We're renting a truck in less than a month, and there will be all sorts of things to write about when we arrive. But first, how did we pick where we're going?
We have chosen Tryon, NC. Tryon is in Polk county, which is one of two counties in the state that has a full time position dedicated to supporting small sustainable farming. But that was a fact I found out after our first reason we started looking at Tryon.
There's a great parish there. We are currently at an FSSP parish, and know the value of a church where there's fire in the pulpit, reverence at the altar and shepherds in the confessional. I was tipped onto Tryon's parish through a geeky Catholic web site that featured it for its beautiful renovation.
So, we started with the parish (and we looked at a bunch and made a lot of phone calls). Then found out the county is one of the best places to start a farm in the southeast, not just because of the support, but it is surrounded by markets all within an hour of this very rural location (9 million people within an hour to be exact, and that does not include Charlotte or Atlanta which are both a little over an hour). The region is in an isothermal belt, which means it is particularly conducive to crops with milder summers and winders. Food laws are decent, homeschool laws are better. Land is affordable. Water is as good as it gets these days. I've visited the area twice and, being from NC myself, felt very at home with the land and the people.
How we found a place to live and farm with no capital investment or enslavement to a bank is a story for another post. John Henry, pictured here on a plot we negotiated across the street from our current apartments, doesn't care about the details. He's just ready to get to work.