Let's Plan a Homestead Set-up

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Fire-Man, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,487
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    South Carolina
    As posted in another Post--I have 17 acres of open fields I am trying to figure out what to do with--other than letting them grow up into tree's. I already have my chickens, rabbits and guinea's. They are set-up in the edge of the woods. I have about 35 acres of woods. There is a running creek that has water in it year round. I am thinking----------Would I be crazy to Plant some corn on say 5 or so acres, make a pasture on 5 acres, get a few pigs and a cow or two next year, maybe a few goats and put a fenced in area, stables, and etc on most of the other acreage--------just set-up a Home-Stead. Or would I be better to go buy my meat and bush-hog the 17 acres? I know nothing about what it cost per lb to raise cows and hogs or the medical part of it, shots etc, or if I was to buy some--what size would be the best to start with---adult or young. As a young boy--we had cows, hogs and goats all my childhood so I Do know about having to feed, milk the cows, fence and the work that goes into it. I Like the Idea of raising my own meat, but if the cost is to High(per lb) to do it on a small scale---then It might be better to leave it alone. Keep in mind I do have a Saw-mill so the lumber to build sheds etc is close to free(expence--mainly gas and tin) and I do have a fair amount of time that I can put into this. I have a tractor and some equipment. Thanks For the input!! Randy
     
  2. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

    Messages:
    2,053
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    KY
    I've got 15 acres of open land in west Ky. that I rent out to a local farmer. He rotates it in corn and soybeans. I get 1/3 of the crop, which he carries to market and sells for me.

    I never have to do or buy anything, and he gives me a check for my 1/3 of the crop as rent. This year, my soybean check was $980.00. He said next year, according to the grain futures, corn is going to be sky high and I should get between $1200 - $1500 for my share.

    That ain't a lot of money, but it is, when you realize that I do NO work to get it. My land is paid for and my property tax was $53.00. It's like free money to me.

    That's what I'd recommend to you, and try to get the guy who rents it to put it in corn...
     

  3. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,487
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I Guess things are Different in OUR Locations!! I have given the land to a farmer to use --No Charge--for 3 years--He doesn't want it anymore---Offered it to several others-FREE------No one wants it--they say there is nothing they feel they can plant -----where They can make any money. That is Why I am trying to figure out what to do with it. Just so you can understand---------There is 1000's of acres of open fields in my area that is growing up. Some of the Land owners are just planting pine tree's on it-----Some just letting it grow up. Farmers are quitting and getting plublic jobs here. Maybe things will change in a year or two. These Farmers depended on tobacco to make a living, but all that changed-------The BIG farmers got the contracts with the tobacco companies---The little farmer is getting a public job. I don't want to allow My Fields to Grow Up------------Maybe I need to plant it ALL in Corn next year and sell it--------If its going to be where I can make some cash, Buts thats a Gamble!! Still Open for feed back!! Thanks Randy
     
  4. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,499
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    IA
    In that case I think I'd consider what you're talking about - get it set up as a homestead. You can plant some corn, or you could plant alfalfa and clover for a good hay crop on part of it. Raise a steer and pig or two for your meat each year, have a dairy goat or two, chickens, etc. You have a nice set up with the running creek and timber. Sounds like a similar set up to ours.
     
  5. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

    Messages:
    2,053
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    KY
    If I were you then I'd keep it mowed and do as Shepherd said. The neater the fences you can put up and the better you keep it tended, the more it will be worth.

    You might want to put up a good fence and run a herd of goats on it. They'd do the mowing for you.

    Good luck
     
  6. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,447
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Location:
    No. Illinois
    I'm crying for more pasture. If I had that land available I'd fence and set up a great rotational pasture set up for cattle. I could also use more garden space for sweet corn and peas. I'd probably keep a bit of it for that as well.

    I'm jealous. You have a good problem to have.
     
  7. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

    Messages:
    6,633
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Location:
    Near Traverse City Michigan
    there is good money in raising pigs. China is buying all the pork they can get from the USA. Raise some corn and finish some pigs
     
  8. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,487
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Well its about to Warp my brain trying to figure out what to do with it, but Thanks


    Michigan farmer----or anyone else----at what size/age would I need to get some pigs-----to "Finish"?

    Also everyone---------I am not trying to make big money here. If I plant corn I don't have to make alot off it----But would not want to go in the hole bad------------I realize corn is a gamble-if the rain don't come at the right time--you can loose the whole field.

    I was thinking if I raise just enough "Meat" for us----without it costing more than it cost to get meat at the grocery store--it would be ok. Rather have my Own raised Meat anyway. Thanks!! Randy
     
  9. The Paw

    The Paw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,110
    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    I think if you google "permaculture" you might find some interesting infor on designing homesteads/small farms to work as closed systems. The idea is to plan so that you have some annual crops, forage, perennial crops, pasture, room for building etc. You use manure from livestock to fertilize crops that feed the livestock, etc.

    You aren't going to make a ton of money, but if you enjoy that kind of work for its own sake then it is worth doing. You can put food on your own table, make a few bucks on top of it, and take pride in how you use the land. If you are looking for just an economic return, you are better off with a day job. (but if that's what you wanted to do, you wouldn't be on this forum... :) )

    Good luck,
     
  10. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,499
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    IA
    You don't have enough land to make much off of it even if the prices were good, but you certainly do have enough to grow hay or grains for your own livestock if that's what you want.
     
  11. TwoAcresAndAGoat

    TwoAcresAndAGoat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    735
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Location:
    NC
    With 17 acres of open field one thing I would suggest is renting the land out for dog training, field trials, tracking, see if you have a local dog club that might be interested.

    17 acres isn't enough for a hunting club but what about the 1000's of acres you say neighbors are letting grow up? If that could be leased out you could raise game birds.

    If you don't need to make money from the land I would set it up as a small homestead, raising enough hay and grain to feed livestock enough to feed the family, A vegitable garden to put up for canning and drying. A small grove of fruit and nut trees and berry bushes. But that is just what I would do if I had the land, it's the way I like to live, not a money maker.
     
  12. Thoughthound

    Thoughthound Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    artichokes.

    a perennial crop in the south that sells well to "fru-fru" restaurants and can be shipped. Sell directly to buyers at a high dollar.

    wish they were perennials here.
     
  13. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,447
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Location:
    No. Illinois
    This shouldn't be any great trick. Commercial beef and pork is quite expensive in a grocery store.
    Not to mention the quality difference. It's huge. I can hardly eat store bought beef, it has no flavor. And, of course, I love the implants and antibiotics I get for "free" with it!
    I can buy a half of beef from the local butcher and save a lot of money but it still does not taste like home raised beef.