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Old 03-29-2008, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Not on the same page as most
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Hi everyone,

Any ideas/advice/wisdom on setting up a farm...65 acres, vacant land, , large rectangle shape with long side dirt road access on the north side. The land is a big hill with a flat 30 acre hayfield on top. There are some rough pastures and woods along the long side perimeters. It is fenced and cross fenced. There is a large draw with a year round spring on the north side. There is ledge rock on the south side. This land is in Missouri, so it is prone to some wild weather.

My questions would include: where to put the house in relation to the outbuilding. Is it good to keep the orientation of the buildings in a certain direction? Which side would be good for the well/septic, since there is a spring? We are thinking of building a pole barn/steel building first, and using is as temporary living quarters until we can build a house. How far apart would you suggest the house/outbuildings be? Thanks for your insights!

Tambre
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
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I don't recall you mentioning where you are, but the climate can make some differences in location.

Here in my area where the Catskills and Poconos converge we have a great deal of snow, and having buildings too far from a dwelling can present some logistical difficulties during the winter.
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Not on the same page as most
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Default Tell me about your land/farm

Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroad View Post
I don't recall you mentioning where you are, but the climate can make some differences in location.

Here in my area where the Catskills and Poconos converge we have a great deal of snow, and having buildings too far from a dwelling can present some logistical difficulties during the winter.
Hi Ontheroad,

Thanks for your answer. Do you live on a farm? If so, what do you grow there, if anything? I am currently in NY -- Orange County. We looked upstate for land, but taxes were too high. It's absolutely beautiful country up there. Tambre
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
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Yes, Orange County is beautiful.

I don't currently live on a farm, but I did in VT, until September ('07). We were going under, and couldn't keep up the costs. VT is very expensive. Managed to sell some hay. It's a family place that some of the family members will hang onto, come what may.

We had roughly 200acres, good land.

But here in the NEPA region, I am at a sort of regional cross-roads with NYS on one side, and PA on the other, I am finding farming differs greatly. Here in my immediate area, you'll only find dairies, and they are vanishing each year.

Over on the NYS line, you can still find some good farm land and grow nearly anything.

The reason I asked about where you are, and winter, is I put some compost containers, nothing too extravagent, too far out on the property, and could barely reach it all winter. Not practical; but I clearly wasn't using my noodle.

With the pole barn you probably have many options for future planning and design. What I see here and from my own experience, I'd say good paths are essential in colder climates between and among house, barn, outhouse, septic and well.

One of several possibilities for the future house/barn is to have them contiguous with a walkway between the two--save you come harsh winters of struggling between the two structures.

In VT, we had a large farm-house, and the main barn was about 400ft or more from the house (good paths); we had several outhouses (surrounding the barn); a workshed/garage about 50-75ft from the house (good paths) and some services (well ~ 50ft from the house). We also kept some of the larger farm equipment in and around the main barn but not inside.

We only managed to garden and not farm last summer and had a good plot (about 150sf) with quite a few, long established berry bushes protected from the critters. We had a good crop of the berries and too many vegetables to use for our personal consumption (just three of us).

What you plan on growing and how you intend to use the produce will certainly dictate how you plan the property.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tambre View Post
Hi Ontheroad,

Thanks for your answer. Do you live on a farm? If so, what do you grow there, if anything? I am currently in NY -- Orange County. We looked upstate for land, but taxes were too high. It's absolutely beautiful country up there. Tambre
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:27 AM
 
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any open sided cattle sheds should be open to the South to catch the sun in winter.

Houses should face South also to capture the sun in winter and save on heating costs.
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
any open sided cattle sheds should be open to the South to catch the sun in winter.

Houses should face South also to capture the sun in winter and save on heating costs.
Thanks....This is exactly the type of thing that a novice farmer wannabee doesn't know! Mucho gracias!
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,597 posts, read 55,520,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tambre View Post
Hi everyone,

Any ideas/advice/wisdom on setting up a farm...65 acres, vacant land, , large rectangle shape with long side dirt road access on the north side. The land is a big hill with a flat 30 acre hayfield on top. There are some rough pastures and woods along the long side perimeters. It is fenced and cross fenced. There is a large draw with a year round spring on the north side. There is ledge rock on the south side. This land is in Missouri, so it is prone to some wild weather.

My questions would include: where to put the house in relation to the outbuilding. Is it good to keep the orientation of the buildings in a certain direction? Which side would be good for the well/septic, since there is a spring? We are thinking of building a pole barn/steel building first, and using is as temporary living quarters until we can build a house. How far apart would you suggest the house/outbuildings be? Thanks for your insights!

Tambre
Your house and barn locations will be dictated by the water and electricity access. It costs about $30 per foot to bring electricity in, so building 1000 feet away from power lines isn't practical unless you have a lot of spare change. Moving water is cheaper, but the lines have to be buried for freeze protection. If the line crosses a field or pasture, it has to be buried deeper yet, to avoid plows and damage from cattle.

Your spring wants to be away from your septic, barn and pasture for obvious reasons. Your house wants to be far enough away from the barn that you don't have problems with odors or pests.

I wouldn't go with a permanent structure at first. We lived in a travel trailer last summer while we spent our time fixing the location of our permanent home. We'll sell the trailer this year, and recoup most of the costs. While we used it, we had all the comforts of home - kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living area with tv, phone, AC, heat, etc. The first two months we did just fine with generator power and batteries and an inverter. Life in a new place is a lot easier if you have to deal with a combination of construction and tent camping after a hard day's work.
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Not on the same page as most
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Hi Harry Chickpea,

Where are you located, if you don't mind me asking. We were thinking about buying a trailer at one point, but don't know anything about them. What kind of farm are you setting up? Great advice about the well/spring/electric and septic. We are going to travel out to Missouri again in a few weeks, and I am going to take all the advice being given here to rethink the position of the buildings. My one wish is to build where the sunlight reaches the longest, as in our house now, we are down the northeast side of a hill, and in the winter we lose the light very early. Thanks again for your recommendations.

Tambre
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,597 posts, read 55,520,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tambre View Post
Hi Harry Chickpea,

Where are you located, if you don't mind me asking. We were thinking about buying a trailer at one point, but don't know anything about them. What kind of farm are you setting up? Great advice about the well/spring/electric and septic. We are going to travel out to Missouri again in a few weeks, and I am going to take all the advice being given here to rethink the position of the buildings. My one wish is to build where the sunlight reaches the longest, as in our house now, we are down the northeast side of a hill, and in the winter we lose the light very early. Thanks again for your recommendations.

Tambre
North Alabama, so the climate isn't too different than yours. Our property is much smaller - 15 or so acres, part of it wooded on slope - so getting a living wage off it is unlikely. What is possible is a huge garden, plenty of wood for heat and energy, a few cattle and goats to help pay the taxes and insurance, and chickens to keep us in eggs and meat.

Temporary quarters in a travel trailer is no big deal. You put water in the tank, deal with the waste by dumping it down an old outhouse cesspit, cook and heat with propane and have a trailer pole installed for power. I've noted people living in them year 'round in this area, although I wouldn't enjoy it in the winter. Used travel trailers are inexpensive and self-contained.

You might consider that farm life involves getting up early to work before the heat of the day. Sunlight in the morning can be as important as in the late afternoon. I'd advise getting geodesic maps of the land and aerial photos, so that you can get a better understanding of relationships on your property before making those big siting decisions. We examined six possibilities on our land before deciding on one.
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Old 03-29-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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Your local heath department will have input on where your well and septic will be. Talk to them before deciding anything
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