The third in a three part series of articles that will give you some insight as to why we chose this particular piece of property.
When chronicling any endeavor or adventure it’s always best to start at the beginning. This certainly holds true when it comes to establishing a sustainable farm in ten acres of heavily wooded Florida pine scrub. Property hunting certainly calls for some selection criteria. It also demands some soul-searching, vision and a very good sense of humor. The property hunt and how we finally settled on purchasing the land we did is as good a starting point as any. Here’s what made our latest purchase the right place at the right time.
This criteria ties a bit back into the access criteria. Elevation in Florida is rare, but is important for all the previous reasons mentioned. Now, couple this with the fact that we wanted to stay coastal (within 20 miles of Gulf) due to sea breeze, and things start to fall apart. Fortunately for us there is a bit of undulation in our county that provides a bit of elevation for safety.
While elevation in a potential hurricane is easy for most to understand, contour--not so much. With elevation comes some contour, but not necessarily a lot. Well, to understand contour as a criteria some local climate experience is necessary past the USDA growing zone guide. What if I told you that the area we’re in gets just as much (if not more) rain annually as Seattle, yet xeriscaping landscape design is still advised? Water conservation in our parts is reality. Capturing and controlling water so it seeps rather than runs is essential and contour makes that possible.
The last criteria was the desired shape of the plot. We wanted to be able to easily subdivide the property into chunks for cultivation and eventually individual livestock paddocks. Badly misshapen lots often make for wasted space with costly perimeter fencing bills. Ultimately contour and usage will shape the internals of the property, but perimeter boundaries are easier to define and maintain when the overall layout is in a uniform shape. Square or rectangular property is just easier to define.
Lastly, a square or rectangular property is easy to separate from the bordering properties (in our case, other heavily wooded and unmaintained lots) with fire lines and roads. In the pine scrub of Florida wildfires start quickly and run rampant through decades of dry branches and matted pine needles on the forest floor.//mr
In 2014 a couple of 40-somethings decided to make a change. The purchase of 10 raw, pine scrub acres along Florida's Nature Coast started it all. This is that story.