Some ACTUAL questions about mountain land...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what happened to the first post on this topic but anyway....

    While searching through listings in East Tennessee I found a property within our price range,with a nice looking cabin,some level land and a creek.....

    Now I KNOW that most of this land will be steep/mountain so what can it be used for?

    The land will most likely be too steep for tractors so can it be used for cattle?Goats?any other animal?

    If it can be walked,can it be farmed?

    This is not mountains like out west but nevertheless they are steep.

    Thanks all.
     
  2. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    My place although not in the mountains is in a very hilly area. I have deep ravines and I do mean deep! :eek: The electric company using there special machines can't even make it up the steep grades I have. :no:
    Mules, donkeys, llamas, sheep, goats & poultry of all sorts seem to do just fine. The people who we bought it from had cattle but to me it seems a bit too steep for cattle to negotiate during the winter when there's a bit of snow or ice on the hills. I'm afraid they'd slip, fall and break a leg or worse won't use the hills and just muck up the area around the barn.
    I found out you can terrace gardens on the south facing slopes and fruiting bushes( blackberry, raspberry, blueberry & currants) seem to love it!

    This year we're experimenting with planting an orchard on the side of the south facing hill but only fruit trees that don't have early blooms due to the possibility of frost settling on them so no peach trees down there.
     

  3. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Thats the main thing is to have a South Slope.If you have a Garden put it up towards the top,don't frost as fast as on down.

    Lots of Animals do ok on steep ground,just depends on what they have to eat.

    Another problem is just getting in and out,thats why property is so cheap.There is lots of times you don't even want to try to get in or out of my place without Four Wheel Drive.

    big rockpile
     
  4. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    We have the 4x4 covered-one of the main reasons we bought the Dodge truck.

    I imagine because of the price it has some problem or another.

    I am just wondering if my dream to have cattle is not suited to mountainous land.
     
  5. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Mountainous land is different in every area. East Tn. has poor soil, limestone and a lot of slate. Much of the land is only good for rock farming and sink holes. If it's cheap land it probably doesn't have a southern exposure and won't grow much as it only has a thin layer of soil mixed with broken slate on top of the large rocks. Impossible to install fence posts on a lot of rocky land.
     
  6. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    Aw comeon! Haven't you ever seen sidehill cows? There legs are shorter on one side than they are the other, perfect for those steep slopes!
    Cattle can be run on anything but sheer cliffs, you just won't be able to run as many of them. Goats don't mind steep slopes, either.

    Steep mountain slopes are great for privacy. Huckleberries or blueberries grow well on them, at least here out west they do.
     
  7. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Sheep and goats will do well on hills. Heard of mountain goats? Heard of mountain sheep? Same as usual - goats prefer to browse, sheep prefer to graze, but either will do either. Some cattle will do fine. Scottish highland cattle, for instance, if the climate's right for the hairy gits. I understand Dexters will do well, but check.

    Whatever, if it's too steep to farm, then it's a candidate for grazing. However, you need to make VERY sure that you don't overstock. If you eat the ground bare, then you will get instant erosion and you no longer have soil - just a rock hillside and mud two miles downstream.

    You can actually farm on much steeper land than many would believe possible, provided you always plough and in general traverse the slopes on the contour, rather than up-and-down. This way your cultivation furrows run around the slope, and slow and capture water runoff. However, I've seen land farmed well which I'd prefer wasn't farmed, just because it was so steep it was always in danger. If there was adequate water I'd certainly prefer planting trees, bushes, vines around the contour on steep land. Even row crops planted by hand for home use - corn, beans, that sort of thing. Make a hole with a stake, drop in a seed, heel it closed, move on.
     
  8. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    Since the price is so "good", and you have this thought that something is different about this property----maybe something isn't right, then if I were you, I would be sure and check the quality of water and utilities and taxes and even encumbances. In that part of the country, like where we are in Arkansas, hilly land is everywhere. That alone should not make the price better in terms of other properties. I would make sure you are getting what you think you are getting.

    Something no one mentioned is that fencing is not easily erected on hilly property. Animals need a fence.
     
  9. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Well the listing agent for the property actually stated it was unsuitable for anything except hunting as it is on the north side of the ridge...amazing to actually have a realtor NOT try and sell you something that won't suit you.

    The other property I found is sold and was,funnily enough Harmony's old place :haha: ....Looked quite nice actually.

    Thanks for the responses,it is good to read other peoples ideas.
     
  10. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

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    Hey OZ,
    Wasn't it harmony who was having all the trouble with the neighbors? Too bad its sold you could have moved in and straightened them out! LOL
    Kirk