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Discussion Starter #1
We're still searching for land...any thoughts on hilly farms? I'm looking for some advice, pros and cons, thoughts, etc. Around here there's not much else to choose from. I love the location, just wondering what I need to know and consider before purchasing a parcel which may be all hills and folds. The last few pieces we've looked at are very hilly, not much flat land at all. A few fairly level knolls for possible homesites.

One we are pretty serious about, here are some links to pics...

http://img77.photobucket.com/albums/v235/doublemercury/f92d8500.jpg

http://img77.photobucket.com/albums/v235/doublemercury/c7922d80.jpg

http://img77.photobucket.com/albums/v235/doublemercury/c546f606.jpg

http://img77.photobucket.com/albums/v235/doublemercury/9a72e8e8.jpg

http://img77.photobucket.com/albums/v235/doublemercury/6804efcf.jpg

It's a 30 acre parcel, good access off paved dead-end road, needs farm road/driveway put in, has electric on property but no well/septic yet. Small creek branch near road and old log barn where a momma and baby horse currently live. Property is completely fenced with wire mesh.

Our intended use is to build a house and possibly a couple other outbuildings, for animals/equipment. We would like a small-family-sized veggie garden, an herb garden, some fruit trees and bushes. We also want to keep bees, chickens, and eventually a few pastured animals, not sure what kind yet.

The biggest questions in our minds right now are about the siting of house and buildings, and the maintenance of the pasture area until and even after we have grazers.

Any ideas, thoughts or other questions for us to consider would be much appreciated.
 

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agmantoo
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Look eastward to the Piedmont area in Davie county or north Iredell county. Hilly and rocky land are to be avoided IMO if you want to farm for income/substantnance. For hobby most anythiong with water will work. Also ask Oz who posts here how he found his property. It is rather flat and in western NC.
 

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Our 'future homestead' is about 42 miles from Black Mountain(going the backroads)and about 60 miles from Asheville(Hwy 74 to I-26 and on to Asheville)

There is quite a bit of land available in the area and some has mountain views and such(if that is what you desire) but it is more suitable(it seems) to farming than the mountains to the west.

There is a VERY large piece of land for sale by owner adjacent to ours-has frontage on two creeks I believe,is fenced,and has a home up on the hill.It IS however split by a busy road.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Okay, thanks, i'll keep that in mind, but we really have to stay within an hour's drive of both Black Mountain and UNCA. As you folks know it can take a long time to drive not-very-many miles around here. So we need to stay close...any more thoughts, anyone?
There are lots of farms in Madison County, so it must be feasible, right? We don't need to grow large-scale crops or anything. I am amazed how difficult it is to find any info on this type of homestead in the hills. Any further discussion on this will be very helpful!
 

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I think the biggest problem you might run into is finding water on a hilly area as this but with 30 acres, it is quite possible to find water. I have lived on a ridge all my life except for 10 years that we lived up the holler (valley). I have to say I prefer the hills over the flat land for many reasons. But finding water amongst all the rocks is a bit of a challenge. Most people here have city water now but before that most had cisterns. Most states require a pert test before getting a permit for a septic system now so you will want to make sure it passes the test before purchasing the land. A few of the reasons why I prefer the hills better than the valley is because it is much cooler up here. It is also less likely to frost here when it does in the valleys alot of times. Of course we do have snows more often but the sun melts it quicker than alot of the valleys. As for gardening, the soil here was mostly clay and a bit rocky but no boulders or anything like that that can't be easily removed. :haha: Our garden has been composted with lots of manure and leaves and after a few years we raise a gorgeous garden. The hill actually helps it to drain better than it does when it sits in soggy, flat soils. We have fewer mosquitos and less snakes. We have no tornados. As for the horses and other livestock, don't see any problem there unless there are dangerous rockcliffs on the property. But you will want to consider having 4 wheel drive for winter.

I have lived in both a flat valley and a hilly ridge and between the two, I will take the hills any day! By the way, we live in WV which is a bit more hilly than NC.

I am wondering if there is an old barn on the place, could there have once been a house there and possibly a well on the place already? I wouldn't know whether the well would still be good for human consumption but if someone else found water, most likely you wouldn't have a problem. Of course, finding it close to where you want to build the house is another :confused:

Good luck to you, I hope you find a wonderful place to homestead. :)
 

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Well I guess you're still looking in Buncombe and Madison counties. Obviously from all of the places all ready there it can be done. The expenses are easily twice what it would cost in flatter areas. Bulldozers have helped tame the mountains of WNC and if you look around you will see that they can build anywhere you can afford. I have seen them bring in materials with helicopters to build some of those houses high on the ridgetops.
If you look closely you'll see that the cows legs are shorter on one side as they have adapted to grazing on the hills. Most planting is done by loading shotgun shells with seed and shooting at the hillsides.
Seriously just contact the ag agent or extension service in Asheville for info. The only obstacle in that area is MONEY.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, we're looking in Madison County, as I've said before we don't have the luxury of moving wherever we want due to my huband's shared child custody situation. The parcel we're looking at currently is priced at $7,750 per acre. Of course I wish it was cheaper, but I think we're buying about five or ten years too late in that regard. Too bad we can't turn back the clock on land prices! :p As it is we will have to use all our resources and much sweat-equity to get a place built, but I'm hoping to make our dream a reality eventually. I just hope we get it done before we're too old to walk up and down the hills and take care of the place! :rolleyes:
 

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We have a homestead on very hilly property and I really think it is more interesting than flat land. We find the nights cool off real nice especially since we are located on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennnessee. Of course it is colder and maybe snowier in the winter but we don't get much snow at all here. HOWEVER, we have just listed our place because my husband is now 73 and we know he will not be able to keep up the hillsides. If it were fenced and kept down with grazers then that wouldn't even be a problem but we are just too old to be doing fencing as we did years ago in MD. We have 40 acres but are only selling the house, cabin and 7 acres more or less. We have a lovely creek that flows thru the property. We listed with American Way Realty in Cookeville TN but not sure if it is on their site yet.
 
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