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How much land?

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Leeuhhh, May 26, 2015.

  1. Leeuhhh

    Leeuhhh Monkey

    I'm finally starting to look at plots of land. I want "enough", but not an overwhelming amt. I plan to have ducks and chickens- enough for my three girls and I plus some extra to sell or trade, goats- milk for us, and I may breed some to sell, rabbits for us to eat, a garden and some fruit trees, a cabin (small, but I have three kids so not too tiny), an outhouse, and an outdoor kitchen area. I want a little room to roam as well so the kids and dogs aren't all up in my business all the time. I am thinking between 2-5 acres. Input? I know I am probably forgetting things, too. Thanks!
    chelloveck likes this.
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    My parents have 10 acres. They started with 5 and that gave them room for barn, chickens and a pasture for a few larger animals. 2 would be fine but if you don't want someone building a McMansion next to you then more is better.
    Tully Mars, stg58, Yard Dart and 2 others like this.
  3. Leeuhhh

    Leeuhhh Monkey

    Oh yeah I didn't really think about that.
  4. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    There was a book I bought maybe 35 years ago about living totally self-sufficiently on just 5 acres. Basically you have to be very efficient with the land use which requires more labor than being less efficient and having more room to use a small tractor, have more livestock (if you are not vegetarian) and like meat, large livestock (sheep, beef, etc) requires more space. Personally I think more on the scale of 10 acres for a 4 person family is good if you want fruit trees, nut trees, berries, red meat, grain for breads, etc. and to be more labor efficient (need to be for one person's labor to feed 4) which requires using some mechanized equipment. As a kid we had 5 acres, a couple were pasture, another acre or two is needed for hay to feed livestock over the winter. Our garden was about half an acre and it was a full time job for my mother to weed, tend, etc. and it wasn't close to sustaining our family and thats not including the 3 walnut trees, 2 cherry, 2 pear, 12 apple and persimmon trees. I look at truck farmers with bed shapers/plastic mulch layers with irrigation tapes and go, whoa... that's sweet, a fraction of the labor. That stuff is on my wish list. YMMV.

    Last edited: May 27, 2015
    Tully Mars, Yard Dart, stg58 and 3 others like this.
  5. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++ Site Supporter++

    I would consider, at a minimum, the size garden it would take to survive on just what I could grow to feed the people depending on me and start from there. It's more than you would think and it may come to that when our stored food preps are used up or confiscated for the greater good.
    Motomom34 and Leeuhhh like this.
  6. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep Site Supporter++

    I have 8.5 and its too much to handle sometimes, without a tractor! 3 is good for what I am doing and will support a herd of about 20 goats and sheep.Check out this video I'm only using about 4 acres, keeping in mind you may have to fence it in and thats hard work and expensive!
    stg58, Mindgrinder and Motomom34 like this.
  7. Leeuhhh

    Leeuhhh Monkey

    Thanks for the input everyone! I'm so tempted to get something smaller because it's (obviously) cheaper, but maybe it's worth it to wait a bit and get something larger.

    Gopher that's awesome! Now I want turkeys and sheep too. LOL.

    Also, I do have five acres on a flood plain that I can't live on, but could use for growing trees and other hardy crops.

    I am actually hoping to get a small prefab cabin or something to use as a bath house :0x . Just a little one though!!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2015
  8. Pineknot

    Pineknot Concrete Monkey Site Supporter+++

    there will be a lot of labor involved either way you go. Sometimes Bigger isn't always better. What type of equipment will you have access to, will you have to feed during the winter months? will you have to house during winter months? what type of fencing? Power, Water, heat, etc. If you are really serious about living off of your own land, i would suggest working at a small farm for free to gain some experience and knowledge. The convenience of todays society is so far from self sufficiency its not even a remote idea of how much work, time and planning that goes into it. If you don't perform you won't survive. Think about getting up at 04:00 each and every morning, building a fire in the stove then to milk and feed animals, then back inside to clean up and get breakfast going (by this time you are starving) pick the grains off your tough as you enjoy fire brewed coffee. Kids washed up and ready for their day. You see where I am going. It can be done if you are prepared, educated and dedicated. GOOD LUCK
    Motomom34 and Leeuhhh like this.
  9. Leeuhhh

    Leeuhhh Monkey

    All good points. Im not jumping in to anything. We may not start out as total off gridders, or live completely off our own land at first. It may be something we work in to. And I work from 5am to 6 pm as it is on top of being a single parent. I might as well do something more fulfilling than babysitting other people's kids 11 hrs a day lol. I work my butt off to pay 1200/rent and about 300/mo in utilities among other things, which has me banging my head against a wall. You are right about gaining experience though! There is a LOT I need to work on. I am good at some things- have always cooked from scratch, I hang dry laundry, etc...but not so much hard labor lol. I also grew up around farms, although they were modern with more modern equipment so some things were probably done more efficiently. A lot to think about!
    Motomom34 likes this.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    When it comes to land, buy more than you think you need. Funny how it goes, but you'll want more when you get the initial batch under control.
  11. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    This is the view that greets me when I take a short walk to my well.. I have 35 acres and no one living close by.. Have a small cabin and an outhouse.. Heat with wood and gravity fed water down to the house.. Garden space and very few visitors except for moose, deer, rabbits ..

    rclark, Gopherman, Tully Mars and 9 others like this.
  12. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    And this is the other side!! Theres 2 miles to the plowed part of the road.. Have 2 20 acre parcels for sale next to me.. No takers, Thank the lord.. The other visitor's would be the coyotes, bears, and wolves.. Ravens and hawks flying off with your young birds.. And the four legged critters trying to make off with your livestock.. Most people move in from the southern coast only make till the first heavy snow year..

    I would not live anyplace else!! Help a neighbor put on a roof and a logger sets logs aside for you to cut to heat your cabin.. A call to another neighbor and he came up with a cat and punched the road open that 2 miles, costing 200 dollars.. A good LARGE dog keeps the visitor's away and being far from others they can run loose to take care of the place..

    I do not want to discourage... You do need to seek out your dream.. Just understand it does cost! 70,000 can get you 20 acres next door to me.. However, I do not know anyone that lives in this area that's willing to live this far up..

    Any place you are considering, you need to spend time talking to people that live there to get a real good feel of the country but also of the people you will have to live and get along with.. I am blessed with like minded people (conseritive prepper types) to have as neighbor's, and a few that are not to be trusted.. Good luck in your search..

    Snow Bound.
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
    fmhuff, Tully Mars, hank2222 and 7 others like this.
  13. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I would say no less than 10-20 acres. (Leaving room for a good sized pond, and some woods for hunting.)

    60-100 would be better.
    Leeuhhh likes this.
  14. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    @Dont what a beautiful place, you are blessed to wake up to that sight everyday. The cost per acre isn't that expensive but having to buy in a 20 acre increment is probably what keeps those lots vacant.

    @Cruisin Sloth is correct. find out the building codes and regulations prior to purchase. I know there is a place up here where no more wells are allowed. The county restricts how many houses in XX amount of area.
    Gopherman and Leeuhhh like this.
  15. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja Jedi Bipolar WINNING M.L.F.

    If you mirror @Gopherman - you'll have enough food for your family.
    I can't think of anyone who does it "more right" (and righteous) than that dude.
    King size rabbits....my God....wouldn't surprise me 1 bit if his turkeys are as big as ostriches.
    Ganado, Gopherman and Leeuhhh like this.
  16. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Developer's had been buying 20 and larger parcel's and breaking them up into 5 acre parcel's.. The county put a restriction on that, however that is not why no one is buying.. It is just to hard to get along this far up the mountain.. Oh, and there is some crazy old man that rides LOUD motorcycles and has no muffler on his beat up old truck all hours of the night.. He even is known to discharge firearms frequently and has a mean looking dog running loose..

    The road in.. Turns to deep mud in the spring..

    Creek Crossing.
    fmhuff, Tully Mars and Yard Dart like this.
  17. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Another big issue to ensure when looking at property is the water rights. If there is not an established well on the property or other such as city water, you will need to punch a well. Make sure that the rights are intact and that the county will approve that well, prior to purchase. We have a large area in Central WA that has a large high end development and they purchased up all the water rights in the area. There are now large chunks of land, that are not good for anything but grazing and dry land farming..... water rights have been sold out. :(
    Tully Mars likes this.
  18. Leeuhhh

    Leeuhhh Monkey

    Ok so here's a question (which is coming from my more practical side lol). Where would be a good place for a single mom with three kids to start, if not jumping right in to hardcore off-griddness. I want property so I can provide myself with the basics- meat, produce, eggs, ect...but I don't want to be unrealistic either. where in your opinions would you start, and what would your goals be? I know you will all probably have different answers, but I like hearing people's wwyd's.

    Also, could anyone jot down an example of their daily routine for me? It would be helpful for me to try and imagine how I would manage the kids, etc.. Thanks! This site is great. And I love the pictures! Snow is not a big issue where I am looking to buy land, but it is at the property I own already, which I plan to use as a back up- SHTF, extra growing space.
  19. madmax

    madmax Far right. Bipolar. Veteran. Don't push me.

    I kinda held back here. 5 acres of good bottom land isn't the same as 5 acres of Death Valley. 5 acres of Everglades isn't the same as 5 acres WV mountain. I wish you luck in finding your niche.
    Tully Mars and Leeuhhh like this.
  20. Leeuhhh

    Leeuhhh Monkey

    Yes I have been warned of this! I wish I could move out of state. Wa is not my first choice for this type of thing, but it's not worth the fight with my girls dad (who is otherwise supportive of my ideas).

    Also, would it be a crazy idea to try and find like minded people to try and do this with? I guess I haven't tried because I feel like I would need to know someone first.
    Gopherman likes this.
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