Rocky Land

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by daileyjoy, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. daileyjoy

    daileyjoy Well-Known Member

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    I am going to look at some land next weekend that dh and I are considering, 20 acres at the right price but one problem that I can see is the land is rocky. What problems will we face on rocky land and is it worth it gardening, animals, undergroud housing. Are there ways to overcome this.

    In Christ
    Jennifer
     
  2. Nette

    Nette Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hmmmm....Sounds like a question for Big Rockpile.
     

  3. Kathy in MD

    Kathy in MD Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Jennifer, My DH and I built a conventional house on a rocky piece of land. We barely met code on one side of the footer. It had to be reinforced with rebar and barely got approved by the building inspector. One of the drain fields was nothing but large rocks; it cost an additional $500.00 because it took so long to remove them. We used a gas powered two-person auger to put in a small fence, every post we ran into rock. I cannot plant a bush or flower without digging out at least one rock if not two. If you were planning an underground house I really would give it a lot of thought before committing myself.
     
  4. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on what you are speaking of. There is rocky and there is ROCKY!! We live on rocky land in Michigan. We never dig a hole but that we don't have to dig a good sized rock, but we do have lovely soil. On the other hand there is land that seems to be just rock and almost no soil. That would be problematic for a homesteader, especially if you wanted a basement.
     
  5. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Hi dailey, you're not by chance thinking of moving to the Ozarks, are you? :haha: Which might be better named the AhShucksAnotherRock!

    :haha:

    It's extremely rocky where I am. We have not only rocks, but boulders. Everywhere. :rolleyes:

    We also have a very high water table.

    :no:

    Despite that, people build underground shelters and root cellars all the time. There are homes buried and built into the sides of hills, as well.

    A lot of people have gardens in the ground, although I'm going for raised beds. Whichever, gardening just isn't a problem.

    And a lot of people build wonderful rock walls and posts from their rocks. I'm hoping to do that ... someday.

    Animals - no problem. There are chickens and goats and horses and cows everywhere.
     
  6. daileyjoy

    daileyjoy Well-Known Member

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    As a matter of fact we are. It is near Pratt Ar, do you know anything about that town? We are currently looking a 3 different areas but that one is the closest to us only 225 miles from where we are at now.
     
  7. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    you can do an awful lot with a bulldozer
     
  8. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I'm not sure where Pratt is --- I'm right across the border from Arkansas, in Oklahoma. But I have family pretty much all up and down the Ozarks - and I live in ... the Oklahoma Ozarks! :cool:

    Nobody's ever had any problems raising stuff, AFAIK. One side of my family had a berry farm for a long time somewhere around that corner where Missouri-Okla-and-Arkansas meet, I think. Sure, there's certain crops you can't raise and it isn't officially *farming* country --- but it's very lush.

    If I were you, once there, check your proximity to chicken farms. :no: And the Illinois River. The Illinois floods in Arkansas, from what I understand --- it floods here, too, but we have so many hills between it and us, it doesn't cause the problems it can in Arkansas.

    Also, there's a lot of groundwater contamination from the Tyson chicken farms, depending where you're looking. And YOU DON'T WANT TO GO THERE! :no: If the wells are or get contaminated, you're going to be stuck because Arkansas will do NOTHING about it. So GET THOSE WELLS CHECKED before you make any commitment to anything! :yeeha:

    And find out about codes for septic!
     
  9. daileyjoy

    daileyjoy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Girl I will definatly check out the Tyson thing and be aware of the river, I'm not to worried about septic though we are going to go the humanure route.
     
  10. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Me too, on humanure! If I can ever get it together to build the casing for the bucket. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Rocky land grows more rocks. Depending on the type of rock it also grows sinkholes. Even bulldozers can be stopped and it's usually by rock. Blasting can be required even for digging a basement.
    Humanure might work fine for you, but you might want to consider the chances of resale if necessary. Things somehow have a way of changing and whether or not you ever use a septic it would be nice to know you could if you wanted to. It would also be a MAJOR bargaining point on price and I would require a perk test before closing.
     
  12. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    There are exceptions to everything! That said however, I have come to realize in life that certain things are relatively consistent. Cheap things are usually cheap for a reason. The rocks are probably the reason the land is priced low. My observation is that where people live off the land the quality of the homes are much better where the soil is rich and readily worked. Quality soil is more productive and the more rewarding. Growing crops and livestock has enough perils that one does not need to add additional hinderances if they can be avoided. I have owned rocky land and tried to farm it. It doesn't make for success. If you are going into this venture with anticipation of breaking loose from the 9 to 5 job and being self sufficient, I strongly suggest you continue searching.
     
  13. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

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    Consider this. a) use the rocks to make raised terraces to raise worms in b) produce compost as a byproduct of the worm raising c) sell decorative garden rocks, bait and compost d) garden in harvested worm terraces e) add value to the property as you add topsoil. f) Use the rocks as a building material.


    Read "Farmer in the Sky" by heinlein for ideas
     
  14. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    Shrek,[jay] has some good ideas. I would put cinderblock raised beds in with layered beds and raise goats.
     
  15. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I've only been here two and one-half years, but I'm already getting a very nice covering of soil, just by mowing a lot, weeding out the invasives and ick stuff (poison ivy, etc) and leaving clippings, leaves, branches etc on the ground to mulch back in.

    Oh, I know those people spoiled by wonderful farmland think it's awful here. But plenty of people do just fine. :) Rocks are no big deal.
     
  16. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm with whoever said there's rock, then there's rock. Check with whoever does septic locally. It might have to be blasted, depending on what you're talking about. As far as underground, that's going to also depend on your water table and soil. Around here, it can't be done because it'd flood.
     
  17. daileyjoy

    daileyjoy Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if I call a local septic company and ask about the general price for the something on such and such street if that will work. How would I find out about the water table? Will a store bought soil tester work? Does anybody know of an "no, no's " that I need to be aware of in looking for land to build an underground house on.

    Jennifer
     
  18. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    daileyjoy you have the same soil there I have here.Check with local Welll Driller about Water quality.Gardening is just a matter of picking up the bigger Rocks and working around the smaller ones.But you can grow just about anything,just have to water a little more because it will dry out faster.

    Livestock does good,you just pretty much have to buy Grain.

    Land is cheap because it is rough,hard to get in and out.Think of it this way though people have live off them rock piles for a long time,some ways I think they appreciate it more.

    big rockpile
     
  19. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Find out about codes first. If you don't have codes to deal with, the right person to put in your septic (at the right price :D ) will usually turn up at the local feed store when you least expect it.
     
  20. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    People who do work in your area will know. My cousin's husband called to price having a septic system put in on a certain property, and the guy knew what would have to be done in that particular area (blast it!). Well services will be able to talk to you about water tables in different areas. I'm sure there's a government agency that could tell you, too, but I can't think of it.
    Do other people in the area have basements? If not, there's a reason.
    mary