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I didn't find a thread on this topic but I wanted to know your thoughts. I'd like to help out more than just myself, so thoughts that may not directly involve my situation are welcome.

We're in the market to buy a home, we want to have a self sufficient mini farm so we're looking for land that's at lest 5 acer. We've found wooded and cleared properties, and I'd love to have a house that's hidden by woods. But I'm worried about defence when your enemy can hide all over the place. On a cleared lot they'd see your house, garden, animals and what not, but you'd also see them. I'm more of the stay low type, so I think a mix of woods and clearing is a good idea. So what are your thoughts on 1-10 acer lots when it comes to being wooded or treed? (during shtf) I'm looking for offence and defence but any thoughts on the mater would be great.
 

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LEGAL citizen
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Catch 22... the woods will keep you more safe because they probably won't see your house. However, if they do find you, the woods will keep them more safe because you probably won't see them from your house.

Knowing what I know now, I would buy cleared property and plant some fast growing evergreens around the border. You can plant them fairly close and it will appear like very thick woods/brush.

The only other trees I would have would be hard woods (cooking and fireplace) and fruit bearing trees... even if they are just to feed the wildlife.
 

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Be Prepared
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I'm not too paranoid about someone seeing me but I think the area around your house should be cleared of trees to allow sunshine for growing food. Another reason to have trees cleared around your house is the fact that biting insects are less bothersome when you can get a breeze going around the house. The other areas of your property can be treed for protection from winter winds and firewood gathering.
 

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gagged
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How old are you? If you are young you can afford to buy cleared property and wait for exactly the trees you love to grow. We just bought land and we spent extra to get a piece that was wooded because we don't have 20 years to wait for shade. Personally I would buy the woods, you can always selectively remove the trees you need to for building or security but it take years to grow beautiful trees for shade or habitat.
 

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My place had 0 trees when I bought it 8 years ago and it makes it easier to set-up the way you want it. Now most of the trees are pretty good size. So, my vote wood be not to by a forest.
 

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Guns and Yoga
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Our first property we bought earlier this year was 10 acres of cleared land that was quite fertile. We felt like we were in a fishbowl and EVERYONE could see what we were doing. Then through an incredible series of events, we found our current property (~20 acres) that is heavily wooded with cleared skids from the logging companies years ago and we're much happier. The skids provide enough cleared area to start a garden and fruit trees, have PV's and there is a clearing for a shop already. We have a great supply of building material (Cordwood construction) and fuel to heat our place, in addition to the amount of privacy we have.
 

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No real good answer. I had 40 acres in Kentucky 10 years ago. Pretty much 95% of it was wooded. The upside very private, only sign anything was there was the drive way that disappeared around a bend. Plenty of places to ride a 4 wheeler, tons of places to hunt, and more firewood than you knew what to do with. And no real grass to mow.

Of course the down side was it would have been really difficult to defend, as people could be right on top of you before you knew they were there. Plenty of cover for them of course, none in a cabin for me. It also meant no place to grow anything. It would have cost money to get something in there to get the stumps out.

In a SHTF situation you would really need some open land. And be able to see people coming. In a normal world didn't matter and I liked the privacy.

Where I am now its 6 acres, maybe 1/2 wooded, backed up to hundreds of acres of other woods. The rest where the house is, is level and cleared. Also means 3 acres of grass to mow. Would let the sheep loose but they head straight for the wifes much tastier flowers. And of course everybody who happens by knows we have a well and solar panels. Stuff is planted but will take time to fill in along the road.
 

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If the wooded area is the right kind of trees, (hardwoods, nut trees, with some evergreens) I would get wooded property and clear what I needed to.

If the woods is just woods, with little to offer but some bad firewood I would pass it up and get cleared land.

However, with the cleared land, I would immediately plant a barrier fence of close planted blackberry brambles (thorny type), wild roses (thorny type), and honey locust trees. Start on the most exposed side and continue planting until the entire property is enclosed.

Then I would plant a coppicing firewood plot (ash trees), a nut tree and fruit tree orchard suitable for the area, small vineyard, strawberry and blueberry patches, asparagus patch, or other appropriate perennials for the area. Perhaps a small evergreen (juniper) tree patch for Christmas trees and to have a constant source of yeast. (can plant a few, and then each Christmas by a live juniper the right size for your Christmas tree and plant it when possible after ChristmasJ)

I would leave the area right around the house clear, to reduce fire danger, damage to the house from wind damaged trees, and prevent anyone from approaching close to the house without being seen.

Just my opinion.
 

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Thanks for bringing up the topic. It's one I've been kinda struggling with as I look for a place to call "home".

There are lots of wooded parcels out there for not a lot of money but I have no idea how hard it is to take a woods and clear 3 or 4 acres of it for house and gardens. How hard is it to pull up all of those stumps and make tillable land out of it?

I like privacy. But I haven't figured out quite where to start from. Maybe I've been discounting mostly open places a little too much as there are some fast growing varieties of trees and shrubs and bushes and thorny things.

Lots to think about. Thanks.


Brian
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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My land is forest. The taxing methods of the state are such that my land must remain forest. So I plan and do things with that in mind. I have forest so I take advantage of forest. I must find ways to produce crops, meat, and fuel from forest. [fortunately it is easy] :)

Other people can do other things on their land when their land is cleared.

I got locked into forest. I suggest that you consider all options before locking yourself into one of the other. I knew this before I purchase this land, so it was mostly an informed decision.
 

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We're in the market to buy a home, we want to have a self sufficient mini farm so we're looking for land that's at lest 5 acer. We've found wooded and cleared properties ... So what are your thoughts on 1-10 acer lots when it comes to being wooded or treed? ...
Forested or not depends on what you want to do with it. I see "mini-farm," "garden" and "animals," so I'm going to assume you want 1-2 acres of space to feed your family and supplement livestock feed, and at least that much more space for hay pasture.

The short answer is that you need at least 3 acres of space that has few or no trees, because you plan to till and mow it, and tree stumps and roots do not get along with that equipment. Depending on what kind of livestock you're interested in, you may want most of the property to be clear for grazing and haying.

Personally, I'd prefer to start with a mostly clean slate, and put in wind-break tree lines and orchards where I want them, and not have to bother with felling a bunch of mostly useless trees and tearing out stumps.
 

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angel waiting
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We live on wooded 5 acres. A portion of it is cleared for our garden/orchard and paths around the property. I like the rest to stay wooded as it affords us some protection from the wind and helps to keep the house shaded in the summer. I also like it because it allows us places to hide on our own property and allows us to set up warning trip lines in the event we need extra security. Sure someone could try and hide behind some trees but we have two dogs that can smell the deer when they are in the yard so I have no doubt they will smell people who don't belong there. Being wide out in the open just makes me feel too visable and vulnerable. I vote go for the woods.
 

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That caught my attention!! Juniper trees are a source of yeast? As in the kind needed for bread making, perhaps?

Would like to hear more about that if you'd care to expound.


Brian
The white dusting found on Juniper berries is a yeast. Usually used to make sourdough breads. They also have some medicinal uses, too.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Grab+...+berry.+(Country+conversation+&...-a088583254

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/wild-yeast-zmaz80sozraw.aspx

http://www.herbalmanac.com/juniperberries/

Hope this helps.
 

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I say find a lot with large trees lots of them then.......wait for it


clear cut it use the $$$ towards your house and planting orchards and vineyards and your other stuff
 
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