The Daily Dirt

Farmer Cathy Payne is Selling Broad River Pastures

For more information contact Cathy Payne at

The property at 2973 River Road has been organically managed using eco-farming methods since December, 2009. Best practices have been implemented to increase the biodiversity of life in the soil, produce nutrient-dense food, and to manage pastured animals. No-till practices in gardens and pastures have been in place since 2012. Features, fences, buildings, and systems are now in place to assist the new owner(s) in jumping right in to build a homestead to create a successful farm business.

Property Features:

Town and Country Barn – This barn was designed and built by Better-Bilt Homes in Griffin, Georgia. The main barn was erected in spring, 2010. An additional section was added in early 2011 when an apartment was created in the barn loft. All building was permitted.

Barn features include:

  • An insulated workshop with a heating and air unit. There is a garage door and a walk in door. Lights are energy saving and turn on when motion is detected. The windows are also designed to save energy.
  • The middle barn section includes the beginning of a commercial kitchen set up. There are a 3 part NSF stainless sink, two NSF stainless tables, NSF shelving, a hand wash sink to be installed where it is stubbed, and stubbed for a mop wash sink in the next section of the barn. The floor has a drain. A refrigerator-freezer and LG window air conditioning unit (2017) are included for this room.
  • The west side of the barn is the 2011 addition. It is currently used to store feed and supplies and to cure root crops on the steel shelving. In 2017 it was used for sweet onions, elephant garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, ginger, and turmeric. After curing, these crops can be stored up to 6 months in burlap bags and sold or eaten by the family through an extended season.
  • The loft apartment is cozy and comfortable for your guests or farm workers. It includes a bedroom area, kitchenette with stove top, a two part sink, and a full bath with shower, toilet, and hot water heater.
  • The septic tank and field for the barn apartment were permitted and installed in 2011. This is separate from the house’s septic system.
  • A roof rainwater collection system is an energy and water saving feature. Rainwater from the roof is captured in gutters and diverted into an 1100 gallon tank. The tank has an overfill point. When water level reaches the overfill, it runs into an underwater pipe that flows into the duck pond. When the duck pond is low, this can be turned on manually to fill the pond. There is a hose connector that allows you to water livestock in this paddock from the tank. In addition, a solar collector on the barn roof powers a car battery that runs a pump for the perennial garden. Since 2016, the perennial garden has been watered 100% with rainwater, either from the sky or captured in the rainwater tank. The water was tested in 2017 and found to be safe for irrigation use.
  • There is an overhang on the west side of the barn, just outside of the workshop. Here you will find the electric energizer source for the entire fence system and a protected “carport” parking area for lawn mowers and tractor.

Perennial Garden

  • This 1,612 square foot garden will delight you by growing profitable vegetables, medicinal herbs, and culinary herbs year after year without replanting.
  • A garden map is available to document plantings in the double-dug beds. Walking areas in the garden are delineated and mulched with locally chipped wood from felled trees.
  • There are 11 developed beds and 5 open for the desires of new owners. Crops include sunchokes, elephant garlic, horseradish, purple passion asparagus, catnip, Jersey asparagus, stevia, bocking 14 Russian non-spreading comfrey, chocolate mint, fennel, sage, and thyme.
  • At the end of the warm season, beds were covered with cover crops or straw to preserve soil biology and our own farm produced compost was added, along with a calcium spray.

Market Garden

  • In 2017, a side gate was added to this space, along with a rabbit-proof fence to minimize           destructive wildlife entering from a next door field. Chicken wire keeps the poultry out.
  • Wood mulch between the rows delineates walking paths and reduces weeds and bermuda grass in the beds.
  • This is a no-till area. A broad fork is used to loosen weed roots and prepare beds for planting
  • 4 “virgin” double-dug beds were added and cover cropped, bringing the total rows to 20
  • Each bed is approximately 4’x30’. The approximate total of beds is 2,400 square feet. There is room to add another 6 beds in this fenced area.
  • A garden map is maintained seasonally to assist growers in rotating crops and knowing when to harvest. It is cover-cropped in the winter. A compost area is used to grow quality compost using mostly on-farm inputs. A garden map will be provided to the new owners.
  • crops you can expect before you begin growing your own foods of choice include perennial yarrow, turmeric and ginger, volunteer reseeding’s of kapoor tulsi (holy basil) – a very popular medicinal herb, biennial cutting celery, a favorite of Athens Locally Grown customers, red Russian kale, cilantro, arugula, blue curly yates kale, lacinato kale, butter crunch lettuce, a variety of radishes and beets, “Marcy’s Wilkes County” reseeding elephant garlic, Broadleaf soft neck Czech garlic, and glazed collards.
  • Irrigation is by hose. The PVC covered T-posts at the end of each bed serve to prevent hoses from being drug into the bed and crush your crop.
  • Ecological soil tests are available from 2017

Wildlife Pond

  • This small pond outside of the dining area and walk in closet windows was   constructed in a spot where the original owner had a tiled fish pond. It is populated with local marshy grasses and water plants donated to current owners. During the warm seasons it attracts mosquito-eating wildlife. The plants bloom into colorful flowers. We have observed frogs, dragonflies, hummingbirds, and diving insects in the pond. Attracting biodiversity on the farm land is important to its balance and health. The stones defining the pond were gathered from the property. In times of drought, it can be filled easily from the outdoor spigot next to the front steps.

Rock Garden

The rock garden was also formed from stones gathered on the property. It supports two or three varieties of rosemary, oregano, and lavender plants to cut and enjoy. Mint also grows near the front porch next to azaleas.

Deciduous Trees

  • 20+ trees planted in pastures
  • fruit trees at the top of the drive include pear and plum
  • pomegranate tree outside of market garden
  • maple and oak trees in pastures for shade, including 3-4 sawtooth oak trees for large acorns

Managed Grazing System

There are several features on this property that allow you to manage grazing with ease, to the benefit of livestock, soil, and groundwater. Except for the large paddock housing the gardens, fences were all professionally installed by Southland Power Fence in Colbert. With this good fence and good guard dogs, we have experienced no loss of livestock from land-based animals. Only a few poultry to hawks. The managed grazing keeps grass green longer, breaks parasite cycles in the livestock, and keeps manure and trampling distributed evenly in the pastures.

  • Stay-tuff exterior field fencing. The exterior fence is described on this website It is a goat fence 1348-12 and can take the weight of large tree limbs without breaking. The top line of electric wire keeps coyotes and stray dogs out.
  • Interior cross fencing of high tensile wire and bungee gates divide the property into paddocks of .5-.8 acres. Within each of those paddocks, you can use portable electric tape fencing, wire fencing, or net fencing.
  • Run in area for handling: this is next to the barn tractor parking area inside the perimeter fence. It is used to run in sheep, hogs, etc for vetting, sorting, inspecting, shearing, loading, etc. The series of gates have flexible uses. Animals come in on one end and exit the other. The “extra” gate is used to trap and hold animals for catching.
  • A remotely operated gate with keypad maintains privacy for landowners, keeps the owners’ dogs on the property, and keeps stray dogs and predators out. A sensor acts as a “doorbell,” alerting owners to the presence of a vehicle. The gate can be opened for visitors remotely from the family room. The window there allows easy viewing of the driveway.

Pole Barn 16’ x 24’ with Lattice Sides built March, 2012

  • This was originally used to house meat rabbits in hanging cages. Now it is used as a poultry house for chicken and duck layers
  • Applications of EM1 in the henhouse helps keep the litter decomposed and eliminates odors naturally. This chicken litter (and previously the rabbit pellets) make wonderful additions to the compost heap.
  • The barn is equipped with water and lights. Lights can be set to come on automatically during shorter days in order to increase egg production in layers or fertility in rabbits. You can also set up a corner for chicks and use a heat lamp.

Kelly Creek – at the eastern border of the property, 30+ feet from the eastern exterior fence. This feeds into the Broad River.

Irrigation and water for consumption

We have one well that serves the house, barn, barn apartment, henhouse, and 9 hydrants interspersed in fields and the market garden. The well pump was replaced in February, 2016. Hydrants will drain water from hoses when shut off and pipes are below ground to prevent freezing. Hoses are used to water livestock and garden.

Water in this area is hard. There is a water softener in the well house to remove excess minerals in house drinking water, washing machine, and toilets. In addition there is a reverse osmosis filter installed under the main house kitchen sink and a dispenser for the extra filtered water. It is delicious! Visitors always comment about the tasty water. Service is provided by Metro Water Filter since installation in 2010.

Two Septic Tanks and Fields

Septic tank behind Town and Country Barn for apartment bathroom. Hook up behind barn and electricity for camper use. Drain field for the barn septic is in the most southeastern field near the woods. Installed early in 2011.

Septic tank behind SW bedroom even with the mud room for the house. The drain field is near the hen house. Installed February, 2016. Work by Mullenix

New gravel in driveway February, 2016 by Mullenix

The House

The house was remodeled by previous owners in approximately 2007-2008. In 2010, the former living room was subdivided into a foyer/library, pantry, and walk-in closet. Also a master suite was created by moving a wall, removing a closet, removing a linen closet, and adding a second sink and walk-in closet.


On the eastern side of the property, adjacent to Kelly Creek, is an 800 acre tree farm. On the South, 45 acres placed in trust.

On the North, a lovely white church used only on 1st and 3rd Sundays and a 150 acre cow-calf operation.

On the West, a neighbor’s unused field.

Such beauty!

From this property you are sure to enjoy bucolic views of livestock and wildlife, song birds and water birds, rolling hills, vivid sunrises, relaxing sunsets, striking full moons, and breath-taking sunsets. The Milky Way never looked so clear.

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