Buying 17 more acres - advice needed

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pasotami, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. pasotami

    pasotami Hangin out at the barn!

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    Our property has a very sharp right angle taken out of the northern left corner which belongs to our elderly neighbor. We have told him for many years if he went to sell, that we would pay his price. This property is about 100 yards from my house and I really did not want anyone else moving that close to me. My neighbor in the past told me that he would not sell that it was for his daughter whom lives in Pigeon Forge (an hour plus away). He came to visit me today with terrible news - he had just be in the hospital with double pneumonia, the day after he got out they had to take his wife in and she was diagnosed with cancer, she is in there still (found this out last week), he also told me that the daughter he was saving the land for would not move back and that she had cancer also.... I could tell that he really feels that their time is coming near.... He offered me the land (plus more than I thought he would let me have), it is 17 acres of mountain land that he has had logged at least twice since I've lived here (20 years).... I know I want this land but what can I do with it? It is heavy forest land. I know I can put my horses in there but there is nothing for them to eat.... I would like some ideas on how to make this land useful for my homestead. I thought about mushrooms but I can tell the difference in them.... got ideas? :help:
     
  2. triana1326

    triana1326 Dances in moonlight

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    Leave it alone. You have a chance of getting some natural wildlife and plants back around you which you can then harvest a few years down the road. Not sure if you hunt or do wild foraging, but I'd jump at the chance to have 17 acres to leave wild. Is it that you need more space on your own property right now, or that you want to develop it to make it more "useful" for yourself? If it's that you are cramped in space now, then do some development, but otherwise, my advice is to leave it be...ymmv
     

  3. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    23 of our 26 acres are untouched forest/etc. I don't feel the need to do anything with it except maybe take a walk once in a while and enjoy the beautiful nature.

    I'd love to have that land - just to "have it". There's always ginseng and goldenseal which grow well in Tennessee, I believe.

    donsgal
     
  4. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ditto the leave alone. Fence it and turn a hog or two loose. Harvest deer. Keep the wood for burning in the winter. If it is marketable wood, sell the wood then plant some pine trees. Pine is nice because there is a growing market for the needles that you can sell. $6 a bail is what people get around here.

    Dig a pond on it. Small for yourself to supplement your food. Large pond for a side job of catfish raising and supplementing your food.

    Clear it and grow hay for more livestock. And sell the wood. Or keep the wood and get a portable sawmill and build another barn.

    Leave it alone and enjoy it.

    Bout all I can think of.
     
  5. arbutus

    arbutus Well-Known Member

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    1) Hunt deer, squirrels, grouse, turkey, etc
    2) Firewood
    3) Do some research into modern forestry management, go meet with a forester, set up a plan, and make the timber pay for the land over time. You can have a logging company selectively cut trees 12" and greater in a mature hardwood forest every ten to twelve years and have a healthy forest FOREVER.
     
  6. Highground

    Highground Well-Known Member

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    If you can afford it, BUY IT. Let it remain as it is unless you come up with a good idea for it's use. If you don't buy it, someday you may wish you had.
     
  7. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Is there enough Underbrush for Goats?

    big rockpile
     
  8. prairiecomforts

    prairiecomforts Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking goats too! :)
     
  9. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    plant blueberries on it (if acidic enough) as I'm doing with my tiny patch of wood (17 acres how I envy you!!)
     
  10. pasotami

    pasotami Hangin out at the barn!

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    I have 93 acres, adding this 17 is to mainly keep someone from subdividing it and parking a home at my door and yes, I am going to buy it. But here is the thing - that side of the mountain is being over taken by Kudzu. Once it gets a hold it kills everything including the large hardwoods. I turn my horses in and don't bother to feed them all summer on my land that hits his border. The kudzu is slowly creeping onto this 17 acres so I need to clear a buffer zone so the Kudzu can be maintained, unfortunately this means spraying it. Now, on the part of the 17 that the Kudzu has not gotten too there is not enough underbrush at this time to give the wildlife something good. I contacted the forestry and wildlife conservation at the ag dept about my land that ajoins this 17 and they came out and looked at what I had told me to bulldoze, set fire, and clear it except for the midsize trees - there is nothing there that is good.... I have not done this to my land for I think it is a drastic move - it would kill the owls, grouse, and what wildlife is in there.... I am slowly pulling out the "dead matter". I guess it would help to tell you that the land has a lot of pine that the pine borer has killed and they fell in storms and have just made a mess. My plan for my other woods is to clear out the dead and non-productive stuff, plant mid range shurbs that wildlife can nest and hide in - things that bear fruit, nuts , or berries.... and the bigger open spaces plant forage for the horses and sheep that the wildlife will eat also. But heck, that is a good 35 - 40 acres already I'm working on.... I would love to have the 17 produce something of value for me as it is - food or something. I don't mean bear crop land, it is on the side of a pretty steep mountain.... that is why I was thinking mushrooms or something that likes rotten wood. The ginseng in this area has been all dug up long before me.... I guess I could start some but doesn't that take a while to get established.... I'll see if I can get a photo of the land so you can see what I'm talking about. The other is taking years of work for me, for I'm doing it alone and with horses and chainsaws. I really do not think I could do this area for many years to come but do not want to have nothing come from it.... What can I harvest from the woods that I could use here other than the norm of firewood, got tons of it.... I did not see too many big "nut type" trees, on mine I have black walnut, a few other types of nuts, acorns (which I have no idea what to do with other than decorate)..... I'm not smart when it come to what I can do with trees.... I do know that my neighbor use to take people up in these woods and show them how to strip some type of tree to use for making baskets and chair bottoms - anyone know what I'm talking about? I don't want to "kill" this forest - I want to keep it but I really want it to "improve" my land.
     
  11. pasotami

    pasotami Hangin out at the barn!

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    Jen - how would I keep the deer from eating the young blueberry plants? There is a shrub that I thought was a wild blueberry on mine but NOTHING will touch the berries, I put two berries in my mouth and spit them out - they are not blueberries - tasted really weird. I could put a wire cage over them - maybe?? The land is acidic enough but it is shade and I would have to check the water they would get - I'm not too sure of that.... it's a thought if I can outsmart the deer.
     
  12. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i just sold timber on @15-20 acres. the cut was VERY selective and most of the mature white oak remains as does all of the cherry, spruce, white and yellow pine and red maple. the net after paying the forester was @ $20,000 before taxes. i could probably sell another $5000 easy. the guys tell me that it should be ready to cut in another 15 years. i suspect it will be more like 10 for the poplar.

    it sounds like the owner has cut several times and that the lot could produce well in the future. i would select cut it a few times if i could. i think i read that sheep like to eat kudzu so maybe cutting a break on the perimeter and keeping sheep is an option. you could also plant a cash lumber crop of something special like walnut or maybe pawlonia (sp).

    the real value is peace of mind from having a housing project there. whatever else happens is a bonus.
     
  13. The Paw

    The Paw Well-Known Member

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    Pasotami:

    If it helps you, think of your privacy as the "product" from this land. It sounds like you almost feel that not "improving" the land is a sin, and that is what is bugging you more than actually needing anything from it.

    Nature will take care of the deadfall, and it will also replenish the underbrush in due time. There is nothing sinful in letting nature take its course....

    Something appropriate will come to you eventually, and until then my advice is to be content that this parcel has fallen into your lap.

    of course I could be entirely wrong...your mileage may vary.
     
  14. pasotami

    pasotami Hangin out at the barn!

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    Paw - I believe you are right when you say that not improving the land would be a sin. I see in this land a wonderful place for wildlife, as the farms and good timber land is being cut up for housing. Right next door to my neighbor the farms sold a few parcels - they have stripped the land - yea they logged it but it is now bear ground, nothing for the wildlife. Will they replant the forest here - well no, they may seed it in grass but what about the animals that do not graze, where will they go - I can tell you that the herd of deer that use to live there has moved here - I went from a constant herd of 6-8 to I counted 20 mature deer, 2 sets of twins, and a single young deer.... they need something to eat, the squirrels have increased also. My thoughts are sort of simple, if I make the woods where they have food to eat, they are less liely to wipe out my fields and gardens - they will not be that hungry. I would be honest to give a prediction that in the next 10 years my farm will be sitting in a subdivion or something similar - they break up the land now a days, no one goes out and buy the whole farm around here - developers pay a higher price than most can out bid. So I do feel it would be a sin not to "better" the wooded area. Nature will take it's course but not as fast as the humans are taking away in the land around me. I want to reap a good from the land but I also want to benefit God's creatures in those woods. I just don't want to do what I'm seeing out my back door plus the addition of those 17 acres is going to jump my taxes - it would be nice to thing I could get something off of the land to pay for the tax addition. I'm going to look into the mushrooms and blueberries, wonder what else would do good out there without much maintainence. We have a ton of wild persimmons, I may try a domestic one to see what I get... they like this area. I can't get a paw-paw or a fig to produce - even though the plants look great.... I know - the deer loved my greenbeans, I could just broadcast those in the spring.... maybe I'd get some that way! LOL
     
  15. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

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  16. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Deer love acorns from white oak. You could plant some of those if they aren't already abundant.

    Black locust grows well in your area and makes excellent fence posts. Perhaps you could have a "crop" of fence posts? Dunno how much they'd sell for so it may not be worth your time.

    I understand your desire to make the land productive in some way, especially enough to at least recoup the increase in property taxes. Others have made a good point, though, that what you're purchasing is actually privacy and peace of mind. That is worth a lot!
     
  17. Yvonne's hubby

    Yvonne's hubby Murphy was an optimist ;) Staff Member

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    It sounds like an excellent tree farm to me. Keep the under growth and brush down with some goats. They should keep the kudzu under control as well. The natural wood species in your area will eventually become more timber. In the meantime you have the best of all worlds, a nice wooded area, room for wildlife and NO NEIGHBORS! :)

    edited to add: Those chair bottoms are done with either white oak "splits" or hickory bark. :)