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Peeping timberland

 
                                
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This last weekend, I spent some time driving around in Arkansas, in the southern half of the state. Mostly I made an east-west trip, talked to a realtor, a timberman, and saw the sites. I also have a book called "how to be a dirt-smart buyer of country property" and on its advice I went to the USDA soils office and the assessor's office for one country, to see if I could look up a particular plot of land to learn its secrets. Pretty informative stuff! If you are thinking about buying land on the cheap, I definitely recommend doing your own research in this manner. Real estate prices online will NOT be as cheap as the ones you can find on location. There is all this timberland, undeveloped forest, and clearcut land all over the place. Apparently, most of central arkansas was at one time developed for farmland, but people have switched to pine tree farming all over the place. Now they take the trunks, leave all the slash and canopy on the ground, and wait for new trees to grow.

George, the realtor, came from a more conventional gardening background than the one we favor here on permies. For one thing, he said its very difficult to get anything to grow in the shelter of a pine, which drips noxious sap. He told a story of pine stumps being completely solid after 6 years. I decided against trying to explain permaculture to him, since he is a local expert. He also said that pine trees have a deep tap root, which got me thinking. Is a pine tree a big Dynamic Acccumulator? Could all those pesky stumps be an asset in the future?

 
Tyler Ludens
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If you're planning to buy timberland, be sure there won't be a tax penalty if you change the land use away from timber production.  Here in TX there's a "rollback tax penalty" for changing use of land from agriculture or timber to something else.  The penalty for changing use is 5 years of back taxes! 
 
Jordan Lowery
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i plant gooseberries next to old pine stumps and living pine trees. they are great companions.
 
Brenda Groth
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we used to break up old pine stumps and take them home for kindling..
 
                                
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Well I read there could be future industries in tree sap, 'nutritious' specialty foods, maybe I could make some weird organic hill country barley beer.
 
                                      
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Location: Joseph, Oregon
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chefconnor wrote:
If you are thinking about buying land on the cheap, I definitely recommend doing your own research in this manner. Real estate prices online will NOT be as cheap as the ones you can find on location. There is all this timberland, undeveloped forest, and clearcut land all over the place.


i have found that one of the best ways to buy your dream acreage it to tour the areas that you are interested in and take notes and addresses (as you can best determine) to formulate a master list of possibilities, perhaps at least 30 properties.  then go to the county office and look at the parcels on the platte maps.  cross-reference and get the owners name and address (tax rolls), write each and every one (by hand with proper postage) and tell them how much you love their property and how it is exactly what you are looking for, etc. ad nauseum.  offering food (security) in the future and letting them know you will treat the land with upmost respect could help your cause.  you will be very surprised with what unfolds before you...

and comes under the category of "sometimes, all you have to do is ask"
 
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