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Old 04-20-2016, 09:00 AM
 
19 posts, read 25,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarrySkiesAbove View Post
You might want to look at the Western Slope, particularly the North Fork Valley (towns of Paonia, Hotchkiss, Crawford). The North Fork Valley of Colorado, Hotchkiss, Paonia, Crawford It has the about best climate in Colorado for gardening and small hobby farms. There are already several organic farms, orchards, craft distilleries, breweries and vineyards in the valley. The elevation is lower than Pagosa so you get a decent growing season. Outdoor recreation of every kind abounds and it is in my opinion one of the more scenic valleys in Colorado.

Paonia and Hotchkiss are cute towns which have a decent artist communities, with an eclectic vibe. Delta County is also one of a few counties in Colorado which is open to alternative building and one of the few counties in Colorado with no adopted building code. Copied directly from the County website:" Building Permits:
No building permits are required and no certificates of occupancy are issued for the construction and placement of any structures in the unincorporated area of Delta County. Any questions involving snow loads or other construction questions will have to be directed toward a registered professional engineer / contractor.
"

The biggest hurdle in this area (as well as many other small Colorado towns) is lack of jobs. As far as high speed reliable internet in rural Colorado, that is still a hurdle with most areas only offering satellite or sometimes microwave however options are slowly beginning to improve. Currently there is a project in the North Fork Valley to bring in high speed fiber optic internet through the Delta Montrose Electrical Association. It has been approved by the DMEA's board and there is also a state grant in place. The project will begin in Paonia. From my understanding the first phase will be a pilot program, where a small cluster of homes and businesses will have fiber optic. Of course this is still in its early phases and it will be some time before the NF Valley is served but at least it's on the horizon.
Thank you so much for this input! This is fantastic information! We will definitely look into the towns you describe. They sound very much like what we are looking for and seem a potential alternative. Definitely love the farms, no building permits and fiber optic internet potential options. Do you live in the area? Is there an influx of younger people working the farms you describe? Do you see the fiber optic internet attracting more entrepreneurs in the long run?
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:26 AM
 
19 posts, read 25,676 times
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Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
The GGP has a complicated, controversial history. They won a state grant last year. They had a local fundraising drive this spring. There is no announcement about success of that a month after it was supposed to end. Maybe they are close, maybe not. The Pagosa Daily Post had a series on it. This is the last installment I know about EDITORIAL: Taking the Heat, Part Six Pagosa Daily Post News Events & Video for Pagosa Springs Colorado If much has changed, there should be another article. I wouldn't count on GGP happening soon, at all or least as big as envisioned. There is a greenhouse seller over there. At least some folks are doing it with just the help of the sun and enclosure.
Thank you so very much for your insightful post! We got very confused about the GGP after discovering a slightly run-down sign down by the river and what looked like a (partially abandoned?) building site. There didn't seem to be much information about the project and its timeline on their website either. We will look into the Pagosa Daily series and see what else we can learn. Thanks for pointing us in that direction!
We will also check out the tiny house meetup group


Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
The Southern Ute Museum had an extensive oral history archive. It closed but if you move here you might contact the tribe if you want to use the archive, help get it available again or add to it.
That sounds like a great idea! I went to the Southern Ute Cultural Center on a Monday when it was closed, unfortunately, but it was great to see such a new structure and what looked like a vibrant community. You say the museum is closed? Indefinitely? When I was at the cultural center it said it was open Tuesday to Sunday and there was no entrance fee. Since no-one was around to ask, I am not sure how accurate this information is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
Almost any agriculture in the area will rely on irrigation and most will need water rights. There are small farmer markets, producers and dialogue in each county. The markets for direct sales are pretty small and competitive, But growing I guess. The pricing level is a subject where producers and consumers may have some differences in perspective. Some of each are reasonably comfortable with them, some not. When I visit the Durango Farmers Market I see maybe twenty sellers, produce that varies from gorgeous to scrawny / challenged, pretty small supplies, prices that generally seem higher than I want to pay... and more lookers than buyers and more buyers of sweet drinks, hot food and crafts than produce.

Great insights into this market! Thank you so much! We know that there are a lot of Farm-to-table restaurants in Durango. Maybe many farms make the most profitable or at least more reliable income from working with local restaurants like this?
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:05 AM
 
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The non-profit running the museum dissolved and the tribe directly took control a month ago.

This article and picture http://www.durangoherald.com/article...s-may-dissolve said closed but perhaps that just meant that day. Sure sounded like they were "closed". I guess maybe it isn't fully closed though according to this followup http://www.durangoherald.com/article...trol-of-museum


Sure there is a farm to table market. It might be more important than the public market. For those who have the hookup.

Last edited by NW Crow; 04-20-2016 at 11:18 AM..
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:30 PM
 
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Today there was another update The Durango Herald 04/20/2016 | Southern Ute museum emptying, apparently closed Still unclear but I'd call it closed until it advances from here.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:12 AM
 
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I assume the museum's oral history archive will get stored and perhaps be accessible again someday. In meantime, the Ignacio library has an oral history recording effort happening. The Durango Herald 04/20/2016 | Ignacio library project aims to expand access to oral history

Also, this magazine about agriculture and food has stories you would like: http://ediblesouthwestcolorado.com/


Between Mancos, Pagosa Springs and Durango you have a very small town of not much over 1,000, a sprawling small resort town (9-10,000 in county full-time and lots more part-time) and in Durango a town of 15,000 surrounded by 35,000 in the county. Your choice involves community size. Many folks can adapt to the medium and larger spots. Adapting to a community of a 1,000 and driving to everything that size community does not have or doing without is something you might get used to and not mind or it could be a major issue. Try to realistic about community size and how much driving you are willing to do. If you haven't lived in small places, super small is more of a risk. Especially if you buy rather than rent.

Fiber optic internet is available in Durango. Outside of town there is some here and there but SW CO is less well off than most areas, especially on the regional links. Even if "the last mile" is fiber, you need good regional links for capacity and speed. They have been trying to improve but it may be 5-10 years before the catch up is really satisfactorily made broadly. Cortez-Mancos-Durango got linked, Pagosa was supposed to but I am not sure if it was. Anywhere outside of town is likely still using limited, older lines to some degree. The phone company has been a major laggard / obstacle because they have been trying to squueze money out of their old lines and rural areas are the last areas for investment and in many cases will never get private investment without heavy government subsidy.

Bayfield could be a 4th option, slotted in as 2nd smallest on your list and cheapest or second cheapest real estate. Cortez could be fifth is you are willing to go drier. Would be second biggest.

Last edited by NW Crow; 04-21-2016 at 10:42 AM..
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:00 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
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^^^

To clarify some stuff:

Cortez (pop 8,000) is not such a bad town as some would think - especially those who drive into Cortez for the first time on Highway 491. There's a lot of falling apart commercial buildings and about a 1,000 scruffy bill boards offering fun stuff like medical services for uranium miners whose profession has turned them into cancer victims.

On the other hand, if you come into Cortez driving west on 160, you get a much better impression of the town. Several nice hotels/motels with green lawns and trees, town parks, and an adobe visitor center built in Southwestern style where you can get lots of free information plus maps and brochures from a helpful staff. Our downtown is small and friendly and has several great restaurants offering sustenance to the weary travelers. You can be up in the San Juans in less than an hour and in "red rock" country in and around Moab in about two hours or so.

Gardening is actually something a big deal here - we just sent three 5th graders to DC to help Ms. Obama plant some roses on the White House grounds. The old high school is being turned into a gardening center (among other things) and you can see the progress of the greenhouses and outdoor gardens each time you pass by. Our farmer's market start at 8:00am sharp every Saturday and is usually sold out by noon. Also, land is fairly cheap here due to the fact that most of the energy outfits have pulled out of the region (at least for now), and the sudden lack of demand has driven down real estate values.

Montezuma County which includes Cortez, Mancos, and the cute little town of Dolores, has a population of around 10,000. The Ute rez is about 10 miles south of Cortez
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:17 PM
 
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Montezuma County is pushing 26k population. May not look or feel like it but lots of folks tucked away off side roads.
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:21 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,332,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
Montezuma County is pushing 26k population. May not look or feel like it but lots of folks tucked away off side roads.
Granted. I was merely thinking of the people in the so-called population centers here. There's lots of folks who just live somewhere out in the boonies the way I do.
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:53 PM
 
19 posts, read 25,676 times
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Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
Today there was another update The Durango Herald 04/20/2016 | Southern Ute museum emptying, apparently closed Still unclear but I'd call it closed until it advances from here.

Oh, these are very sad news... The cultural center looked all shiny and new when I visited a few weeks ago... A shame it had to go down that route.
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