Win a Fokin hoe blade this week in the Gear forum!

Christopher Stinnett

+ Follow
since Jan 10, 2019
Christopher likes ...
forest garden homestead kids
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Christopher Stinnett

Thank you, it was a a bit of a gamble to be honest. We had been looking for land a while to no avail. Everything had chicken houses super close, no creeks or springs( which I really wanted), was too small, no privacy, etc. The cons always outweighed the pros. Then after getting a little down about all the failures up to that point, we saw this pop up. First day it was up, we went. We were told we were the first ones to call/look at it, and we immediately started dealing and setting up the contract to "secure" it. It worked. We had a little time to explore and think, but not much, yet the pros definitely outweighed the cons on this one. Now it's ours, mwuahahahaha.
Native plant wise, yes, I'm a little experienced in it, but I have family who are fairly knowledgeable about it as well, so I have that covered for the most part, yet thanks for bringing it up, because that would be a very important step if not already covered. I appreciate the thought of it. Still may look up Bonnie and maybe give her a call just to chat.

 Yes it is, thank you!

My plans have changed in details since getting more familiar with the land, but the overall plan of things has stayed the same. First priority being getting something to live in out there. Probably in the valley seems best for us which is also where the food forest would be, just around us. A pathway down the valley and past the spring would be a great yard with the spring feeding ponds on one side and a continuation of the food forest on the other, all leading to a small bridge across the creek(which we can hear well in the valley, especially after some rain!) to the lower land which is ideal for normal gardens. Lots of cool areas up on the ridges to make nice hang out spots as well as down on the flat land. Those are the beginnings at least, I'll do more after all that has been started. Lots of potential and in the end, I plan on using all 10 acres for something or another!

My need of a tractor is on hold until the more important money sinks have been done, but all the things I want to do early on can be done with my lawn mower(which has a raising hitch and five various attachments for heavy gardening) and my trailer. I have access though, from family and a neighbor, to bulldozers, bobcats, bush hogs, so I'm set for moment, but in time I will be investing in my own. Until then though, it's low on my list of research(although it's high on my father's list), but if you have some quick suggestions for brands and types, feel free to name them off and I'll save them in my notes to look at. On the same note, my dad had gotten a front loader as a gift, but about a week before we got land, it began seizing up. It was an old one from the 70's but man it would be useful now, haha. Maybe he'll get it fixed soon.

 Nice! Good to know and thank you. I look forward to reading that hillbilly stuff soon. Mountains of TN, huh? I won't say exactly where, but I live near the Ocoee and Hiwassee Rivers. If you are familiar in those parts, we may have passed each other swimming or hiking!

 You are in luck, Pearl! Although the idea of renovating the house is a no-go, we do plan on tearing all the additions down and just fixing the cabin part up, because like you, we like that stuff too, haha. We thought it would be a neat place to have guests over, she can work out of it, or we could sell things out of it being on the corner of the road like that. I've been told that it was erected around 1900, but everything else was built and added in the 40/50's. Most of those things have to go though. They are already falling down or hazards. Luckily none of it is particularly history worthy, just the cabin and the mini silo(which is awesome).

 Sorry to hear about your old house. That is a shame. I thank you for your advice though, and plan on heeding it. One day, I'll post some pictures of various areas as they are for reference to what they become eventually. Thank you!

 Thanks Dave! I sure hope I spend a long time here. Yes, the 3D view is much more telling.

 I took that full overview and added it to my notes. I really, really like that idea. The spring is looking like I can cap it further up the hill(After 3 days of rain and checking it out, the land above my initial point of ground spring was jetting out more water and overflowing the center of the valley, good news and...bad in way.) I will definitely need to get a pro out there to look it all over before I go a poking, but all in all, your suggestions is great and possible since the initial spring ran it's way to the creek, so I could step it down like that, but it would be close. It's not a very steep incline there, but depending on where it's starting, it's possible.

 Aquaculture was something I was reading into and I think would work here, but at the moment I'm not sure if I have the room for a fishery since it's in the same area as where the food forest would be and not sure how big I can really make the ponds/chinampas. It'll be thought about hard before I start messing with it, since house and food forest get started. Yet, in my head, I want some kind of water usage there, so I'll make something of it, just not pegged down the details yet.
 The water is crystal clear coming out by the way, but I know you mean with the chinampa in place. Just saying though.

 Thanks you very much for that great overview of a possibility. It'll be in my mind when I get up there in the morning, haha. They appealed to me greatly! I will enjoy and thank it, my wife and I are loving it more every time we go up!

 Not much to say on the land front, really. Valentine's Week is a BUSY week for my wife, so I've had way more babysitting duty than usual, so my time on land has been limited, but after this week's rain, I'll get back to my main projects(using the rain to do indoor/building cleaning, so I'm using my time even if I can't do everything I want at moment. Being on tin roofs, tearing down barns isn't a smart thing in heavy rains.)
 Since buying it though, I've met a couple neighbors who have talked me up and down giving me history on the land and it's previous owners. Through them, I've met many more or random ones will stop by and chat for a bit. Everyone is very friendly and helpful so far, and have given us a lot of information on the surrounding area and it's people. Also, plenty of friendly dogs have been by, including one that shows up and plays every time I'm there. His owner is a 92 year old man down the road, and he loves getting to run after us, haha. The dog, not the man, haha.
 As per Pearl's history speech, I'll get some pictures of the nicer buildings and some of the land features and post when I get a chance.

Again, thank you all for your posts/insights. I look forward to them all!
4 months ago
Here is a rudimentary isometric view with an estimate of the creek, spring, and overflow swamp. The swamp has dried up a lot already in last couple weeks.
4 months ago
Sorry for the long absence, but I've spent most of my time at the land, exploring, cleaning up, and planning. Haven't gotten as much begun as I'd like, but there is a LOT to consider and I'm just one guy doing manual labor of it. Time and money will get it done though eventually.
Just wanted to point out I won't abandon this thread, but there may be lulls in it, since I'm not a smart phone user and my PC is at home, of which I've spent little time recently except with the family. Basically, I've just been cleaning up the fallen barn and general clearing of trash in the old buildings or debris on the land. Reminds me of my childhood playing Harvest Moon on the Super Nintendo....but harder, haha. When interesting develop in time, I'll be sure to update this thread for fun and discussion.
 Thank you for the definition, now I understand. The swampy area has dried up a LOT since then, just from the dry weather. Since it has I've found that the spring has already made a mini-creek flowing to the main creek, and that it just stalls in places and overtime fills up. Very carefully I plan on finding the highest source of spring on land, capping carefully and with pro help. Will probably widen the stale spots so it flows quicker to creek for now to stop the excess pooling.

That info on pond freezing has been saved in my notes to refer to when I get to that stage, so thank you.

Thanks for the link, I've bookmarked it for reference.

That is good info on fish stocking, so I've saved it in my notes to refer to, as well, when I get to that stage. Thank you for your input.

Zone 3 is about the same as Zone 1 elevation wise, it just gets pooled up by the spring not flowing a quick path into the creek, so the "swamp" can easily be corrected. Though yes, Zone 1, 2 are the lowest elevation with Zone 3 being the beginning of a slope heading South. I'll post an isometric view here soon to give the best idea of the topography.

Yes, I have a heavy-duty lawnmower and trailer for simple stuff , but in the future will definitely invest in a tractor. Money for that is already being saved into.

Not a major bridge(it's a fairly shallow but constant creek) but with some of the reusable barn lumber, I was going to construct one. It won't take much to go over that creek.

Point being, again, even though I'll have long lulls in updates sometimes, I'll always come back and discuss things on here.
4 months ago
 I get the idea of a swale and pumping into the pond, but can you elaborate on matts of green organic matter and animals to "gluey?" the pond? Not sure of the term gluey.
 I'm glad you pointed out the size and about it not freezing reasons. That's good info for me. What do you mean by "high" stocking rate? I have no knowledge of a good pond design when it comes to good plants to plant near/in it and what to stock it with that will succeed.
  Thank you for the info!
5 months ago
 Which is fine, because my wife LOVES willows, so a few might be a good idea for soaking excess water. I was thinking the same with the food forest, so it can roll into the hills and woods. Just seems like the natural place for it.
 Thanks for the link, that's good information to think on. I really do want a pond. Pulling the topsoil has been brought up from my brother, so you reinforced that idea, so thanks.

 Yeah, a bridge would be nice. At moment, I can jump across it and I really don't want to take a vehicle over there anyway(may have to though, depending on scale of what I decide to do), but a bridge is a serious thought depending on my laws here (I've heard we are picky about messing with creeks nowadays) because I'm not going to be young and jumping 4-5 gaps forever. Hydropower has been brought up and is a wonderful idea and should be a fun project to boot. Thanks for your input.

  I think what you think is cool. I can't believe I didn't mention herbs up there before, because those are most certainly going in the ground. Everything you mention are things I want to accomplish here. I imagine you listing those off in a fast paced, excited voice. Made me smile, so thanks!
  I'm aware deer can be a problem when it comes to messing with gardens, so I'll have to keep them in mind with all this.
5 months ago
 Thanks for the specifics. I'll look into more plants of that nature and see what I want to do with that.

 Yes, despite it's light swamp features that is the area I want to grow in if I can mitigate the standing water enough to do so. Although, 1 to 2 is where most of the sunlight comes in at. 3 is shadowed a little more, but it does also get good morning to late afternoon sun, so it's a definite possibility.
 Getting a backhoe to 3 could prove treacherous, due to it's swamp-like qualities and having to cross a creek(don't really want to disturb it, it's quite beautiful.) Yet I see your point. I do want a pond there, so I'll just have to investigate the options. Thanks for the input on it, it gets me to thinking.
 Congrats on getting the other 7.5, always nice to have more land to work with and for the future generations!
 Some minor hydro power is on my possibility list. I know we have some newer laws dealing with creeks and such, so I'll have to figure that out first, but if possible, OH YES! I've been told the creek stays pretty constant and doesn't rise much even in fierce rain, but that's yet to be personally seen.

 I'll probably edit this into the main post, but my general plan for now is 1  being where I build a new home, between 1 and 2 being my kitchen garden, yard, play area for the kids. 2 and W of it being a major garden area, future animal area. Along the outskirts of 1 and 2 would be nice for trees, vines, bushes just in various places to help up the privacy from the road. 3 if I can mitigate the swampiness would be ideal for my food forest, pond, mushroom stacks, maybe more animals there, and chill spots. 4 is my most unknown. Maybe a mini-underground home for fun, bees up there, nature observance, not really sure what hills could be used for in food production, but sure it can be. Ginseng? That would be wonderful.

 Feel free to input thoughts to that general plan. Thanks to you two for your input thus far.

5 months ago
Hi Eric! Thank you! I do plan on being here for the rest of my days and look forward to what becomes of the land.

I do plan on swales and am interested in Hugelkulture. The area W of the house is all open, flat land fit for use as gardens. About 3-4 acres total available for gardening in general, so while I won't do it all at once, over time and while curbing as much work as possible, as with Hugelkulture, is the plan. I do plan on doing the soil tests.

As far as planting cover crops, can you be more specific? I have a basic understanding of the terms and ideas, but specifics would be very helpful. This move was fairly sudden and while always spending my time in the mountains, actual homesteading is not my area of expertise, though one day it will be, haha.

Yes, my thoughts exactly on the house. My wife enjoys the old design, but we both know it's the smart play to build anew.

Again, thank you. I'll be sure to add pictures and add more posts as things come along.
5 months ago
Hi Everyone! I'm an old lurker on these forums, but never made an account until now. I'm now in need of as much wisdom I can acquire. I've just recently purchased 10 acres for a good price in Southeast Tennessee from an old family whose grandparents lived there last 25 years ago. If this is the improper forum for this let me know and I'll correct. Now let's add a crude picture and explain the major landmarks.

It is drawn to be North being the top with a decent few of the rising sun and good view of the setting sun. The black area is off my property but flows evenly into it. The two white marks are neighbors, one for sale across road, and the one connected to me is a nice private guy, so far.

1. An old house built in 1900 that has been added on to in 46' from it's original cabin form. The cabin portion is still in decent condition, but the added on has to be gutted. Remodeling is an option, but seeing as some foundation work, electrical,and septic/plumbing needs to be done, on top of tearing out the old rooms and replacing them(bathroom, kitchen at least), then it would most likely be cheaper for me to tear it down, save what I can and build anew in a style/design I like. It has a well next to it, and as far as septic goes I'm yet to be sure of what they used with their commode since it's been said to me they didn't have a septic tank, but I perc'd it before buying slightly to the SW of the house, so I have 3 good build areas for a new house if I want, including the current location.

2. This area W of the House is all flat, nicely draining, good soil with a few structures on it. The 2 mark is directly where a fallen down old barn is, with lots of reusable tin and wood. South of it(the tiny white mark) is a little barn in the style of lincoln-log type of cabin where I'll be setting up camp while I work on the land for now.It's the only structure that will stay in the end. A couple of others small structures exist, but they are just salvage and will be cleaned off. A little NW of the 2 is a small incline to the road with a gate still there that can still be used(The road is about 2 foot elevated above property).

As for flooding in that section, it doesn't happen. Old family have seen the place since they were mountain men constantly passing it and word from neighbors and seller was that it doesn't flood and seeing no water damage on the structures suggest that to me as well.

THE CREEK is about five foot wide and maybe 1-2 feet deep of constant water that originate from a spring about a mile up the mountain and goes through about five well-kept properties before coming onto my land.

3. The flat area just S of the creek is badly represented on this map, but it's about an acre and half wide progressing into a triangle shape on the S side. It's lightly swampy from where the rain flows down the mini-bowl from 4. I feel it can be mitigated some with maybe a pond, swales/trenches, plants that love water, etc.
there is a small metal pig pen there and I've been told the old owner had pigs in that area, so I know it doesn't get unusable there. I hope.

4. Basically starts becoming a steeper mountainous hill a bit,but can be walked up through the middle with some effort. Nice view from it and a few level spots, all wooded. Not sure of the trees, but no pine is there. there is a couple very level areas that house could possible be put on it, but I'm leaning more toward building near 1 mark first, but we'll see in the future. I need to walk it more to get a better idea of it compared to the lower half.

 All in all, for me it's a very tranquil,serene spot not but 10 mins in both directions to two rivers I swam at my whole life, and about 25 mins from a major town. I'm young, with a wife and 2 children(eventually a third, but not yet) and we both work our own hours with decent pay. We own the land and have very little overhead right now. The area is a very rural, small town up in the mountains, but easy to get to with nice paved roads.
 My vision includes dabbling in everything a little, with a focus on kitchen gardens at 1 mark and hopefully a food forest with a pond at 3 if I can mitigate the swamp enough to do so. I'd like to
-Grow all I can, maybe a cash crop or two(small scale,watermelons sell great here    in summer)
-Grow fruit trees, nuts, vine plants, etc in a permaculture aspect
-Keep bees
-Grow edible mushrooms
-Dabble in wood working/blacksmith as a pure hobby thing
-Possibly down the road raise some simple animal, with Chickens being most   feasible. I know the old owner had pigs and some cows here.
-Up for anything that I haven't considered, if I receive some suggestions.

What I'm posting for is to get a group knowledge going specific to me and possibly others in a similar situation, hopefully. Suggestions, questions, answers...just wisdom in what my journey will possible entail.

I've always enjoyed this site and I look forward to adding to it as I learn and talking to you all as I become a possible valuable member of the site. Take care all and thanks in advance for any help given.

5 months ago