Saturday, March 8, 2008

Land woes

I've been doing a lot of looking over the past months at websites specifically designed to sell farms and land (as well as some that sell other properties). As is the way with American agriculture, there aren't too many small time farms for sale. If there are, they tend to be horse farms, or properties designed specifically for recreational use with just a smattering of pasture.
Of course, none of that matters terribly. With some work, any kind of property can be prepared and used as pasture, garden, orchard, whatever. But it's nice to think you could find a decent house on some property and have one or two things already in place.
Since that option seems to be limited at this point in time (and it's not like I'm even serious about buying right now), I've considered the possibility of buying land and building a home on it. My wife has mentioned how she'd love to have a log home. I could deal with that, I think (seriously!). But then I look at property.....
Anything listed as farm land is rising in price and usually has more acreage to it than I want or need. If there's a property listed as woodsman paradise, that just means there's too much woods on it and it's really not fit for a small farm or homestead... there'd be a lot of clearing that would have to be done first.
Then there's the big strips of land up for sale. You know the kind. They used to be farms or cropland, but the owner is hoping to sell out to some big time real estate developer that wants to turn it into the next "Fox Run", or "Wood Ridge", or "Brittney Chase" with overpriced, over sized houses sitting on 1/4 acre lots, all so close together that you can smell your neighbor's breath when you greet him in the evening when you come home from work. Please. Like there's been a fox there in a decade, or anything close to a 'woods' since the farmer plowed the soil up in the 70's to grow his agribusiness (not to mention how he's plowed down the ridge to nothing)... and like these people are gonna use their Brittney spaniels to chase anything but a ball! Yeah, I guess I'm a little sour.
Folks like Gene Logsdon are my heroes. Gene encourages small farms (he farms 30 acres himself) and says we need more, not less of them. I tend to agree. I want to take my family to the country and homestead. But the way land is going, and a lack of available small farms, it seems like I may need to rely more heavily on the Almighty to provide us the right place when the time is right.
How did you find your place?

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