I was just curious if anyone else uses CAD for laying out their homesteads? By CAD I mean cardboard Aided Design!!
I like cardboard because I can make a wooden shadowbox, then using LIDAR Maps and their 2 foot contours lay out such things as access roads, swales, ponds, fencing, and other features.
It took me two years granted, and in the end a little extra help, but I just managed to clear some land of forest products, and now am at the real planning stage. With all the snow, I really cannot get on the land just yet, so I set out to do a relief map. In this case I wanted to see how big and how deep a proposed pond will be. It won't be big, only 100 x 100 feet roughly. but will be much deeper than I thought at 18 feet. That is good information to know. I also laid out two heavy haul roads that will need to be built, and have a really good idea where the culverts for those roads will go, and where my resulting swales will be made. We are not ready for this just yet, but we are even using this to get a feel for how our future undergroundretirement home might fit into the layout.
I used 1:600 for a map scale and it seems to work well. The shadow box not being cumbersome to move around, yet not so small that I could not visualize some of the details.
I have a long ways t go as I finish off the layers of cardboard with drywall compound, some outcroppings of rock, and of course paint, but its a start!
Here is a video of one of the (3) clear cuts we finished this year. This clear cut is 30 acres, with a 15 acre field in the distance (where the log yard is); all to make more room for more sheep.
After visiting this site today, and counting (13) hilltops from this vantage point, my wife instantly said this is where she wants her retirement WOFATI...with lots of windows! (We will not be putting a house where it is pictured on the right side in the photo of my relief map, but rather in the upper left corner). There is NO WAY we can get power up there, and just building a road here will be a herculean effort , and probably take half the gravel in our gravel pit, so it will definitely be off-grid.
It is hard to picture for sure in this ugly state, but being a land clearing contractor for my own farm, as well as doing it for hire for others, I can visualize a nice future carpet of green, some nice swales, and eventually grazing sheep. It is really nice to see a plan coming together even if it has taken 2 years!
I never would have thought when I embarked upon this endeavor that I would get put in the hospital for 4 days by a logging accident, or get laid up with cancer. But regardless, two years later the job is done, and this is what the forest yielded:
570 cords of biomass
336 cords of hardwood pulp
186 cords of hemlock logs
98 cords of spruce logs
97 cords of hardwood logs
41 cords of White Pine Logs
30 cords of hemlock pulp
30 cords of cedar logs
Value of the wood before trucking, at the landing: $132,374.
Over the next few weeks, as the 4 feet of snow we got melts, I will try and take some before and after photos. It is quite profound, and I am excited to start the next stage: putting the land into active farmland!