Clearing Planted pines for pasture & farm land
I'm interested in everyones opinions on proceeding with clearing 5 acres of planted pines that is a small portion of a tract of planted pines we own adjacent to my house.
I don't have an exact plan in mind for how the property will be laid out, but I'm not going to be able to start visualizing things until I get it cleared.... pond, small livestock areas, orchard, possible commercial garden area etc.
Currently about two acres of the five acres was a loading deck (area where loggers stage their cutting/loadin crews etc) that was used about 5 years ago. I want to incorporate that area into the 5 acres for a total of 7 acres.
Area that was a loading deck is know grown up with all kinds of stuff and was covered with all the ripped off limbs etc from the thinning that was done.
Area that is currently planted pines has very little undergrowth and is covered in pinestraw.
What I'm trying to figure out is what I can do after I cut the trees, have someone come in and remove the stumps and any existing undergrowth etc, to keep the land from growing up into a bunch of growth that I'll need to deal with later.
Thinking I need to probably plant SOMETHING to cover the soil but I don't know what. Truthfully, it could be years before the plan comes into play, and certainly, it will be over time that the plan comes together.
Just want to give myself the most options.
If I plant something, what could I plant that would continue to come back, that I could mow down and till into the soil maybe on an annual basis (and maybe just let stay there) and regrow, that could later be tilled in to improve the land. However the same item not be problematic for me so that I have to use herbicides etc to reclaim the land for farm land or pasture. Basically a good cover crop that could last for years, but allow the land to be reclaimed easily).
Also, thought about goats to help in the effort of keeping things under control (if I had them, don't know if I'd even need to plant the land in anything... they'd probably keep it clean correct?) or maybe a combination of goats and the cover crops mentioned above. Problem for me is that if I were to get goats, I'd need to fence them into that particular portion of the property (which I'm not interested in CURRENTLY.
This is kind of a synopsis of where I am right now. If anyone is interested I'll be glad to provide additional info.