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Forest land vs. Farm land  RSS feed

 
Posts: 17
Location: Saskatchewan
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What are some thoughts on buying forested land versus farm land? Buying forest or planting forest?

Either way, I'd like to end up with mostly forest and an abundance of human food, including an annual garden.

Thanks!
 
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either is good in my opinion! with hard work you can adapt a forest land to be farm land or build a biodome greenhouse ect. if you are provideing for a family i would go with farmland if i had the option. it really depends niether one is better than the other and you can adapt! its all about living a self sustainable lifestyle my friend. once you do that your put of the unsustainable sytem most of the modern world lives in
 
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Howdy Michelle, a couple of thoughts.

Generally farm land may have more chemical gick in the soil than forest soil. So might be harder to grow things in.

Forest soils are fungal in nature , thus they are all ready for a system using trees.

A farm usually has been plowed so you would need to work the soils back to a fungal state.

Seems to me that it would be easier to start with forest, thin out trees to create edges, study the trees that are currently growing to guide you in which trees may live in the same conditions, and plant new trees.
 
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Location: Concord, New Hampshire
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When you say "farm land" do you mean previously farmed land or just open grassy/brushy space? If you just mean open, untimbered space then ideally it would be good to have some of both.

Advantages of forested land:

- Source of building materials, and firewood if you use wood-burning appliances, that is available NOW, not 10 to 100 years from now.
- Greater privacy
- In places where fruit/nut trees are endemic you could have access to food right away rather than waiting for seedlings to mature and start bearing.
- More shelter from the wind

Challenges of forested land:

- More labor required to prepare the site for construction, fire protection, and passive/active solar.
- If all you have is non-food producing forest you'll need to clear land to make room for gardens and orchards.
- Forest soils (particularly under conifer forest types) are very acidic meaning you'll probably need to amend your soil if you want to grow anything other than blueberries and roses.

Advantages of open land:

- Easier site prep for construction.
- No trees blocking your solar panels or passive solar house.
- Safer in the event of a wildfire.
- Blank slate. Plant anything you want, wherever you want it without it being shaded out by an already established tree.
- More wildlife. Not much grows under a mature forest canopy. Any good hunter knows to look for deer in meadows, old logging areas, or fire scars because enough sunlight reaches the ground there to support grass and shrubs.
- Better pasture, for the same reason.
- If you live in an area that isn't flat the view will probably be nicer without a bunch of trees blocking it. On the other hand, if I lived somewhere with no topography I think I'd probably rather have trees to look at than an empty horizon.

Challenges of open land:

- Fully exposed to the elements (particularly the wind)
- Less privacy
- Fewer onsite resources. If you want to produce your own timber/firewood you'll have to plant it and wait years for it to grow.

If I could only find one or the other I'd pick forest. You can cut down a mature tree a LOT faster than you can grow one...
 
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