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wellington womble

Ideas for using land (without animals)

I have been lucky enough to gain the use of three acres of slightly overgrown grassland. I'm not going to be living on the property, so I don't want the tie of animals just yet. What else could I do with it? I've some ideas, but I'm looking for as great a range of ideas as possible. Long or short term plans are welcome.

There are various small greenhouses and vegetable beds, which I will be using, and plenty of soft fruit and orchards, which need a little maintenance. It's the bulk of it I'm wondering about the use of.

Food forest! Off out now but can spam you with info later? Laughing

Small scale timber production - willow or hazel coppice. Charcoal making?

Rented out for grazing.


Put up a poly-tunnel.Grow plants for sale.
Soft fruit.

Oh I wish we could find an acre, leave alone 3.

One thing I always wanted to do was set up an area for mushroom growing
wellington womble

I should have mentioned I can't make any money out of it* Stopping me having to spend money is a different matter, though...

Love the idea of mushrooms - hadn't thought of that. I'd been thinking along the coppiced firewood lines, but I don't want to do that with all of it. Probably half, which will leave me an acre or so to experiment on.

*at least overtly. So anything like camping or pick your own is out. Growing lavender and flogging dried flowers, I'd probably get away with I'd prefer something to save me money though, I think. Keeps in with the planning and sort of saves money. I'm expecting some equipment outlay.

If you did 28 days of camping you wouldn't make a profit, more like a little money, that would fund the whole project for later.
Rob R

I should have mentioned I can't make any money out of it*

Anything agricultural, and you'll be fine Wink

fruit takes a lot of space, pends how long term you have it for

as do things like cucumbers, globe artichokes etc etc

mow some for creating diverse grassland

Did you hear the Food Programme this afternoon? There was a woman with a three acre vineyard on. She said it was earning her as much or more than other working mothers and was more enjoyable than many jobs. It would suit you. Smile I did read the bit about not making money but there's always barter.
wellington womble

And just what are you implying, Cathryn?! (I love the idea, actually, and am off to listen to the food programme!)

The land isn't agricultural, which is the problem. It isn't even supposed to have the greenhouses or veg beds on part of it, but the planning row seems to have died down a bit and we seem to be getting away with those at the moment. It all got a bit ugly, which is why the owner has offed to France where they let you get on with things, and I have use of the land.

It's a field at the bottom of a row of gardens (the owner still owns the house, which is why water and power is possible) the gardens are full of oiks with air pistols, which is why I don't want to live there, and also why I am uncomfortable with leaving animals there alone. It's planning use is something like 'leisure activities ancillary to the dwelling' or some such nonsense (horses, I think). If I'm selling something away from the site, I don't think it will be an issue, so long as I'm not blatantly flaunting the planning laws. I don't really want it to be a job, though.

I'm not sure anyone would want to camp there. It's an old Victorian mining village, which could not really be described as pretty and there are no facilities onsite, or local touristy things really. It would be a great solution though. I'll look into it for next year (I'll probably be holidaying there with friends at intervals)

I was thinking of planting an acre or so of ash and hazel coppice, more nuts, getting some bees (there is already a youngish orchard and loads of soft fruit) and perhaps planting a crop of sunflowers (for my garden chickens) or linseed, if you can get it processed. I don't mind mowing it, but it would be nice to have a reason to mow. I might even try lavender or oats, but it's always great to hear ideas. I've always liked the idea of cut flowers, too, but that mo get be too much work to begin with.
Ty Gwyn

Your mention of Victorian Mining village,you`d be surprised at the interest in historical mining an exploration,
What was mined here or the area in question?
Anything of interest will no doubt bring clients.

has it got a dark sky?if so the astronomers might be interested in coffee and a nice breakfast

Do you want to work the land, or use it to earn a bit of cash?

A small number of car boot sales probably doesn't flaunt the planning issues, and seem profitable. Or could be offered to the local round table, or something.
Mistress Rose

If you put in bee hives, make sure that nobody knows they are there. The neighbours sound the sort that will either complain every time they are stung by a wasp, or their dear children will knock the hives over.

Unless you are expecting to have the land for many years, I wouldn't bother planting hazel as a crop. We planted some in our garden and it has taken over 15 years to get established and grow to a reasonable size. From an existing stool you would get useable rods after 7 years. Willow is quicker, but it is a brute to get rid of once you have it.

The dried flowers sound a good idea, or perhaps growing fruit for preserves which could be for you or for sale.

got a local re-enactment group that need somewhere for weekly battle practice and living history practice? They might swap you some general maintenance like strimming or hacking back weeds for access to a bit of level ground
Rob R

or hacking back weeds

Now I have the image of a medieval lord in full armour, hacking away at the brambles... Smile

or hacking back weeds

Now I have the image of a medieval lord in full armour, hacking away at the brambles... Smile

sounds about right!

Probably why it was called the futile system. wellington womble

I expect they all go to Bosworth, it's only a few miles away!

I do expect to have the land long term.

I don't really want to make money out of it, it's just a hobby. If it produces something I would otherwise buy or gift, that would be perfect. I could only sell or make money if it's offsite and discreet - there has been the most enormous row over planning and I don't want to go there. I don't want to commit the daily visits of keeping animals at the moment. I might do in the future, which is why I'm not putting it all down to trees. I'll need to maintain it, of course, but it would be nice to have a purpose. I mostly want it for fruit and veg, but I'll have to do something with the rest of it or I won't be able to get to that bit!

ETA - ha ha at Sean and Rob.
Jam Lady

What about herbs? Perennials such as thyme, sage, oregano, savory, lavender. Is rosemary hardy for you? Then all the annual herbs such as a diversity of basils, summer savory, dill.

Sell bunches of fresh herbs. Make herbal vinegars, infused oils, flavored sugars, seasoned salts, flavored butters . . . . the possibilities are endless.
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