? on land

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. I have the opportunity to purchase a new house that is sitting on 2.6 acres. It's out in the country and fairly secluded. My question is: Can I do a lot with this little piece of land?
    I mean, do you think I would be able to have a "small" farm? with animals and crops etc?
    Thanks for any help,
    Jo e
  2. Wilhelm

    Wilhelm Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2003
    SW Nebraska
    Do you want to garden and raise some chickens? That amount of land would be great for that type of scale. You could have a couple of goats as well. One piece of advice start small and work up to it. Don't try to do it all at once. 2.5 acres would be enough to do a lot of different things. Plant some fruit trees or get some rabbits. All these would be the type of small scale projects to get started, and scratch that homesteading itch. Good luck, and keep us posted.

  3. Cygnet

    Cygnet Guest

    Just take a good look at the layout of my land and the zoning. Here's some ballpark estimates to give you an idea of where I'm coming from.

    In my neck of the woods, I can't build within 40 feet of a wash or 50 feet of the edge of my property for poultry (40 feet for other buildings) or 50 feet of my house for poultry. My property's 275X350 feet, so once I whack 50 feet off each side, I have a usable space of 175 feet by 250 feet. Part of that is occupied by my house, taking up a 60X120 chunk of land where I can't build. (Some of this overlaps into the setback on the propert, so I'm not counting it against the usable property.)

    So I had 43750 feet to start with, and end up with ballpark 36550 after the house.

    But there's two washes bisecting my usable space, both meaning I have to set everything back 40 feet on either side -- so about 85 feet X 175 feet times two is used up. (And actually more than that, as they're not straight and vary in width, but I haven't surveyed how much is actually used up.)

    So at the end of the day, I have 6800 square feet that I can use to expand my poultry -- in several spots, all of them rather awkward for various reasons.

    6800 square feet sounds like a lot, but given I have a 96250 square foot lot to start with ... one more wash and I'd simply have been out of business.

    I'm looking at the neighbor's parcel that's for sale because where I can put my birds truly is an awkward location and I don't particularly want them there. That property's the same size as mine, but because of the layout, ends up with 26,250 square feet after subtracting washes that I could use for poultry if there's no house on it. That's one heck of a big pen for free range poultry.


  4. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 31, 2002
    No. Cent. AR
    You better check if there are Restriction and/or Covenants on the property and a Home Owner's Association. If there are any of the above you probably cannot have animals of any kind except cat and dog. Otherwise, depending on the land itself, fertility, etc, you could do quite a bit there.
  5. Zuiko

    Zuiko Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    If the 2.5 is mostly clear, and unobstructed, it should be okay. If you get John Seymours "The Self Sufficient Life" shows a 1 acre farm with a house, huge gardens, fruite trees, chickens, bees, cows, pigs, and even hay. We live on 10 acres, a couple are the driveway, and we have a lagoon, and lots of trees, and many buildings. I have 30 birds, and 6 pygmy goats. We plan to add goats (nature does that), 4 or so pot bellied pigs, 2-3 cows (maybe full size, maybe mini), a donkey, and I have plans for many more chickens. After all this, we will still have quite a bit of room availible. Good Luck
  6. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 6, 2004
    Michigan's thumb
    Since there is already a house (and presumably well and septic) you shouldn't have to worry about zoning restrictions unless you plan on putting up more buildings. Outbuildings like chicken coops and sheds don't usually fall under restrictions as long as they are under a certain size. Check with the zoning administrator first.

    You can do a lot with 2 1/2 acres if you think "intensive". If you put in fruit trees you can not only get a crop, but provide shade for your critters. If your house and vegetable garden can fit easily onto 1/2 acre, which would be the size of a large suburban lot, probably two or more lots, this leaves you two acres to play with. Even with only two acres, you can still manage a small flock of small sheep or goats, moving them to fresh pasture every couple of days. Sheep and goats do well on weeds, but you'd want to take a good look at the pasture/orchard area to see if you need to put down some seed.
  7. As others say, there can be local restrictions against livestock, as in 'none allowed'. Otherwise, that is mostly too small for a horse or cow, but small livestock like chickens, rabbits, possibly goats can work. Many locations have a 15' propery-line setback for fencing and so on - this quickly eats up what looked like useable space and you end up with a spot the size of a postage stamp for your 'pasture'. An acre is a really small livestock area, and you'd be lucky to get that left after deducting the house & yard, well & spetic setbacks, and the garden area.

    An acre is quite a big garden, if those are the crops you are thinking of. Farm type crops like hay or corn, it is too small to really bother with, a lot of manual labor to harvest (people do tho, not knocking it...), too small to get farm equipment into.

    Check where the well & septic system is, those locations are (almost always) off limits for raising crops on & for any type of serious livestock holding area. There can be deep setbacks for any livestock buildings as well from these 2 objects.

    Plan from there, if what you want to do fits between all the things in the way.

  8. RAC

    RAC Guest

    Look at what is going in around the place you're considering. Go down to the county offices to see what the 20-year plan is. If you own animals now would you be grandfathered in later? Make any offers contingent upon you being satisfied that the zoning allows you to do what you would like to do. Don't rely on what the owner or agent tells you, check for yourself. You may be able to find the info online, but it never hurts to go down in person, with the tax number of the property (may as well check the permits while you're there as well).

    A lot of rural areas are being split up into these 5-acre "ranchettes" with McMansions but often the people buying these places not only do not want to own animals themselves, they don't want you to own any either. To them, someone else's food garden would be visual blight. Many of the places I see have no trees, just lawn. Yuck.

    Good luck in your search.
  9. All country

    All country Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2003
    There is a lot you can do on a little bit of land.
    We have 2 acres. We raise most of our own meat(chicken, pork,rabbit, goat). DH hunts for most of the rest. We rarely buy beef. We raise a few milk goats for our dairy needs. Chickens provide meat and eggs. We also grow most of our fruits and vegetables. We even have some nut trees.
    It is hard to raise enough grain and hay to feed the animals. Our property is partially wooded and we don't want to cut down trees. We do have to buy hay and grain for our animals. We are surrounded by fields. Farmers are usually more that happy to let us go thru the fields after they harvest them to gather corn they missed. We feed it to our livestock and it helps cut down on the feed bill. We fed out 4 pigs that way last winter. Another thing we do to help keep the feed bill down is, let the chickens free range the yard for part of the day. This is usually stopped for a short time in the summer because of the garden, but even then they have a nice pen and we give them garden scraps. This years flock is still free ranging, they haven't found the garden on the other side of the drive yet. :) So far they are leaving the grapes and berries alone. It also pays off in healthier birds and better eggs.
    I guess you will just have to take a practical look at the land and your hopes for it. Also like others have mentioned look into any restrictions. We are very fortunate here.
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Call up City hall and ask about zoning.

    In many places, to have animals you must have 5 acres. In other areas, there is no such law.
  11. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2003
    My beloved little homestead (before THIS big one) was what I call semi rural. It was 1.57 acres. At least 1/3 of it was wooded along a creek. While I was there I did the following (Some of which were against restrictions, but I kept it hidden, quite and clean!):
    Had a 60 hole rabbitry; an 8 kennel 'nursery' where I bred Jack Russell Terriers; had a dozen chickens, 6 geese, a goldfish pond in the center of my 10 raised beds for gardening. We also ended up with a friend down the road with horses, so were able to help her out and have our own horses, and even a cow for a while, just a mile down the road.

    I say.. where there's a will.. there is ALWAYS a Way!! ;)
  12. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2002
    Some people can't do anything with 40 acres. Others make a mint from 1 acre. The real question is...what's your plan and where do your personal skills lie? How much risk can you handle? Have any experience? Have some $ to put into it? That all plays a part.
  13. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    May 26, 2004
    where is the land ????????
    no one asked that, yes everyone asked zoning and what not, but if its in an arid area , say south texas, or az, its a different story, is the land flat? is there ravine? nieghbors ?
    whats the topsoil like ?
    good loam ? rocky? clay?
    theres so many variables,
    assuming its good land with few to no restrictions, you can do it ...
    i have friends who just bought a home on one acre in a rural subdivision , well, after closign they got a visit from the home owners assoc . found out no animals, not chickens, nothing, gardens must be fenced with wooden fencing , they cant plant anything except flowers and trees in the front yard ....

    these are things YOU must look into before purchase !