1. Zed McJack

    Zed McJack Junior Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I am not even sure its the proper forum, but moderator can move the topic if needed.

    Alas, last october I bought 1HA of land in Serbia (SE Europe). The major problem is how to get there as its very muddy since november. If there were tracks of uncultivated land or unused roads I could get there but without grass its all mud, mud and mud.
    I know some of you might say "you don't have to go there untill spring arrives" but that's really not truth. There are always work to be done, especially on the small building thats neglected. Prunning is recommended to be done before spring as well.

    Connected to mud problem is another topic: vehicle. I am not sure that I need tractor for anything I am planning to do on this land, but that is probably the only way to get there. But investing in tractor that I wont use doesn't sound very smart.

    I wish town officials jump in and continue gravel road they built a couple of years ago in the same area, but considering the current finansial situation and trends in our economy it wont happen anytime soon.

    Any toughts, ideas???
     
  2. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Is it the roads to get to the land that are muddy? or the land itself? Or both?
     
  3. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Any chance of a 4 Wheel Drive vehicle?
     
  4. Zed McJack

    Zed McJack Junior Member

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    The roads are total mess of mud with deep tracks of tractors tires, but the land is cultivated so without the grass its also wet and muddy.
    Its very hard to get there without tractor, well at least in the late fall, winter (when its not frozen) and as I can see now in the early spring as well.
     
  5. Zed McJack

    Zed McJack Junior Member

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    I thought about that, but I'am not sure the level of investment is appropriate and I am not talking about new vehicles. The second hand russian 4x4 (Lada Niva) old about 20 years is the same value as 1/2 Ha of land I bought. The western manufactures 4x4 are much more expensive.
    And to be honest I am not sure that 4x4 can get through 40cm deep tracks of mud?
     
  6. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Zed

    First principle of permaculture; observe and interact (with the site you intend to purchase, over a full year or more, if you can) . I guess it is a bit late now, and I will not dwell on the subject.

    Second thing that comes to mind is snow/mud chains:

    [​IMG]

    How 'deep' is the mud? How far would the mud go up your leg if you were to walk in it? If it goes over your ankles, forget the chains.

    The above chains are really only worthwhile if you have a hard subsurface (below the mud).

    Having land that you cannot access for half the year is not much fun. Large machines could get you in there, but as you have suggested, they cost (both your pocket, and the environment) a lot. Not too mention they will destroy what little road you have left.

    Waiting for the local authorities to build you a road. Hmmm, like I said, I will not comment about that.

    This is a serious problem. Land (soil) that turns to mud over an extended period of time is not only difficult to access and work with, it will often turn anaerobic. Does you 'mud' smell? Not much other than aquatic plants will grow in anaerobic soil. When it dries out, muddy soil (especially if it has a high clay content) often 'bakes' hard. Hard baked soil is not much fun either, and is not conducive to good plant growth.

    I'm really sorry I have not got many (if any) positive suggestions for you.

    The last thing that comes to mind is to wait until next October, and put it on the market. At least if you do sell and decide to buy another block, you might first check to see if it is prone to flooding. It may be the only good thing that you get out of your present block - a lesson.

    I too have made many mistakes in life, including the purchase of things that after a period of time I find do not suit the purpose for which I bought them. Therefore I empathise with your plight.

    Good luck, Marko.
     
  7. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    40cm!!! For how long each year? Over what area? Just the 'road', or your entire plot of land?

    Look, it's not a hopeless cause. Well, i guess it is if you are not able to obtain enough road base to build your self an access road:

    [​IMG]

    Road base costs big money. If you are struggling to buy a 20-year-old Lada Niva, then I guess the purchase of a road is out of the question.

    I'm really sorry I have no other suggestions for your present site, other than those already mentioned.

    Marko.
     
  8. Burra Maluca

    Burra Maluca Junior Member

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    How far do you have to travel to get to your land? And how much of this distance is mud? Perhaps a bike is the answer you could ride it to the start of the mud and ride/push it the rest of the way? Or how about an off-road motor-bike? I guess a donkey or horse wouldn't work for you as you wouldn't be able to keep it where you are living now. Or what about public transport - you could take a bus to the start of the muddy bit and walk from there, maybe.
     
  9. Zed McJack

    Zed McJack Junior Member

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    Hello Marko,
    Its late, but its not bad to hear what other people think.
    I didn't really think about mud problem at the time of purchase or even before that.

    It's pretty hard to buy the land close to the roads, electricity, water lines or irigation ditches. So I could consider only what has been for sale.
    Beside lower price and payment in installments, the orchard (1/2HA) was neglected and has not been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals for 6 years. Those were the prevailing motives for me.
    Nope, chains are not an option, this arable land is very fertile and its here called "chernozem" which is black soil in english. It goes from 1 to 2 m deep before you hit yelow soil (loam?).
    Its not really half year, though even these 3 months became too much.
    Nope, as I said earlier its very fertile soil and I it doesn't smell bad.
    It's been very valuable to read this, thanks for your insight. And thanks to pebble and Michaelangelica too.
     
  10. Zed McJack

    Zed McJack Junior Member

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    Its only the road that gets 40cm here and there usually when it pass close to the trees, but at those points its impassable. My plot is ok, the orchard has grass cover so its fine and not at all muddy. The other part of land is a bit muddy as it used to be a monocultivated(?) and the last culture was corn.
    No, its not hopeless, other people have arable land all around me including other orchards. I guess they probably wait for spring.

    As I am new to this I can't say it's been always like this, but my first year started with a lot of rain, snow and mud. I can recall dry winters before, but thats memory of urban fellow with roads and concrete all around so it doesn't count.
     
  11. Zed McJack

    Zed McJack Junior Member

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    The land is 4.5 km out of town if I go partly by gravel road and about 3km straight to the land.
    Last summer and fall when I went there by car or bike it took me 20min. When I walked last month over the mud it took me about one hour.
    As I said in previous posts all roads are muddy and parts that pass close to the trees are impassable points with deep tracks of tractor tires that reach and exceed 40cm.
    Public transport is non existent even in town. Bike is an option I use when its dry.
    Off-road motorbike seems inappropriate as I cant carry anything on it.
    Donkey or horse would be nice options if I could keep them at my living place which is not possible as you guessed correctly.
     
  12. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Can you work with the other farmers to repair the road near the trees to make it passable? I guess they have tractors and would not need the expense but it may be an option and it would build community to be working together on the road repairs.
     
  13. Zed McJack

    Zed McJack Junior Member

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    I am glad you brought repair topic as it was the main point of the post. What I was asking for was some kind of solution that would lessen the amount of mud in the roads. I know that excess water in fall, winter and spring is the root cause of the mud and I know that ditches should help but there are ditches around and I cant say they make the roads at critical points anything better.

    The couple of farmers that live close to the town are bringing broken concrete and bricks trying to make road firmer, but its really only first 100-200 meters. The rest of farmers are using tractors to get to the land and work and back to the town. The rest as I could see (hoby farmers) just wait for the spring to arrive.
     
  14. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    when building a road, drainage, drainage, drainage.. bringing in bricks, gravel, etc, is good mainly because it is free-draining, builds the height (better drainage) plus, yes, it doesn't soften in the wet.

    The rest of us with good roads, should take this opportunity to appreciate what our councils and governments (and road crews) do for us.
     
  15. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    We used to travel a black soil road from the Bun to Yamsion on the Darling Downs. It was impossible after rain but the fertility of that soil made it worth the occasional isolation. The Dalby council did put in an all weather road eventually and now I think it is sealed all the way to the mountain. Maybe thats your answer Zed - are there any opportunities for tourism in the vicinity? That bring in dollars and sees money put into infrastructure.
     
  16. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Zed, during World War I there were amazing amounts of roadbuilding that had to happen in remote locations. Sometimes they used fascines, wooden bundles tied together, to improve muddy roads. If you google fascine and google images, you'll find lots of examples. Here's a picture and some info:

    https://www.konsk.co.uk/resource/techniques/water/fascines.htm

    They also used French drains to collect water on the uphill side (or side that the water is coming from) and channel it under the road to drain on the other side.

    if there's a way to make wide, gentle swales at a diagonal to drain the water off, but not hold the water, keeping an eye on erosion (that's where the fascines come in handy), you'll find that the downhill side (or down-flow side) of a swale is very dry.

    I have heavy clay on the side of a hill and traversing uphill in mud is always an issue for me. I've found that slowly but surely, adding chunks of concrete, broken bricks, tile, even piles of large gravel, whatever rocks I can find, get the job done without it being too daunting.
     
  17. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    If you have a vehicle of some type, a farmer with a tractor might be able to tow you in... depends how far it is of course.

    Ask around for any and all excavation digouts to be used to build the road up. In many cases excavators need to find places to tip the stuff without driving around the country for miles.

    I'm assuming its a private road ?
     
  18. Zed McJack

    Zed McJack Junior Member

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    Thanks everyone,

    I did mention that town councils built a stretch of gravel road a couple of years ago, but in the light of current economy I would not expect any extension soon.
    There is a place that use to be the manor house and is converted to hotel 30 years ago. The road goes close to that site, but its on the almost opposite side of the town.
    I have to admit that I have never heard of fascines before your post, but it does sound interesting. On the other thought I am not sure it will last much, it looks more like temporary solution.
    On one side of the road (shortest route) there is a dead river (I really need proper word for this), so the slight slope is to the river. Probably building ditch on the other side of road, collecting exces water and piping it under the road will make the road drier.
    I guess most of my effort will go in bringing concrete and other hard material on the critical points. The rest will probalby wait for better times, better council, better organization and more proactive interested parties.

    Thanks again.

    Zed
     
  19. Zed McJack

    Zed McJack Junior Member

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    This week I manged to visit my land and this time I had camera with me. So this is the mud I was talking about.

    It's not like that all 4 km, but at certain spots its only for tractors.
     

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  20. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Bummer, dude. Looks like some grading and swales channeling and taking off that water would help :)
     

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