Other than that, wanting to be in a place where people are friendly, and a place we won't be complete outcasts as secular liberals, are the things we are looking for. I have to start looking somewhere. Any advice on places to consider? Or places that we should not bother considering?
Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...
DH and I hope to buy land and start our own homestead, but while we're transitioning to life in the country he will still be working in town. So we plan to find a place that's not too far to commute, and still big enough to feed our family. There are lots of options.
Me + DH = DD (1/2004) & DS (6/2013) & One on the way (11/2015)
I don't know about a lot of cities across the US but Austin, TX and Atlanta, GA come to mind. Both are good sized cities with semi-rural areas not far outside of them. My cousin lived in Elgin, TX at one point and was 15 min outside of Austin but still surrounded by horse farms in her location. It was truly amazing there and I know Austin is a very liberal friendly alternative thinking town. Whole Foods is headquartered there and there are dozens of great natural family living resources. The liberal thing probably won't go over so great with the Texans since it's a conservative state but Austin is nice and wouldn't care there.
Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD and spending my days
My knowledge is mostly the Midwest. We are homesteaders here. Fayetteville, Arkansas is a great town with many corporate jobs and reasonable land in the area. Lawrence, KS would be my top pick. It is a very progressive college town with plenty of things to do. There are some jobs there, but many jobs in nearby Kansas City or Topeka. Charlotte, North Carolina is very beautiful also.
Madison, WI! We live about 2 hours away from there, but there are many places to go just outside the city. Awesome city- great farmers market, coops, good food, love it. Milwaukee is also close by, but not as liberal as Madison.
The main consideration I would tell people looking to come to this area is that people either love the weather or hate it. Lots of rain in the winter/spring months, but not too cold and no snow! Summers are gorgeous and don't get too hot. Some people can't handle the cloudiness and rain, but it doesn't really bother me. I'll take that over snow and 100plus degree weather anyday.
I think just about any area could be good for a homestead but it just depends on the individual's outlook and goals. I have to admit the area I live in isn't my favorite place to live but it does work great for a homestead particularly the property we bought here (if we can ever get it set up!). It is awfully hot here but that gives us an almost year round growing season in the ground with some things being able to be in the ground year round. Plus we get just enough of a winter to manage to keep certain species of colder weather fruits like apples while still being able to grow tropical varieties here with little extra protection. The large amounts of wildlife and water help immensely plus we have a creek and spring on our property.
*One big thing to remember when looking for homestead property though is housing. Whether you buy property with a house or build is a key factor especially if you're building and want natural building options. Building codes and regulations about septic and water can be a pain and stop you from getting your dream in some places. Developing raw land can be extremely expensive too depending on the area and the regulations.