around, some leading to the house and some winding around what would have been a garden. There is even a large, round base that once held a large water fountain.

9/27/2018 8:19:12 AM

I also want to by property with handyman buildings and a well and septic. What I am concerned with is getting a loan on fixer uppers. Did you pay cash? I am retired and only have a small income. But I am looking at property in west central Florida. Any info is helpful. Also I am very interested in your progression. How exiting!!

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