NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Completely new, just about to take the plunge  (Read 1600 times)

mmckenna72

  • Joined Feb 2018
Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« on: February 05, 2018, 11:45:54 am »
Hi all,

I'm currently looking for smallholdings, and I think I've just found what i'm looking for. The only concern I have is that all the land is pasture, and I want to be sure that I can grow crops on it as well. Can anyone advise the best place to get advice on this? Is there somehwere I can pay for an agricultural survey?

thanks
Voss Electric Fence

Perris

  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Gower
Re: Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 06:33:53 pm »
you could try asking a neighbour what will/won't grow round there. Or use Google earth to see if there's anything other than pasture in nearby fields.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 11:21:47 pm »
When we bought our smallholding, it was all pasture too.  We took a spade with us and dug some test holes to see what the soil was like, how deep it was, aspect, whether it was clay etc.  We also observed and researched the climate, although once we lived here we found it was far more extreme than we thought.
Discuss the land with the seller if they are willing, but be prepared to modify what you do with the land if you really want to live there but it's not 100% ideal.   We stood and looked out from the doorway over the land and to the view, went through the house and the outbuildings, and asked ourselves if we could see ourselves here in 20 years time.  The answer was a big yes, and now we've been here for 22 years and we still love it  :love: .
There are things you can change about the place, such as planting trees and extending the house, putting up a barn and a polytunnel, new fencing, but there are also things you can't change such as the climate, weather, soil (well, you can a bit) and aspect.


Sorry, I don't know anything about the legalities of producing vegetables for the house on land which is under pasture.  No-one cared a jot when we bought this place.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 11:25:59 pm by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 11:58:00 pm »
Hi.  :wave: I'm afraid I don't know the answers but wanted to welcome you to the forum.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 07:47:54 am »
Welcome to the forum  :wave:

What does it look like (above and below the surface) and what are neighbouring fields growing?

What part of the country are you? Agriculture college is often a goodbye start for advice.

Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2018, 10:30:27 am »
Our place waa pasture when we bought it, and in some cases thicket!
We alao took a spade and checked out the soil as we wanted to start a market garden. You could test yourself for pH or send some samples off for testing. It will depend what you want to grow as to what aoil type is ideal - althoug most can be modified over time.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2018, 10:32:08 am »

Welcome!  :wave:

@mmckenna72 , would you mind clarifying your question a little perhaps?  I notice the posters above have answered the question "how can I tell if plant X or Y will grow well", but as Fleecewife hinted, I wonder if you actually meant "if this is pasture land, am I actually allowed to grow pumpkins on it or not?"
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

mmckenna72

  • Joined Feb 2018
Re: Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2018, 12:40:52 pm »

hi all, thanks for the responses.
@ perris good idea, i'll speak to the neigbours. I had a look at google earth and there do seem to be fields within a couple of hundred yards that are obviously being used for crops

@Fleecewife re.trees there already seem to be 2 windbreaks already in place, that seem pretty mature, and there's already a polytunnel, barn and outbuilding..re climate it's in devon, but another slight concern is that although the views are far reaching and stunning, that might mean a lot of wind.. hence the windbreaks i suppose..

@ steph hen i'll be having a look tomorrow.. it's in devon.
agricultural college would be nice but i don't really have the time to go to college and then move.


@Womble its' both really, i want to check if i'm allowed to plough it up, and also how best to check if the soil is suitable. I've done a bit of investigation re the legals, and it seems that as long as the land hasn't been deemed 'permanent pasture' (ie no polughing pesticides, fertilizer, drainage works, clearance, or other improvements in the last 15 yrs) then i should be OK.

A few of you have mentioned i can inspect the soil, what should i look out for as bad/good signs when i dig a bit up?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 05:59:51 pm »
Google 'How to assess your soil' and lots comes up.  Gardening books often have a chapter on soil assessment.  It's a bit long to write it all out here
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

mmckenna72

  • Joined Feb 2018
Re: Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2018, 08:10:13 pm »
Thanks fleecewife, yes sorry i was being a bit lazy there, i've had a google and found some good advice.. this is a great article: https://www.growveg.co.uk/guides/understanding-soil-types-for-vegetable-gardens/



Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 08:49:22 pm »
Lol! I meant phone a local agricultural college and ask them about soil testing  :D

mmckenna72

  • Joined Feb 2018
Re: Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2018, 02:43:08 pm »
ha! ok yep that makes more sense thanks!

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Completely new, just about to take the plunge
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2018, 08:16:21 am »
Hi and welcome to the forum from Ceredigion :wave:
Like said above I think soil testing would be best, to really have a look at what is in the soil :) all the best and I hope everything works out :thumbsup:
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

 

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