Buying a farm in Floyd VA

wcthomasSeptember 2, 2012

At last my life long dream to own and garden a piece of rural land in the mountains! We now have a contract on a house with 25 acres in Floyd, right in the middle of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Most of it will be in hay, but my pride will be a 50' x 100' vegetable garden with lots of tomatoes, garlic, onions, corn, etc. Even thinking about grapes for wine making.

The property is at 2,600 feet elevation with a clay loam soil. I am used to growing vegetables at sea level in a sandy loam, so this will be a new experience. The new house is on a hill top and I am expecting a somewhat lower humidity than in NJ, so hopefully I will be less affected by my usual foliage diseases.

My first priority after closing is to get a soil analysis and start on the needed amendments. The garlic bed gets the first attention as I usually plant in early November. I hope to get a local farmer to help with the initial tilling until I can get my own tractor and attachments. As it turns out, there is an organic farm supply place just five miles from the new farm, and I have already contacted the local cooperative extension and county land planner for information on the area.

Can't wait to get my hands in the soil!

TomNJ

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hokierustywilliamsbu

congrats to you-sandy loam here in Tidewater Va but spend a lot of time in Blacksburg-nice area for you!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 10:43PM
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rdback(Z6 VA)

Hello TomNJ,

I know you posted this a while ago, but when I read your new place is in Floyd, I instantly thought of Barbara. Floyd is not THAT big; she might even be your next door neighbor lol.

I would strongly suggest you send her an e-mail. She is a wonderful person and can provide you some expert advice, especially gardening in Floyd on the side of a mountain! She's written several books as well - google her.

Congrats on your new home. Virginia is an awesome place to live!

Rick

Here is a link that might be useful: Barbara Pleasant website

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 1:28PM
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wcthomas

Thanks Rick! I did exchange emails with Barbara back in 2011 before I bought my new place and she was very helpful. Now that I have a place in Floyd I'll write her again and catch up. She is not a next door neighbor, but you are right she can't be very far away. I heard she is giving a talk at the library for a local garden club in March and I will try to attend.

Tom

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:53PM
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mmstiner(6)

Aloha Neighbor:
Snowflake Va. here, down next to the Tn. line. (20 miles from Kingsport.) I haven't been to this site in a while so I am late welcoming you to this neck of the woods. It is fun to play in the dirt (red clay in my case) and I am wondering how the garlic plan came off? Have you gotten settled in yet? Have you had time to garden and plan for landscaping? How is the family reacting to the hills and streams? Anyhow..........belated welcome and happy gardening.....a partner in grime.......Max

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 3:08AM
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wcthomas

Hi Max,

Thanks for the welcome! My wife and I are settling in slowly as we kept our house in NJ and go back and forth to our Floyd home. We plan to spend most of the growing season at the farm to tend to the garden and canning. We absolutely love the mountains and look forward to eventually moving down permanently. Although we are retired, my 93 year old mother still lives in NJ and so we are not ready to leave yet.

I have a comprehensive garden plan for some 22 crops with an emphasis on tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers, eggplant, and corn. Just got my soil analysis report this week and am now planning on how to amend where needed. I need to boost the pH (currently 5.8) as well as potassium and boron, so I'll be looking at both organic and inorganic options. I haven't had time to make compost for this first year and may buy a truckload, but I will be starting lots of my own compost this spring. I'll also be planting some fruit trees.

Tom

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:54AM
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dixiblong

I know you wrote this quite a while back. But. Welcome to the Neighborhood. I live only a few minutes. I live here in Dublin and enjoy gardening. Do you sale any of your produce? I allways look for local grown foods. for what i casnt grow myself...... But welcome and i hope you enjoy your new life in the mountains. it can be amazing.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 10:44PM
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wcthomas

Hi Dixi,

Thanks for the welcome! We find the people here are as amazing as the views and feel at home here.

My garden is only 50' x 80' and is designed to provide our vegetable needs. That said if conditions are ideal we may have some excess, especially garlic (planted 400) and tomatoes (planted 60). If come season's end I find we are swimming in some crops I may sell or donate the excess.

Tom

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:21AM
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