Mid-atlantic or the other side of the world - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 6 Old 04-22-2014, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
Gena 22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,081
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

One thing lead to another, and a little while ago my husband and I "snapped" and are now hoping / planning to find a spot to homestead and go as off-the-grid and self-sufficient as possible.

 

Here's our current situation -

twin 6 year old girls

lots of debt

own a home in Washington DC, which we rent out

2 years left on our rental in downtown Annapolis, where we live

 

Moving to Annapolis was our dream a while back, and there've been good things and bad.  Good: near my parents and a great school for our girls.  Bad landlord and town more full of characters imitating the Judge from Caddyshack than I expected.  Mostly, when we moved here, I thought I'd like the people in town more.

 

And I thought life would just keep on as it had for the last 100 years.  Now, I'm watching several friends nurse their kids through childhood cancers, and I worry about the safety and availability of good food in the future.  Amongst other concerns.

 

DH is ecstatic about the idea of a country farm.  I'm concerned about the life suiting us, but do love being muddy and outdoors.  Our urban life is crushing both of us.  We need to feel more secure, independent and at least think we were working on something we could pass to our kids, should they want it. 

 

We have a little time to fix our finances and plan a move out.  My question is: should we look to a farm near where we are currently?  That way we could keep our incomes, DH's got his own growing business and I've got a decent office job.  Stay close to my parents, DH's brothers and a few close friends we care about.  Grow and learn farming gradually with a lot of help from connections we know.

 

But that's so unsexy.  No mountains.  The land's hot, boring and the ticks have Lyme disease.  Regulations are crazy in Maryland, and I could figure them out, but the corruption around here means I'd never be sure a developer / powers that be wouldn't swoop in and take away what I worked on.

 

Or move to the Olympic Peninsula.  So beautiful, looks like the end of the earth, in a wonderful way.  But scary, and we don't know anyone.

 

My family's been in this area of Maryland since 1640.  Is there a value to that?

 

Thanks for reading!  Hope this gets more real soon.


Mom to : Belle and Izzy
Gena 22 is offline  
#2 of 6 Old 04-28-2014, 08:07 AM
 
grahamsmom98's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gena 22 View Post
 

One thing lead to another, and a little while ago my husband and I "snapped" and are now hoping / planning to find a spot to homestead and go as off-the-grid and self-sufficient as possible.

 

Here's our current situation -

twin 6 year old girls

lots of debt

own a home in Washington DC, which we rent out

2 years left on our rental in downtown Annapolis, where we live

 

Moving to Annapolis was our dream a while back, and there've been good things and bad.  Good: near my parents and a great school for our girls.  Bad landlord and town more full of characters imitating the Judge from Caddyshack than I expected.  Mostly, when we moved here, I thought I'd like the people in town more.

 

And I thought life would just keep on as it had for the last 100 years.  Now, I'm watching several friends nurse their kids through childhood cancers, and I worry about the safety and availability of good food in the future.  Amongst other concerns.

 

DH is ecstatic about the idea of a country farm.  I'm concerned about the life suiting us, but do love being muddy and outdoors.  Our urban life is crushing both of us.  We need to feel more secure, independent and at least think we were working on something we could pass to our kids, should they want it. 

 

We have a little time to fix our finances and plan a move out.  My question is: should we look to a farm near where we are currently?  That way we could keep our incomes, DH's got his own growing business and I've got a decent office job.  Stay close to my parents, DH's brothers and a few close friends we care about.  Grow and learn farming gradually with a lot of help from connections we know.

 

But that's so unsexy.  No mountains.  The land's hot, boring and the ticks have Lyme disease.  Regulations are crazy in Maryland, and I could figure them out, but the corruption around here means I'd never be sure a developer / powers that be wouldn't swoop in and take away what I worked on.

 

Or move to the Olympic Peninsula.  So beautiful, looks like the end of the earth, in a wonderful way.  But scary, and we don't know anyone.

 

My family's been in this area of Maryland since 1640.  Is there a value to that?

 

Thanks for reading!  Hope this gets more real soon.

 

Have you ever actually been to the Olympic Peninsula?  It rains.  A lot.  It is, for the most part, rural.  Most of it is covered with the Olympic National Park and the Olympic National Forest.  A large chunk of land is the Quinault Indian Reservation, as well as the Makah,  . 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gena 22 View Post
 

One thing lead to another, and a little while ago my husband and I "snapped" and are now hoping / planning to find a spot to homestead and go as off-the-grid and self-sufficient as possible.

 

Here's our current situation -

twin 6 year old girls

lots of debt

own a home in Washington DC, which we rent out

2 years left on our rental in downtown Annapolis, where we live

 

Moving to Annapolis was our dream a while back, and there've been good things and bad.  Good: near my parents and a great school for our girls.  Bad landlord and town more full of characters imitating the Judge from Caddyshack than I expected.  Mostly, when we moved here, I thought I'd like the people in town more.

 

And I thought life would just keep on as it had for the last 100 years.  Now, I'm watching several friends nurse their kids through childhood cancers, and I worry about the safety and availability of good food in the future.  Amongst other concerns.

 

DH is ecstatic about the idea of a country farm.  I'm concerned about the life suiting us, but do love being muddy and outdoors.  Our urban life is crushing both of us.  We need to feel more secure, independent and at least think we were working on something we could pass to our kids, should they want it. 

 

We have a little time to fix our finances and plan a move out.  My question is: should we look to a farm near where we are currently?  That way we could keep our incomes, DH's got his own growing business and I've got a decent office job.  Stay close to my parents, DH's brothers and a few close friends we care about.  Grow and learn farming gradually with a lot of help from connections we know.

 

But that's so unsexy.  No mountains.  The land's hot, boring and the ticks have Lyme disease.  Regulations are crazy in Maryland, and I could figure them out, but the corruption around here means I'd never be sure a developer / powers that be wouldn't swoop in and take away what I worked on.

 

Or move to the Olympic Peninsula.  So beautiful, looks like the end of the earth, in a wonderful way.  But scary, and we don't know anyone.

 

My family's been in this area of Maryland since 1640.  Is there a value to that?

 

Thanks for reading!  Hope this gets more real soon.

 

Well, first of all, Washington state is hardly the "other side of the world!!" 

 

Have you ever actually been to the Olympic Peninsula?  Or, is your vision of it strictly from photographs and websites advertising the beauty of the area?  Most websites showcasing the Pen are about tourism, and love to show it on those glorious sunny days (along with the deep and mysterious shots of the rain forest).

 

It IS beautiful there.  I've visited many times.  But, I could never live there.  Too wet for my taste!

 

It rains there.  A lot.  I mean, quite a lot.  It is, primarily, rural.  Very rural.  Your idea of farming may have to be very different from what you envision, because of all that rain.  It is, quite often, very foggy.  You can go days without sunshine, or for just brief intervals.  Obviously, there are cities, Port Angeles is nice. 

 

The majority of the peninsula is covered by the Olympic National Park and the Olympic National Forest.  The Quinault Indian Reservations also covers a large chunk of land (and, there are multiple smaller reservations, as well).  You want to talk about regulations??  Living adjacent to a NP or NF will affect whatever you want to do to or on your land (especially if there is water running through it).  Trust me, my dh used to work for one of those federal agencies!   

 

Income levels vary from very poor to very wealthy.  It sounds like you need a location that will allow you to have your office job.  What do you do?  What kind of growing business does your husband have? 

 

You want to be off-the-grid.  Use solar?  Not a real good plan on the Olympic.  You'd need quite a large array to cover your needs because of the cloud cover, year 'round.  Can you afford that?  We have a 40-panel array and are not off the grid.  We are adding another 40 this upcoming summer which will allow us to do so (but, we are not installing batteries, another big expense).  Original array cost around $40,000.  The addition will cost around $30,000 (panels have dropped in price).  So, can you afford what might well-be $80,000+ just for the array alone, for an area like the Oly? 

 

Plenty of places in the US have mountains!  You need to look carefully to find property on the Oly which would allow you to see mountains from your front porch.  And, you'll pay for it. 

 

On the bad side, the ticks in WA can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  On the good side, those same ticks are BIG, so you notice them right away!

 

If you are serious about making a move like this, you really need to visit the area (I'd recommend doing so in the winter, when it is at its worse!).  Also, you might consider looking into eastern Washington or Oregon.  Though, I think Oregon prefers visitors to new inhabitants! 

 

Eastern WA is lovely, with varied terrain (you can have forest, mountains, high desert, rolling farm land, lots of lakes), 4 seasons, good cost of living and is pretty much ignored by the rest of the world (can you guess where I live?!)!  Idaho is also lovely, as is Montana.    

 

As far as having land-ties back to the 1600's, it is about what you want for yourselves and your children.  Maryland isn't the same as it was almost 400 years ago (as you well know!).  Unless you have actual land/holdings/home(s) that date back that far and are still in the family, it's only a feeling, an abstract, a conversation piece.  There is no tangible "thing" to show for it know what I mean?  My family can also trace its roots back to the founding of Quebec City and New Orleans.  But, I have no feelings about that other than it's interesting.  Now, if I owned the home of my ancestor, I might feel differently, especially in Quebec City (I'd never live in New Orleans!).

 

If being near family is very important, why not look into New Hampshire or Vermont?  Lovely rural areas, close (enough) to the DC area, and it would be less costly for you to do your property shopping trips!  You'll have the 4 seasons you are used to having in an area with which you probably have more familiarity.

 

The other thing to consider:  would your parents consider moving with you?  When dh and I married, his parents bought a place in our small town.  After ds was born they decided to just be here in the summer-fall (they were in their 70s and the winter was just too much for them).  They sold their house and we built them a lovely, fully-contained cottage on our property.  We loved having them visit for those warm-weather months.  Just an idea, if having family near is a big factor in your plans.

grahamsmom98 is offline  
#3 of 6 Old 04-30-2014, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
Gena 22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,081
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

Thanks for responding, Graham's Mom!

 

Just the process of writing my post cleared a few things up.  Sometime soon I hope my DH and I can visit the OP; neither of us have ever been.  I've only been as far west as Bainbridge Island, and from my research I'm falling in love with the area.  Rural and rain are not problems at all.  In fact, I think I'd be happy with both.  And ticks don't bother me either.  I live in lyme infested Maryland and my brother spent 2 weeks in the hospital with Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.  By now, finding ticks fast has become one of my dubious super-powers.  Thank goodness my girls are fair, it makes finding ticks easier.

 

Good point about regulations neighboring on NPs in the OP.  Didn't think about that!

 

My husband did have his eye on a few spots in eastern Washington, showed them to me and they are lovely and much more reasonably priced.  Doesn't it get too dry?  What are the outlooks for climate change, is it getting drier?  Maybe we should visit and check that out too.  I'd love 4 seasons, and you're clearly enthusiastic.

 

You're right, family land-ties are pretty much fantasy.  Although I have relatives from Quebec too, and have a dream of finding a village where in Quebec my Dad's last name is super common.  Goodrow, a variant of Goudreau.  Not for moving, just curious.

 

Vermont and New Hampshire are decent ideas, I should keep my mind open.  Might be a good compromise between the wild adventure I want and the practicalities of being near a metropolitan center for work.  My husband's got his own marketing firm.  Which gives us some independence for locations, but not total.

 

Right now we've got to buckle down, save some money and let my kids enjoy their fantastic school.  Gives DH and I time to check out possible locations and make some smart plans.  If we move to eastern WA we might be able to afford to build the underground home we've been dreaming of . . . now I've got new things to dream about.

 

OK, back to lurking here until we can make our move.

 

Thanks!


Mom to : Belle and Izzy
Gena 22 is offline  
#4 of 6 Old 04-30-2014, 03:20 PM
 
grahamsmom98's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gena 22 View Post
 

Thanks for responding, Graham's Mom!

 

Just the process of writing my post cleared a few things up.  Sometime soon I hope my DH and I can visit the OP; neither of us have ever been.  I've only been as far west as Bainbridge Island, and from my research I'm falling in love with the area.  Rural and rain are not problems at all.  In fact, I think I'd be happy with both.  And ticks don't bother me either.  I live in lyme infested Maryland and my brother spent 2 weeks in the hospital with Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.  By now, finding ticks fast has become one of my dubious super-powers.  Thank goodness my girls are fair, it makes finding ticks easier.

 

Good point about regulations neighboring on NPs in the OP.  Didn't think about that!

 

My husband did have his eye on a few spots in eastern Washington, showed them to me and they are lovely and much more reasonably priced.  Doesn't it get too dry?  What are the outlooks for climate change, is it getting drier?  Maybe we should visit and check that out too.  I'd love 4 seasons, and you're clearly enthusiastic.

 

You're right, family land-ties are pretty much fantasy.  Although I have relatives from Quebec too, and have a dream of finding a village where in Quebec my Dad's last name is super common.  Goodrow, a variant of Goudreau.  Not for moving, just curious.

 

Vermont and New Hampshire are decent ideas, I should keep my mind open.  Might be a good compromise between the wild adventure I want and the practicalities of being near a metropolitan center for work.  My husband's got his own marketing firm.  Which gives us some independence for locations, but not total.

 

Right now we've got to buckle down, save some money and let my kids enjoy their fantastic school.  Gives DH and I time to check out possible locations and make some smart plans.  If we move to eastern WA we might be able to afford to build the underground home we've been dreaming of . . . now I've got new things to dream about.

 

OK, back to lurking here until we can make our move.

 

Thanks!

 

As far as being too dry, it depends on where you look.  Closer to the Cascades, it's not so dry.  Head to the very eastern side of the state, and yeah. it can be dry (a lot depends on the geography, too).  There is high desert, rolling hills, scabland, mountains, just about anything.    

 

In NE Washington, the mountains are lovely and not too dry.  We have long summers (getting longer) and terrific winters.  Our spring, this year, has been colder than usual, but you learn (quickly) to look to Nature as to when you should d your planting.  Not too difficult! 

 

Right now, 3:15 pm, it is 75 degrees and not a cloud to be seen.  Lacking an ocean to look at, it's perfect.  But, then again, I am looking at gorgeous mountain peaks, still snow-covered.  Pure bliss.

 

Check out Spokane (all-around nice area), Walla Walla (mountains very close and lots of wineries), Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco)(more of a high desert climate) or Ellensburg (smaller than Spokane, more central in the state).

 

I'll be off these boards for a month (overseas vacation!).  PM me in June, if you have any questions (I'll also check this thread). 

grahamsmom98 is offline  
#5 of 6 Old 07-11-2014, 10:45 PM
 
germin8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 439
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
We left DC too! We sold 2 houses just after the 2008...

Anyway, it's a good idea to have a job anywhere you are moving to. Your commute, I think, would be quite long if you lived in the country out there. Two year lease? Surely there is a way out... even if it costs some money. Can you sublet? If not, can you "co lease"? We moved back to NoVA to have DC#2 b/c breastmilk donations were plentiful there. So, we needed an affordable 6 month lease. One guy couldn't sublease at the apartments he was at, so we 'co leased' and he had another agreement for us that he wouldn't enter the house (unless invited) all those details, etc... the management company didn't like it, but it was legal. They accepted it.

Can you rent a place out there? I would recommend it. It will, at least, give you an idea of what you want... or are looking for in a country home when it comes time to buy.

Sell your DC home! Well, it's a personal choice but we sold one house at a loss and the other at a gain... evening things out. I don't recommend it, but we are glad we got out when we could. DH still telecommutes for a company in NoVA and we are in NoID.

We don't know anyone either. BUT, we are part of a church and that really helps us. People here are so community-driven... helping each other out... you have to... these are harsh winters out there. But, I must admit... sometimes, there isn't enough help for things you rely on your family on. Like, no baby sitting available. No going over to mom's...
But no Lyme's disease! No/rare HantaVirus either (pediatrician said). No poisonous... whatever. b/c It's too cold, they tell me... We have WAY TOO MANY friend's in DMV with Lyme's disease. This doesn't help, but what about the Shenandoahs? I think Chipotle gets their beef from a farm somewhere there.

1640? We know 2 (related) families that JUST moved here from MD (DMV) who have a long history there as well. Go!

Super Mom.  Super Wife.  Super Tired.
germin8 is online now  
#6 of 6 Old 07-11-2014, 10:55 PM
 
germin8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 439
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gena 22 View Post

My husband did have his eye on a few spots in eastern Washington, showed them to me and they are lovely and much more reasonably priced. Doesn't it get too dry? What are the outlooks for climate change, is it getting drier? Maybe we should visit and check that out too. I'd love 4 seasons, and you're clearly enthusiastic.

...
Vermont and New Hampshire are decent ideas
Come check out north Idaho. We live in a city that gets 1 million tourists a year... one of the top 10 ski villages IN THE WORLD... but, it still feels like a small town. You get all the touristy stores/restaurants and good selection for grocery shopping. We are a ways out, too. Off-grid. Eastern WA is more rolling hills. Lovely, but check out Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, Eureka, MT. Check south of Coeur d'Alene, too. Malo, WA is way out there... their one grocery store doesn't have anything healthy. All canned stuff. (We're vegetarian, too). Just driving out there felt lonely.

We checked upstate NY but didn't like their taxes. VT and ME... been there. But, I think it is a wetter winter which makes it colder. We get dry winters up here. Strangely, Bonners Ferry and Eureka are warmer than Sandpoint (south of those).

Super Mom.  Super Wife.  Super Tired.

Last edited by germin8; 07-12-2014 at 08:20 AM.
germin8 is online now  
Reply

Tags
Country Living , Off The Grid

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off