The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Neighboring farm for sale

Farm house

White horse on a hillA pair of our favorite local friends are retiring and moving to town.  We're heart-broken...but maybe one of you would like to step into their shoes and be our new neighbor?

This well established farm is located just two miles from our house.  I'll let Dick tell you about it in his own words:

Chestnut Ridge Farm
near Dungannon VA
Limited offering by
Anne Leibig and Dick Austin

This 95 acre mountain farm, overlooking the Clinch River has been managed organically, with horse power, for more than 30 years (berries, peppers, range chickens, maple syrup), with extensive hardwood forests including stands of sugar maples (+ syrup evaporator), 4+ acres of tillable land, 7+ acres of pasture/hay land, large modern barn with 6 horse stalls, loft and work-room. (All figures are approximate.)

Forest management certified by SmartWood. The property is protected by a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy which has designated the Clinch River watershed one of America’s “Last Great Places” because of its unusual biological diversity.


Our home comprises two adjacent buildings with scenic outlooks and privacy (no other homes in sight). There are 2,100 square feet with three bedrooms, two baths, large dining room, two living rooms, a study, a modern kitchen and pantry; plus a distinctive curved porch (500 sq.ft.), and a deck (550 sq.ft.) with Jacuzzi (needs plumbing repairs), and a dog run. Original house dates from 1916 with porch from 1930, plus modern renovations and additions. Century-old logs and hand-made bricks from the first farmhouse are incorporated in the modern, passive-solar addition. Both buildings have central heat and air conditioning. There is also a wood stove in the main house.

Rolling fieldFor forty years Anne and Dick have engaged with the surrounding community and natural environment. In an effort to attract new owners who may continue this tradition, we are making a special offer to friends and to those recommended by our friends, at a price lower than we would ask on the commercial market. Please contact us for details, and to arrange a visit to this home and farm of rare beauty.

The farm address is 2895 Sinking Creek Hwy., Dungannon, VA, 24245
Farm phone is 276/467-2437.
You may E-mail Anne Leibig at, or call her cell phone, 276/690-0814. E-mail Dick Austin at

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Stunning. What a great property. Mind if I pass on the link to a few people?


Comment by Everett Mon Nov 14 08:51:13 2011

Please do! Pass it around widely (as long as it's within like-minded folks.) I'd really love to have a friend of yours living next door since we couldn't talk you into it. :-)

For the record, the price tag is the same as it was when I sent you the pre-offer. Feel free to mention the price, just don't put it up on the web.

Comment by anna Mon Nov 14 09:02:23 2011
What an incredible property! We've been talking about moving to the area for a long time. I've got an interview in the area on Thursday. I think I'll make contact and see if I can get over there Friday morning to see the place. Again, wow.
Comment by Bear Mon Nov 14 16:18:23 2011
I'm so glad the blog post is pulling in potential likeminded neighbors! I hope Dick and Anne can see you this Friday and that the property speaks to you. Good luck with your interview!
Comment by anna Mon Nov 14 19:35:24 2011

Well, the job didn't work out. Win some, lose some. I did get to meet with Dick Austin and see the farm though! What a wonderful spot! I would have liked to have spent more time but he had to get back to packing a truck and I had to get on the road to drive home.

We hope to one day call SWVA home, but it's not looking like it will be this year. We've toyed with the idea of just going for it, job or no job, but with three young kids we feel like it'd be pretty risky. And I have no idea how we'd get started. Dick hinted that Anne and Anna were working on something that might be applicable to people like us, so I'll be on the lookout!


Comment by PapaBear Wed Nov 23 12:05:33 2011
I'm sorry that job fell through, but am still hopeful you'll be neighbors eventually! We're currently working on the possibility of an internship program on 58 acres right behind this property, but it's contingent upon the land being donated to a local non-profit. We had a very hopeful meeting today and may have a real answer by the end of the year. Not sure whether that would work into your plans or not, but I'll definitely keep the blog posted as we get solid information.
Comment by anna Wed Nov 23 13:43:55 2011

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