For anyone thinking of buying a farm or little farmette here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and getting “back to the land” so to speak, you’ll be in good company. For literally hundreds of years, the traditional economic engines of the Eastern Shore have been seafood harvesting, commercial farming and small family truck farming. In fact, Northampton County, Virginia still has some of the most productive farms in the entire state. But like everything else, things change and some of the smaller farms are being purchased by folks who aren’t planning to make a full-time living in farming but who are interested in getting involved in doing something on the land, even if it doesn’t provide their full-time living. Blue Heron Realty Co. has just listed a beautiful 90 +/- acre farm near the water with exceptional soils and a great location, a property which would be absolutely perfect for starting a small farm operation. From raising horses to planting a boutique vineyard to setting out a few acres of organic tomates to a raising a small herd of alpacas to becoming a serious beekeeper, there is a lot of fun and satisfaction that comes with getting back to a simpler life with hobby type farming and this particular farm could help in getting started on that path. ( For more information on this property, go to www.blueheronva.com/farm_for_sale/ ) Obviously a back to the land life is not for everyone but, as a Realtor, over the years I’ve had a lot of fun and satisfaction helping some very interesting folks, from all sorts of professions, find just the right little farm or farmette here on the Eastern Shore from which to create a new lifestyle and move in new directions with their life.
For example, we recently represented a client who bought a 20 acre parcel from a seller who whose company was promoting and transfering him to the West Coast. The seller, an executive with the Virginia Beach branch of a large firm who commuted for 5 years from the Shore to Virginia Beach daily, had acquired, a couple at a time, a little herd of cute, cute, cute alpacas. He said that when he first moved to the Eastern Shore he had absolutely no idea that he would get interested in farming and now, just a few years into it, the hardest thing for him about the entire move was having to leave his alpacas. He and his wife had totally fallen in love with being out and about on their farmette, raising these gentle, fleecy beauties had become a life-changing experience !
That really isn’t really unusual on the Eastern Shore– I know so many folks who have some acreage who are doing all kinds of ” back to the land ” things with their property. The important thing is to have a parcel of land with rich, well-drained soils because whether its growing a crop or doing animal husbandry, soil structure and drainage is critical for both crops and pasture lands. A lot of folks here have horses, some for show, others for breeding. I even know one couple who has built an amazing dressage show ring on their waterfront acreage, complete with bringing a special trainer in from the West Coast to work with their very talented horses. Lots of other folks here have just a couple horses and love to participate in the formal Trail Rides sponsored bythe Eastern Shore Trail Ride Association.
Another client who recently purchased about 10 acres of beautiful waterfront is looking forward to managing a small herd of milk goats when they build on their property. Their hobby is making goat cheese and cheese making is a real passion for them. Not only do they make the soft, creamy goat cheese that has the lush tang and is so nice when mixed with herbs but they also make a rich form of feta cheese, one of my husband’s favorites– give him a little feta, crispy crackers, some salty Greek olives and a glass of Cabernet , he’s set. Dealing with goats and making goat cheese would not be my thing but these folks absolutely are looking forward to it as their retirement activity, something with a challenge to keep them active and something to bring them in closer touch with the land. And I am looking forward to easy access to a steady supply of their flavorful homemade goat cheese !
Which brings me back to the excellent 90 acre farm for sale near Nassawadox. Tremendous possibilities abound for uses for this property. The soils are BOJAC, the best soil type on the Eastern Shore, rich, sandy, well-drained, perfect for any use whether cultivation, vineyard, orchard, horses, alpacas, honey bees, etc. You name it, this is a great piece of property for all sorts of land -based activities. About half of the property is in woodlands, the balance is in open fields. Location is great, within 15 minutes of shopping , boat ramps, beaches, premier golf, medical, restaurants, etc. yet far enough away that you feel that you are out in the country, possibly a twenty first century pioneer, a rare opportunity indeed. ( Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134 Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA )