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Old 03-22-2009, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,142 posts, read 50,298,797 times
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I have been amazed at how many good folk decide to settle in deserts, thinking there is plenty of water to support densely populated tract housing.

I like gardening, crops, orchards, pastures, forests, rivers, livestock running around; things that are hard to do without water.

I do understand the importance of water.

It would be foolish to under-estimate the importance of water.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,615 posts, read 7,918,675 times
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Actually the Winslow area and all of northeast AZ is part of the Colorado plateau, not the Mojave Desert. The Mojave Desert is in much of inland lower elevations of southern CA, west-central AZ and southern NV. The Colorado plateau is mostly arid like other deserts, but is generally higher elevation and has colder winter temperatures than the Mojave.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:35 PM
 
365 posts, read 931,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skippy upwood View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I'm taken aback that 5 acres is considered to be merely "a lawn". The suburban house and garden that I currently live in is 0.25ac and I always considered my garden to be "regular sized". What would you call 10 or 40 acres ?
That might be true where you're at but winslow az is pretty arid and not much in way of fertile soil. have you been there?
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,142 posts, read 50,298,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
Actually the Winslow area and all of northeast AZ is part of the Colorado plateau, not the Mojave Desert. The Mojave Desert is in much of inland lower elevations of southern CA, west-central AZ and southern NV. The Colorado plateau is mostly arid like other deserts, but is generally higher elevation and has colder winter temperatures than the Mojave.
Nature plants things trying to re-build the soil. And as vegetation goes from simple to complex [annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees] the most complex and most efficient plant is the hardwood tree. All of natural is trying to convert [eventually] all land to hardwood forests. But water is a big problem. A lot of land is too dry, it is desert, and will not allow forests to thrive. Those desert areas 'peak' with grasses.

A high plains desert does this. It's vegetation peaks at grasses because it still does not have enough water to support the next stage of plants. It is too arid, being a desert.

Deserts can be cold you know, Antarctica is a desert.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,711 posts, read 45,808,859 times
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I had a 5-acre place in Iowa, in my experience it was too big for a yard but too small to do anything with ag-wise. Although I certainly could have bought a big tiller and grown a really big garden for my own use.

We are now on 13 acres in Eastern WA., this works as a small cattle grazing operation, in my experience this is enough land to justify a "real" (but old and small) tractor (IH Super C) which is a big help.

Water is a big deal out West, if you have never lived here you really can't understand.

I don't know if the OP's place could support garlic, if garlic works for you it can bring in a pretty high income per acre, but it's a lot of work too, I have heard, full disclosure, I have never grown garlic beyond a few cloves for our own use.
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:35 AM
 
Location: USA
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Skippy it's possible for northern arizona, but there isn't much moister in the air and it's so dry i don't know how well plant life would do. Arizona has ALL hardiness ranges temp wise, but we have areas that cotton does well, wine country, cow farms, corn, ect. Most of the places up north are ranches like free ranging meat farms. Beyond what i've said, the temp is perfect for wheat and there is water, but soil and water quality is what is in question.

Oh before i forget, there are a lot of rocks in Arizona, maybe has something to do with being partial to the rockies.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:45 AM
 
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I'm about an hour east of you, and people here raise sheep, horses, some cows, some goats. The others are right, 5 acres isn't a lot of space, but I know people who keep horses on less, and you could raise a few goats on that. Or sheep if you don't want to bother with milking. Water is a problem here, but if you've got enough water, you can do a nice garden-but you'll probably need to supplement your soil.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:28 AM
 
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Of course cattle , sheep, and horses can be raised on very small acreage.

Just keep buying and trucking the hay in. ( sarc)
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,778 posts, read 6,687,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skippy upwood View Post
Could anyone suggest to me what type of livestock could I keep, or crops that I could grow, on 5 acres

I was thinking breeding mule deer or grazing Bison because I've read that this wouldn't require too much active intervention other than fencing (and providing water in the latter case) - is this correct?
Although I am not familiar with the area you are talking about, I agree with the others that five acres is just a big lawn although as one poster suggested that it might be a possibility for you to grow vegetables as a cash crop eventually.

I would like to comment also on the above line I bolded - run every time anyone tells you an animal doesn't require much intervention because while theoretically that should be possible for some animals, in real life it never works out that way.

That was exactly the line my husband used to convince me, almost twenty years ago, that Siberian wild boar were a good idea. Fencing bison is a big undertaking and although we have never had bison, from what I've heard they can pretty much go through anything if they decide to do that. And I can't see a bison - particularly a single one - being anything but trouble. They are herd animals but you don't have the land for a herd.

Like you, we are not dependent solely on farm income but farming and ranching can suck you dry before you know it.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Illinois
718 posts, read 1,826,746 times
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Ever seen what people in California jam on a half acre? Couple of sheep, goats, maybe a small horse and of course several dogs? Always made me shake my head in disbelief. When I lived there, anything over an acres was a farmette? To each his own.
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