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Old 02-20-2013, 03:56 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,304 times
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Hello everyone...I've been lurking around this Forum and really have found a ton of helpful information...Thanks!

We are moving from Louisiana to BV this summer and couldn't be more excited!

I'm 44 and my husband is 38 and we have no kids (just 3 furry kids).

We've been blessed to be able to live within our means, have no debt and don't need a high paying job.

My main concern is finding a simple job that gives me health insurance within 12 months of living there.

We love the outdoors as do our dogs, we love camping and hiking and could care less where the nearest Walmart, Mall or McDonalds is.

We've been talking about it for years and every year we keep saying...one more year...one more year. Well we're tired of talking about it and we're doing it!

Of course, it's scary and exciting to make such a big move....and I guess I'm just looking for some BV folks to connect with and would love any advise anyone has to offer.

One question I do have is about vegetable gardening. We're going be living just north of BV up on the mountain.

Can you have a compost pile or will that attract too many wild things?

Is there a big difference in gardening in the allitude?

Our house has a sunroom and we plan to use that for some gardening...does anyone know what grows best in that environment?

Also, are there any good social groups to join in BV to get to meet some people?

Thanks in advance for any tips, comments or suggestions!

Last edited by Mike from back east; 02-28-2013 at 02:59 PM..
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:22 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,019,284 times
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Wink Colorado gardening

Gardening? How about bananas?

I'm serious. If within what is effectively a greenhouse, you can grow practically anything. Farther south in New Mexico near Taos, yet with cold winters and snow, many with Earthship homes customarily grow herbs and other plants inside. In some cases even banana plants.

Outside is a different matter. Yes, from Louisiana you will see a dramatic change in the landscape and what it is able to support. As far as I know, Louisiana is more like the tropics where one can put something in the ground and it more or less takes care of itself from there, growing rapidly. Colorado is at other end of that spectrum, with plants requiring constant nurturing.

You'll notice that the variety of native species are less. In such as sagebrush and evergreen, they are well adapted to a semi-arid often harsh climate. All tends to grow somewhat slowly. Quite seasonal, with a short growing season in the summer, that dictated by frost.

But a garden entirely possible. I've seen how one carefully tended flourished year after year with a bounty of potatoes, corn, beans, lettuce, strawberries and so forth. And that was at nearly 8,000 feet elevation. Lots of sun, so that is not a problem. Water will be, so plan on regular irrigation. Also consider Colorado water law and how much (if any) water you are allowed to use outside the house. No kidding. A sunny place protected from the wind probably best. You'll also likely have to amend the soil first if a garden not already established. Crops such as tomatoes can be grown as well, although some will do better than others. In this check with local gardeners, with surely many helpful tips.

Having a Walmart nearby (there is one, as well as McDonald's, in Salida) may be the least of it. You, as well as your garden, will find Colorado quite different. You might love that as well.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:30 PM
 
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We're also looking to move to BV this summer, but we already live in CO.

A greenhouse like area is by far your best bet, not necessarily for the heat, but for the moisture retention. It is VERY dry here, and the ground dries out extremely fast. Not much rainfall, and irrigation water is either costly or unavailable.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:38 PM
 
825 posts, read 1,604,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbobb View Post

One question I do have is about vegetable gardening. We're going be living just north of BV up on the mountain.
Can you have a compost pile or will that attract too many wild things?
Is there a big difference in gardening in the allitude?
Nothing. Rots. Here. Stuff simply does not compost.

What you can grow is affected by altitude. Not only is there less oxygen, there is less carbon dioxide for the plants. Some plants do not care. Some care a lot.

Your sun room/greenhouse is a big plus. I wish I had one.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:40 PM
 
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Any garden in a rural area in Colorado is going to be a magnet for everything from bears to deer to smaller critters. If you have a greenhouse/sun room you'll probably have your best luck with that.

Depends on what altitude you live at, but as you go up in elevation the growing season gets shorter. Also at higher elevation, scientists haven't quite figured why, but plants always grow smaller than at lower elevation.

I'm no garden whiz, but I have had relatives try to do the gardening thing above 7000 ft in a rural area and it's a challenge. I actually had relatives in their 70's that quit Colorado for 10 years to move to an eastern state just so they could garden properly.

I think it's pretty smart of you to try it out for 12 months and see how it goes and whether you can secure the employment you want.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:58 PM
 
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Thanks a bunch! Looks like we're going to have a little challenge but the sun room's going to be valuable.

What about fleas and ticks? Does the altitude effect dogs?

Does anyone know what the music scene is like in BV? We hate that they cancelled the music festival

One last thing...Is there a way to edit your thread name? Thanks!
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:26 PM
 
20,836 posts, read 39,046,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbobb View Post
Thanks a bunch! Looks like we're going to have a little challenge but the sun room's going to be valuable.

What about fleas and ticks? Does the altitude effect dogs?

Does anyone know what the music scene is like in BV? We hate that they cancelled the music festival

One last thing...Is there a way to edit your thread name? Thanks!
I can edit the thread title for you, send me a DM.
I cannot change your screen name, only a Sr Mod can do that.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,873 posts, read 9,616,291 times
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Hey, redbobb, welcome to BV! We live there in the summer, so maybe we'll see you around.

There is a great nursery in town on Pleasant Street. Since they have been gardening in the area for a long time, they are a wealth of information. We are just west of town on the windy alluvial plain, and between the rocky soil, the wind and the deer it's hard to grow much of anything. Basically we check out what our neighbors are growing and plant the same thing.

The music scene is somewhat better in Salida, although there are events going on in both towns all summer long. There's a little local paper that lists performances, so check that out. There's also a website called FourteenerNet.com that has information on what's going on in the area.

Regarding social groups, it depends on what you like to do. There are volunteer groups (Lions, etc.) that are very active, there are classes at the local gym, there are churches, etc. If you are into rafting/kayaking, you could probably meet people just hanging out at the kayak store on Main Street.

Keep in touch and maybe we'll have a cuppa at Cool Beans
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,049 posts, read 12,398,038 times
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Laissez les bons temps rouler! Best of luck to yall.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Betwixt and Between
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Welcome.
Jobs: City Market is hiring now. Apply here:

City Market - Careers - Store Opportunities

Gardening: Very, very tough to do outside. I gave up and built a greenhouse. You can get cheap glass/windows at the Habitat for Humanity Restore on Greg drive if you decide to build one. You'll be on well water so check the PH of your water. I bought a cheap digital PH tester from Harbor Freight which turned out to be pretty accurate. My well water tested at 8.4 , so 7 is neutral and 8.4 is solidly alkaline (it's a logarithmic scale). It's very, very dry so you'll need a drip system and as the water evaporates, your soil ph will skyrocket until your plants die of alkaline poisoning. You will neeed to monitor your soil and any gardenning center will have soil acidifier to bring your ph down. You can also use natural conditioners like pine needles which are in abundance. Carbon dioxide is a tougher nut to crack. When I have some time, I hope to brew some beer in my greenhouse this spring since CO2 is a by product of fermentation. This wouldn't work in the summer since the greenhouse will have to be vented-too much heat-and the co2 would vent.

Compost: Everything mummifies up here, myself included. To encourage rot, I'm covering my compost heap with plastic and putting a drip on it after the spring thaw. If I had the time, I would build a proper methane digester. I have used 55 gallon drum digesters with success.

Good luck. It's certainly beautiful but it's a hard dollar. If you are willing to live very simply and work for low wages, it could be a good fit for you. Research the threads and know what you are getting into. Then again, things are bad everywhere so may as well live in a place that makes you happy.
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