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New Property- WWYD?

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  • New Property- WWYD?

    Hello everyone!

    I'm a long time lurker, first time poster, and boy do I have a bunch of questions for you guys!

    Yesterday my parents made bought their first "farm." It's 10 acres of overgrazed pastures with not enough top soil, 7 acres of wild raspberrys gone wild, and 5 acres of boggy 'intermittant stream.' A year ago I promised to help them with this move, I plan to stick to that - but I have NO idea where to start.

    The building are all in decent shape, and the fences are acceptable but not steller. It's the grass, the weeds and the soil that really need to be taken care of.

    Is there anyone out there who's done a major 'property rehab' like this before? Any advice or suggestions? ...Anything?


  • #2

    And congrats to all the hard work ahead of you

    Your local County Extension Agent will be your best friend - give them a call
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


    • #3
      Welcome to the farm! Take it one day at a time.

      Figure out some kind of project and task planning that works for you, whether that's pen and paper, 3x5 notecards (my favorite), a spreadsheet in Google docs, or some fancier software.

      The goal is to minimize work in progress and get *one* thing completely done before you start another. Otherwise you end up with a dozen half-done projects and everybody gets discouraged that nothing is getting done, and quits.

      Now, go make some lists.

      My first move would be to call the extension agent as JB suggested, get the pasture soil tested and figure out how to start improving it. Assuming they *want* pasture. If they maybe want to start an orchard, then the answer is probably different.

      I'm curious, could those raspberries be tamed and turned into an income source? I *love* fresh raspberries but they are so expensive in the store and they go bad so quickly!
      ... and Patrick


      • #4
        I had several pockets of wild raspberrys on my farm, about 200 ft along a fence, what a gnarly bramble mess that was. That one I had to hack at by hand with long handled clippers, and that did work, a few tried to grow back, but by chopping them down at the base, that killed them off. The ones in the field don't do well with mowing.

        Definitely hire someone with a good tractor and brush hog mower to mow as much of the weeds and brush as you can, and then be diligent about keeping up with the mowing.

        Our 10 acre farm was not as overgrown as yours sounds, but it was pretty weedy and eaten down. I've been here 7 years, and mowing and appropriate fertilizer/lime (get the soil tested to see what it needs), has helped.

        I also spread my stall manure, and put grass seed in with the manure, and spread in the areas where the grass is sparse, and that is also working well.
        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


        • #5
          Goats will take care of the weeds and raspberrys. As for the rest, as suggested, call your local extension agent.


          • #6

            CONGRATULATIONS ```


            NO ADVICE EXCEPT ...


            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


            • #7
              Thanks everyone for the welcome, and for the advice.

              My father read the bit about the goats, looks like we're getting some! Are they anything like sheep or should I be ready for a surprise?

              I've started a list of things to do. Boy is it long, and getting longer!


              • #8
                There is a great board on homesteadingtoday.com for just goats. Sheep graze on grass. Goats prefer bushes, weed, poison ivy, etc. Anything but grass. That's about the only thing I know regarding differences in sheep and goats.


                • #9
                  I feel your pain. I recently bought my first farm and it was a mess. The trails were full of garbage and scrap metal, and downed trees, and the turnouts were either overgrazed or FULL of burrs. and on top of that It all needed new fencing. Be glad you don't have to worry about that, it can get expensive.
                  Every day I go out and do a little bit and it is amazing what you can get done and not even realize it until you step back.

                  As for advice... Find lots of good fill dirt and rent a backhoe for a weekend, (I think my friend paid $300 for a weekend) then reseed. That's what I'm considering in many places on my property.