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Old 04-11-2008, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Lambs Book of Life
1,592 posts, read 2,953,639 times
Reputation: 619
Default The Best Growing Season in the remote U.S.

Which state in the lower 48 has the best growing season? Someplace very rural and with wide-open spaces

I'm looking to move in a year, once I'm debt-free, and settle down in one place permanently. There are so many factors that play into choosing a place to live and I've been evaluating and researching all of them for the last two years. What I've found is that, over this time period, what's important to me keeps changing. This isn't making things easier!

At first it had to be very rural. Don't bother me and I won't bother you.
Then I got over that and decided that being near a rural, small town is fine. After all, I really do love people, I was just going through an "I hate the city-phase."

Then gardening became important. That led me to wanting to be as self-sufficient as possible and living off-grid. But, now I'm learning how expensive it can be to live off-grid.

Location-wise, I wanted to live in the mountains. I'm still highly considering western Montana, northwestern Wyoming, northern Idaho or eastern Oregon. The only thing that get to me about these areas is the short growing season. I hate hot and humid weather and can handle any level of cold pretty well.

So, now, this is the conclusion I've come to: (for now)

- I'd like to live in a rural area, possibly a bit remote or off-grid, and around like-minded folks who really enjoy living simply and helping each other out. I'm not a hippy or a new-ager, but I don't mind being around them at all. (Just don't want to be expected to hug a tree, thank the grass, clack my chakras or see through a third eye or anything.)

- I want a garden. A big one. I want to grow organic fruits, vegetables and herbs so I can have an over-abundance to share with folks who need it. I'm a canning fanatic and would love to can tomatoes and tomato juice until I had it running out my ears!

- I'd like to live where "less is more" in government.

Any place you can think of that fits the bill AND has a great growing season?
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Old 04-11-2008, 03:19 PM
 
Location: The Woods
14,237 posts, read 12,578,514 times
Reputation: 5771
Build a greenhouse for starting/finishing long-season plants and the short growing season in the North is less of a problem. Off grid living is cheap if you don't need electricity. I'd avoid Oregon, from what I know, they have tight laws/regulations on building and on items such as woodstove emissions. MT/ID/WY: varies. You're not going to get the kind of growing season you would in the South in any Northern state for the most part, so, you'll need to compromise. If you can't stand hot weather more than you'd dislike a short growing season, avoid the South, for example. Find a place you think you'd like and visit it. Unfortunately, traveling is just getting more and more expensive lately. The biggest problem I see with being too close to a town/city is that your rural land may not be so for long. More and more people are trying to "escape" the cities and buy 1-5 acre parcels, build mcmansions, and in general, bring the city with them to the country, demanding rules/regulations/better roads and on and on. You'll need to be careful, selecting a place where it's unlikely to happen. One of the reasons I chose where I bought land is that overall the population of the area is declining more than growing, and the closest villages are simply too hard to get to much of the year to become bedroom communities of the closest large city (which is over 140 miles away anyways). Besides the fact that government is minimal. Nonetheless, the growing season will be a challenge, even for a person used to gardening in Vermont.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Boise-Metro, ID
1,378 posts, read 3,860,221 times
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California probably has one of the longest growing seasons in the West for obvious reasons, but another area you might consider is Yakima Valley in Washington State. They have a very long growing season and some dynamite produce comes out of that area. It's still relatively inexpensive to live there, but.......you're kinda of out in the middle of no-where. Another downfall is they seem to have a problem with crime. About 6years ago we considered the area, as my husband had an opportunity with his job in the Tri-Cities, the more we explored the more we became less comfortable with the idea. Sorry Yakima, it just wasn't our cup of tea. Boise is where we ended up and we are so pleased with how things turned out. We lived in Vancouver, WA previously and I gardened quite a bit while we lived there. Though I did have good growing seasons, it never seemed to get hot enough, long enough to grow cataloupe or melons. When we moved to Boise, because we have a longer growing season I was finally able to grow them.

There are smaller towns on the outskirts of Boise that you might like that still have the longer growing seasons and the safety you might be looking for compared to Yakima Valley. Still, maybe things have been cleaned up there, so it might be worth checking out.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:36 PM
 
Location: The Woods
14,237 posts, read 12,578,514 times
Reputation: 5771
Washington has extremely high property taxes, and a lot of regulations on what you can do with that property.
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:03 PM
 
103 posts, read 438,733 times
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City Profile Demographics (http://www.ci.roseburg.or.us/cityHome/cityProfile.php - broken link)

i think this is gods country for a gardener.
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
26,625 posts, read 18,617,030 times
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Gee, in AZ you can grow all kinds of stuff all year long.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Lambs Book of Life
1,592 posts, read 2,953,639 times
Reputation: 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by marita View Post
City Profile Demographics (http://www.ci.roseburg.or.us/cityHome/cityProfile.php - broken link)

i think this is gods country for a gardener.
This would seem to be the case!
Quote:
The normal growing season is 217 days. Roseburg enjoys one of the lowest average wind velocities in the United States.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Lambs Book of Life
1,592 posts, read 2,953,639 times
Reputation: 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
Washington has extremely high property taxes, and a lot of regulations on what you can do with that property.
Washington was on my list for a while. I think it's a beautiful state and a great place to visit, but, my research showed exactly the same thing, which took Washington off my list.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Lambs Book of Life
1,592 posts, read 2,953,639 times
Reputation: 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitram View Post
Gee, in AZ you can grow all kinds of stuff all year long.
I just can't handle the heat, humidity.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Lambs Book of Life
1,592 posts, read 2,953,639 times
Reputation: 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torrie View Post
California probably has one of the longest growing seasons in the West for obvious reasons, but another area you might consider is Yakima Valley in Washington State. They have a very long growing season and some dynamite produce comes out of that area. It's still relatively inexpensive to live there, but.......you're kinda of out in the middle of no-where. Another downfall is they seem to have a problem with crime. About 6years ago we considered the area, as my husband had an opportunity with his job in the Tri-Cities, the more we explored the more we became less comfortable with the idea. Sorry Yakima, it just wasn't our cup of tea. Boise is where we ended up and we are so pleased with how things turned out. We lived in Vancouver, WA previously and I gardened quite a bit while we lived there. Though I did have good growing seasons, it never seemed to get hot enough, long enough to grow cataloupe or melons. When we moved to Boise, because we have a longer growing season I was finally able to grow them.

There are smaller towns on the outskirts of Boise that you might like that still have the longer growing seasons and the safety you might be looking for compared to Yakima Valley. Still, maybe things have been cleaned up there, so it might be worth checking out.
When it comes to Idaho, I've been looking around the outskirts of Sandpoint. I haven't been able to do a lot of research on Idaho (or Wyoming, which is also on my list) yet but areas around Sandpoint could be real possibilities.

When I move, I'm hoping to be able to make a living as a freelance writer and leave Corporate America for good. Sandpoint could be a good base for that.
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