In one of the previous posts I explained how we hoped we might buy a farm along with a friend near Thirthahalli. Thanks to COVID-19 we could not execute the plan. Whether that is good or bad we are not sure. But that trip and those discussions got us more interested in starting an organic farm of our own. We were still not clear on many aspects though. Should we go for a place that is close to where we currently live so we can frequently travel to the place and take care of it until we are ready to move. Or should we buy something far away leave it without developing it until we are ready to move. This post is all about how we made that decision.

If you remember, we visited Thirthahalli in January 2020. After exactly two years, we again started discussing about organic farming in January 2022. At this point, we were wondering if we should find a farm that is far off from where we live (Bangalore) or something near by. There were pros and cons for both.

If we find a place far from Bangalore, it will be cheaper and we can find a large enough parcel of land to be able to execute our food forest plan. On the other hand, the disadvantage is that it wll be very far to make frequent trips. So either we have to travel there and rent out a place for a week or month at a time to develop the land and come back to Bangalore. Not sure if that will turn out to be expensive. Moreover, we were not sure if our daughter will be able to manage by herself for weeks together on her own as we run around planning things and executing them. Alternatively, we could buy now and leave it like that for a few years until the time we are relieved of our duties and move there for development.

If we find a place that is close to Bangalore, the cost is very high. Well beyond our budget even for a small parcel of land. So we might have to compromise on number of fruits and vegetables we want to grow. The advantage is that we can start developing the farm right away. We could plan a weekend trip early in the morning, finish some work by evening and come back the same day. That way we can either leave our kid with her friends or at least keep her busy for a day. We were not sure which way to go initially. We thought we should visit some farms both near and far and decide what to do, which is exactly what we did.

In January 2022, we visited a farm that is within the Bangalore city limits. It is unbelievable that someone can have a farm in the city. They can enjoy all the benefits of city while enjoying life in nature (somewhat). While the air may not be as clean and the water table might be very deep, it is still a good compromise in my opinion. My better half had a different opinion though. She prefers clean air and water even if it is a bit farther from our place.

The farm is spread out in 13 acres and has cows, chickens and all kinds of fruits and vegetable trees. There were some 4 guest houses, just for the owners because they work somewhere else in Bangalore and come to stay in the farmhouse only during the weekends. They have a full size tennis court, a couple of sheds for animals and couple of smaller houses for people who maintain the farm on a daily basis. This farm is completely hands off and the owner does not actively work there. The workers take care of everything because it is a very big area.

If we buy something like a quarter acre farm close to city, we were wondering if we can manage the whole thing ourselves. Again, we did not have much clarity at the time (and still don’t). Another place we visited in March 2022 was also in Bangalore right next to where we live! It is not really a farm in the traditional sense, but it had a whole lot of trees. The temperature was a good 2 or 3 degrees cooler than my place which is just 100m away.

For both the farms there aren’t a lot of issues with security because they are with in the city and they have security personnel. No risk of wild animals as well. Getting workers can be expensive because they have to get them from a near by village. They have bores, although we are not sure about the depth. No electricity problem as well. Both the farms have a proper fence to mark their boundaries. Because they are in the city, building farm houses might not have been that difficult either.

Next we decided to look at some farms which are far from Bangalore. In the same month, we drove to Davangere to check out a couple of farms a friend is planning to purchase. We liked them quite a bit. They are more in the villages and you can tell the air is fresh and the water is clean. The only problem is the distance.

It is time to make the tough call. Find a farm closer to where we live, pay through the nose but realize our dream much sooner vs a farm that is far, less expensive but wait a while before we can do anything about it. We decided for an in between compromise. Why not find a place that is perhaps not as far as 8 hours drive, and yet not too expensive? We narrowed our search space to looking for farms that are around 2 to 4 hours drive from our place. These were still quite expensive, so we limited the range of the farm size to be anywhere between half acre to 2 acres. The closer to the city, the more we can compromise on the size and the farther we go, the more size we hoped to get.

Then we started our search with those criteria. How we pursued that goal and how we ended with our farm in upcoming posts.