I’ve been spending a lot of time with government over the last few weeks (excluding vacation). To clear land and plant a vineyard, I need a lot of nods from officials at the state and local level. I’m still researching what parts of the federal government I have to genuflect before…but more about that after the shut down ends.

By my research (I’m serving as my own counsel so this list will likely grow), I need the following:

2 entrance road permits for logging, farm equipment, and commercial use (vineyard/winery) from VDOT;

Location clearance permits from Loudoun County (to clear timber);

Farm management and forest management plans/permits to clear timber and plant a vineyard from the VA Soil and Water Conservation District and the VA Dept of Forestry (required by State law and Loudoun ordinances);

A septic permit for waste water from Loudoun County;

A well permit for irrigation and potable water from Loudoun County;

One or more building permits and development plan approvals for initial farm structures from Loudoun County (for equipment storage and office space to be followed by a winery building with crush pad, tank room, barrel room and tasting room);

Burn permit/notices to dispose of timber clearing debris from the Dept of Forestry ; and

Logging notice/permits from the Dept of forestry to cut and sell timber.

Who knew farming was so complex, before you ever start farming? Could be worse; I could be a grower in CA.

All part of the deal in the end.

Some welcome news–my farm management plan has been approved and I will qualify for reduced real property taxes because I will keep the land in agricultural use.