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Old 01-25-2015, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,591 posts, read 49,191,782 times
Reputation: 18943

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.7traveler View Post
Ok point taken, but it still wouldn't be easy. And that's "free" only if you value your time at $0 an hour. I have to admit, you make Maine sound like some sort of paradise... Minimum wage is enough to support a family and everyone helps each other's farm get started, and no building codes...? Maybe I should move there . The OP should look there because there aren't too many areas like that.
From my background growing up on a farm, it was important to me to avoid drought-prone regions.

Retiring after a career in the military the pension is not much. Most military retirees go on to second careers, because the pension is not much. I wanted to farm. I needed to select an area where my pension is enough to support a family while starting a farm. My pension is roughly equal to Minimum-Wage. There are few places stateside today where I could support a family on this level of income, though I can do it here.

Building code enforcement is as much about having code enforcement officers as it is about having municipal revenue to support paying salary to code enforcement officers. Both are related to property taxes. I have owned homes on tiny 1/4 acre city lots, where my taxes have been $5,000 to $8,000 a year. Now I own a home that is much larger, on over 100 acres and my taxes are far less than $1,000 a year.

We did not know it when we selected to move to Maine. But there are organizations here that help future-farmers to get onto farms. I have became active in a couple of these groups. I serve on the board of one such group now, and I may soon be serving on the boards of two other such groups.

I am not from Maine. I am glad I found Maine.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,812 posts, read 2,705,114 times
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I have been to almost every U.S. State.... Maine and Hawaii being the two exceptions.... Currently living in Alaska and love it up here and like living in remote places where I can do and build what I please... In my search for land I was originally put off by Maine because it seemed too close to the population centers of the eastern seaboard.... Do you get a lot of people coming up from the cities ruining it or does the cold and lack of services keep them at bay for the most part ?

Affordable land and like minded people who grow their own food always draw me to a place, and if for some reason Alaska doesn't work out for me long term, I will probably take a closer look at Maine.

What exactly do you grow in Maine? Hay, root vegetables and leafy greens? How long is the growing season?
I have heard things about the "north woods" and the timber companies owning a lot of the land up there. I will have to check it out if I ever make it out that way.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,591 posts, read 49,191,782 times
Reputation: 18943
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.7traveler View Post
... Do you get a lot of people coming up from the cities ruining it or does the cold and lack of services keep them at bay for the most part ?
The primary economy is tourism. Mostly along the 3,000 miles of coast, but I think most tourists only visit the first 100 miles of coast [they don't want to drive very far].

My town does not get many out-of-state tourists.

It is very common among Mainers to live in a city and to own a camp in the woods. Here in my town, a small portion of the parcels have residents living there year-round. Most parcels are owned by people who do not live here, but they live in a city. I am not aware of anyone owning land in my town that lives out-of-state.

I do not much out-of-state tourism here in our town. When I go into the city, there are always a lot of tourists that come here from Canada for shopping or medical treatment, tour buses full of them.



Quote:
... What exactly do you grow in Maine? Hay, root vegetables and leafy greens?
My orchard has: Almond, Apples, apricot, Cherry, Chestnut, Elderberry, Ginkgo biloba, Hazelnut, Mulberry, peach, pear, Pecan, Plum, Walnut, and Witch Hazel.

Our garden produces: asparagus, Beans, beets, Bell peppers, Blackberry, Blueberry, Carrots, Corn, Cranberry, Cucumber, Eggplant, garlic, Ginseng, Goji, grape, Horse radish, Kale, Lavendar, mint, Leek, onions, oregano, parsley, peppers, pumpkin, Radish, Raspberry, rosemary, sage, Spinach, Squash, Strawberry, stevia, tea [Camellia sinensis], thyme, Tomatoes, and zucchini.

I also harvest a marketable amount of fiddleheads and medicinal mushrooms, that grow on my land.

The county to my West produces a lot of corn, I make trips there in the fall to get a few tonnes of corn. To the North I get barley, to the East I get oats.

I also produce honey and I tap maple.



Quote:
... How long is the growing season?
It is short, about 120 days on average.



Quote:
... I have heard things about the "north woods" and the timber companies owning a lot of the land up there. I will have to check it out if I ever make it out that way.
In this state, we have around 18 Million acres of forest.

A bit over 5% of which is public-owned [State parks, State Wildlife Management Areas, Public Reserve Lands, Federal lands including: National Forest, a National Park, and some National Wildlife Refuges].

Over 35% of our forest (6.2 million acres) is held by 250,000 families and individuals. These are small woodlot owners who own between one acre and 1,000 acres.

Over 14% (approximately 2.5 million acres) are large tracts of non-industrial forest held by families with more than 100,000 acres each.

Over 28% (5 million acres) of the forest is owned by paper mills, sawmills and other wood processing facilities

About 15% (2.6 million acres) are owned by Investment institutions, such as banks, insurance companies, mutual and pension funds and university endowment funds.

Every year we see more retirees migrating here, to start-up homesteads in the forest. It is a movement, though it is not a terribly big movement. For now there is plenty of land available for anyone who wants to do it.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:03 AM
 
Location: I am right here.
4,914 posts, read 4,017,690 times
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So, You Want to Farm in Maine?
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,591 posts, read 49,191,782 times
Reputation: 18943
Here are a few organizations that I have seen are here and helping small farmers, to start more farms every year.

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association > Programs > Farm Apprenticeships

MOFGA Farm Beginnings

Journeypersons

*|*MAINE FARMLAND TRUST – Securing a Future for Farming

Land For Good - Gaining Ground for Farmers

More Beginning Farmer and Rancher Competitive Grants Program Information

Cedar Tree Foundation | Home

Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society

Technology Sectors / Maine Technology Institute

Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems - CEI

Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society | Agrilicious! Featured Farm
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:17 AM
 
1,152 posts, read 1,008,791 times
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To the OP, avoid the western desert states. You will need either city water hook up or a well - which means electric hook up to run the pump. Most water tables here are at least 100' or more down, which means a lot of current to lift that water, I doubt one could do it on solar or wind power (unless you use a mechanical windmill pump - I still see those around now and then, but they are maintenance intensive). Areas with more surface water would be far easier to cope with for off grid living.

There are building codes in the rural west, but enforcement is indeed light. Honestly though, it's simply not that hard to hook up to power and water and not use it if you don't wish to. I forget what the costs were when we built, but they weren't much, a few hundred bucks if that. Septic was expensive, but you can rent a backhoe and do your own for maybe $2k total, probably less. I hired it out because I did not want to learn how to build a septic system through trial and error

I lived in Maine as a kid/teen, and it was far easier to garden there than out here in NM - seems like plants would just grow there. Out here there is the struggle to keep them cool during the day, yet warm at night, well watered, and if you manage all that the bugs for miles around come to eat them. In Maine I remember the bugs were more interested in eating you than any plants!

There were more restrictions on building as I remember, since all pond and river water front was regulated at some level - I don't remember the specifics, just dad complaining about it. We got a fair number of tourists where our camp was, between white water rafters and Appalachian trail hikers.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,760 posts, read 14,865,995 times
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I know someone who has lived off the grid and six miles in from the road for six years. She has solar electricity for her satellite internet. Over time she added a drilled well and septic system. It is legal in Maine.
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:29 PM
 
4,367 posts, read 3,520,614 times
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Wow, Maine sounds like paradise. I would like to move there right now...
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:34 PM
 
3,194 posts, read 1,794,665 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
You say that, but what's the difference between living off grid and long-term camping, really? They lived okay without indoor plumbing, running water, electricity, or any of the modern "essentials" for centuries. I want truly unrestricted land, no requirements for septic, water, or electric, rules that allow me to do almost anything I want. I want to set something up for very little cost. I know it would take some sacrifice at first, but later hopefully it would pay off well. My biggest expense would probably be a way to collect water; that's an essential. Almost everything else would be extra; even heating and cooling could be done naturally.
Honestly, Eritrea, along with a lot of sub-Saharan Africa comes to mind. Also India, Philipines, rural South-East Asia, along with rural Latin America and Mexico would be good prospects. Bring the Imodium!
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Old 01-26-2015, 02:22 PM
 
3,194 posts, read 1,794,665 times
Reputation: 8427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
My family did that as well.

Does not mean such is the only method.





That is not true.





If a person refuses to accept the help of others, then sure.

You may need a minimum-wage job to first support yourself, while you begin farming. Fortunately today a minimum-wage income is more than enough to support a family. [At least it is where I have settled]





You can always accept the help of others.

Or not.

Many new farms start up every year. Here in this state, more new farms start each year than in any other state.

You can apprentice on a farm, while you startup your own farm.

You can complete a farm Journeyman program and be placed as Farm Manager on a farm, as a job. From which point, you could buy land.

I know a number of people who began an Apprentices, and who formed partnerships to buy-out the farm they were already working on.

I have a friend, who has has started four farms on his own. With each of them, he has taken on Apprentices, convinced them to form partnerships to buy him out. So that he was then able to start up a new farm. He 'Tom' is currently on his fourth such farm, looking for Apprentices, ...
I had an optometrist who operated under exactly the same model. He was good looking, charismatic, and knew how to build a business. After a couple of years of business, he would take on a 'partner' that he then sold the business to. He would then open a new office 10 miles away and start over again. Very lucrative for him.
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