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Old 07-06-2014, 09:43 PM
 
32 posts, read 35,962 times
Reputation: 27

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My husband and I are looking for a place to call home. He is from TX I am from CA/Denmark. We hate CA.

We are looking for a place where we can buy beautiful land (forest, rivers/streams) to build a modest cabin and live off the land... mostly. 5 or 10 acres would be nice. We enjoy growing our own food, hunting/fishing, and overall being self sufficient.

It would be great to have friendly neighbors... the kind that mind their own business but dont mind looking out for each other, helping when in need, trading goods/skills, and can be good company provided a good beer.

Somewhere I can explore with my dog without having to go to an abandoned industrial park, or be told dogs are not allowed.

Would like to raise chickens and keep horses.

A town near by with good food and beer and somewhere that appreciates fine art or craftsmanship of handmade goods.

Somewhere that hasnt been a desert in a drought for the past 11 or whatever years yet people insist of wasting water for their lawns.

No WalMarts in sight. Far from utilities and most services is okay... we know how to survive on our own. A general store or exchange would be nice. As long as a young woman can go into town by herself and not be afraid for her life or safety.

With intelligent or educated person to talk to?

Somewhere where I can go to church with other REAL believers and actually praise Jesus?

Does such a place even exist? We are moving in one month and have no idea where we are going.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,883 posts, read 5,764,575 times
Reputation: 8243
Quote:
Originally Posted by daneonethebeach View Post
My husband and I are looking for a place to call home. He is from TX I am from CA/Denmark. We hate CA.

We are looking for a place where we can buy beautiful land (forest, rivers/streams) to build a modest cabin and live off the land... mostly. 5 or 10 acres would be nice. We enjoy growing our own food, hunting/fishing, and overall being self sufficient.

It would be great to have friendly neighbors... the kind that mind their own business but dont mind looking out for each other, helping when in need, trading goods/skills, and can be good company provided a good beer.

Somewhere I can explore with my dog without having to go to an abandoned industrial park, or be told dogs are not allowed.

Would like to raise chickens and keep horses.

A town near by with good food and beer and somewhere that appreciates fine art or craftsmanship of handmade goods.

Somewhere that hasnt been a desert in a drought for the past 11 or whatever years yet people insist of wasting water for their lawns.

No WalMarts in sight. Far from utilities and most services is okay... we know how to survive on our own. A general store or exchange would be nice. As long as a young woman can go into town by herself and not be afraid for her life or safety.

With intelligent or educated person to talk to?

Somewhere where I can go to church with other REAL believers and actually praise Jesus?

Does such a place even exist? We are moving in one month and have no idea where we are going.
There are such places, but you have to modify your criteria.
For example, in Montana, 5 or 10 acres is a front lawn. If you want to be self sufficent here and produce most of your own food, you will need at least 2 acres of garden for a couple. Due to our long winters and short growing seasons you have to plant a lot and process it quickly as the killing frosts of May and September limit the amount of time you have to grow your own food.

If you plan on livestock, on really good range figure at least 10 acres of irrigated pasture for a single cow/calf pair. Most places if the ground isn't irrigated, figure at least 20 acres per cow/calf pair.
For that cow/calf pair, figure you will need to have around 6 tons of hay, or roughly 30 lbs of feed for each animal, and for my stock I figure on feeding them 200 days between when the grass stops growing and starts up again. Depending on where you are and your range, you may have some winter pasture, but that is site dependent and winter dependent as most cows don't do well digging in deep snow for grass.

Now, hay ground, for 6 tons, figure at least 6 acres for the dry years. wet years and if you have an alfalfa mix you could get as high as 5 tons an acre on prime ground, but that kind of production is irrigated, heavily fertilized and rotated with new seed about every 5 years. Grass hay, one cutting, and in dry years you may be lucky to get 1 ton to the acre on dryland, (no irrigation).
Cows can produce a lot of milk, butter, cheese, cream, and even, (yuck) yogurt as well as meat from the calf, and they can serve as a draft animal.

If you use goats, you can run about 4 pair of goats per 1 cow/calf unit, but you can get milk,cheese and meat from them. Some breeds will also produce fiber like angoras.
Or you could go to sheep, good fibre, milk, cheese and meat, but they do need more care and every preditor out there has a taste for mutton.

To be self sufficent, you will also need to be able to produce enough wood from your lot for building and for heat. Because of our short summer, trees grow slowly, so you would probably need a tree lot of around 30 -50 acres, but again that depends on the kind of trees in the lot. Lodgepole pine grow quickly, but figure around 15-20 years to grow trees large enough for house logs on good ground. Ponderosa grow a lot slower, spruce and fir have about the same growth rate as ponderosa, but the wood isn't as hot when it burns.

Montana dosen't have subsistance hunting and fishing, you pay for tags for the animals you harvest, and you may spend a lot of time and money and come home with nothing, no guarentees. We have good populations of wildlife, but depending on where you are, the wolves may chase everything far from you or eat your cow and calf, your sheep and goats and leave you with nothing.

That is just the basic living requirements.
For what you describe, you would need probably around 100-160 acres of good land just to survive.
The heavily forested areas that aren't prone to drought are in the western 1/3 of the state where the land can and does go for over $3000 an acre for bare land with no buildings or infrastructure at all. Having a live stream or river front means more money, plus the danger of flooding in the spring.

As far as good neihbors, you can find those all over the state.
As far as good food, depends on your definition. Most towns have good food, and there are microbreweries all over the state producing really good beer.

Wal Marts are only in the bigger towns, some towns don't have a store within 40 miles.

Your dream is achievable, and it could be in Montana, but you need to do a lot more reasearch.

Good Luck
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:56 PM
 
32 posts, read 35,962 times
Reputation: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
There are such places, but you have to modify your criteria.
For example, in Montana, 5 or 10 acres is a front lawn. If you want to be self sufficent here and produce most of your own food, you will need at least 2 acres of garden for a couple. Due to our long winters and short growing seasons you have to plant a lot and process it quickly as the killing frosts of May and September limit the amount of time you have to grow your own food.

If you plan on livestock, on really good range figure at least 10 acres of irrigated pasture for a single cow/calf pair. Most places if the ground isn't irrigated, figure at least 20 acres per cow/calf pair.
For that cow/calf pair, figure you will need to have around 6 tons of hay, or roughly 30 lbs of feed for each animal, and for my stock I figure on feeding them 200 days between when the grass stops growing and starts up again. Depending on where you are and your range, you may have some winter pasture, but that is site dependent and winter dependent as most cows don't do well digging in deep snow for grass.

Now, hay ground, for 6 tons, figure at least 6 acres for the dry years. wet years and if you have an alfalfa mix you could get as high as 5 tons an acre on prime ground, but that kind of production is irrigated, heavily fertilized and rotated with new seed about every 5 years. Grass hay, one cutting, and in dry years you may be lucky to get 1 ton to the acre on dryland, (no irrigation).
Cows can produce a lot of milk, butter, cheese, cream, and even, (yuck) yogurt as well as meat from the calf, and they can serve as a draft animal.

If you use goats, you can run about 4 pair of goats per 1 cow/calf unit, but you can get milk,cheese and meat from them. Some breeds will also produce fiber like angoras.
Or you could go to sheep, good fibre, milk, cheese and meat, but they do need more care and every preditor out there has a taste for mutton.

To be self sufficent, you will also need to be able to produce enough wood from your lot for building and for heat. Because of our short summer, trees grow slowly, so you would probably need a tree lot of around 30 -50 acres, but again that depends on the kind of trees in the lot. Lodgepole pine grow quickly, but figure around 15-20 years to grow trees large enough for house logs on good ground. Ponderosa grow a lot slower, spruce and fir have about the same growth rate as ponderosa, but the wood isn't as hot when it burns.

Montana dosen't have subsistance hunting and fishing, you pay for tags for the animals you harvest, and you may spend a lot of time and money and come home with nothing, no guarentees. We have good populations of wildlife, but depending on where you are, the wolves may chase everything far from you or eat your cow and calf, your sheep and goats and leave you with nothing.

That is just the basic living requirements.
For what you describe, you would need probably around 100-160 acres of good land just to survive.
The heavily forested areas that aren't prone to drought are in the western 1/3 of the state where the land can and does go for over $3000 an acre for bare land with no buildings or infrastructure at all. Having a live stream or river front means more money, plus the danger of flooding in the spring.

As far as good neihbors, you can find those all over the state.
As far as good food, depends on your definition. Most towns have good food, and there are microbreweries all over the state producing really good beer.

Wal Marts are only in the bigger towns, some towns don't have a store within 40 miles.

Your dream is achievable, and it could be in Montana, but you need to do a lot more reasearch.

Good Luck
Thank you very much you have been incredible helpful!!! This is the kind of information I am looking for!
We are trying to find somewhere to work towards as a long term goal, but would like to relocate closer so that we can at least get a feel for the area/lifestyle/people before we commit to anything.

We would probably prefer not to be completely self reliant, this would give us little/no opportunity to socialize We are definitely in the beginning stages and I can see that it would probably be too much to take on, at least right away. Are there areas or small towns you would recommend?

Are there jobs for forestry/wildlife and construction/green building/welding?

Would it be possible to buy land and then add on to it later (when funds or needs or as available?)

Thank you again!!!
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:49 PM
 
9,473 posts, read 5,884,123 times
Reputation: 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
There are such places, but you have to modify your criteria.
For example, in Montana, 5 or 10 acres is a front lawn. If you want to be self sufficent here and produce most of your own food, you will need at least 2 acres of garden for a couple. Due to our long winters and short growing seasons you have to plant a lot and process it quickly as the killing frosts of May and September limit the amount of time you have to grow your own food.
My last year in MT, we had a killing frost on the night of July 3rd.

It can be rough.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Gringolandia
291 posts, read 783,838 times
Reputation: 630
Quote:
Originally Posted by daneonethebeach View Post
Thank you very much you have been incredible helpful!!! This is the kind of information I am looking for!
We are trying to find somewhere to work towards as a long term goal, but would like to relocate closer so that we can at least get a feel for the area/lifestyle/people before we commit to anything.

We would probably prefer not to be completely self reliant, this would give us little/no opportunity to socialize We are definitely in the beginning stages and I can see that it would probably be too much to take on, at least right away. Are there areas or small towns you would recommend?

Are there jobs for forestry/wildlife and construction/green building/welding?

Would it be possible to buy land and then add on to it later (when funds or needs or as available?)

Thank you again!!!
You might should think about Tennessee, a bit east of Knoxville. Knoxville is a University town. Land in eastern Tennessee is fairly cheap and not drought prone. Lots of religious folks in those parts too.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,883 posts, read 5,764,575 times
Reputation: 8243
Quote:
Originally Posted by daneonethebeach View Post
Thank you very much you have been incredible helpful!!! This is the kind of information I am looking for!
We are trying to find somewhere to work towards as a long term goal, but would like to relocate closer so that we can at least get a feel for the area/lifestyle/people before we commit to anything.

We would probably prefer not to be completely self reliant, this would give us little/no opportunity to socialize We are definitely in the beginning stages and I can see that it would probably be too much to take on, at least right away. Are there areas or small towns you would recommend?

Are there jobs for forestry/wildlife and construction/green building/welding?

Would it be possible to buy land and then add on to it later (when funds or needs or as available?)

Thank you again!!!
There are lots of small towns in Montana that would fit the bill, but in looking at your posts, you might look at Livingston.
Population between 7-8000, the Paradise valley is pretty enought to call in lots of movie stars. The area was the setting for the movie "River Runs Through It'.

Only 30 miles to Bozeman, and that whole area has a lot of construction and calls in the kind of people that want "green" buildings so it is probably one of the best areas for finding that kind of job.

Forestry and wildlife jobs are few and far between as there are lots of people that want those jobs in Montana instead of Gila National Forest for instance, so the fed jobs are usually based on senority and you need a lot of it to score a job working for the forest service here.
The timber industry is pretty much gone, but there are a lot of jobs for firefighters in the summer.

Bozeman is a college town, so lots of those kind of folk for you to talk to and socialize with. Lots of skiing and horse shows and those kind of things, not quite so much dirt and sweat kind of agricultural as the places where people actually have to work the land to make a living.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Billings, MT
9,523 posts, read 7,779,851 times
Reputation: 13259
Quote:
Originally Posted by daneonethebeach View Post
Thank you very much you have been incredible helpful!!! This is the kind of information I am looking for!
We are trying to find somewhere to work towards as a long term goal, but would like to relocate closer so that we can at least get a feel for the area/lifestyle/people before we commit to anything.

We would probably prefer not to be completely self reliant, this would give us little/no opportunity to socialize We are definitely in the beginning stages and I can see that it would probably be too much to take on, at least right away. Are there areas or small towns you would recommend?

Are there jobs for forestry/wildlife and construction/green building/welding?

Would it be possible to buy land and then add on to it later (when funds or needs or as available?)

Thank you again!!!
There are ALWAYS jobs for CERTIFIED welders, especially those with experience in welding metals other than ferrous. Pressure vessel welders and pipeline welders are in especially high demand, particularly in Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota (the Bakken oil field).
While I would never go back there, having grown up there and finding the changes not to my liking, you might take a look at the Flathead Valley near Glacier National Park. The North Fork Road from Columbia Falls to Polebridge might still have some reasonably priced land available, and it could be covered with "dog hair" lodgepole pine (tall skinny trees so close together it look like the hair on the back of a dog). this is usually "new" growth after a fire, like the 1929 fire.
good luck in your search.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:47 AM
 
28 posts, read 48,220 times
Reputation: 24
From what you've described... take a serious look at Winthrop and Mazama Washington.

Entrance to North Cascades National Park--the most beautiful mountain range in the lower 48, in my humble opinion. It's also the least visited National Park in the lower 48 because we prefer to keep it under the radar. Winthrop and Mazama are fun, vibrant little towns with a welcoming vibe. Land is much cheaper than anything you'll find in California (and much of Montana). Very active Forest Service (not sure about logging though). Fantastic fly fishing. A lot of farming. Active outdoor sports communities. Great beer and funky stores.

It's in Eastern Washington, and so we do not have quite the obnoxious mindset that one finds in Seattle.

I doubt you'll find any welding industry there, but I might be wrong.
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