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What would you do with 10 acres?

 
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Just a curiosity post. Found 10 acres of pure meadow--nothing but a few trees and a nearby pond (off property but still close). What would you do with something like that?

Would love inspiration and ideas. There's so much possibility!
 
master steward
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Our homestead was a 10-acre hay meadow when we bought it.

We started with a blank slate.

The house came first, and then the tractor.

Later we had a barn build.

A lot of projects, too over the years.  A chicken house, a loafing shed for a horse, a shelter for a pig, etc.

Start with what you need the most and work from there.

Small projects are best to start with and don't plan too many things at first.

We planted trees, vegetables, grapes, and some flowers.

We even had Soil Conservation come out to determine the best location for the pond.  Unfortunately, the pond never happened because money was tight back then.
 
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7 AHS:4 GDD:3000 Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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1 acre fire-wood
6.5 acre pasture/mulch-straw
1 acre pond
1 acre orchard/food forest
0.25 garden
0.25 house/workshop/gararge/lawn area
 
pollinator
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Location: Appalachian Foothills-Zone 7
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I'd put in good fence around the perimeter.  Goat and sheep mesh with hot wire.  Get some animals on it.  Then start planting trees with hot wire for protection.  After that, fence off areas within the perimeter for garden areas.

Pretty much what I did on my property.  Only regret was going with 6 strand high tensile instead of mesh with a hot wire.

Most trees take a long time to produce (mulberries and pears being the fastest for us) so get them in early, then enjoy animal products and garden produce until your trees grow.
 
pollinator
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Location: Bendigo , Australia
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Build a speedway practise track around it and fit everything else around to suit.
I started mine 45 yeras ago.
I have stock, dams, a small house. an orchard,  a workshop about 5 times the size of the house
and I build motorcycles and hotrods, all if which get tested at home.
Life is bliss here!
 
gardener
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Jane,

That depends so much on your own personal thoughts/dreams/ambitions/finances.

We bought just over 9.1 acres of land with a 1/4 acre pond and about 3-4 acres wooded, the rest cleared.  If I were doing it again, I think I would first build a tractor shed and buy a compact tractor just to help with all the numerous tasks that go along with construction (such as grading a newly installed gravel driveway that gets rutted up pretty quickly).  For implements I would want a loader, box blade, and maybe a rough mower.  You can expand to these, but these will get you a long ways.

As may have been implied, I would then start on the house.  Some would be tempted to build it themselves, but those often take years to finish (I know of one that was started about 15 years ago and isn’t finished yet!  I think the bank repossessed it).  Others may wish to hire a contractor.  We hired a contractor but did some jobs ourselves (we trenched in the water for example and saved a few thousand for an afternoon of sweat equity).

Do you have an existing fence line?  Maybe you want to put one in?  Or plant a living fence.  I had a fence line that I let grow up and I love all the trees and bushes on it now.

Are you planning on keeping livestock?  Maybe plan out where they will be pastured and where their buildings will be located.

Since you are all prairie, I would think about putting in some type of woodlot.

These are all just a few of my thoughts.  Maybe they work for you and maybe they don’t.  I will say that I got a subcompact tractor after about a year of moving in and it was incredibly useful.  I would consider something similar at the beginning of any construction because there are so many little jobs that need to get done that even a small tractor will accomplish radically easier than by doing by hand.

Again, these are my thoughts based on my experience buying land not too different than yours.  Maybe you can gain something from this post and if so great.  But feel free to pick, choose, adapt or delete whatever you think is necessary.

Good luck!

Eric
 
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pollinator
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Location: Appalachian Foothills-Zone 7
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John C Daley wrote:Build a speedway practise track around it and fit everything else around to suit.
I started mine 45 yeras ago.
I have stock, dams, a small house. an orchard,  a workshop about 5 times the size of the house
and I build motorcycles and hotrods, all if which get tested at home.
Life is bliss here!



Nice! Our property doubles as a minibike course and shooting range!
 
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Location: Amador County, California
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Pigs, goats, sheep, a milk cow, chickens, turkeys, ducks, guineas, quail, rabbits and a big garden!
 
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I'd verify no property or road access issues, find/get a survey, etc; best time for that is before money changes hands. Then, as it is a clean-slate opportunity, do the planning on paper:

1. walk the land a bit (in person, via google earth), and determine site characteristics (views, compass points, neighbors and whatever they are doing); print off layout of property with satellite view (vegetation/trees), for sketching. try to determine via google or in person what the water is doing as it flows during weather.

2. layout initial bubbles for homestead area (1 acre in the interior for home & surrounding gardens), supporting homestead systems (chickens, compost, barn/sheds,etc.), and further bubbles for other permaculture activities, to edges of property. layout roads to the bubbles, perimeter & cross-fencing enclosing bubbles of activity, walkways/trails, areas of interest. Where are the hugels & ponds going, amidst all other activity ...

As you sketch out all of this, questions and issues arise, and have to be researched & dealt with; may or may not change the planning as you go. Use layers for each major activity, so you can look at things individually and as a whole. A great time to figure out computers/software to aid in all of this.

Doesn't hurt to investigate building types, throw pictures onto the plans, and further explore possibilities. Post what you come up with ...
 
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where is it? could you have agreement with pond owner to access water? is pond spring fed? if so is there spring on your property?
trees take years to grow, are you young? is the soil super fertile top soil? or maybe hard packed clay? lot of questions you might look into. these are just a very few
 
Jt Lamb
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I was about to say that there are very few permaculture "design examples" out there ... I've found about a dozen so far, and was expecting hundreds, if not thousands. But, yet another search this morning yielded this:

 https://www.permaculturenews.org/2013/09/18/the-permaculture-design-process-an-example/

the attached picture is from this design process article!

Also, I just received my copy of the PC designer manual (the bible) from Tagari USA ... feels like I'm back in college, buying/reading and trying to absorb the material in those hefty tomes. This one, however, is worth the shipping cost, which I'm too embarrassed to reveal to anybody (and am planning on hiding said cost from my wife).

If they followed up this design process with what actually happened on the ground (and if I can find it in an article somewhere else on this great site), this would be a fine example of both the design and the actual ground work.

Hope this helps ...
permaculture-design-example.jpg
[Thumbnail for permaculture-design-example.jpg]
 
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