I've been spending my spare time (and not spare time) trolling the MLS listings... that image is of an acre parcel off of Moreland in Atlanta, a couple of miles south of the current Ecosystem Farm location. It's on the market for $70k, and I'm considering it as a new strawberry space. And possibly for seasonal crops, at least for a year or so until I can find something more permanent. There's another option a bit further south, 1.5 acres for $24k with half of it in stream buffer. That's probably a more realistic option, though I'd likely outgrow it within a couple of years. But I could get up and running with it fast, which is important given that I need to start succession planting for fall in the next month, and the strawberries need to move in October. And I could possibly convert it to an orchard over time.
It's hard to keep from looking at what I want now, even though it's not within my reach financially. For example, behind the 1 acre pictured is another 8 vacant acres owned by a medical staffing company based out of Calhoun, GA. How did they end up with it? No clue. But they don't appear to be doing anything with it. It's super tempting to go down a rabbit hole researching the property, the soil profile, whether it's in a flood plain, the company, figuring out how to contact them and see if they'd be willing to accept a long term lease. (And I definitely did that in the three hours it took me to write this update, along with a detour to make dinner.) But there are thousands of properties like this one, and thousands of hours I could spend taking long shots that will likely never materialize into land that I can farm on. Which long shots do I take? And how do I take those shots while still keeping the rest of the farm running?