Central Virginia Piedmont region still has some decent land prices, though increasing quite a bit of late. Not aware of any fracking or mining - that may be more in the mountains. They did just cancel the pipeline project, so that is good news.
Can often pick up some clear cut land at a bargain price, and as long as there are some Springs/creeks on it, there will be a hardwood buffer that supports deer and Turkey as the land grows in.
That’s a fair point, James. Painting with too broad brush leads to sloppy results.
But I think my main point is valid - that it is designed to give more rural states with smaller populations a bit more power in selecting the president.
And a look at the electoral map does support the general conclusion that the coastal states with large cities/large populations tend to be more liberal, or at least vote for more liberal candidates, than the smaller population states in between.
Love the idea, Andrea, and sounds like it could be a really fun and unique living arrangement!
You have probably already considered this, but I found I had to be very disciplined when developing my infrastructure to avoid getting sucked into expensive temporary solutions.
In other words, while I really wanted to rehab the smelly, leaky old camper I was staying in on weekends, I forced myself to keep my eye on the prize and kept my dollars for what I really wanted/needed - a well, fencing, and the endless list of expensive things that go into developing raw land. And I spent weekends for a few years in a smelly old leaky camper to get those things.
So at the end of the day, will you want an old boat on your land as a guest quarters, or would you rather build your real housing 6 months sooner, or however it works out? No idea what the costs are or your budget, and no right answer, it’s just always a trade-off, and another way to analyze it can sometimes help.
I guess I tend to think of homesteading/permaculture as a whole collection of endlessly fascinating hobbies. I suppose if I didn’t enjoy the various aspects and consider them hobbies, it would all just be so much work!
Are keeping the chickens a hobby? Tending the hugels and raised beds a hobby? Planting fruit trees? Working toward property development that is more and more self sufficient and sustainable every year?
I think yes, and find all of them and more to be very enjoyable.
I am not yet at the point where I can focus on a particular activity that I especially enjoy, as I stay pretty busy trying to progress a variety of infrastructure buildout. I could see one day developing some cheese making expertise if I end up getting goats, or producing high quality fiber if sheep, Or beef if cattle, etc... Frankly, the list is endless, and the learning process that goes along with them endlessly fascinating, limited only by my energy levels and time!
I do often have to remind myself, due to a tendency to beat myself up for not progressing faster, that it is a journey to be enjoyed. And to appreciate how very far things have progressed from the starting point.
An alternative to a dozer is a forestry mulcher, which will make short work of the brush without disturbing the soil.
Check YouTube for videos on how they work. They are pricey though - can run $250 per hour, and take about 8 hours per acre, but that of course depends how thick/how much it is grown in, whether there are big stumps, etc...
Have you been there physically, or just looking at pictures? Just wondering what the topography is like - whether the slope is toward or away from the house. There are some topography resources at USGS if you want to see a topographic map.
If you need one last calculus class in your last semester of college in order to graduate and start your dream job, you should probably go to at least some of the classes and not forget about it altogether until the morning of the final.
So here is a question I have pondered for a while now.
Knowing how expensive it is to service my tractor, and how much fluid (motor and hydraulic oil) is involved (and needs disposal) when hourly limits are reached, is it worth the hours and wear and tear on the tractor, which is useful in an infinite variety of other tasks around the homestead, to run a pto driven chipper?
Would a self- contained chipper i.e., a chipper with its own motor, be a better option vice putting the hours on the tractor?
Granted, a self contained unit means yet another engine to maintain and repair. I suppose a key factor is how much you think you will use the chipper - the occasional downed tree is one thing, clearing a section of land with a lot of brush and small trees another. Let’s assume 8 hours per month.
Apparently a good year for the flying dragon? Just noticed a pretty good crop while exploring - only the second time in 6 years I have seen fruit on the property. Maybe I should try to make some marmalade?
To Mike’s point, that is what I have heard as I have explored it. You won’t save any money - far cheaper to buy from someone who does it at the proper scale, even if a small local miller.
But, I wasn’t looking into it to save money, rather the goal was to use my own resources from my own land to create building materials. And the pleasure of learning to run a sawmill and smell the newly sawn wood, etc...
I have not yet gotten a sawmill, though, so I can’t speak from personal experience about the costs and/or rewards. Someday perhaps.
Another option is to hire someone to bring their portable mill to your land and do the cutting work. You would still do the felling and hauling, without having to buy and learn to operate (and maintain) a sawmill.
One interesting thing available locally is horse-logging, which has a certain appeal. Rather than a tractor or other diesel powered machine tearing up the forest, they fell the trees and use a horse team to haul out the logs. Would like to try that someday too.
Nothing worse than a face full of spider web, Steve! Happens to me all the time on trails this time of year. Like you, I do appreciate the zipper pattern this spider makes which makes it much more visible.