Ideas for 2.5 acres

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MN Mom, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. MN Mom

    MN Mom Well-Known Member

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    Am in the process of buying a 2.5 acre homestead. Not the large acreage dream but a stepping stone no less.

    My question is other then chickens and maybe a turkey or two for the upcoming years holidays what else can be raised on a small lot. Plan on doing the garden thing.

    Previous owner had 2 horses but with only about 1/2 acre of pasture area I don't think it will support any grazers.

    Property description is 1/2 acre house and yard for kids, 1/2 acre of old horse area and about 1.5 acre of trees.

    Not a real big interest in rabbits. Goats might work in the trees and horse area but not sure if I'm up to milking 7 days a week. A pig or to would help the freezer in the fall but have been warned about having pigs around young kids (3, 2 and 1 due in april).

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Homesteader

    Homesteader Well-Known Member

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    I guess my question to you would then be what do you want to accomplish? Are you thinking of being as self sufficient as possible as far as food goes, or is a garden and a few chickens enough? You asked what else could be raised but sort of seem to cancel out the obvious critters - goats, pigs.

    I can tell you what our set up is here, on 2 1/2 acres. And it's really more like 2 acres net after the easements. We just this year got dairy goats ( :D ), so milk will be added to our food supply. They are penned in a 20x40 grassed area, with separate enclosures on either end which extend outside that grass area. They do not graze, we feed them in there of course. Also chickens for eggs, and we raise Cornish-Rock cross for meat, quail, and pigs will be added next. Terrible time in our climate with tree fruit, but grapes and pomegranites are doing great. 5,000 sq. ft. veg. garden, large herb/asparagus patch, plenty of room for fruit trees (although only 5 are doing ok). We don't grow any feed at this time but I am looking into whether or not a small patch of some type of hay could at least supplement their hay ration (the goats that is).

    It's just the two of us so our food needs are smaller than yours are of course. But you can certainly come close to growing all the veggies and herbs you'd need. We grew so much food last year it was unbelievable at times.

    If you want milk then you'll have to milk daily, if you want meat (other than poultry), well, your choices can change (beef, buffalo, goat, etc.) but they all require care and feed and medicine and maintenance. I know there have been thousands of families with kids who have raised pigs. I guess it's all in what YOU want for your family and for your goals on your new place. Good luck!
     

  3. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

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    I do a worm ranch lings and BISF produce garden on a tract half that size and they are a sizable portion of my income and self relience
     
  4. You might want to check with your local and state codes/ordinances before you get your heart set on anything too specific. In my neck of the woods you would not be allowed to keep a horse, goats, pigs or sheep on 2.5 acres. In my area, people need 7 contiguous acres minimum to have livestock. If you are very residential, you might squeeze in a couple of chickens but if your neighbors complain (crowing in the morning) you could be forced to remove them. People just love to tell you what you can and cant do with your land. Gardens should not be a problem. ]
     
  5. I'm doing mine on 2 acres. Although I have access to aunts 38 acres that surrounds my 2 acres, I still purty much do everything on my 2 acres. I usually raise a huge garden, chickens, meat goats (will be venturing more on the 38 acres) and am going to build finishing pens for pigs and beef. Also started a orchard last spring and hope to build a few cold frame green houses this next early spring.

    I will not be raising the pigs or beef, I will just be buying them ready for the market and keep them in the pens for a few days till I can process them myself. Should save a bundle of money doing it that way. The meat goats are more for brush control, I buy them at weening age in the spring and let the graze on the brush through till fall. Then I sell them and recieve sometimes as much as 3 times the amount. Hardly out any feed for them.
     
  6. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Just for the record:

    I was a much better 'homesteader' on my 1 1/2 acre place, than I am here on 12!! (Well, I DID have a hubby then) BUT.. all that being said.. I'm downsizing. I miss the managability of it all.

    It sounds to me that you will not have ANY grass if you have that many animals. Truly..

    Horses are nice to watch.. but when they can't run, it ain't that great!
    And it's not like you'll be replacing your auto with them, is it? (I'm saying except for fun or plowing/transportation.. they're REALLY kind of useless)

    Pigs are good for tearing up whatever area you're able to KEEP them penned up; for next year's garden without tilling... Just don't forget the electric wire fence about 10 inches from the bottom! :yeeha:

    Cows...... ?????? Got one once to milk.. that was fun...for about a month!! Got one another time to raise for beef.... He was soooooo cuuuute!!: :eek:

    Chickens are great... as long as coyotes don't eat them at night... or hawks carry them off during the day.. (Same rule for small dogs) ;)

    Goats.. HA! Good luck on keeping them in a fence AND off your auto paintjob!! Tethering is good on a small acreage.

    Rabbits are WONDERFUL.. just don't get any with WOOL,, unless of course, you just have nothing better to do all day.. (Best feed to meat ratio of all animals and that pooh.... straight to the garden.. I'd say.. go for the rabbits!! Get about 60 for a wheelbarrow load of poop a day! :worship: )

    Turkeys are huge, but after a year usually become your friend:):)

    Ducks and geese are fun.. but boy can they ever poop! Wading pool is a hard life.. but.. hey.. they don't REALLY need water to swim.

    ON ALL of the above....... Build a fortress around your GARDEN or you'll starve!! :eek:

    I've found that unless you define your actual NEEDS/GOALS for the animals you want .. .you just have a big yard full of pets...and on a smaller place..you will have to feed and care for them. since there is nothing for them to 'forage' on their own... this also limits your 'escape' time for vacations, etc.

    Of course, without all that tractor mowing on a bigger place? You have TIME to do what you like!!

    Just all my opinion, of course. Hope this helps. ENJOY your small homestead!! It can be just as productive as some larger ones if you make your plan.
     
  7. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm assuming your husband will work outside the home, so what you plan on doing is cutting costs where you can at home. I have 5 acres, but I only use a fraction of it. I've been living here for one year. I don't eat meat, so I'll not be raising any larger animals. I live alone, so everything I mention was done by me. It will be harder to do with little ones, but not impossible.

    I built a small chicken coop and fenced an area 16' X 40', and I have 6 hens and a rooster. I sell a few extra eggs at work, and it covers the cost of feed.

    I would plant a few fruit trees as soon as possible. Go with what ever you like best. I planted a couple of apple trees, for fresh eating, canning applesauce, slices, and pie filling. Also a sour cherry, for pies, and a peach tree. You may be able to trade fresh fruit for something else later on, but since it takes a few years to reach a harvest, don't put it off too long. Also, how about three bluberry bushes.

    I put in 3 garden areas, none of which produced much. We had a very wet year, and the soil was poor, heavy clay and rocky. I rototilled and added lots of ammendments. If I had it to do over I would have built raised beds. I built three this fall, 8' X 4', and clamped PVC on to support plastic. Now I'll have a few dry areas to get an early start next spring. If you like asparagus, put in a bed right away. I planted 25 crowns, and they did very well.

    This year I'll plant sunflowers, corn, alfalfa and a few mixed grains for the chickens and bunnies, in a seperate garden. I cut greens with a sickle for the rabbits. I try to cut expenses everywhere I can. I have a grain mill, and buy wheat in bulk. Much cheaper to bake my own bread. Maybe I'll try to grow a patch of wheat someday, but it seems like more work than it would be worth. I make soap and laundry soap, and hang my clothes outside to dry. Pick and choose what fits your life. I think you'll be surprised how much you can do on 2 1/2 acres! Most of all, enjoy raising your precious children in the country!
     
  8. MN Mom

    MN Mom Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the advise but the 2.5 acres went down the toilet yesterday. Turns out the realtor who owns the land and who is also selling it want to make big money on it (he bought it for $80,000 in oct. and we offered him 103,000 - $23,000 for not having to do any work on it was something we thought he would go for but i guess not).

    Anyways thanks for the ideas.
     
  9. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    $80K for 2.5 acres of land?????? Geesh! I better snap up that 10 acres with log home and 3 barns that was just reduced to $70K!!!! (If anyone is interested, PM me.... I'm not interested anymore -- too far away -- northern Ohio)

    I'm always amazed at the differences in prices. I thought Ohio was bad!
     
  10. june02bug

    june02bug Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like the realtor is hoping to sell to someone looking for a "hobby" farm.
     
  11. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    Shrek, excuse me for my ignorance (again!), but what is BISF? :eek:
     
  12. Homesteader

    Homesteader Well-Known Member

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    Not to step on any toes, but since there's no reply - BISF probably stands for bio-intensive square foot gardening? I'm not positive though....