Land question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by electronrider, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. electronrider

    electronrider Well-Known Member

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    I am trying to get a rough estimate of the amount of land I am going to need. Thought I would throw this out to the group and see what everyone's thoughts were.

    I am in the planning stages of my homestead now, intend on buying land in the next couple of years. I grew up on a homestead, and I can't wait to get back. I want to have a self sufficient homestead, but I'm not too sure on how much land I would need to do that. Let me list out what all I have planned, and let me know what you all think.

    Permanent stuff:

    10-15 apple trees
    20-20 blueberry bushes
    3-5 cherry trees
    3-5 pear trees
    a nice blackberry patch
    im figuring close to an acre and a half for gardening purposes

    15-25 chickens
    1-3 bovines ( havent settled on a particular breed)
    3-5 turkeys
    honey bees
    3-5 rabbits

    Yearly stuff:

    30-50 chickens for meat
    10-20 turkeys
    a calf or two
    10-20 rabbits

    Probably some horses too. I want to be able to farm some land for the grain, I am thinking a good hayfield, corn for feed/milling for corn meal, wheat for feed and human cunsumption, and prolly oats as well. I am all about heirloon genetics, whether it be plant or animal. I want the breeding/seeding stock on site.

    I am thinking in the 30-50 acre range, 30 would be tight, 50 would leave me room fer extras like a nice shhoting range ;)

    Thoughts on this?

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You asked a difficult question. All acres are not created equal. Are you planning on some wooded land for fuel? Is this going to be in an area with plenty of rainfall to grow row crops such as corn? Is the ground going to be level enough to not have erosion problems where the crops are grown? Will the ground be naturaly fertile, or will you have to do a lot of conservation work to make it produce?
    If you land in the corn belt, 40 acres will keep you hopping to handle it, especialy if you are working off the farm to maintain a cash flow.
     

  3. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    you could do most of what you are talking about on less than 10 acres easily. An acre and a half garden will feed a small army.

    What do you have now?
     
  4. electronrider

    electronrider Well-Known Member

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    This will not be my primary source of income, I have a good job that I can't really abandon, too much money fer too little work :) For discussion purposes, lets go with no problems with rainfall,fertility of the soil, or other such issues at the moment. Go with an average peice of indiana dirt in between logansport and lafayette. Woods would be a bonus in my book, but not a necessity.
     
  5. electronrider

    electronrider Well-Known Member

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    Growing up, my family did almost two acres of garden, and yes it was for a small army. LOL. That acre and a half figure is counting for stuff like sunflowers, watermelon/cantelope patches, strawberry patch, as well as row crop veggies. Right now im on about 3 acres that have 4 houses, in the process of improving them to sell the property at a decent profit ( got a really good price on the land at the time) and using the money made from it to place as a down payment on bare land.
     
  6. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Hmm... your neighbors will love you.

    The number of acres you'll need depends greatly on the quality of the land. Around here 30. Better quality land you could get away with 10. Manage it intensively and you could do it with 5 with ease. Are you going to produce your own Winter hay? Probably not worth it with that number of stock.

    With neighbors like you, 2000 or 3000 would make me more comfortable. ;)
     
  7. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    We have about 15 acres but don't utilize but about half of it. The rest is wooded. We have 24 rabbits in a bunny barn (mostly Angoras for their wool); about 40 laying hens; two areas of fairly large garden; two doe goats I'm raising for milk goats with a buck to hopefully be delivered TODAY!; two dogs in seperate fenced areas; three apple trees; two pear trees; and two grape arbors....

    Want more grape arbors and more fruit trees, as money allows (although may try to propegate some grape vines via info from old MEN), and will be fencing more and more pasture, to hopefully add sheep....
     
  8. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Highlands,

    What's wrong with a shooting range? Properly located and used properly it should have no impact whatsoever. Ours has a steep 150 foot hill as a backstop. Some of my neighbors like me and some don't (Those that don't respect my property line and no trespassing signs). That has nothing to do with our shooting range. We use it maybe once a month or so and avoid using it early in the morning or late in the evening.

    Sounds like you don't like guns period...... that's a different issue.

    Mike
     
  9. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    I don't like listening to it. I've lived next to a shooting range and it wasn't pleasant.

    Cute. You're attempting to cloud the issue. I have a gun but that is a moot point. I don't like listening to a lot of gun fire.
     
  10. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    back on track...:)

    i think, when you actually get to the point of looking at land, you will find that one thing to consider about each piece, is what kinds of things you want to do on the land. do you need a spring or creek to water livestock? if woods are all on a steep hill, how are you going to get them off of there and into your woodstove? 50 acres in the mountains may not even have a level home site, and be impractical to bulldoze. several pole on this board come close to self-suffiency on an acre or two. it's much easier for you to adapt to the land, than to try and force it to what you want it to be.

    my advice is find the land first, figure how you can pay for it, get in whatever utilities you want, then figure out how you are going to get what else you need and want. if this board proves nothing else, the ones who are succeeding take one step at a time.
     
  11. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    I expect you would need about 3 acres of pasture per cow/calf pair, totaling 9 for the 3 possible ones. I would at least double that in farm ground for feed and grain production thus requiring 18 total. For buildings, orchard, garden, probably a minimum of 2 acres to give a nice round figure of 20 total.

    I'm not sure about horses but I suspect they would need more like 5 acres of pasture per animal and 3-5 per acre in feed & grain production.

    With some grain production for the other animals and some hay and roughage and alfalfa for the other animals---also allowing a place to ride the horses, I expect you should have the high end of what you suggested, i.e. 50 acres. Since sections are split into quarters (160 acres) and quarters are often split into halves or quarters, I expect you can pick up 80 acres about as cheaply as odd sized 50 acres. Usually the larger the parcel the cheaper per acre. It is a lot easier to have too much land than too little.
     
  12. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    You can tell the difference between KS and OH, in our post. It doesn't take neary as much pasture per animal here, and any land you don't use will grow up in a few years so thick that you will have a hard time clearing it. Where are you planning to buy at? (State wise?)
     
  13. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    ZealYouthGuy you are absolutely correct. Since he is from Indiana I guess at those figures. In western Kansas it takes 8 acres per cow/calf pair while in central Kansas it only takes 5 acres. I figured that Indiana would have enough extra rainfall to cut that to 3.
     
  14. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    You may be farther ahead to get a larger hunk of land and get taxed on a farm basis. Spend 20k more for the land and save it in taxes in 5 years. keep digging.


    mikell
     
  15. electronrider

    electronrider Well-Known Member

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    Well, as to the shooting range, were talking me and my brothers once and a while. I am by no means a gun nut. I look at this land as a giant playground, hate getting bored LOL. The idea whith the land was to purchase it as a farm, then do whatever I want to it. Here where I am in Indiana, my best deal is probably gonna be on some older farmland, but a good stand of trees would be great! I'm keeping the possibilities as open as I can right now, still have a year or so before I can get really serious about buying land, maybe even 3. The list I posted is an ideal, and reality will dictate a lot on that list ;). Thanks a lot for the opinions everyone, I appreciate it. I'm starting to meet more of the locals, and they are always an excellent source of information. I know the right piece of land will come along, maybe a bit bigger than my estimate, maybe a little smaller. The nice thing is I have the luxury of waiting for the perfect little plot ( in MY head anyways). I think next step will be to talk to a few realtors, see what they have to say about my budget. I figure the one that goes the extra mile to help me figure this out will probably get my buisness when I go to buy, unless I can go straight to the seller. I don't care for most real estate agents I've met so far, they remind me of a used car salesman thats tryin to push of somethin on you by convincing you its perfect. ( I know, it's their job).

    Thanks again.
     
  16. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I don't either but the government requires us to have noisy firearms. I would love to use sound suppressors on my firearms but Uncle Sam says that is bad.

    Firearms are the only tool I know of which the federal government requires to be so loud as to damage your hearing.

    The federal regulation on sound suppression devices for firearms are as idiotic as the ones against knives which open automatically. Wonderful, useful tools for rural people that get vilified by urban busybodies and taken away by federal laws. Ain't democracy wonderful?