Hello from Massachusetts

Tigger19687

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Live in Massachusetts and in the process of finding the best property here for a farm.
Chickens, bees, I've had rabbits as a kid so thinking about them too and so e cattle for grass fed rotational grazing.

Hope to learn a lot and pipe in on maybe a few things I can help others with.
 

farmerjan

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Make sure you look into all the stipulations on farmland in whatever county you are looking at. Mass is one of the worst states in the northeast as far as being "anti" everything that goes along with farming. I am a former New England Yankee, and you could not pay me to move back to the restrictions. What used to be the "picturesque" ideal of old fashion Yankee thrift and practical practices, and farming in general, is not what all it looks like. Mass is exceptionally restrictive on many things. Read @rachels.haven journal for some insight on her goats. I realize that every town/city/county has different regulations.... just be very aware of what they are, before you commit yourself.
 

Tigger19687

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Make sure you look into all the stipulations on farmland in whatever county you are looking at. Mass is one of the worst states in the northeast as far as being "anti" everything that goes along with farming. I am a former New England Yankee, and you could not pay me to move back to the restrictions. What used to be the "picturesque" ideal of old fashion Yankee thrift and practical practices, and farming in general, is not what all it looks like. Mass is exceptionally restrictive on many things. Read @rachels.haven journal for some insight on her goats. I realize that every town/city/county has different regulations.... just be very aware of what they are, before you commit yourself.
Hi, I just went to look at her journal but don't know where she lives and it looks like she lives on 1 acre? I also can't tell what 'issues' she had because it's 275 pages long.
But yes, if you live inside the 128 belt, you better make sure you can have animals. But I'm looking for over 20 acres and, obviously outside 495 belt lol, so it shouldn't be an issue but I check anyway.
Like Athol you would need a permit for a Roo but city told me if I declare commercial (this is in the rural sections) I can pretty much do what ever I want.
This will be my forever home so I'm being picky about what I get.
😉
 

rachels.haven

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Hi, here I am. In Michigan we lived on 1 acre. In Mass we have almost 7...and we aren't allowed to do anything with it. Surprise! And real estate agents aren't obligated to tell you about it while you look.

5 acres in Mass means you are a farm (there are a few ways you can qualify on 3)
If you have so much as a ditch on your property the state and town basically owns your land regardless.
All addresses are "in town" in Mass.

My hay man also recently bought a home with a hay field on it and a ditch that needs dredging and suddenly he also owns acreage the town and state "owns" so he is now starting a legal battle so he can dig his ditch...and also use the hay field for haying. You can not use the 50 feet adjacent to a wetland (not the water, what they decide is the "wetland" around it) as per the state and your town can do what my town does and extend that to 150 feet adjacent to any "wetlands". And wetlands apparently do not have to be wet. My ditch is only wet during snow melt or huge storms. Part of it in front of the house needs to be dug and that stays stagnant, full, and stinky and breeds mosquitos and flies galore to the point of absurdity. And I'm not allowed to do anything about it as my goats scream and bleed andy kids can't play outside as mosquitos and flies bite all of us bloody in their foul clouds.
 

Tigger19687

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Yeah, I'm aware of all the laws we have here, I grew up here.
I'm also a Lic RE agent, nonactive... I can't lie like they do lol I would never make any money.
Town/state own I think 5 feet in from street.
Wetlands are hard to deal with. I've seen so many places that are mostly wetlands and they want huge $$$. SMH

Where are you located? Seems some towns that are in a big boom of population want to change the farming rules.... grrrr.
I might just end up out in the Berkshires
 

rachels.haven

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I'd look just over the border in NH (you can actually dairy there if so inclined) or west in Mass-more west than you think. Other than just the rules, watch the soil quality too. Cattle need grass, and where I am grass does not grow well. My area is better for goats (if they allowed you to fence or touch rockwalls). My hay guy does a few cattle I think, but I don't think they're allowed at his home unless he won his legal battle, and I doubt that he will unfortunately unless he gets a very good expensive lawyer. I believe he knows how to help the soil produce, but his family has been farming in the area for over 300 years so they know the trade.

I'm over below Nashua, westish of that. The population in the town I'm in is not booming here because the only way you can build things here is by applying for conservation "exemption" and the unwritten rule for how to get one of those here is to donate a certain percentage of your land over x number of acres to the conservation board and they let it over grow with invasives and harbor some pretty bad vermin predators. Now they own about 3/4 of the town and they're not selling so very few to no new houses allowed (minimum lot size 2 acres, no high density housing without the above "exemption") but what they own is growing slowly as people try to build "condos" (or recently allowed to put a mother in laws quarters in, but the town does not allow families with any kids to live in them). The board is supposed to be for conservation of farming too, but the only thing they do remotely farmy is to grow the general field they have out to 6feet and bush hog it to the ground twice a year (all that hay!) and they have a "fairgrounds" they let the local private pony club informally own and try not to let anyone else in (the fairgrounds is all a public park, but...).

If you want space here, I hope you find it. We didn't, and we want out.
 

Tigger19687

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🤣 you must be in Carlisle hahahaha, cute town but all woods and wetlands, no real 'town' and unless you are a hermit crab in a shell they don't want you moving in hahaha
If you want to PM me your town so I know not to look there.

I don't want to go to NH, long story, but yeah I'll be going pretty far west. I'm on (mid) 128 now and renting, which so far is still cheap cuz I have a slumlord landlord ;)
 

rachels.haven

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Lol, no, we're not affluent enough for Carlisle. We've got a good income but not THAT good (or debt loving) They'd throw us out. I'll PM my location. We mostly stay in the north part of the state, but I'd go farther west than Townsend, maybe draw a line up from Fitchburg, Worcester and go west of that. You might be able to make Townsend area work if you're lucky but...
Lol, definitely stay out of Carlisle.
 

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