Beginning Farmer: Digging up the dirt
When purchasing land, it's vital -- before anything else! -- to determine the quality of the soil.
It's the dirt that will determine whether a farm will support corn, blueberries, chickens, vegetables, cows, what-have-you easily, or if there will be a mighty struggle.
Or so I learned in my Beginning Farmer webinar this year. Thing is, there's a boggling amount of data online about any particular chunk of paradise. About the dirt, even.
For instance, with this US Department of Agriculture site, you can look at any given plot of land to determine whether that acreage is of little agricultural value, being mostly "Quetico-Rock outcrop complex 2 to 8 percent slopes" or of better agricultural value "Kingsbury silty clay 2 to 4 percent slopes."
Not that the site tells you that in hiker's parlance, it's a wooded ridge or (after all that rain) a somewhat mucky meadow. Or that the view is heaven.
There are resources a mere click-click-click away that will track the growing-days during the past ten years, the first and last dates for frost, average rainfall, the day robins are first sighted, and a hundred other weather variables.
All of which might deserve the notice: Past Performance Is Not an Indicator of Future Results.
11/27/2013 04:35:49 am
I would hat to see what is written about the land in Massachusetts! Lots O' rocks and slopes here!!
11/29/2013 04:27:55 am
Hey Megan --
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