Searching for the perfect, and affordable, parcel of land for a prepper retreat or wooded homestead can be a very daunting task – and filled with a copious amount of variables.
How To Turn Lonely Land Into A Dream Wooded Homestead
Finding land that is almost perfect happens a lot, a whole lot. Seeking walk-onto-the-property perfection comes with a massive price tag. With a good eye, a discerning potential homesteader will easily be able to see the outstanding potential an incredibly affordable parcel of wooded acreage will ultimately provide.
There is absolutely no reason to walk away from otherwise quality land simply because it is heavily wooded – such land may actually have a plethora of benefits! Easily accessible and abundant hidden resources abound on wooded land parcels, all of which a thrifty homesteader or prepper can harvest and utilize to subsist and to earn a sizable bit of extra cash to help defray the costs of clearing the land and setting up their dream farm.
Wooded land can not only be turned into a viable homestead or bugout location, it nearly always comes at a bargain basement price. It does not take thousands upon thousands of dollars and tons of heavy equipment to clear enough of a wooded parcel of land to carve out quality and fully-functional homestead, off grid, or semi-off the grid, retreat.
Focus on the three most important aspects for any type of farm: growing food, building a home, and raising livestock when plotting and planning what needs to be done on the land to make it work for your needs. Clearing a little bit at a time to create space for the essential aspects of homesteading and then continuing the work as both time and money permit – and specific needs present themselves, prevents the overall project from becoming a money pit and overwhelming.
1. Food Production
After determining where the garden, barn, and home will be located, start clearing the least resistant portions of the land first. Removing brush and small trees to create a space for the growing of food should be the first step. Once the dense ground coverings and small trees are gone, only then will you have a complete view of the garden area and a better idea of the total growing space. Choose a location which can grow over time in anticipation of clearing more land for cultivating crops in future years.
2. Structure Building
Make use of the natural resources at your disposal and build a home and barn from wood cut from the property. This kills two birds with one stone – clearing some land and providing a place for both you and the livestock to live. Learning how to plan your own wood and spending a few thousand dollars on a portable sawmill will make building a home and barn extremely economical – and comes with the pride of doing as much of the project as possible with your own two hands.
3. Tree Removal
Cut down the large trees in the garden space and cut the bounty into logs which can be later split for firewood. Stump removal is the most taxing aspect of clearing (or ‘grubbing’) wooded land. Stump can be pulled or burnt out, but both take time and extra money. Drilling multiple holes as deep as you can get in the stumps and pouring them with an equal parts mix of Epsom salt and water will ultimately rid the property of stumps as well.
Typically tree stumps will take several weeks to two months to completely decompose. Possessing a piece of land with ample firewood not only save money but may offer a selling opportunity to help fund other necessary projects and purchases for the new homestead. If you hire a logging company to do some select cutting, part of the clearing work will be done for you – at a profit.
4. Large Livestock
Cows need a significant amount of quality pasture to maintain their proper meat production weight and flourish. Goats, on the other hand, aren’t picky at all about their habitat. They love hilly terrain and will help with the clearing of brush significantly while filling their bellies. Goats will produce both meat and milk for the homestead. In future years, once more land is cleared, areas which are less steep can be cultivated into quality pasture and standard cows, or miniature cows and steers, like Dexter cattle, which require far less grazing space than their far larger peers, can also be added to the sustainable wooded prepper retreat or homestead.
5. Small Livestock
Turkeys also thrive in thick wooded areas. The second source of meat production will hold stock the pantry shelves whether the birds are allowed to remove free and hunted as needed or kept inside a fenced in area – complete with a poultry netter cover on the top. Chickens and ducks will do just fine on a wooded homestead as well. A man-made pond will satisfy the ducks, even if it is a small one if a natural pond or creek are not present on the property.
Heavily wooded areas naturally boast more predators than most other types of terrain. Dogs and miniature donkeys will help keep foxes, rabbits, and coyotes away from your garden and poultry flocks. Guineas are known as the junkyard dogs of the poultry world and attack small predators, like mink and raccoons, and use their very loud clucking sounds to immediately alert you when any type of danger is present near their roosting spot – which should be near the chicken coop. They roost in trees at night but do like a hut of some type to use as a shelter as well. Feed the guineas near the coop every evening to keep them close and on guard all night.
The forest is filled with wild edibles. The added source of food makes a homestead more sustainable, a prepper retreat more worthwhile, and can even add a small money-making component to the wooded property. It would be almost impossible to starve on a wooded homestead once you learn what to look for and where it grows naturally on the property.
8. Tree Tapping
It is a common misconception that only Maple trees can be tapped for syrup. While Maple trees give the most common form of honey in abundance, nearly 25 other trees which commonly grow throughout the United States do as well. Odds are very good that many trees on a wooded homestead can be tapped for the sweet breakfast treat. Once again a wooded homesteader will likely have more syrup than necessary to share with the family and the abundant and readily available resource could be sold locally or online to earn some extra cash on a seasonal basis.
It is far easier to turn wooded acreage into quality pasture land than it is to turn a pasture into good woodlands. A heavily wooded homestead most likely will offer plenty of wildlife to hunt virtually year around. Depending upon where the land is located, seasonal hunting permits are available for deer, bear, wild boar, rabbits, raccoons, turkey, and waterfowl, exist. You could also purchase a breeding pair of pheasants or quail, or raise and release your own flock onto the property for future hunting opportunities for years to come – without having to spend time or money building them a habitat or purchasing feed to sustain the flock.
Honeybees raised on the wooded homestead will help your garden grow, provide honey, and wax for candle making, and offer yet another moneymaking opportunity to help sustain the homestead.
Looking for an inspiration for your dream wooded homestead? Watch this video and be amazed!
Starting a wooded homestead may require a bit of an adaption of your mind’s eye view of what a dream homestead or prepper retreat looks like, but the opportunities for a sustainable farm are just as attainable on a heavily wooded patch of land as they are on a highly manicured stretch of flat pasture!
What is your dream homestead? Where do you plan to have it? We’d love to hear some of your thoughts! Leave them in the comment section below!
Earning while living life to the fullest? Check out these ways to make money on your homestead!