What should I do with my extra acreage?
Here in Idaho, there are a lot of homes with acreage, even in the cities. It comes from Idaho’s long history of agriculture. You see, Idaho started out as one of those western states that consisted mainly of farmers who worked their own little patches of land and, as the years have gone on, though new homes are built on smaller lots, there are still a ton of homes that are built on multiple acre parcels of land. But what should you do with it? If you aren’t a farmer, then you might find this to be the question of the hour and today, we are going to give you a few suggestions.
Use your excess acreage for tenant farming
Tenant farming has been around for a long time. Essentially it is an arrangement between a landowner and a farmer for the farmer to plant, maintain and harvest crops (or manage livestock) to sell. Usually, the tenant farmer will be paid a percentage of the annual yield from the operation and the rest of the money (the amount that isn’t reinvested in the farm) goes back to you.
Assuming you have enough land for a large enough operation, this might be a great option for you. You will want to do more research on tenant farming first and possibly get the advice of people who are doing it or have done it before so you know what to expect.
Turn your extra land into a track
It doesn’t matter if it is a track for horses, bikes, ATVs, or anything else for that matter, a track in your backyard would definitely be a fun way to use your extra land. Even if you don’t have a lot of land, you can always design it with turns and tunnels to give it more diversity and distance. However, if you plan to use the track for anything with an engine, you may want to check with your neighbors, the HOA, or any noise ordinances before starting up.
All you would need to do is to take an aerial picture of your property from the internet and map out what kind of track you would like. Then you just give a local contractor a call and send them the plans. At this point, they will either give you an estimate or send you elsewhere. Once you have found a contractor that can do it for a fair price, one that you are comfortable with, then you give them the green light. Pretty soon you will be able to walk out your back door and enjoy your very own track.
Build a workshop on your extra acreage
Have a hobby that needs extra space? Always wanted to start an online store and need room to store things? If so, then you should consider building a workshop on your excess acreage. Now, a workshop can be a number of things— as well as a number of sizes. So, as long as you have enough room to build an adequate space, then this would be a great option for you.
Let’s say you like woodworking, but don’t want to store all your tools in the garage. If this is the case, then the work shop would offer you a place to store tools, work, and even allow you to leave projects out if you need to come back to them later. (WARNING: ALL BUILDING PLANS NEED TO BE APPROVED BY THE CITY OR COUNTY BEFORE THEY ARE UNDERTAKEN, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP).
Rent out some land for people to keep their animals
If you have land and aren’t sure you want to do anything with it, then you might consider renting out some space for people to put their horses or other animals. There are plenty of people that live in the city and can’t afford their own land but would love to have a horse. You renting room for them to board and ride their horse would be a great benefit to them.
Keep your own animals
On the flipside, you can also keep your own animals. Whether you decide to keep horses, cows, goats, pigs, or chickens, the extra land will always come in handy. Just be sure to do some research beforehand on how much room you should give each animal, how to care for them, and so on and so forth.
Keeping your own animals can have both intrinsic and monetary value. If you keep cows or goats or chickens you can sell their milk and eggs to make more money and to feed yourself; if you have horses, you can ride them for your own pleasure, or you can let other people ride them for a small fee. (Make sure they are well trained first — the horses and the riders).
Start a nursery for landscaping plants on your surplus land
If you want to grow things for sale, but don’t want to commit to a full farm, then maybe you could grow starter plants for landscaping. These can be bushes, trees, and even grass. All you would do is raise them and put out a small advertisement explaining what you have. And if no one bites, well then you have a nice forest of your own that you can enjoy.
Make your land a camping site
There are many people that want to camp, but don’t want the hassle of going all the way out in the mountains. If you have some good land that is far enough out of the city, then you could easily advertise a camping spot. Be sure to have all the amenities that they will need, like running water and some sort of toilet.
Create a personal or community garden with your land
Gardens are great, they provide you with food, exercise, so much more. If you have the space, a garden would be a great way to use it. You could grow your favorite foods to restock your pantry like corn, tomatoes, berries, potatoes, beans, squash, watermelon, and so on. And, if there is any excess you could give it away.
If you decide to go for a community garden, you can easily rent out, or lend, portions of the garden to people in your area that want to garden but don’t have the space. It is a great way to promote community growth and community health.
Now, of course, there are plenty of other things you can do with your extra acreage. All you need to do is use your imagination, and, if it includes building, make sure everything is approved through the city.