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Old 09-13-2015, 10:57 PM
13 posts, read 7,861 times
Reputation: 10


Hello All,

This might sound crazy but I'm so passionate about starting a new farm with apple, peaches, grapes, nut trees and so many other plants.

I have been searching for farm land here in NJ and it is so expensive everywhere.

I did come across a 20 acre undeveloped land for a great price. However I have so many questions

How can I remove trees and flatten the land for orchids, vineyards, and gardens. I would like to keep some of the trees that can work around the farm. But should I hire someone for this or should I rent machinery. Can you sell the trees or wood?

The soil seems very good but what else needs to be done.

I want to start small first and slowly expand and design the layout for my dream farm.

Now the listing mentioned "easy to get farm assessment" and also "subject to highlands act"

Does this mean I cannot remove the trees? What if I wanted to replace with fruit trees?

Will it cost way too much to flatten out most of the area? I'm beginning to think it will be better off to buy a flat ready land with smaller acreage.

I added a photo for an idea of how part of the area looks like.

Attached Thumbnails
Transforming a undeveloped land (forest) into my dream Farm, What machine should I use?-img_7742.jpg  
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:22 AM
Location: Victoria Australia
6 posts, read 3,202 times
Reputation: 22
Now the listing mentioned "easy to get farm assessment" and also "subject to highlands act"
My first advice contact the correct authority and get all the replies in writing first.

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Old 09-14-2015, 01:22 AM
Location: rain city
2,956 posts, read 11,042,170 times
Reputation: 4865
I would also suggest that the New Jersey forum might provide better insight. It is entirely possible that even though you buy it and it is 'your land', there could be many zoning and environmental and land use restrictions which could prohibit the tree removal and land flattening, or many other activities you might wish to engage in.

And I can tell you from personal experience, that the laws concerning what you can/cannot do on your property could change in the future, unexpectedly. Were such land use laws to change, you would be expected to conform to any new legalities, or be penalized for failure to do so.

I am definitely suggesting your plan to buy and then alter the current use of the land is inherently risky in the US today. Much research needs to be done on zoning and land use regulations in your state and particular area before parting with your money.
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:54 AM
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,474 posts, read 13,406,838 times
Reputation: 6404
OMG NO WAY. Don't cut down established trees to make a quote unquote FARM. No offense, OP but I hope local zoning will make this impossible for you. Just buy something that has already been cleared as farmland.

Way to go increasing runoff into waterways and polluting groundwater... Do not do this. Also again there are hopefully rules to keep this from happening.
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:02 AM
Location: Florida (SW)
38,422 posts, read 18,180,970 times
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Such a beautiful forest.....I hate to think of it being cut down and developed.

However I do know of project here in Florida that did clear and re-purpose an overgrown (seriously overgrown) area for an eco-preserve and community garden. The tangle of existing trees was an impenetrable tangle of invasive species (Brazilian Pepper trees mostly) Here is a short video of the initial phase of clearing the land. (You have to scroll down about 7 or 8 photographs to get to the video)


Now there is a community garden (based on a medicine wheel) and a small orchard of various fruit trees....and open grassy space. The original native pines were left and now don't have to compete with the" invasives"; it is wheel chair accessible and very human friendly. The garden plots are rented by individuals.....and produce will also be donated to food pantries in our area.

BUT this was not a forest.....it was abandoned and neglected land.....if it hadnt been donated to the church sponsor....it would probably have been cleared for development.

Last edited by elston; 09-14-2015 at 07:11 AM..
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Old 09-14-2015, 04:29 PM
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
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We have 150 acres of forest.

I cleared enough room for our house and one acre for a fruit orchard.

I have also fenced in about 5 acres for pigs. They do great under the forest canopy.

With a big garden, you can provide all of your own food, and begin to market the surplus food.

With only 20 acres, there is no way that you can compete with 1,000 acre farms that have millions of dollars in capitalization. You can not compete with that. You can produce food and eventually support yourself from marketing what food you do produce.

I would not clear all 20 acres.
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:44 AM
6,359 posts, read 7,321,320 times
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As others have said, you'd be better off buying existing farmland. The woods would be better off, too.
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:53 AM
5,458 posts, read 6,124,370 times
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Would agree, especially in NJ, that you think of the tens of thousands of acres of ready farmland that are available further south.

However, if you are insistent, get it all sorted out with the local zoning and environmental oversight groups.

Written permits in hand, you will need someone to log out the tress.....probably a few bucks in there for you, or you can do a swap where you give the logger the wood in exchange for him bulldozing the stumps and leveling the land. It takes a BIG machine to remove and work that land into a rough state.

Then....you get busy with tractor and plow and start prepping it for crops. Probably want to plant a legume/cover crop for a couple of years to get some organic matter into the soil before attempting to grow anything.

Bring money. LOTS of it. Probably a LOT cheaper, easier and more environmentally responsible to head further south, or out to Pennsylvania and buy some ground that is ready to go.
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:11 PM
25,631 posts, read 29,109,412 times
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What machine? One that prints lots of money.
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:38 PM
Location: NC
6,081 posts, read 7,027,359 times
Reputation: 12054
What machine? A time machine.

What you are proposing is expensive, difficult, and will take at least 3 yrs for the land to even begin to overcome the disturbance. If this is your dream, find someone else who is already doing it and work with them until you know what is involved. If it was easy, lots of people would be doing it.
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