What $160,000 Buys You in Alabama: Sonny Day Organics Farm - Modern Farmer

What $160,000 Buys You in Alabama: Sonny Day Organics Farm

This 15-acre organic vegetable farm in Moundville includes a 32,000-square- foot, fully irrigated Harnois greenhouse.

Currently vacant, the late-1800s farmhouse needs extensive repairs.
Photography David Moman

The Provenance

Local businessman Tim Ryan returned the bucolic plot – most recently the site of an auto-body shop – to its agricultural roots about two years ago, when he installed the greenhouse and began the process of obtaining USDA organic certification. Unable to juggle farming and his construction business, Ryan sold to the current owners, who must now unload the property due to family health issues. To date, Sonny Day produce has reached consumers at the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market and has been distributed wholesale via the Alabama Organics Association.

sonny-day-tunnels

The greenhouse’s four high tunnels each span the length of a football field. David Moman

sonny-day-trees

Pecan and walnut trees shade the 15-acre farm. David Moman

Caveat Emptor

Whether you’re a pragmatist or a preservationist, the farm’s circa-1890 farmhouse presents its fair share of challenges. Besides obvious cosmetic problems, the dwelling requires significant repairs to a compromised rear wall before it will be habitable. The silver lining: You could always camp in the barn, which boasts laundry and bathroom facilities, while renovations are under way. (landandfarm.com)

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