• RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
chanfish

what to do with vacant lots?

Recommended Posts

I have inherited a couple vacant lots that have good black dirt on them..I would need to clear and till..About 3 acres here. They are zoned residential so unless i build housing on them i dont have any options..( i was thinking of storage units here) I dont see anyone wanting to build a house in that area...very remote at edge of town...Planning department did say i could do gardens or hay tho..

i just want to make them productive rather than just sit there..vacant..I am interested in a hobby or something to transition into retirement..any thoughts, ideas would be appreciated.. i like gardening but dont know if i could make any money doing that..thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paid my way through college without a loan with a big garden and playing bass in a band...don't know if that is retirement territory though smile Biggest key to the garden gig would probably be specialization and planning/securing an end source almost before anything else. Could always just do kind of a low maintenance orchard type thing. They have tons of relatively early producing apple, pear, and plum grafts now ...so you won't be dead by the time they mature. Raspberries and dwarf service berries are essentially a weed with tasty fruit....something to think about anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With a little pre-planning you could potentially make some money off of a good garden. Probably not going to make you rich but it might fund your other hobbies.

What you'll want to do is figure out how and where you'll sell the produce. You could go direct to the public through farmers markets. You could also go direct by creating a CSA (community supported agriculture) and sell shares to your crop. You'd then distribute a portion of the harvest to each member on a weekly basis.

Other options would be to look toward local grocery stores or restaurants that want to purchase local produce.

You could essentially create an Urban Farm on the lots and these have become very popular as of late. I know of one that farms the empty land next to my office building and they sell through all three methods I mentioned above.

You could also look into the option of raising chickens or bees on the property and selling eggs or honey. Both can be done on residential property. Depending on where you are there are different city ordinances you'll need to look into but it may be an option.

The key in all of this is to plan it out ahead of time. You may need to start simple by selling at farmers markets until you have the garden fully up and running and until you are to the point that you know what grows well and what your customers are wanting. Then once your garden/farm is established you can look for additional avenues for sales.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input..Exactly what i was looking for..Planning and starting small good way to go. Have to figure out what to plant and go from there...Kids are gone and i am tired of sitting behind a desk for almost 30 years now...Would i need to put up a fence around the whole thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check the zoning for the area to see what you can do with them before you make a chicken farm or build storage buildings. wink

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A fence will depend on how many critters you have nearby. Feeding rabbit and deer is not encouraged. Related, check the plots for the mound gophers. They can be maddening, and personally acted out a few scenes like in Caddyshack one year. Another big key will be a cheap water source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no chickens or critters leech..thats too complex for me right now...this land is 60 miles from where i live now..water is something i didnt think about. great point...we have a house next to these plots but was going to sell it..i just thought a fence would be a good idea if it can be put up cheaply..did some research on urban farms and this vacant land meets the criteria very well....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think if the lots are zoned residential and there's a house on the lot next to it (and probably some others nearby), it should be reasonably cheap for you to get water service and have a meter put in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree I'm sure there will be a way to access water if the lots are already residential lots.

One thing to consider if you are going to be living 60 miles away from the properties is find crops that don't need constant tending. Things that need to be picked on a regular basis could have you burning up more gas money than you are bringing in.

For fences it will depend on what you have going on in the area. Critters and deer could put a hurt on the crops in some areas. Also if its in town with people walking by all the time you will probably lose some crops to people helping themselves. I know I did when i helped organize a community garden a few years back.

I'd probably start without fences unless you know you are going to have a problem. You can always add them later or find ways to fence on individual areas as needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good points on the water, fence and type of crops to put in. its pretty rural there.

this will be a hobby type of setup since its all new to me..I just want to find something to keep me busy and get away from the grid a bit..

i think i will have to get a tractor or something in there to till this land since its been vacant for so long. the way its zoned doesnt give me any real options and i would just be basically giving it away if i tried to sell it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How far away from a population center is it? Gotta be people around to buy what you produce.

If you want to make money, look for high value crops. Berries. Asparagus. Apples.

Who ever said to think about how you will market the crops made a very good point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

right on the edge of town..population 20k. i could sell some down there and bring the rest up to metro and sell sat mornings..thanks for the ideas on which crops to raise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Berries could potentially be a great way to go. In general they don't need a lot of tending and you don't need to replant year after year so your work load would be less. You can plant both early and late raspberries and you'd have some producing most of the summer. Mix in some blueberries and some apple trees and I think you'd have a good mix that would provide a crop through the bulk of the summer months without a ton of daily weeding/watering/picking/etc...

Only down side is that it will take a few years for the plants to mature to the point you are fully up and running. The apple trees will take even longer so it you'll have to do some work now with your eyes more on the future potential. But if you are looking for a project for when you retire then a few weekends worth of planting now could set you up well for a nice little side business for when retirement comes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ha..thought about medical marijuana but thats too regulated and i think i would need a surveillance camera down there!! good idea about the berries..never even thought about fruit...only vegetables.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Berries could potentially be a great way to go. In general they don't need a lot of tending and you don't need to replant year after year so your work load would be less. You can plant both early and late raspberries and you'd have some producing most of the summer. Mix in some blueberries and some apple trees and I think you'd have a good mix that would provide a crop through the bulk of the summer months without a ton of daily weeding/watering/picking/etc...

Only down side is that it will take a few years for the plants to mature to the point you are fully up and running. The apple trees will take even longer so it you'll have to do some work now with your eyes more on the future potential. But if you are looking for a project for wehn you retire then a few weekends worth of planting now could set you up well for a nice little side business for when retirement comes.

Raspberries would be producing in a year. Also strawberries. Asparagus takes a couple years.

It might be worth going to some farmer's markets in the area to see what is being sold and the prices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could also rent out part of it to individuals that would like to have a garden but have no place for one. Might even be a retired individual that could watch over the place during the week for a small percentage of the harvest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What city?

It won't involve you much but why not just open it up to garden use by a church group or someone. If you're far away it would end up being an awful chore to get there to deal with thing especially during harvest where it would probably be an every other day thing during the harvest time.

Water service could cost a lot more than you think. Here in White Bear it would cost around $4k just to get it to the property line and then you'd have to install a meter and such. Could end up being a lot more hassle than you want. Check with the city though and maybe it isn't so high where you are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

albert lea. southern mn..just wanted to do something productive with it rather than just let it sit idle or give it away for nothing..maybe even make some money from it and give me something to do..the water access may be a showstopper tho...really limited on finances to do much. have the time and like to garden tho. and have old friends who live down there that can help..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was there ever a house on the lot? Many larger cities have what is called a water access charge and a sewer access charge (SAC and WAC). It has to be paid once for a lot when it is built on. If there was a house those charges may have already been paid. But again even if they have been paid I would suspect that the city is going to require a water meter which means that you would have to run a water line up above ground and install the meter. Tons of problems for your use.

But is there a home nearby where you could try and work out a deal for water access? Push comes to shove you can probably come up with a trough of something that you could put in the back of a truck or trailer and work that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All kinds of stuff can be grown without irrigation, most years.

In Albert Lea, I would say it depends on how far you have to go from where you live. If it is a good ways you don't want to have to be running back and forth. Pick something that you plant, maybe cultivate a time or two and then harvest. Heck, even pumpkins could be worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure what side of Albert Lea you're on as some of that ground can be pretty light (sandy) in areas but Del has a point. There is always a market for fresh market sweet corn in the area. If your product is good and you have a strategic location for sales, there's no telling how well you might do. We used to sell Indian corn, gourds, pumpkins and squash from a cart on the end of our driveway, catching the work traffic to and from Owatonna. We also sold Indian corn to local grocery stores. Amazing what we made just playing around and this was over 20 years ago.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like. I've lived about 25 miles from AL for the past 30 years. We've soil sampled a bunch of stuff in that area so am somewhat familiar with what goes on there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i agree with renting out plots to people that want their own garden but don't have the room.

you as the owner provide the space, water, mulch, compost, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we do have two houses that we are selling right next to these empty lots..i was going to try package the lots with houses but no bites..i dont want to just give away good land...maybe i can work a deal when i sell the houses to have access to water..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this