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Old 09-28-2008, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

Sorry, but I have been lurking since my DH learned we might be headed out west soon (~1 yr). He will be working at Provo Municipal Airport, and I get to be a SAHM to our 16-month-old DD.

We are coming from FL, where we live about 45 minutes from our crunchy friends (hard to come by down here). Only weeds will grow in our yard (not much rain, too much sun), homeschooling seems less common (daycare is all the rage), and living green just ain't happening.

I would love to work towards some urban homesteading, have a little land (we are on < 1/4 acre now), drive less, and live close to some inspiring mommas. We are hoping to expand our family and NOT live like hermits, as we do here.

So (after all that!)...any recommendations for good neighborhoods? I've looked as far south as Payson and north into Orem.

Thanks for your time and help (and motivating posts!).

Kellie :
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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Hi.. welcome!

I think you would like it here.. it's pretty homeschool friendly, and there are some crunchy folks. The best place, IMO, would be around downtown SLC, in terms of crunchiness, but that would be a long drive to the Provo area. So, I would recommend living in the South Salt Lake County area.. (Sandy, South Jordan, Draper..)

Of course, you can live in the Provo area, but assuming that you are not LDS, it can be pretty hard to live there for that reason. If you are LDS, then I'd live in Provo (or anywhere else in Utah County). I'm only saying that, because the majority of the people that live in Utah county are LDS, and sometimes it's a little hard to fit in if you are not. (I hope I have not offended anyone).

There are plenty of LLL groups all over the area, and a great place to find AP mama friends. HTH.

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Old 09-28-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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What LizzyQ says is 100% true. If you are not LDS, it can be stifling to live in Utah County. I grew up in Utah County and even I have a hard time with it. It can be a lonely place for a semi-crunchy, non-LDS mama, like myself. (Insert pity party smilie here.)

The further north you go, the more liberal it gets, but it's also quite the commute. DH and I landed in Lehi most recently, which seems to work out alright. It's right on the county lines between Salt Lake and Utah Counties. We'd love to live in SLC still, but it's really a commute to DH's school in Orem (just North of Provo) so we've settled right in the middle.

If you're looking for something Crunchy... well... it's not impossible in Utah County, but it's certainly not the norm, that's for sure. Seems to be getting a bit better, though.

Though there is an AP mama's group here in the Valley. They have get togethers quite often, I think.
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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The Provo/Orem area is full of SAHMs who homeschool and garden. It is a very family-friendly area. But like others have said, it is mostly LDS. If you are looking to drive less, I wouldn't really go into SL county. The drive is longer than it looks because traffic is usually awful (especially in the winter). Watch out for anything too close to BYU in Provo, or you will end up with ten college kids all living in the 3-bedroom house next door.

: 10/06 : 10/09
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Such great advice...much appreciated!

We are not LDS, but we would happy to be friends with any/all who would accept us. We had originally been planning to move south of Provo, but after your responses...north sounds more our speed.

I have so much hope for our move; finding friends, getting our little one outside more, having a sense of community...and maybe even finding a town that has holiday parades. Woo-hoo!

Looking forward to getting to know you all.

Thanks again,

Kellie
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:24 PM
 
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I've noticed that south of Provo has cheaper housing. The closer you are to the city (SLC), the more expensive it is. Places like Springville and Spanish Fork are a bit cheaper. Provo is expensive because of all the college students trying to find housing.

And if you do end up in the area (Provo/Orem)- there is a very active AP Playgroup. Many of the moms are LDS, but not all of them- if that's a concern for you. You can find it as a Yahoo Group: utahvalleyAP. Some moms are as far north as Draper, so it's not limited to Provo/Orem.

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Old 09-29-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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Wow! Such great advice...much appreciated!

having a sense of community...and maybe even finding a town that has holiday parades. Woo-hoo!
Then maybe Utah County is for you... cities there have parades for like almost every single holiday! Around the 4th of July each city throws like a week long celebration with fair/carnival type stuff.

: 10/06 : 10/09
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again...I'm still not sure where we'll land.

I would like (need) to find cheaper housing, so south sounds good. We are tired of living in the suburbs also, and having a little more land is tempting. I just don't want to be setting us up to be hermits, or be keeping my little one away from playmates.

All of our AP friends are living almost as neighbors in a city that is too far for us to drive now, due to gas costs. I am hoping to avoid setting ourselves up for more of the same. But, it sounds as if AP is much more common in Utah!

One last question...I know I could look this up online, but how are the natural food stores? Is there organic available? I am a vegetarian who eats no dairy (allergic as well), and have grown accustomed to Whole Foods being near by. I was just hoping for a source for veggie, homeopathy, vitamins, etc.

Thank you mommas!

Kellie
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:15 AM
 
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Southern Utah Valley has basically nothing in the way of organics, at least not when I lived there last year. The northern half has a decent smattering of natural food stores, but no Whole Foods in the valley. Good Earth stores are getting pretty good these days, and a Sunflower Market just opened up that looks good, too. I haven't been yet.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:31 AM
 
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Yes.. Good Earth is a locally owned store that is very vegetarian friendly.. it doesn't have all the variety that Whole Foods has, but they are still good, and slightly cheaper than Whole Foods (mostly on produce).

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Old 10-01-2008, 07:05 PM
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Harmons is another good local chain that has pretty good organics.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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I would have do agree that living in Utah County provides a little bit more of a challenge to live crunchy. It is possible though, you just might have to be creative!
As far as the area...I grew up here and am not LDS. It can be a little difficult at times, but I really do love living here and there is a great since of community.
As far as the shopping goes, most is going to be in the Provo/Orem area, especially for speciality items. There is a Real Foods Market in Orem, along with the other markets that were listed in the pp's.

Hope you make it out here!

(As a side note: It's great to see other UCers on here! I don't spend a lot of time in the in the Tribal areas! Maybe I should and get to know some of ya!)
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:34 AM
 
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There are also several family farms in Utah County that sell really good produce.

: 10/06 : 10/09
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:00 AM
 
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We currently live close to the city, but just closed escrow on a home in Utah county. I am not LDS, but I am not too worried. We will be in Saratoga Springs and if you are close by, I would love to meet up. I have been here nearly one year and have yet to make a friend really. I am a nurse and work alot, though I have recently decided to cut my hours back a bit. We wanted a nice home that required little to no work to move in and a small piece of land we could cultivate. This was not possible to find in the areas around the U hospital. We found this home and fell in love so here we are. If you would like, we could definitely hang out. I have a 5 and 10 year old, both boys, and both are deaf.

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Old 10-02-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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Harmons is another good local chain that has pretty good organics.
Yes! Harmons is getting really good these days... though, I can't think of any here in Utah Valley. That new one in Draper left my jaw dropped, it's niiiiiice!
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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I have heard that the new Draper Harmons is wonderful! I need to go check it out! There is a Harmons on 800 N. in Orem. But I don't think it is anything compared to the new one. It's a little far for my to travel from CH.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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We currently live close to the city, but just closed escrow on a home in Utah county. I am not LDS, but I am not too worried. We will be in Saratoga Springs and if you are close by, I would love to meet up. I have been here nearly one year and have yet to make a friend really. I am a nurse and work alot, though I have recently decided to cut my hours back a bit. We wanted a nice home that required little to no work to move in and a small piece of land we could cultivate. This was not possible to find in the areas around the U hospital. We found this home and fell in love so here we are. If you would like, we could definitely hang out. I have a 5 and 10 year old, both boys, and both are deaf.
Welcome to Utah (a year ago)! That is great that you are moving to Saratoga Springs! Hopefully the commute to the U won't be too bad. We are in Cedar Hills, so not real far away. Glad to meet ya! Maybe we should look at adding some sort of UC thread??
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You've all got me looking back at the map...

Thanks for all the info and welcomes. I'm so excited, we just received word that DH's company will be opening their shop in 2010. Which means we'll probably be out in late '09.

I've looked at the La Leche League website and was super happy to see 5 leaders for the Provo/Orem area. I also checked out Harmon's website...sounds good (and with prices better than Whole Foods...I'm in!)

Now we just have to figure out how to schedule planning for baby #2! We were hoping to get started soon, but DD still nurses a lot (17 months old) and now I'm wondering about moving with a baby.

I'm just so psyched to finally be getting out of town. It's still almost 90 here in the shade, no breeze, and still almost 80 at night. I can't wait for less humidity!!!
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:56 AM
 
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There is also a co-op community (cohousing) forming in Utah County that you might be interested in checking out. Here is their yahoo group link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/utahvalleycohousing/

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Old 10-05-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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There is also a co-op community (cohousing) forming in Utah County that you might be interested in checking out. Here is their yahoo group link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/utahvalleycohousing/
I stopped by their booth at the farmer's market a few weeks ago, and it looks pretty good. I could never convince DH to go for it, plus we're hoping to move out of state anyway. IT looks like they are a few years off, though. The guy said he thinks that more than likely they will end up in the Southern end of the valley. Looks like a fun project!
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Old 10-05-2008, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had never considered communal life...but I have to admit, it's interesting!

Just the fact that such a prospect exists in your area tells me that I'm headed the right direction. We actually don't even have year-round farmer's markets...they run through the winter season to accommodate tourists. I guess locals don't count, plus it's just too hot.

Thanks for the link...I like the idea of Spanish Fork. Who knows, maybe this might be an option for us. I'm guessing the homes might be affordable?!?!

Hey, if you don't mind sharing...how are your property taxes and insurance on the average? They comprise a huge portion of our monthly costs here...about $800 for just the taxes and insurance (for an avg 3/2 on <1/4 acre). I'm really ready to stop living beyond our means.

Kellie
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:11 PM
 
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We live in Spanish Fork, and we LOVE it! It's true that there are parades and festivals for everything under the sun. We even have a yearly kite festival to celebrate our windmill farm (along with other green technologies).

As far as property taxes go - while I don't have an exact number (too lazy to look it up right now), we are in a 3 yr old 5bd/3 bth 3500+ sq ft home and our taxes are nowhere near $800 a month. Yikes! We would starve if we had to pay that!

There are lots of crunchy moms (although there could be more), and I do know a few vegetarian families - I love borrowing their recipes!

And about the LDS worries - yes, I am LDS and the community is predominantly LDS, but I have had many dear friends who are not LDS and they fit in just fine. My 16 yo daughter's best friend isn't LDS, and we love her to death! I think that whether or not you will fit in depends on your attitude. We currently have several non-LDS families living on our street and I swear they are afraid of us (by us I mean all of their LDS neighbors). They never leave their homes or come out to visit in their front yards in the summertime. We make sure to invite them to all of our neighborhood get-togethers, but they never come. Seriously, if they would just come out to meet us they would see there's nothing to be afraid of - we don't want to convert them, we just like visiting and eating good food.
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sdejje and all, thanks for the info! I apologize for asking personal stuff (taxes and insurance) but after living in FL, I fear and dread those costs elsewhere (as Sdejje considered...we barely have enough $ for food).

I appreciate hearing about your LDS family and neighbors...we are open and accepting of everyone's beliefs. We too just want some peace and good neighbors (not to mention the good food too!)

It looks like we will be out west in the middle of 2010 now. We may have to spend one year in NE for my DH to receive some training first. I hope you are all around when we finally make it out to Utah...we can't wait!!!
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:06 PM
 
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I would definitely look into Springville. I grew up in Maine and attended BYU (I'm LDS) and it was quite the culture shock for me. I liked to go out to Springville to visit the art museum; the town just had a less cookie-cutter vibe to it. After living in UT for awhile I realized that I had been a bit prejudiced about how I assumed "Utah Mormons" were. Turns out some of my crunchiest LDS friends grew up in the valley! You can definitely find people who are into more alternative things in terms of health and raising children. Tons of my husband's cousins around here home school and the raw food movement is really spreading throughout the LDS community. I found that if you make an effort to seek out like-minded people they are definitely there even though they may not be part of the dominant culture. Peruse the bulletin boards at the health food stores and libraries, go to local music events, go hiking; you will definitely come across kindrid spirits. I think you'll like it here
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