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Hey everyone,<br><br>
We are trying to figure out where to move. We live currently in W. WA and it is expensive to live here. We want to have land and semi-homestead and homeschool (secular). We consider ourselves liberal/progressive. We want to move somewhere cheaper, still beautiful, and most importantly somewhere we can develop strong community with others.<br><br>
Being near amenities is not as important. We want to be around people who want to develop strong relationships, not surface ones. We seem to encounter that a lot here. We would like long-lasting relationships with other families, where we can mutually depend on each other and spend time together and create real community. We don't really want to go into town and do things, we want to spend time at home working on our garden, etc, and with other families. We are wondering if we have to be really rural or remote to have this close community feeling, but we don't know.<br><br>
Also, what about gardening? We are zone 8 over here, and we wonder how hard it is to garden there. I know there is a lot of variety, of course.<br><br>
Also, wherever we live, we don't want to be the only progressive folks/AP people around.<br><br>
Any thoughts on this would be really great!! Dh is a teacher and so has some flexibility in where we can move. Ultimately we want to try to figure a way to possibly have neither of us work outside the home.<br><br>
Any specific ideas of areas to look into would be great!!<br><br>
Thanks!!
 

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I don't know anything about the cost of living in W.Va but Colorado is by no means a cheap state. As for gardening, the state (except for the mountains) is zone 5. Melons, tomatoes, corn, etc. are more difficult here due to a shorter growing season. It is a dry climate so supplemental water is needed. In addition, on the front range which is the area of Colorado east of the mountains, not all fruit trees do well due to warm springs and late frosts. Peaches, apricots, and sweet cherries are among the fruits that do not do well here.<br><br>
I don't know of an area that addresses your community needs. I'm sure they're out there somewhere. Good luck with your search.
 

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It could be tricky. If you're looking for a close community, you'd really need a rural town either on the eastern plains or else a small mountain town. I'm not sure you'd find a lot of progressive/AP folks around in that setting, except maybe in Nederland (the mountain town just west of Boulder). There are AP people in the mountains, but it seems like there's only a few per town. I'm halfway between Boulder and Denver, so there are a lot of AP people but it's not small-town living.<br><br>
I find gardening pretty easy, and I'm originally from the Midwest. We always have a bumper crop of tomatoes, zucchini, squash, pumpkins and I had good luck with melons (less so with cantelopes) last year. Lettuce, spinach, kale, etc, all grow well, and my onions and carrots do too. I've done well with string beans, and I've also had pretty good luck with snow peas (better if June doesn't get really hot right away), and even managed some okra last year. This year I'm also trying eggplant and probably potatoes in a garbage bag. I'm sure I could grow more, but I don't have any more garden space at the moment. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
You do have to water, most summers, although we had to water gardens some when I lived in the Chicago suburbs too. DH and I decided to simplify our lives and put in a drip irrigation system. It saves a lot of water and the best part is that we hooked it up to our lawn sprinkler system so that we only need to push a button to water the garden each night (or nothing, if the sprinkler is scheduled to do the lawn that night). The first year we dragged the hose up and down (our garden is on a hill) and it did fine that way too.<br><br>
In the mountains the growing season is much shorter, so you'd probably want to start your plants early or do cold frames or something like that. The only thing I've grown in the mountains has been pansies, but they did great considering that I wasn't around to water them except every other weekend or so.
 

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Honestly, (over generalization in progress here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">) Colorado is exspensive and it is crowded in the places where your liberal/progressive beliefs would be accepted and the norm. Land is at a premium here and while Nederland might be a great place for you, it is by no means cheap or even reasonable IMO. Most of the places that are progressive aren't rural at all!<br><br>
Gardening is easy here I think but maybe that's becasue I am from here and have never know any difference.
 
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