We have been to see a site in Strines that we are interested in. It is half an acre, and has the Goyt River as its Southern boundary. It is 5 miles from where Lindsay lives, and even closer to George. It is 9.8 miles from Levenshulme Market.
There is a sketch of the Strines site here, and we have been doing soil and site tests to determine its potential as a growing site. This includes looking at the current vegetation, which is buttercup, with some rushes and docks. This suggests its wet, though fertile. We are concerned about the line of Poplar and Alder trees down the centre of the site, and have negotiated to remove them. There is Willow to the West, which we will also cut back.
The soil tests include a finger test, where you roll the soil into a ball, and see how sticky it is. I think we have a clay loam. The drainage test, where you dig a hole 1m deep, cover with a tarp, and then go back the next day. Ideally there will be no water, and indeed there was no water. Jam jar tests where you fill the jar with soil and water, and see what it looks like when it settles. Looks like clay. The soil percolation test, where you dig a hole and saturate with water, then go back the next day and fill again, and see how long it takes to drain away. I am still to go back and check the results of this test.
We are trying to get information from the planning department on costs and timeframes for planning permisson for a polytunnel, and a license for pumping water.
It is not a perfect site by a long stretch, but it has lots of things going for it, and we are negotiating with the landowners. Fingers crossed.