We are getting close,so a few(more) ???'s

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, May 5, 2004.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    SC and soon to be NC
    We are closing on our land in the next two weeks or so :D and we are excited to get going doing 'something'...

    So we thought the first thing we should try and do is have it bush-hogged to see what we have and what needs to be done concerning stumps,etc.

    We also want to decide where everything will go-home,buildings,garden,fruit trees.

    So does this sound like a good idea-bush-hogging first and then laying out the farm?

    We have also thought of maybe having a dozer come in and remove some of the stumps(the land was cut over but not too bad)-good idea or not.

    Myself(impatient person that I am :) ),I want to get a tractor and go 'do stuff' but realistically speaking unless a REALLY good deal falls on our head,a tractor is down the road.

    It would also be nice to have some sort of shelter-either a camper we can tow back and forth or some sort of relatively cheap building(steel building/pole barn,etc)

    So as you can probably tell we are excited and wanting to get going(it seems its taken FOREVER for the bank but it has only been a few weeks :haha: ) making our future home.

    This forum has been a great place and has really helped us with realising our dreams.

    Thanks oz
  2. shakeytails in KY

    shakeytails in KY Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2002
    It's a lot of fun to lay out a farm from scratch, but a lot of work, too! My favorite thing :rolleyes: is tearing out all the old barbed wire fence and accompanying multiflora roses and replacing it with new fence.

    Bushhogging is one of the first things we did. For us, it was a good way to see how the land layed out and find any hazards - like washouts and sinkholes. It also gave us an easier look at the fences to see which could stay for a while and which had to be replaced. You say your land is cut over? Better warn the bush hog guy. Saplings aren't a problem, but I'd be pretty PO'ed if I tore up my bush hog on a stump that I didn't see! You might want that dozer first.

    A camper is a good idea. I don't know about you, but "roughing it" isn't my idea of fun. I like mattresses, refridgeration and toilets.

    Don't be in too much of a hurry to build. Try to figure out how you're going to use the property first. For us, the first priority was siting the horse barn. I wanted central location in relation to turnouts/pastures, enough room for a riding ring in front, and enough flat land behind it in case we ever have the money to build an indoor ring. I also wanted a driveway big enough for tractor-trailer access, if necessary. The drainage was a slight problem(we knew it would be), but I think we've got that solved with gutters, drain tile, and a little dirt re-location.

    Our barn, in case you're wondering, is a 36x84 pole barn w/ 12' sidewalls. The cost for just the shell was about $8000- but that was before building material prices skyrocketed. It was a complete DIY project(DH is a carpenter) and about the only thing we had help with was setting the posts and the trusses. We rented a sky-trac (big all-terrain forklift) to set the trusses- best $400 bucks I spent :). We considered rafters, but since we didn't want or need a hay loft, trusses were easier and cheaper.

    A few other things we did-

    Since we had to run water lines anyway, we put in several frost-proof hydrants near pastures so we don't have to drag much hose. I used pvc rather than the coils of black pipe on the recommendation of the plumbing supply co. The cost difference is almost nil for a much better product.

    Before we put down gravel for the driveway, we borrowed an earth pan for behind the tractor and removed the topsoil. Gravel ain't cheap and I didn't want it all sinking into the mud. I wish I had sucked it up and put down geo-textile fabric under the gravel, but I didn't think I could afford it at the time. After using it on the parking area around the barn, I now realize how much money it would have saved me.

    Lots of gates! Every area has a gate large enough to get a tractor and bush-hog through, and the bigger pastures have a 16' gate so that we can get larger equipment(haybine) through. I also put a couple of gates in the perimeter fence, so in the unlikely event that one of my critters escapes, I can herd it back in without getting near the road.

    Good luck and have fun!

  3. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    Definitely get the place mowed.

    When we bought our place, the grass was 4-5 high..some places it was higher than I am tall! We didn't mow the whole thing because we were bringing cattle over and didn't want to waste the grass. We did mow around the edges to run a hotwire. It was amazing the things I found after the cows had ate it all down. Things I had no idea were in there, fences and even an old well!

    You will get many less ticks in your hair if the grass is mowed :)

  4. margo

    margo Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2002
    I'm excited for you. It's wonderful to look forward!
    My advice is to visit the property, before and after you've bought it, camp on it, dream on it. In addition to what the other posters suggest, check out everything. Imagine where you'll place things, observe prevailing conditions, like wind direction (important if you raise pigs!), which direction the sun comes up and sets(to site your home and take advantage of natural light). How will you access your property? Will a slight curvy drive look better than a straight run through the land? What trees will you save? Are there brambles you'd save for berry picking? Are there areas more ideal for siting a house? Like natural rock outcroppings that would be a beautiful backdrop for your home? Is there a spring that would be a good source of water for drinking or gardening or fire fighting?
    Lots of questions, but vital for your eventual satisfaction and to make your work there easier both now and in your later years. Best wishes and I hope you enjoy every step of the way. Let us know how it goes.......Margo
  5. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Besides the above , I'd plant fruit trees while they are still available this spring.
  6. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    So Cal Mtns
    All I can offer is a hearty HIP HIP HORAY!Sincere best wishes on your new life!
  7. Stumps are a miserable thing to deal with except for the dozer guy you hire. Good call on that! :)

    Brush hogging the property is a great idea. The very first time through there can be a lot of hazards for the guy owning/ operating the machine. Work out how any damage is to be paid for. Have your liability insurance paid for sure. Really bad to hit old cinder blocks, wire, & old iron. But this is what you want done, yes. Just understand if you have a difficult time finding someone or need to pay a lot more than it seems worth.....

  8. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    Big stumps cut low are sometimes easier to get out with a backhoe than with a dozer, since dozer operators like to push over trees instead of digging them out. You might also consider a stump grinder for some of them, then burn out the rest a few at a time after you move in. Walk the land before you bring a brush hog in there, to find hidden rocks and other hazards. And don't let anyone hang around while they're hogging. I've seen a hog throw stuff 200-300 feet. An investment of $2500 - 3,000 or so will get you a good old tractor and brush hog. Best money you will ever spend on property like yours.