Home Buying Concerns

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mattg in wi, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. mattg in wi

    mattg in wi Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Hello All,

    We have been looking for a small farm for a couple of years now, and found one we really like. Although there are a couple of concerns and I dont know if they are valid or not. This particular place is located on 20 acres and surrounded by other farm fields. We found that the other farmer plants cucumbers. We questioned about what he sprays and were told, "if it can be sprayed on this field he does it." The water in the house we are looking at is high in Nirtrates.

    The current owners put in an Reverse Osmossis system so they could drink the water. The prevailing winds in the area come from the west, which would blow right across a huge cucumber field which is right across the street from this house.

    We have 2 children who are quite young, 9months and 2 1/1 years old. We are 2 concerned what these chemicals might be doing to them but also to us.

    We were also planning at some time to try and get the land we own certified organic, and would wonder if with whats going on around us, if that would be possible.

    Do any of you have an opinion or live near heavily sprayed/fertilized fields? Are we making a molehill into a mountain? Other than this issue, the place is perfect. It has all we have been looking for. A nice house, small wood lot, an established apple orchard, 20 maple trees or so.....

    Thanks for you opinion.
    Matt
     
  2. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Location:
    Verndale MN
    It's likely that everything your prospective neighbor is putting on his cukes is a prohibited substance for organic production. The nitrogen fertilizer that's contaminating the water is prohibited too- you would need a RO on your irrigation water (although the plants would probably love it)

    You would also need to plant buffer strips of shrubs and trees between this place and his to reduce chemical drift. You will not know when YOUR garden and apple trees just got a dose of fungicide or whatever Farmer Cuke just sprayed his crop with.

    This is IF a certifying agent would even consider starting this place in transition to organic production. There is a water quality requirement but I can't find it right now.

    Here's your big problem- Nitrates are VERY toxic to small children.

    http://www.h2otest.com/swtlnitr.html

    Adults are much less sensitive to nitrates- if they current owners have to RO their water to drink those levels are probably sky-high.
    Also toxic in high levels to livestock, especially cattle. You might have to get RO for all your stock water too (if you're going to keep livestock).

    You're not making a mountain out of a molehill at all. These are serious concerns.
     

  3. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    329
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    If you haven't already bought the property, don't. You'll never get it certified organic in your lifetime, most likely. And the well is most likely contaminated. No matter how nice it looks, healthwise, you would be buying a timebomb. Find a place that's several miles from any commercial farms.
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    I'm sorry, because it sounds like a lovely home except for the problem with the neighbor. But you are right to be concerned. I would just keep looking. Hopefully something better will turn up.
     
  5. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    932
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Location:
    South West MI
    I don't see the problem with the neighbor I see a problem with the potental purchaser. Keep looking.


    mikell
     
  6. Nette

    Nette Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,811
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    NC
    Yeah, definitely keep looking.
     
  7. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,978
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan's thumb
    Something better will turn better. I think you are pretty smart to ask about what the neighbors are spraying. had the same experience, found a beautiful house, but right between two fields that were heavily sprayed.
     
  8. Jo

    Jo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    399
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Washington
    We have a field east of us and they sprayed in back in the 80"s and I was out there......it made me feel really weak......I never went back out in the field if they were spraying.
    I wouldn't buy it.......hope you can fine something else.
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,266
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    I agree. You worded it nicely. :)

    Sounds like a typical shallow well, those aren't even allowed in my state - for many years already. Many soils are naturally that way, low ground where water naturally gathers become high-organic soils. Has nothing to do with the neighbors, it has to do with nature. If you are sensitive to this issue, look for a property with or plan to drill a deep well, only way to get away from it.

    Until & unless you manage to grow a good crop of pickles & apples organically, be careful how you judge others. You have no idea of the fungus & insect problems you will have... Remember, studies have shown that farmers average 1.2 lbs of inputs on their land, while urban dwellers put 2.3 lbs of chemicals on their lawns......

    This does not sound like the place for you. You need to look for someplace that is isolated by prairie, govt, or forest land from others. It seems to be your main goal. Isolate yourself. You will be much happier, & so will the neighbors.

    --->Paul
     
  10. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,385
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2003
    Run, don't walk, from this place, especially if you plan to have more kids. Nitrates cause birth defects and miscarriages.
     
  11. mattg in wi

    mattg in wi Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Thank you all for your advice. After much thoughts and speaking with others, we have decided to pass on this place. There will be another place and something better for our family.

    Thanks
    Matt
     
  12. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,209
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Alabama
    Sad. Maybe some day in a few centuries or less the cuke farm will be organic and the lovely farmstead you saw will be a haven for some family, if not too contaminated already. I will keep your problem in mind as I search for my homestead some day.