Ideas for Using Acreage?

tortoise

Wild Hare
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
15,614
Points
397
Location
USDA Zone 3b/4a
I'm back again after a summer hiatus! I'm looking for project ideas, but google is failing me!

I have land to work with, but we're not doing much with it. There's some forested, some rented crop land, more pasture than our animals use but not well fenced enough to rent, a little swamp, and riverbank.

We have enough garden and animals for most of our family's needs.

I could do more, but I'm not sure where to start! I walked out with hubby while he checked his game cams. My tame dairy goat buckling followed us. I'm seriously thinking of training him for packing, because I'm not comfortable driving the ATV, and hauling tools/etc 1/2 mile for a project hasn't been happening. My goat was super cool, stayed closer than our dogs, and was fine being lifted over a fence. Pack goat solves a problem of carrying stuff out, so now I can daydream about what I could possibly do with the space and resources.

What would you do?
 

baymule

Sustainability Master
Joined
Nov 13, 2010
Messages
10,780
Reaction score
18,896
Points
413
Location
East Texas
I have a wagon I drag my stuff around on. I use it for tools, grass seed, manure, all sorts of stuff. It is a dump wagon I bought at Tractor Supply for $60 on sale.

How many acres do you have and how many are you using for your animals, your use?
 

tortoise

Wild Hare
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
15,614
Points
397
Location
USDA Zone 3b/4a
That's brilliantly simple Baymule! Thank you!

We have 80 acres. 30 is rented crop land. 20 is pasture - most of that not being used and fences are in disrepair. Pasture goes up into the wooded areas. Garden is 1/5 acre - as much as we can handle. 400 blueberries, trellis for 100 grapes, although only a half dozen or so survived. 1 mature apple tree, about 10 young fruit trees too, and a couple young hazelnut trees. There are wild raspberries and blackberries out there, I'm thinking of cultivating them

Animals are 6 breeding sheep, 1 dairy goat buck, 2 pygmy goat does (for sale), 2 dwarf goat wethers. Rabbits and chickens. I plan to buy a dairy goat doeling in spring. We aren't planning to have a huge flock of sheep, will probably stay under a dozen breeders. I'm not interested in more animals without getting hay-making equipment. We've been looking for 2 years but it never seems to go cheap at auction!
 

Mini Horses

Sustainability Master
Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Messages
7,321
Reaction score
15,326
Points
352
Location
coastal VA
You know, you can pull those wagons with a riding mower :) Now, I'm all for exercise BUT sometimes we are in a hurry & have more to tote than even wheels make easy. Not only that, your 18 mo old can ride in it to the area with you.

I would think this would be a good time to consider electric fence use in some of those pastures. You can have a stronger fenced area closer to you for night & catch containment, then use the hot wired areas to graze all day. It's a good situation when you are home to monitor the use & you probably are home most days. There are some areas here that I do this and it works to help keep grass cut, FEED for free & contain them. Mine know the routine! Evenings they are lined up waiting for me to let them back into their barn area....full & happy. This helps to defer the cost of permanent fencing.

Do you know why the grapevines died? Since trellis up, you may want to work at a few more vines. Around here they would not be an option except for personal use. Blueberry & strawberry "U-Picks" are huge around here for usage. There are several farms maybe 50 miles out but only a couple in my general vicinity....just strawberries. They do REALLY well!! I would love to do a blueberry U-Pick but just don't feel I have the patience to wait for those bushes to grow to a prosperous production size.
 

tortoise

Wild Hare
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
15,614
Points
397
Location
USDA Zone 3b/4a
The family we bought this place from intended to do a U-pick. I don't know that I want people on my property. But it's an option. I want to put strawberries in somehow - another project to plan this winter
 

baymule

Sustainability Master
Joined
Nov 13, 2010
Messages
10,780
Reaction score
18,896
Points
413
Location
East Texas
Do you, or are you planning on slaughtering your wethered goats and lambs? What kind of sheep do you have? We have Dorper/Katahdin cross ewes with a Dorper ram. We had our first taste of our own lamb a few weeks ago and it was the best meat I ever tasted.

I think I would start working on a permanent fence on the 20 acre pasture around the parameter. The electric fence would work in the meantime. Once you get the pasture fences, then you could rotate sections of it with the electric fence.

I love my wagon. I would recommend that you get a large one.
 

tortoise

Wild Hare
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
15,614
Points
397
Location
USDA Zone 3b/4a
We have 2 wether sheep to slaughter this year. We have wool mix sheep. :) The wethered goats are 5 years old. They keep a brush hillside tolerably maintained. I don't like paying for hay for them in winter but hubby doesn't mind. He gets old round bales for them, and the waste goes onto the garden for mulch.
 

tortoise

Wild Hare
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
15,614
Points
397
Location
USDA Zone 3b/4a
I've been thinking more about this. I'm fixing to get rid of a few goats. I'll have a hillside to do something with. What would you do with an acre or so of hill? There are tons of brush branches, not sure if they're dead or just been eaten bare. I don't know how much brush I'd be fighting with. I don't know if it's too steep to brush hog with the tractor.
 

frustratedearthmother

Sustainability Master
Joined
Mar 10, 2012
Messages
20,684
Reaction score
23,268
Points
453
Location
USDA 9a
If the hillside might be too much for the brush hog - why NOT run animals on there to keep it down? Could you put some wethers on there in the spring, let them keep it cleared all spring and summer, then butcher them in the fall? Let some brush re-growth happen in late fall and early spring and then stock it again with something you will butcher again the following fall?

Just an idea because I like to let my animals do my work for me, lol!

If you don't stock critters on it, is it suitable for growing anything there without a lot of extra work like terracing?
 

tortoise

Wild Hare
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
15,614
Points
397
Location
USDA Zone 3b/4a
If the hillside might be too much for the brush hog - why NOT run animals on there to keep it down? Could you put some wethers on there in the spring, let them keep it cleared all spring and summer, then butcher them in the fall? Let some brush re-growth happen in late fall and early spring and then stock it again with something you will butcher again the following fall?

Just an idea because I like to let my animals do my work for me, lol!

If you don't stock critters on it, is it suitable for growing anything there without a lot of extra work like terracing?
Updating this thread from 2016.

The goats ate down the brush on the hill pasture and its suitable for grazing sheep now. I have visions of putting an AGH out there, but not this year.

I still have a sense of "not doing enough" with this place. Maybe my 2022 garden plan and growing grain will change that feeling.
 

Latest posts

Top