Appropriate amount of Acreage?

nowaterNovember 22, 2010

What is the appropriate amount of acreage? I understand different activities/preferences will vary between people. But i would like your opinion. Granite i am not in a stage to purchase land. But would like to start re-searching so within the next 3 Years i will be able to find a piece of real estate and know thats where i want to live/grow/build for my remaining future.

My plans for land. I was hoping to have just a small building on the land, with a rather large field and practice raising a few cattle.

Also, Large wooded area for both hunting/Recreation (snowmobiling) and for Logging? Is logging a good idea to keep in mind when looking at land. To create an added income?

So pretty much recreation/ few animals/ potential income possibilities.

Sorry this is a wall of text. My dream as it stands is to learn to live off the land, and to put sweat/blood/and tears into it. To learn to appreciate it.

So my idea of acreage, i dream of 50+ with a target of 80. These numbers are out of my price range, but price isnt my factor right now. I am in the dreaming stage, not the reality check stage :)

Any input would be appreciate it.

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and is New Hampshire (my current state) a good place to live/research.. 2nd choice being Maine?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 12:53PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

Logging is pretty much a one time income. You log, you re-plant, and you wait 100 years before you log again. However, it does increase the value of the land as the commercial varieties of trees grow.

You have to get all the big equipment in to log, so 10 acres of forest is about the minimum area to make it worthwhile. The more land in trees, the more profit, as long as you are dreaming.

If you are close in to town, you can plant Christmas trees, harvest those trees for a few years, leaving carefully spaced trees uncut that will be left to grow into timber for later harvest.

Pick an area and the extension service can tell you how much land you need per "unit", that being 1 cow and 1 calf.

Around here, I need about 2 acres of irrigated pasture per unit, if I maintain the grass with care. Without irrigation, it might be 80 acres required for one unit. In a different climate, the area needed is going to be different. There is an area east of here where it is 120 acres per unit. So, you can see you have to do some more research to get that answer.

One local rancher told me that his profit on cattle was about $10 per head. Keep that in mind if you are hoping to support yourself.

I sold locker beef, and just about paid for my own meat for my own table. Locker beef sells for more, but costs more to produce.

You might possibly make good money with registered cattle, but you must show them and have winners. It's not cheap to do. So excellent prices, lots of expense with registered cattle. Ditto, registered Holsteins. If you have the high milk production and breed to the top name bulls, the female calves are worth plenty. But they cost you a bunch to produce them.

I have a cousin who supported his family on 5 acres. He had good soil and a long growing season and he sold organic vegetables and dried flower arrangements at the farmer's markets. Most people can not support themselves on 5 acres, and 5 acres is a huge amount of dirt to tend, too much for the average veggie gardener.

Five acres of greenhouse with something high priced like roses, though, could support you. You'd probably need to hire help.

If you can get decent land, with water and a good growing season, and you are a hard worker, you can pretty get to be self-sufficient. You won't get a lot of cash, but you can grow and make nearly everything you need. Just need money for salt, coffee, seed, and property taxes.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 4:11PM
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maureen1953(Z4 Central NY)

We selectively log our property about every 15 years and it pays our taxes for several years. I'm not so sure about raising roses in greenhouses in Maine or New Hampshire....the heating of those greenhouses would eat all your profit. Raising cold tolerant disease resistant roses for the north, outside in a field would be more realistic...

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 5:11PM
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