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Questions about Arkansas SW of Little Rock  RSS feed

 
Gemma Buell
Posts: 12
Location: Napa, CA
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I just found out that my family still owns a multi-generational homestead 25 miles SW of Little Rock 40 acres. Apparently it was generally only used for the timber however somewhere back in time, someone lived on it although any farming was limited. I found out because the older generation wants to sell it. I think for one, I should have a say, it is my legacy too but more than that, I want land to work on!

Are there permies in that area? Organic operations? I don't want to and try not to judge but I do want to live around positive, enlightened, loving people and be a part of a greater community of kindred spirits.

I want to do forest farming or regenerative agriculture as Mark Shepard does it. I know that most likely that area would be perfect for it. There is water and Artesian well. It looks to be mostly level land but most likely there is some small slope to it. I worry much more about possible markets in the local area as well as pollution and multiple forms of environmental contamination. Is there fracking going on there? I know they tried to find natural gas on this property which is how we know about the well I don't want to find out it is poisoned when it's too late.

Are there any horrible and invasive government restrictions that are a must to be aware of?

I am not afraid to do this anywhere which is why I will pay attention to the opportunities available to me but not ignore big issues. We are still considering another opportunity in the sands of New Mexico and I think that will almost certainly always be available to us. Right now we are putting most of our focus on Hawaii and immediate plans are to WWOOF there and see what we can find. Doing things alone while a wonderful challenge and great to be main driving vision, if loving community and social interaction are important, then a shared property and vision to me is what is best.

I am in no rush to decide, each place we consider teaches us better how to find it.

Thanks for any input!



 
Ben Plummer
gardener
Posts: 345
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b
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I remember reading somewhere here that rural Arkansas is pretty lax as far as government invasiveness is concerned. Not sure if that applies to your location. According to this site the areas right around Little Rock aren't threatened by fracking (yet), the north looks a bit dire though.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5858
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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Hi, Gemma...When I think of Little Rock and farther south all that comes to mind is the heat. Even up here in the mountains the summers have been too hot recently for tomatoes to set fruit (and the same with peppers and beans) even with water...sweet potatoes love it though and lots of fruit. We are adapting to more winter, spring and fall crops. I would be sure that it was not commercial cotton or rice farm land in the past because of pesticides...or old apple orchards.
I am hoping fracking has slowed in this state due to all the resulting earthquakes in some areas and well water contamination...it is happening in our area...but not too close to us. Big land owners are so anxious to lease for huge amounts of money that small land owners have no voice.
Arkansas has a Homestead tax credit that will off set $350 of your property taxes for the land you live on...our taxes are about $75 a year for fortyacres after the credit.
And as far as I know if you are in rural areas anywhere in the state you are left alone as far as building codes. If you are really isolated you are more likely to get checked out for growing pot. My vitex shrub (a look alike leaf) was reported a few years ago. Keep us posted
 
Gemma Buell
Posts: 12
Location: Napa, CA
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Ben and Judith,

Thank you very much! This information really helps!
 
Chris Sklarski
Posts: 10
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My girlfriend grew up in a small town in southern Arkansas near Texarkana. She lived across the street from a massive lumber/paper plant that spewed toxic stank and a neverending roar. Pretty much all the land around there is monocropped pine trees and bare acreage left behind by the loggers. Apparently trees grow well there though and if you can get get over the downsides, it should work out well.
 
Seth Cheshier
Posts: 4
Location: Central Arkansas - Hardiness Zone: 8a
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I know this thread is old, but I'm curious as to what ended up happening, Gemma.

I live about 30 miles south of little rock and just joined wwoof. I would love to know if you have been setting up a farmstead and need any help in exchange for knowledge.
 
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