Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Clearing Land For Your Homestead

The future paddock for our horses.

When we first moved here in 1999, the forest was very thick and came right up to our house. You can see how in these photos our area that we made into our paddock was so thickly populated with trees. My husband started building the fence as we had our plan to buy horses. He was working on making a nice little paddock and barn for them. How we found it and developed it I wrote about in an earlier post, Finding Our Homestead In the Woods.

The horses ruined this fence that my husband made.

This area of our paddock is now mostly dirt and lots of mud caused by the horse hooves. The barn sits at the end of this driveway. In 2000, not even a week after we moved our two mares here, we were hit with a really bad tornado. It took down most of these trees and part of the fence that you see in these photos.


The building of the barn in 2000.

After my husband had cut the trees down, he built the fence as you can see it all the way down the front. Stumps were all over the area. He removed many of these stumps over the years as they dried up. Many times the horses chewed on them and helped to pull them up. None of them have gotten hurt on them. He has never used the chemical stump removers, as we don't use chemicals on our homestead for any reason. He also never had someone come and do it with equipment. He used just old fashioned man power! Someone posted once on Homesteading Today that "no man alive can remove stumps manually without some sort of equipment". I had to laugh, but didn't say anything. My husband CAN......and he is VERY much alive!

Same area in 2010.

As you may have noticed in this photo, the fence has changed also. Yes! Horses will destroy a wood fence. They chewed on it and there is nothing we could buy that would deter them from doing so. I am not talking about "cribbing". They don't do that. They just chew wood to eat it. And they love it. If my husband cuts a tree down in their paddock, as soon as it falls they are on their way out there to see if they can eat some of it. I am not kidding!

Another view of the front corner in 2010.


As time goes by, you may find that you want to make changes. Nothing is set in stone here. We make it accommodate our wants and needs. We have given our horses more and more area as we cleared our land. But as they age, Georgie Girl is now 15 years old and Dark Shadow and Tawny are both 14 years of age, they are not nearly as active as they used to be. For most of the day, they are all in the barn and prefer to be there rather than outside. Now that the weather has become cooler, they are out more. Night time is when they are outside the most. Not too much running and jumping around like they did when they were younger.

You may be clearing land for gardens, livestock or to plant orchards. Whatever you do, plan ahead and you should have no problems. Clearing land is not an easy or a quick job if you are doing the work yourself. It is easy for someone to hire someone to do the work for them. I am talking about doing the work yourself. That is never easy, but it can be done and it can save you much money to do so. Good luck with it!


Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

All Photographs Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

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