Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
Has anyone ever farmed on wetlands? I'm particularly interested in berries and I mean on a large scale as in 10 or so acres. IOW not just a few bushes. I want to actually drive a tractor.

I have about 10 to 15 acres of land that are super heavy clay but with vegetation on land I'm about to buy and I want to figure out a way to make some money off the land. I've read that berries grow well (rasberry, blue and choke). I know I can't till the soil but I can burn the grass or brushhog it. That leaves me with some pretty clear areas.

Thoughts?
 

·
Be powerful. No other option exists.
Joined
·
39,118 Posts
Locate your county extension agent. Explain your dream. Have him come out to look at the land, too.

Is anyone in the area growing berries? Can you look at their operation?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wolf mom

·
Be powerful. No other option exists.
Joined
·
39,118 Posts
Research the necessary habitat for the berries.

Soil type
Drainage
PH

I will tell you a duck, flower, and vegetable tale.

A group of starry eyed youngsters bought land south of Ganado, Texas, to raise ducks, cut flowers, and vegetables for sale. It was clay soil also.

I guess it lasted about one wet year. No market for the flowers. The vegetables struggled and failed in the heavy clay soil. The duck pens couldn’t dry out and stank so badly you could smell them from miles away.

Research first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,674 Posts
I grow berries on wet land. Blueberries in raised beds grow and crop decent however wouldn’t plant 10 acres of them.
Gooseberries and currents do well. But good luck selling them
Raspberries, multiple varieties have failed here. As have blackberries and their relatives. However I am a bit cold for blackberries and that may have been the issue.
Wet ground means a narrow window to drive a tractor on the land without causing compaction and damage.
Wet ground also means weeds weeds weeds. My blueberries etc are choked with grass, it’s a pain.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,287 Posts
Nix to clay. Blueberries need acid, peat with water table ten inches below the surface, but no flooding. Tomatoes do pretty well on some clays.

You might be better able to make some money driving a tractor-trailer. My opinion.

geo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,849 Posts
You can do just about anything if you throw enough money at it.
You used the phrase "super heavy clay" so I'll take from that you know going in it may be a challenge.
I have friend with U-Pick berry farms but it is typically sandy/loamy soil.
If you have your mind set on this property and making a buck from it you may just have to consider using it for whatever it will best generate money rather than what you prefer to do on it.
It may mean doing a variety of smaller things rather than one large commodity, ie raising and selling goats/pigs, specialized crops or a small section of christmas trees. Just thinking out loud.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
Have you considered using animal power rather than a tractor? That would give you a wider window to work without risking compaction. Can you ditch or tile to drain the water? At one time, the local farmers would dig canals and pile the dirt on their fields to build above water level fields then they would bridge or use barges to move equipment between the fields. I don't know if you can get away with that now.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,697 Posts
Our UPPER michigan has a lot of cranberry bogs that are natural. I have people who come in and harvest a lot every year.

As for draining the property a wet land Now is againest the law and you can really be fined a lot.

Wifes uncle years ago (45) dug canals and put in drain tiles to drain the property . He was fined 10,000.00 per acre and went in with other farmers to make a large wet lands up to make up for the acrage they had dug canals thru.

They also had to block upo the canals since they goverment didn't want the water going into local rivers.
Today they pretty much all grow rice.

:D Al
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top