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Viable Homesteading Near the VA Coast?

 
Posts: 1
Location: Richmond, VA
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Hey there!

I'm new to the forum. I am wondering if any of you might be able to tell me more about what the permaculture/homesteading prospects are like near the Virginia coast. I'm really focused on the area that stretches from Williamsburg up to Gloucester down to Norfolk and Hampton, etc. If you live in the area, you probably are understanding where I mean.

I've lived in Richmond my entire life apart from the years I spent in central TN and Raleigh for college--but I've been to Virginia beach only twice in my life. I don't have a whole lot of information about it. I hear it's swampy, prone to flooding, and that the water is polluted. Also seems prone to hurricane damage. In Richmond we've been pretty protected, but still had significant damage and power outages each time a storm has come through. I can't even imagine what it's like on the coast.

So what I'm looking for is perspective from some like minded people who actually currently live, or have lived, in the area I mentioned. What is the soil like? What are you growing out there? Is the water really that bad? Are your cities/communities friendly and welcoming? Would you put your roots there again given the option?

Any input would help me out a ton!
 
Posts: 120
Location: Zone 7a, 42", Fairfax VA Piedmont (clay, acidic, shady)
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forest garden fungi urban chicken woodworking homestead
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I know some folks who are doing commercial (small-scale) permaculture in Accomack, which is actually in DELMARVA.  They're at 100 ft elevation, have sandy soil with no rocks, ample ground water with free hand pumped wells, and enjoy zone 8 capabilities.  Bugs and summer temps can be an issue.  There's a lot of commercial ag out there, so you have to be mindful of that.

I've been around Williamsburg and VA Beach a little bit, and it seems a lot swampier and lower elevation.
 
pollinator
Posts: 977
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
201
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DELMARVA has some issues with groundwater pollution from commercial poultry operations, but not necessarily terrible. The main problem that whole area is that the groundwater is very high and stagnant, so chemical residue in the groundwater is a real issue. Combined with the fact that the area is mostly commercial row crops, and you may not have to apply phosphates, nitrates or glyphosate- it will come free with your water!

Seriously, though, it is an area that needs remediation, and I encourage you to look into it. In terms of hurricanes, it is a fact of life along the coast, but honestly we had two way inland lsat year. It's not the end of the world, you just have to build for it.

I'd say go for it!!! There is more of a community from what I understand on the middle neck, because it is a luxury good and people coming out of DC have the money. Ashland seems to be the hippie hub around VA, and you aren't too far.
 
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