After finding a farm we liked the look of two weeks ago, and checking we could build on it with West Tamar Council (who said probably), we went back today to take some soil samples to see if it would work for hazelnuts.
The four of us, armed with garden forks, a trowel, six small containers for our samples and the camera, tramped across about half of the 62-acre property. We worked out the best locations for the hazelnut trees and took six soil samples at these locations, carefully marking them on the map Harvey had traced on baking paper from Google Earth.
And it seems the land would be suitable for hazelnuts, showing us our instincts were right. The soil PH at the various locations was between 6.0 and 7.0, with the right conditions for hazelnuts between 6.4 and 6.8. It was fun imagining what could be and then testing our samples with the little kit Harvey picked up from Gunns (like Bunnings) – mixing a muddy concoction from the soil and chemicals to get a resulting colour of orange to green, depending on the PH level.
And here’s the view from where we think the house should go (below). We know this land has been on the market for a while, so we’re not worried about someone snapping it up tomorrow, but even so we think it’ll be gone by the time we’ve organised a deposit and mortgage. Still, this was a fantastic research exercise!