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Old 07-01-2015, 12:01 PM   #1
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Separate land for home and garden?

Currently we own two properties in our town. One is where we live and the other is 3/4acre. My question is this- how hard would it be to farm the empty lot? I mean other than getting water lines going. We could put a shed on the property for all our gardening tools. We would also like to do bees and chickens. Maybe even a greenhouse. But my concern is there is no fence and that would add up quick to add one. Plus having to drive over to water and keep everything up. We have a small garden in our backyard now but would really love to go bigger, but there's just not enough space here to do it. Any input welcome.


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Old 07-01-2015, 12:16 PM   #2
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Re: Separate land for home and garden?

I would think the maintenance, security would add up
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:32 PM   #3
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Re: Separate land for home and garden?

Have you ever tried something smaller, like a community garden plot? Many people find it doesn't work out for them, without the garden staring them in the face. By the end of the season, many of the garden plots are abandoned, unwatered, overgrown with weeds, etc.
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:09 PM   #4
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Re: Separate land for home and garden?

Do you have other friends or family who would do it with you to lighten the load?
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:42 PM   #5
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Re: Separate land for home and garden?

How far away? You will have to look into local laws for the bees (and chickens). I would be wary putting chickens on a vacant lot though. Expenses for all of it would add up quick.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:25 PM   #6
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Re: Separate land for home and garden?

The lot is about 10-12 blks maybe from us. We already maintain the yard weekly. No family to help though. Not their "thing". We talked about building a house there but the nbrhd is kinda bad. Plus we would end up with a mortgage and we don't want that right now. Maybe it's best we just try to sell it and keep doing our small garden for now here at home.


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Old 07-01-2015, 06:56 PM   #7
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Re: Separate land for home and garden?

We have 6 acres with gardens, an orchard, chickens, bees, and a mini jersey cow coming in September . Our place was literally a junk yard when we bought it. Everything that is here now, we put in ourselves, which has been an enormous undertaking.

I'm able to step out a few times a day for a few minutes as needed, but it's only maybe 15-20 minutes total every day to collect eggs, refill water dishes, check for weeds in the garden, check on the bees, etc. I have my 7- and 5-year-olds do much of that. I do the deep litter method in the coop so it only gets thoroughly cleaned once a year, and the dirty litter (which becomes compost with this method) that it produces goes straight into the garden, so no hauling it away. A cow will add another 15-20 minutes a day for me. It would be reasonable to drive over once a day to do the chores at your lot.

I would think that it would be reasonable to do what you're planning provided you have the funds. For example, you would need to have a solar-activated chicken door to let your chickens out in the morning and evening because, if you can't get over there right when the sun goes down to shut the door, they are in real danger from neighborhood dogs and wild animals. And chickens don't like to go in the coop until the sun is actually down, so you have time it perfectly every day if you do it manually. So there is ~$250 right off the top of my head. You would need heated water dish for them in the winter if it freezes in your area, and a way to power it. Apiary equipment is not cheap. Putting up a shed is really not cheap. Fencing is REALLY not cheap. It all adds up fast.

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Old 07-03-2015, 01:36 PM   #8
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Re: Separate land for home and garden?

Melinda29- ahh yes it does!! Ty for that input. We are going to sit on it for a bit and see where we are in a yr financially. It's not a do or die situation so better to mull it over now and not jump the gun and regret a hasty decision.


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Old 07-03-2015, 02:44 PM   #9
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Re: Separate land for home and garden?

My concern is that the neighborhood isn't great. With or without a fence, neighbors will notice you're not there 99% of the time and may help themselves to eggs, vegetables or tools. Unless it was fenced and manned with a livestock guardian dog, I'd probably sell.

We have 6 acres with chickens, rabbits and a garden. i have a hard enough time getting to my outdoor chores when they're 50 yards from my back door and the baby is napping. I can't imagine having to pack up my crew and drive 10 blocks daily.
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Old 07-05-2015, 05:36 PM   #10
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Re: Separate land for home and garden?

I don't think it's completely out of the question. I live in an 849sqft apartment and my boyfriend's family owns a farm 15 minutes away on the other end of town. We go there on a daily basis for farm chores. It's not ideal for sure but the land is leased so we can't live there anyway. It's impossible. And it's on the expensive side of town so we can't afford to move over there. But it's 16 acres of which 8 is cleared and under cultivation. We've got 5 greenhouses and a well dug. There's no way we could afford to move that kind of operation to new land closer to home. So we make it work. We have found lots of things off the free section of craigslist to help us out like fencing, animals, chicken wire, a small hoophouse, etc. Nothing is really "fenced" around the property. We are a working farm. We have the animals locked up at night just for their own protection(we have a LOT of predators) and they are towards the back of the property away from the road. We haven't really had any theft to be honest. Everything expensive is stored without keys in it or locked or out of sight. We have go karts, a tractor, several expensive farm implements, a 4wheeler, etc. Even keys to our greenhouses(expensive hydroponic setups on 2) are just hidden on the property. Every farmer friend of ours has super high-tech security systems like hanging keys in a tree or under a rock. Just like us. It's really not as hard as you might think. In fact, MOST of our farmer friends lease land. Not many actually live on their land in our state. There's just no land left that's not zoned agriculture and can't be built on. It's worth a shot farming your empty lot. Don't invest in animals yet on the empty lot. Try those at home first. But putting up a small inexpensive greenhouse or just starting a large green on the empty lot and seeing how things go. It takes lots of commitment and hours. I won't lie. It sucks working 7 days a week. But you have to want it to make it work.


Oh and between us we have 5 kids ranging from 7-14. We do a lot of packed lunches and dinner in the cooler and homemade snacks. The kids run our farm stand on the property and do farm chores and animal chores. They don't always want to go of course but.......that's the commitment part I'm talking about. It's a privilege to have a 16acre property to free range on.
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