Buying farmland is a major investment, so be sure you make an informed choice. This practical guide covers every factor you should consider before making a purchase, including government regulations, residential concerns from the surrounding area, soil conditions, and savvy financing. Whether you intend to grow abundant crops or graze a robust herd of livestock, Finding Good Farmland provides a roadmap to the land that’s right for you.
About the Author
Ann Larkin Hansen is the author of The Backyard Homestead Seasonal Planner, The Organic Farming Manual, The Electric Fencing Handbook, Finding Good Farmland, and Making Hay; coauthor of A Landowner’s Guide to Managing Your Woods with consulting forester Dennis Waterman and master logger Mike Severson; and coauthor with her husband, Steve, of Maintaining Small-Farm Equipment. She has been a journalist for more than 30 years, specializing in organic agriculture and sustainable forestry. A homesteader and a small-scale organic farmer, she lives with her family on a farm in northern Wisconsin.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Finding the farm that's right for you
1 Location: Where to look for land, and how to begin the search
2 Water: Source, quantity, reliability, ownership, and quality
3 Good Land: Soil type, fertility, aspect, slope, drainage, and field histories
4 Building and Utilities: House, outbuildings, fences, septic, electric, driveway, and a few other things
5 Neighbors and the Neighborhood: Finding out who the neighbors are and what they're doing, now and in the future, and the overall quality of life in the area
6 Government Regulations and Services: Permits and codes, land use planning and zoning, property taxes, protections and programs for farmers, roads and other government services
7Financing a Farm: Finding a lender and convincing them to give you a loan
8 Alternative Ways to Get onto Land: Additional ways to acquire land to farm