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Paul continues his discussion with Kyle and Mark on the subject of land buying.

If you’re going to want berms, you’re going to want more space that you’d otherwise thought, and if you’re next to a road that sees use, you’re going to want one for privacy and sound dampening.  So for a family of four, that 7 acres expands to closer to 15 when you factor in berms and privacy buffers.  If the land you’re looking at is near a timber forest, chances are the company that owns it will spray it, but only once per crop, while roadsides tend to get sprayed annually or so.  Mark brings up the shape of the property is also a factor – if a lot of the land is spent on access, or a disproportionate amount is bordering a farm that sprays, it may not be as good as it looks on paper.

If you’re looking to keep ruminants other than cattle, goats are a popular option, but if you feed them like cattle their milk tastes much more like cow’s milk, and more importantly they like to test fences, so you’ll have to make them industrial strength or the goats will quickly learn to just plough through them.  Sheep meanwhile are easier to keep, but can easily destroy land if not carefully maintained.  In their favour, both sheep and goats need much less land than their bovine counterparts, only requiring 20 acres for a small heard.

Finally for this session: building codes.  Check how tight or lenient they are and ask around to find out enforcement, as both can vary wildly from Mike Ohler’s having human refuse dumped on his border, to having people show up from the code enforcement department and fining you for breaking laws that don’t exist.

Relevant Threads

Goats and Sheep forum

Natural Building forum
Berm thread

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