If you moved far to buy your farm... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-03-2010, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How did you decide where would be okay to live? Do you have kids? What could you not live without? How did you figure out if the locals would be of your "ilk" so-to-speak...?

Fate has intervened on our lives in a way that we feel is pushing us to pursue our dream of having a small farm sooner rather than later. We were forced to relocate from NJ to IL (COLDER! ) but with two house purchases having fallen through (for reasons unrelated to us) and some other REALLY great things happening, we're thinking maybe it's just fate intervening and moving us to buy our farm. Even if it's here in IL where it's cold.

While there's certainly farmland here, it's usually really far out and it makes me nervous because my ds is homeschooled, but with a lot of enrichment classes more than anything else (he's only 6 and dd is 21mo). So I'm nervous about being too far from all of that.

But I'm also worried that my organic, crunchy-granola ideas won't go over all that well with local long-time (and not organic) farmers.

Thoughts?

Heather - Wife , Mommy  & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant 
 
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#2 of 10 Old 08-03-2010, 01:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ooops... I meant to post this as a separate thread!

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#3 of 10 Old 08-03-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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We just moved 2000 miles to a 4 acre property with dreams of having a small farm.

I looked at a garden zone map of Canada and picked out the places that were zone 5 and higher. We were zone 3, with long cold winters (-30 to -40) and a very short growing season.

That ruled out half of the provinces, leaving me with B.C, Southern Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI.

I ruled out Southern Ontario just because outside of Ottawa, I don't like the vibe down there. B.C was ruled out because there is pretty much no acreages that aren't obscenely expensive. One of the major factors of the move was to be able to cut our needed income in half and buy the cheapest house possible (around $100k).

New Brunswick was cut out because the winters aren't much better than where we were. PEI was cut because it was no inland fishing, very little in the way of forests and the economy sucks there.

That left us with Nova Scotia. Of course the weather in much of NS is not great. There are lots of foggy areas. The only suitable place is the Valley, where the majority of the farming takes place due to it's unique microclimate.

The Valley is interesting because while it's technically rural, there are lots of busy small towns along the highway. It's definitely not remote, which would drive dh crazy. I've heard there's a bit of a crunchy population in the area and that everyone is very accepting here. Schools aren't relevant to me because we homeschool. The is a homeschool group about 20 minutes away.

So with an area in mind we searched MLS and pinpointed the perfect property for us within our budget.

Voila, we moved and here we are in Utopia.

You need to make a list of what your priorities are and narrow the choices down from there.

Definitely check the soil before you buy. There is a lot of dead soil in the U.S from industrial farming practices and you don't want to spend the next decade trying to bring it back to life.

There is also a website that has a questionnaire that tells you where you should live based on your priorities. It's a U.S site.
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#4 of 10 Old 08-03-2010, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There is also a website that has a questionnaire that tells you where you should live based on your priorities. It's a U.S site.
If it's "find your spot" or something like that, it told me I should live where I lived before we were forced to relocate.

But thanks for your reply.

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#5 of 10 Old 08-07-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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My plan is to see where DH has job opportunities, research the climate and prevailing outlook in the areas, churches politics schools etc, go visit the place to double check it'll work out, then move and rent a small but nice house for a few months while we scope out land and make sure it's somewhere we want to be.
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#6 of 10 Old 08-07-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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I used to live in IL, and it is a pretty lib- friendly, crunchy-friendly state!

Farming is a more conservative and slow-to-change group in general (with many VIVID exceptions, of course) so you may still run into that.

Are you looking any where near Champaign-Urbana? BC if you are, that is a VERY CRUNCHY area to live-- we MISS all the great little world markets, and healthy food stores and restaurants, and also our wonderful, gifted accupuncturist!

Is there any way you could go for a visit, and just scope out the area and tt people? If you belong to a church or synagogue (or even a homeschool group?), I am sure any sister congregation/ group would love for a member to take you around and show you the local vibe...?

blessings; I hope you love your new home
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#7 of 10 Old 08-07-2010, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We JUST relocated to IL from NJ and are renting. We don't belong to anything. Thing is, we COULD possibly move out of state. But without living somewhere first, it's hard to know what the climate REALLY is. You get a feel during trips/visits, but it's not really the same as living there--ya know?

Right now we living in the Naperville/Aurora area. Dh can drive into one of his company's locations if need be, but that's a really rare thing. That being said, I'm not sure how far I want to go from civilization--which means we can't really afford farm life.

Maybe it's just not our time.

Heather - Wife , Mommy  & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant 
 
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#8 of 10 Old 08-08-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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We haven't bought land but are looking to in the next few years.

I'd suggest you write out a list of priorities & go from there. Personally, we look for, first & foremost, where my dh can work. Secondly, if that's near affordable land & what the growing season is like there. After that, I want to know about how active/large the homeschool community is there (I don't want to purchase land that is any farther than a 45min or so drive at the most from hs activities), if there is water available, how good the soil is (plenty of cheap land out there are really just fields of rocks!), the laws related to homeschooling & raw milk, how near the area is to a big, liberal city (not our cup of tea), location of nearest farmers markets (that can tell you a lot about how organic-friendly an area is), & homebirth laws.

That's from the top of my head. I might be forgetting something extremely important. LOL The point is, you narrow down what you want/need, then pull out your US map & start shopping!

After our searches, we're leaning towards western WA/border of Idaho/Spokane area. I love where we live now, but acreage is too expensive, & it is more populated than I'd like (near portland, or).

Good luck!

North Idaho rural living  mama to: 23 yo DD, 16 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. And someone new coming this Christmas!
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#9 of 10 Old 08-09-2010, 09:37 AM
 
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I'm in NY now but from IL, most recently the area you find yourself in. That's a good base to be in to check things out. With a relatively short drive you can be in serious farm country. Someone already mentioned the U of I area, but you're also quite close already to Northern Illinois U. (just a few miles down on 88), and there are some nice towns (like Sycamore) in that vicinity. You might also want to check out Warrenville, right next door to where you're at. It's gotten developed but has retained a lot of it's non-suburban, independent mindset, and it's still very easy to find older homes with a sizable property ... enough to launch a small farm (and zoning is favorable for animals and such, too).
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#10 of 10 Old 08-16-2010, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in NY now but from IL, most recently the area you find yourself in. That's a good base to be in to check things out. With a relatively short drive you can be in serious farm country. Someone already mentioned the U of I area, but you're also quite close already to Northern Illinois U. (just a few miles down on 88), and there are some nice towns (like Sycamore) in that vicinity. You might also want to check out Warrenville, right next door to where you're at. It's gotten developed but has retained a lot of it's non-suburban, independent mindset, and it's still very easy to find older homes with a sizable property ... enough to launch a small farm (and zoning is favorable for animals and such, too).
THANK YOU!!! We heard Oswego, but I know exactly where Warrenville is. I'll check there. There's rumblings of someone that got a 10 acre farm in St. Charles, too.

UofI is out. The 3-4 times/year dh has to go to the office, he has to go to Mettawa. I'm pushing it to be more than an hour from there via MapQuest (because as you all know, that usually means 2 hours for real). If we could go out as far as Urbana, it wouldn't be so much of a problem... there's plenty there.

Heather - Wife , Mommy  & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant 
 
Dairy, soy & corn free with limited gluten... yes, really. And journeying towards peace.  Blogging about both.
 
Let me guide you to find the food and lifestyle choices...
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