what to do with myself and my land...

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what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #278890 fenris
Sun May 04, 2014 1:54 pm

hi, not sure where to put this post so I put it here. do tell me to bog off if i'm in the wrong place!

anyway, i was wondering if i might tap into the collective ish brain and extract some bright ideas. i live in a very secluded house with about 18 hectares of poorly drained rushy fields and a very big garden, and am unemployed at present. so i have lots of time and space, seems like i should be doing something with it. we are hoping to plant a woodland on most of the land but about 4 hectares-ish will still be available even if that goes ahead. we may have a go at keeping a few deer in that field and processing venison for sale, but thats way down the line if we do it at all. I was thinking a bit about breeding poultry for sale (we have a few ducks and chickens already) but dont know much about that or if its worth doing. growing stuff for sale is probably not a great idea because the fields tend to be soggy.

I'm sure there must be some way to make good use of the fact that I have so much space and time, something that could generate some small income. hopefully without massive start-up costs. i'm finding my imagination has left me though - i think i've spent too long thinking about it and got a bit stuck. A fresh perspective would be most welcomed!

any ideas? :icon_smile:

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diggernotdreamer
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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #278893 diggernotdreamer
Sun May 04, 2014 3:33 pm

It is tricky to know what to do with marginal land. I have 3.5 acres of land in NW Ireland, the land here can be very wet, esp where we are. I grow veg and sell some too, mainly salad crops and when I have them tomatoes, spuds and the like, I am unlikely to become rich, but it is better than nothing. I have two polytunnels and raised beds in the veg garden. When you have wet land, raised beds are brilliant. I also have a meadow which when we came here was deep in rushes, nearly as tall as me, 5ft 2". I started mowing it down, I bought a 21hp lawn tractor, maybe now I might consider a small kubota tractor is I had the money, and just mowed and mowed it. Now the rushes are very small and are being crowded out by all the other things that are managing to grow, they love compacted land, just getting rid of them has helped with this, and running the ducks and chickens around the place has helped too. Growing most of our veg and fruit is helpful, gives you money to spend on other things.

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doofaloofa
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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #278923 doofaloofa
Sun May 04, 2014 6:12 pm

You could dig drains to make the land more suitable for growing

mind your back though
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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diggernotdreamer
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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #278974 diggernotdreamer
Sun May 04, 2014 10:54 pm

We are going to dig some drains this year. now we have sorted out where the water goes and where we can channel it to we can start to dig drains. Shallow drains seems to works best on this land here, rather than deep drains. We put a couple in front of the tunnels last year and it has worked really well, across the door ways and taking them toward the existing drainage ditch down the side of our land. There will be some drains in front of the veg garden and down the sides to try and direct some of the water away from this area, it was pretty flooded this January. We are using a combination of drainage pipe and stones, the drains being 1 foot deep, drainage pipe and then infilled with various grades of stones to avoid compaction

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Tom Good
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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #279168 fenris
Tue May 06, 2014 3:23 pm

I'm glad we're planting trees on most of it so it won't need draining. otherwise we'd be spending the rest of our lives sorting drains out! there's still one field that won't be planted though, i suspect keeping some sort of hardy edible beast on it would be the best use of it. my vote goes for a few deer, i think my main job will be to convince the OH to agree with me.

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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #279169 diggernotdreamer
Tue May 06, 2014 3:33 pm

Deer are really good jumpers, they need very high fencing to keep them in, I have seen commercial deer parks and they fences are quite high, plus if they get out, they will eat all your young trees. Put in drainage where you would like to grow food, targeted drainage is much more effective as we have discovered. How do you catch and kill deer? I have alpacas, they do a good job of grazing places that I can't mow, but they do eat the trees, and we have fenced everything here to keep out alpaca, pig, chickens, ducks from eating and digging everything up.

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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #279171 fenris
Tue May 06, 2014 3:41 pm

well luckily, as we are planting the woodland, there will be proper deer fencing around half that field anyway. so it'd just be a case of finishing off the rest later. as for killing them, my OH does a bit of deer stalking and i think you are allowed to shoot your own deer on site unlike other farmed beasties. targeted draining is worth thinking about because i am steadily using up the garden with vegges and chickens!

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123sologne
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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #279195 123sologne
Thu May 08, 2014 5:34 am

Hi Feris,
Where do you live exactly? I ask the question, because, maybe in your area, there is a need of extra space for farmers, for sheep or for goats or who knows what else... You could in that case rent that piece of land to someone, their animals would add some good manure to the place and in good time, you could maybe do something else with it and the place would also pay for any future work or for your trees... I say that because we live in a similar setting than you in central France. The property belongs to my dad in part and while it used to be a farm it is now turning into woodland. As the region is famous for hunting, my dad rents the property in the hunting season to some local guys. But as there are some parts with grass still on it, hubby and I decided to do a field to receive horses in summer as we live not very far from one of the largest equestrian centre in the world and when it is competition time, the need for some paddocks to house the horses is in serious demand. As we also have a self catering house next door to us, the all idea makes perfect sense. Very specific, but there may be some need for your field too in your part.

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doofaloofa
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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #279197 doofaloofa
Thu May 08, 2014 8:59 am

Might I add, beware of bitting off more than you can chew

If you set your goal at draining and cultivating a small area first. 4 hectares is pretty big, 8 acres is it?

Aim small, miss small

I would start by finding the wettest part of the land and diging a big hole till you have a pond...hey, you have a pond!

This will give you an idea of the water table

And you'll have a pond
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #279533 Skippy
Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:41 am

doofaloofa wrote:
And you'll have a pond


Which you fill with fish and either eat them yourself or some nice men with bendy sticks will pay you for allowing them to sit round it .

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doofaloofa
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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #279542 doofaloofa
Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:14 pm

Or the heron will get them

or the otter...
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

fenris
Tom Good
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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #279546 fenris
Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:01 pm

i saw an otter here the other day. i got all excited before convincing myself it was a mink that will eat all my chickens.

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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #279547 Thomzo
Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:37 pm

Hi, not sure if you live in the right climate, but what about something in the blueberry or cranberry family? They love wet soils. Alternatively, I have a feeling that's I read somewhere that there's a shortage of willow for weaving - but don't take my word for it, I might have dreamt that.
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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #279551 Skippy
Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:06 pm

doofaloofa wrote:Or the heron will get them

or the otter...


Chap I work for has had a pond dug and filled with fish although he says that it's too easy to catch them in it but recently while working there I noticed a heron in the tree. An hour later it was still there, two hours later it was still there , four hours later I decided to take a walk down to get a closer look only to find a ......plastic heron :oops: still it does seem to keep the real ones away.

fenris
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Re: what to do with myself and my land...

Post: #279556 fenris
Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:24 pm

thomzo - you may be right, we have a lot of blaeberries growing wild here, which i think are basically runty blueberries. and willow loves it here. i've been wanting to try growing blueberries anyway, if they do well it might be worth thinking about, they seem super expensive in the shops anyway!


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