We're seriously thinking of making an offer on 20 acres in a good rainfall area, soils derived from basalt, predominantly W facing (some bits NW, SW, S, N), with at least 1 spring fed dam, 1 other dam which may be spring fed or just runoff from the property.
We have not found much within our budget (or even that is outside our budget but that we like at all), in over a year & a half of looking, even outside of our preferred area.
This property we like, it feels good, has a nice environmentally-minded neighbour to the west (predominant wind direction is from there) and it's in our budget (no debt to purchase & we have the option of borrowing from family to make improvements).
It apparently ran dairy cattle until the last 2 yrs when they grew potatoes & consequently, roundup has been used. We don't like this, but feel perhaps it's something we have to compromise on. From what we've found, it's almost impossible to find land that is a) not really steep (and classed as a landslide hazard) b) isn't a bush block, or at least right in the middle of or next to large areas of bush that put you in real bushfire danger c) hasn't been sprayed, unless it's in an area that's really too cold to grow much. (We want to do mixed fruit, nut, fodder & wood trees on contour with management intensive grazing of a small number of cattle).
I know this kind of question has been asked before, but I'm hoping some of you might have some good references (anything new?) about healing pesticide-affected land with regenerative farming? I know we'll be able to grow things and improve the soil health, but I am concerned about whether they'll be safe to eat for a long time....though I know it may be no worse than what you buy in the shop (though we try not to buy anything not spray-free or organic). We would really like to clean up the water on the property too, hopefully to drinking standard at some point, any evidence that this is possible without very costly remediation?
How many of you have compromised on buying land that has had chemicals used on it? Have you tested soil or water after years of regenerative farming practices, and if so, what have you found??
thanks for any & all thoughts on the topic, it's such a hard one for me to make a decision on...