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Roanoke area, Virginia? We are ready to start Spring 2017!  RSS feed

 
Nina Turner
Posts: 13
cat chicken goat
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This is a complete shot in the dark, but "you never know if you don't try".

We're not interested in temporary arrangements, we are ready to do some AWESOME with the rest of our lives.

We are an unmarried but stable couple (together for over four years) without children (hoping for one or two), looking for 1) a farm share or a long term lease, 2) mentoring from the farm owner who desires the land stay in agricultural production, and 3) potentially an eventual transfer opportunity.

We would like to settle down 15-30min (maybe up to 45min for the *perfect* fit) outside Roanoke, Virginia within the next two years.
(or alternatives: Bend, OR, or Boise, ID)

Virginia: It doesn't even have to be a working farm yet! Just land, people, and a plan...
Eastern Montgomery county, extreme east tip of Floyd county, northern Franklin county, northwestern Bedford county, southwest Botetourt county, southern Craig county, Roanoke county

I am a 41yr old licensed and certified massage therapist (gentle but firm pain/stress relief and elder/ill care specialties) who can work flexible hours to accommodate what needs to be accomplished on the property. I grew up in Marietta, GA and spent 3yrs in Fayetteville, NC before moving to Boise, ID in August 2001. I have maternal family (cousins/not close) in Montgomery county. We visited my aunts annually when I was a kid, so I have a general familiarity with this area. I'm the primary permaculture fan and 'area of interest researcher' at this stage.

He is 33yrs old, in the beer business with a Class A CDL. He also has 6yrs of prior cooking experience, and was vegetarian for 1yr. He is studying for Cicerone certification (beer guru), and is also the 'recycling man', builder of enclosures, and graywater systems enthusiast. He was 4-11 growing up in Christiansburg when his mom was attending Virginia Tech for her veterinary education.

At least one of us would be working full-time at all times to provide monetary income. We have both been at our current workplaces for 9yrs.
We have subscribed to the local news sites in order to keep current on happenings in the area. We are fully against the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
He is aiming for a position at the new Deschutes Brewery once it is built (north of Vinton, start of construction by June 1, 2017). The '30min outside of Roanoke' limit is for his anticipated drive to work.

Due to his salaried lower-totem-pole management position hours, and the fact that we are renters of a non-agricultural (but rural) property, we have been unable to expand our permaculture aspirations to more hands-on and sustainable projects.

We are studying permaculture and regenerative agriculture in our free time. We would work your land with an ethic of stewardship. We do not have a clear plan of action, as that would depend on the site/locality and is always subject to refinement.

We currently have 90 chickens (many breeds and mixes thereof), and 50% interest in two weanling goat does. These would stay in Idaho as our chickens are not NPIP certified, and we share the young goats with our close neighbors (same landlord).
We have three years' experience with hatching, brooding, home butchering, and overwintering chickens. We have had introductory experience with goat kids, turkeys, guineas, and the landlord's beef steers. We have each had gardening successes in the past, but no time/energy to devote to plants over the last couple of years.

We are considering primarily heritage livestock suitable for Virginia, for premium sales of stock and meat: several chicken breeds (eggs of white, brown, blue, and green), Oberhalsi or another breed of dairy goats, Guinea Hogs, and possibly Midget White Turkeys. The livestock would multiply after the first few years to need a structure for each species/variety.
Any suitable livestock housing/infrastructure already existing would be valuable.
If the PRIME Act passes, or even if it doesn't, a processing shed would be beneficial.

I am interested in producing value-added products for market as well. This includes but not limited to breads, preserves, cultured veggies, dried produce, kefirs, kombucha, and dairy products. Possibly a weekly 'meals to go' customer list as well.
A professional kitchen (licensing/inspections) would be a great asset.

We would like enough space to produce our own livestock feeds and bedding onsite (depends on #/types of animals), an intergrated compost system, an apiary/pollinators garden setup to attract and preserve native honeybees, a small food forest planned orchard, and an extensive no-till deep garden.
Any of these features already in place would be respected and tended gratefully.

We would need to have a small home site for us, pre-existing--
or able to park a camper for up to a year to observe the land before building a modest, ecologically sound, climate-suitable home.

We would help with your own ongoing  farm projects, in exchange for a place to live and farm at a low rate.
My current thoughts are that the livestock and harvested produce we introduced would belong to us, but all buildings and land improvements would contribute to your property.

We are responsible, idealistic, motivated, Star Trek fan, ethical, 'very clean hippie' types.
He is debt free; I have outstanding tax and student loan issues to resolve.
No GMO, no pesticides, but not sold on organic certification either.
Both currently tobacco smokers (outdoors only).
No hard alcohol, no pharmaceuticals or street drugs.
Two 6yr old indoor (declawed) cats.

*goals: self-sufficiency and surplus (provide for us and you); pollinators haven; heritage livestock and heirloom varietals preservation; public/consumer education and nutrition; *new* chicken variety- Partridge Ameraucana (12yrs selective breeding needed); assist agricultural renaissance by providing the best product and service in the area for fairs and shows (make money off the snooty people ­čśť)
 
Nina Turner
Posts: 13
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*Spring 2018-Autumn 2019?
We're keeping our eyes on Roanoke and the surrounding area.
Several fixer-upper homes in town with 1+AC under $100k have sold recently.
I've looked at a few intentional communities online that are in the general area, but none are conveniently close.
A few apartments or homes for rent look appealing, but aren't the situation we would like to move into.
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Jonathan Hawkins
Posts: 3
Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia
bike trees woodworking
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I love the Roanoke area, have a lot of family out there. I wish you the best in finding your new home in Roanoke!
 
Nina Turner
Posts: 13
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Thank you, Jonathan. We are still looking for the right opportunity. Hopefully by 2019.
 
Jd Stratton
Posts: 21
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Nina Turner wrote:Thank you, Jonathan. We are still looking for the right opportunity. Hopefully by 2019.


Nina, beware of the Bedford County regulations.
Make sure you know about deed restrictions on any land you might be in touch with.
(Depending on which caveats...if it changes hands, you may not be able to make cow, pig or chicken stink there anymore.)
Not had chickens there for more than 6 months?...you may not be able to put chickens there (more than ten hens or any roosters) ever again.

If they can get rid of farms to have them broken up for "McMansions" the county gets more taxes out of the deal.
When we were looking here 13 years ago...the videos we took do not even resemble the same place.
Forest, New London have more than doubled in population/traffic in the last 10 years. In another 5 years, Lynchburg and Bedford will be one big city.
(They are only 8 miles from touching now as it is.)

The farmers are leaving and their land is being scooped up and developed.
(More than 3,000 acres around my property in the last 7 years went from farm/cows to 'high end' housing.)
Also, make sure you truly understand what the "good ole boy network" means before you move here.
Do not trust childhood memories, the place has changed. More people here from NY and NJ than natives now...and they are turning it into another suburb.









 
Justyn Mavis
Posts: 44
Location: FEMA District III
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chicken duck forest garden
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Jd Stratton wrote:
Nina Turner wrote:Thank you, Jonathan. We are still looking for the right opportunity. Hopefully by 2019.


Nina, beware of the Bedford County regulations.
Make sure you know about deed restrictions on any land you might be in touch with.

The farmers are leaving and their land is being scooped up and developed.
(More than 3,000 acres around my property in the last 7 years went from farm/cows to 'high end' housing.)
Also, make sure you truly understand what the "good ole boy network" means before you move here.
Do not trust childhood memories, the place has changed. More people here from NY and NJ than natives now...and they are turning it into another suburb.



Thank you for this info. We are looking county by county throughout VA to see where we can find a balance of access and farmland. ( I'm wanting to have a Lab in Virginia for my non profit education center. I'm currently in WV and want to also serve VA)

Puluski, Wythe, Grayson, Russel and Tazewell

-Justyn
 
Dawna Clephas
Posts: 11
Location: Craig County, VA
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Nina, would love to hear more about your plans.  I live in Craig, but on the western side about 1 hour from downtown Roanoke. I commute to a day job there  4 days/week so I understand the desire to limit that drive.

However, I've got 170 acres of mixed pasture and forest with a 30-ft wide creek, limited neighbors and regulations, and a decent sandy loam that can support a lot of crops if managed well.  It's really hard to find all this closer to the city.

There's always a trade-off!  

Best wishes,
Dawna
 
Time is the best teacher, but unfortunately, it kills all of its students - Robin Williams. tiny ad:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
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