Birth: There are midwives in Louisville. Their website is currently down, but I can put you in contact with one if you pm me. The Louisville Birthcare Network has some good links.
Vax: There arent many peds/family docs who will allow you to not vax in Louisville because a lot of them signed an agreement to fire their patients if they did this. You can use exemptions for schools without a problem, from what I understand. I see Dr. Laura White in Shelbyville (about a 20 minute drive from downtown). She rocks.
Environment: Its not too bad, there are toxins in the west end, but a lot of the factories have shut down in recent years. I dont live in the city anymore and I notice the smog everytime I go there, but I lived there for 8 years and never noticed it at all.
Health food: Whole foods and Rainbow Blossom (mainly supplements) are about it for health food stores. There are several local grocery stores that sell health food, so its not too hard to find. Valumarket and Kroger in the Highlands have great selections of awesome produce and good organic food.
I think you may have meant local farming There are lots of local farms. Its not hard to find local food. The farmers markets are aweseome.
My kid isnt old enough to homeschool, but I know the laws are super lax. Other than that, Im sure some other mamas will weigh in for you on homeschool.
Honestly, I think the experience living in Louisville varies greatly depending on where you live. I highly suggest the following neighborhoods, in order:
Personally, I wouldnt live anywhere else, but thats just me.
Birth: There are some great homebirth midwives here (unlicensed but quite good), over the river there's Clark memorial with hospital CNM's and a labor tub. Lotsa doulas here. If you go with other care providers or hospitals it takes some assertion but you can get your way generally.
Vax: Highlands Family Medicine is pretty great and takes nonvaxxers/delayed schedule, state religious exemptions are pretty easy if you ever need to do school or anything.
Health Food: great farmer markets on Sat all over town, CSA's and co-ops available too, and there's rainbow blossom and whole paycheck. Kroger carries a good selection of organics also.
Environment: not the best but not horrible either. Smells fresh enough most days but I'm told the power plant etc do pollute some. Oh and recycling pickup happens in most neighborhoods.
Homeschool is pretty easy in KY, there are some records to keep (attendance and summary of what you're doing for subjects) and a letter of intent when you start. There are a few homeschool co-ops.
What's local arming mean?
Taylorsville is nice, commute range depends where in Louisville you're going (the city really sprawls out). It's a coal plant, I believe it's southwest of the city. Look up the vendors at say Bardstown Rd Farmer's Market or the local CSA's for local farmers. Southern Indiana is another place to look at for just outside Louisville.
Hi Diana- You posted this a while ago, I don't know if you are still looking at moving. I just want to remind you that Louisville is right across the river from Indiana, so- depending on where your husband works in the city- you might be able to find a place in Indiana in his commute distance. When I moved out here 16 years ago- we were looking for a horse farm in N KY and could not find anything in our price range- but as soon as we crossed the river things were much more reasonable in Indiana. I don't know if that's still true, or if it holds true for the Louisville area- but don't neglect the nearby Indiana towns when you look.
If you are planning to homeschool the rules in Kentucky are very strict and basically require you to school at home with standardized testing etc. Indiana is much more relaxed in their homeschool regulations allowing for families to tailor their method to their sensibilities.
As for local arming- There is a fantastic Arms museum in Louisville called The Frazier Arms Museum- makes a great class trip and history lesson! lol
I have several friends who are homeschooling their children and these regulations are not in affect. None of them do standardize testing, several of them unschool, most of them dont even fill out workbooks. My understanding is that all you really have to do is choose a name for your home "school", fill out the paperwork once a year, and no one bothers you.
But OP, one thing you will encounter in the Louisville area is near constant Hoosier/Kentuckian bickering about who is better than who. (I married a Hooiser)