Need to use more of our land...how?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by vancom, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. vancom

    vancom Well-Known Member

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    We have 6 acres--5 of it is heavily wooded. We are left with little sunny area for a big garden, which is what I want, no real room for strawberries, melons, etc. I need some idea for how to affordably cut down an acre or so, and turn it into small pasture, a nice barn and barnyard, and room for a great garden. We raise dairy goats and have two young pigs; the chickens have the chicken palace, but the goats need a real barn and I'd like an extra room of my own, perhaps an office area built into the barn, etc.

    The trees are huge--big old walnut, white oak, some maple and cedar. No way we can cut them on our own. We had about 15 large and med.sized trees felled in February and cut up (not split--we did that ourselves) and it cost us $1400. Well, I'm talking about a lot more than 15 trees this time. Lots of money. We live in a fancy-pants county with Mcmansions going up everywhere, and I need to use property in a certain directions to get the best use of it. Cutting and clearing is expensive...

    Is there a way to clear the land and have the trees taken to offset the price of clearing the land? How can I know what they are worth? Does anyone have any ideas, or faced this same kind of issue?

    Vanessa
    Middle TN
     
  2. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    for goodness sake...those walnuts are very valuable for timber if they are in good shape. that is true for cherry if you have any of that. oak is fairly priced. we are selling some oak this summer/fall for @ 47 cents per board foot. our timber guy would like to have all tops as well but i am only allowing soft wood tops like poplar to go as i need firewood. get an estimate on the timber and sell it if you need to clear land. maybe you could compromise and have them clear the stumps as well as they would have all the machinery to do it.

    the more land you clear, the sweeter the attraction for a logger. the fact that you have walnut should sweeten the deal enough to make it worth logging.


    oh yeah, there are foresters who will estimate the timber for value and act as middlemen in the entire process. if you are really not concerned about getting the most value out of the timber, don't hesitate to hire a local forester. my personal dealings with a forester has left me a bit disappointed as i feel he is working more in favor of our local loggers than for me. it is to be expected as he works with them all the time and has never dealt with me before or ever will again. that being said, it is the forester's job to do the best for both parties and not cheat anyone as his reputation is at stake.

    you can do some research online to get timber market reports for your area showing the most recent market data for timber prices in your area. i would do some research on the market prices and seek the aid of a forester.

    good luck.
     

  3. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    You can grow mellons, strawberries and such in a very small area. I use stock panels and grow all the vines on the panels. When the mellons get started I tie a sling for them to hang in while they grow. For strawberries you can make a circle about 5 or 6 ft diameter, fill with dirt, then another circle higher, fill with dirt, etc. until you have a strawberry pyramid. You can put strawberrys all the way up or put something else on top (maybe a little water fountain that can water the plants).

    I do a lot of square foot gardening. You'd be amazed how much can be grown in a very small area, tomatoe plants in 5 gallon buckets, potatoes in a box that keeps getting more boxes added until it gets so tall I have to stand on a ladder to get to the top of them. Think of a garden in terms of how high you can go instead how spread out it can go and you'll have a picture of my gardens.
     
  4. clamjane

    clamjane Well-Known Member

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    Just a word of caution when dealing with loggers, make sure you have something in writing that they will fix any damage their trucks may do to your land. Big ruts and all of that. Just my two cents worth, I am sure there are others on this board that can tell you more about that than I can.
     
  5. Windy_jem

    Windy_jem Well-Known Member Supporter

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    With raised garden beds, you can grow alot more food in alot less space than a tilled garden on the ground. There's always tire gardening too....sort of like raised beds but in a smaller scale.
     
  6. vancom

    vancom Well-Known Member

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    I do grow a decent amount but I never thought about melons growing upright--I trellis cukes and beans, and of course tomatoes (I grow cherry since they are indeterminate and like to grow up) Part of the problem is also too much shade and not enough sun...from all the trees!

    I do want to clear an acre--figure we need that for the barn, etc. I will do some digging and see what I can come up with. I know we will need to have stumps removed, and the ground smoothed, settled, etc.

    Any other ideas much appreciated!

    Vnessa
     
  7. Windy_jem

    Windy_jem Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you cut the lower branches off the trees you will be surprised how much more light you will have. Even if you cut 10-20 feet up if they are really tall trees....that will be fine.
    Besides, that will make great firewood & kindling! ;)
     
  8. vancom

    vancom Well-Known Member

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    We did clear some branches, and then my son decided to slice his knee a bit with the chainsaw, so we are a little leery of it right now. Well, I am, anyway!

    We have lots of firewood from the trees we cleared in the spring. Lots. Lucky for us, we have a great fireplace in the front and a woodstove in the back!

    Thanks MELOC for the lead on who/what to call. I'll hunt around and see what I can do. I am fairly patient and we are not in a big hurry.

    Vanessa
     
  9. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    1 acre may not sound like much too most loggers so expect the worst. you may want to consider clearing one acre and select cutting the rest.

    i wish you the best of luck.
     
  10. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    Another idea for clearing a acre. If there are any homesteader sawmills around, sometimes they will cut on shares. We had a lady give us a bunch of the trees in her yard. We contacted a homesteader with a portable saw mill. He cut them down and sawed them into lumber. We ended up getting thousands of board feet of lumber free! I wish I had a picture to post, I'd show you the 80' x 50' barn we built using about 1/2 the lumber. I think he took 2/3 of the lumber for doing the work.
     
  11. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Yep thats what id most likely do to.A buddy just got his land logged.The logger happened to be a really good.Didn't tear up things more than necessary.Cut only the larger trees and left any thing of value that would be worth more in the future.
    27 acres turned out a little over 8k total.It had been logged a little over ten years before according to the logger.And the trees he left would be good to cut in another ten years.
    He brought back computer print outs from the two saw mills he took the logs to.They cut him his part of the check (50 %) and the land owner had to go pick up his part of the money.

    Make sure they leave enough stump sticking up for a dozer to use as a lever to push over!
     
  12. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    As far as the strawberrys go, there is stackable flower petal shaped growing containers. They have 4 to 6 planting areas per unit and can be stacked vertically up to 10 units high, so you could have up to 60 plants within a 2 square foot area.
     
  13. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

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    U can get chainsaw pants fairly cheap == beats stiches -- try a local coop or look online. Clogs the chainsaw up before it cuts you up!