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Old 02-10-2011, 01:59 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,853 posts, read 30,796,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
Have you considered Missouri? The winters aren't as harsh as Iowa if you are in the Southern 2/3rds of the state, we have an amazing variety of topography from plains, to wetlands to rolling hills to the Ozark mountains. Land is generally reasonable in price. A number of areas would get you close to a large or medium sized city (Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia, Springfield, Jefferson City).

Connect With Missouri's Agriculture - AgriMissouri and AgriTourism
I second Missouri. The Bonne Terre area is great for agriculture; land is (relatively) affordable. You are within reasonable distance of St. Louis and other larger towns where you could operate a CSA or participate in farmer's markets.

Farmington and Fredricktown (and Knob Lick!!!!) are also towns in this general area.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:49 PM
 
25,876 posts, read 32,434,182 times
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I'd pick pacific northwest. Washington or Oregon. Give the criteria the op specified. Plenty of rain, season. Great growing country to all sorts of edible foods.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:13 PM
 
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About a year ago I came across two fabulous small farm deals on Craigslist. The one in Upstate NY was being sold by an Amish family and included all equipment & machinery (no electricity)...for around $180,000. The other one was in PA close to the NJ border, and was also self-sufficient, with everything including some goats, ducks, chickens, etc....for around $350,000. The latter one was on electric. Both looked fantastic inside and out. There are farm real estate web sites that you should check also.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:55 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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just remember if heading to the northeast, ny particularly will mean VERY high taxes and much harsher winters...
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:42 PM
 
4,034 posts, read 7,680,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfarmer View Post

We would like good soil for a garden, fruit and nut trees, chickens, perhaps a small number of beef cattle, perhaps sheep, goats, pigs. (Just starting to research this so not sure what we will have.)

We would like 4 real seasons. Not stinking hot summers or very long, cold winters.

We would like to be close enough to a large town/city for the library, stores, etc. We want privacy - but not too remote. An hour or less to the above would be fine.

We would like to be close to areas with strong demand for farmers markets.

We want lots of beautiful countryside. Rolling hills would be great.

We think we need/want at least 20 acres. We would like to spend less than $500K for the farm with a great farm house.

At the moment we are thinking of the Charlottesville, VA area but think there are other states/towns that could meet our needs. We have not traveled a lot in the USA (I am not from the US) so hoping you could provide some suggestions for us to look into.


Thank you!
The area around Hickory, NC, fits everything on your list with the exception of the stinking hot summers. (It's a few degrees hotter than Charlottesville.) There a couple of 60-ish acre farms for sale in my area for under $500,000. I hope someone buys them to farm, not to chop up and fill with mobile homes.

I don't think you want Michigan (or Ohio). That's a rather long, cold winter. I agree with the posters who suggested the PNW. WA is great for growing, but I've read that they aren't real farm-friendly. And the Willamette Valley (OR) is probably the very best growing area in the country. California has good growing areas, too, but it would be extremely expensive to get in, and water will eventually be a problem. Since your father-in-law will be advising you, would you prefer to stay in an area similar to his?

Raise sheep. Lamb is expensive and sometimes hard to find in the grocery stores.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:21 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 34,584,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sll3454 View Post

I don't think you want Michigan (or Ohio). That's a rather long, cold winter..
Winters are not that long OR cold here. The closer you get to the Lakes the shorter and warmer they get because of their moderating effect on the weather. Keeps it cooler in the Summer as well so you don't get those huge temperature swings. I've never lived in another area that has a wider variety of fresh fruits and veggies grown and sold.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bydand View Post
Winters are not that long OR cold here. The closer you get to the Lakes the shorter and warmer they get because of their moderating effect on the weather. Keeps it cooler in the Summer as well so you don't get those huge temperature swings. I've never lived in another area that has a wider variety of fresh fruits and veggies grown and sold.
This compares Holland, MI, with Charlotte, VA.
Climatology Comparison for Connellys Springs, NC - weather.com

Holland isn't as bad as I thought, but it's colder than I'd want. I shouldn't have said OP wouldn't want to farm there; maybe to him those winters aren't long and cold. (I have seen plenty of posts from Michiganders desperate to leave because of the cold - maybe those are the city folk?)
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:06 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 34,584,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sll3454 View Post
This compares Holland, MI, with Charlotte, VA.
Climatology Comparison for Connellys Springs, NC - weather.com

Holland isn't as bad as I thought, but it's colder than I'd want. I shouldn't have said OP wouldn't want to farm there; maybe to him those winters aren't long and cold. (I have seen plenty of posts from Michiganders desperate to leave because of the cold - maybe those are the city folk?)
Of course Holland is colder, it's a couple hundred miles further North. People here complain about the cold in the winter, just as those in the South complain about the heat in the Summer (lived in the south, so I've heard both ways.)

In the opening post they said they didn't want extremes in the weather, "Not stinking hot summers or very long, cold winters." Neither of which you get when close to Lake Michigan. We have dipped below 0 only once this winter and I live 100+ miles further North from Holland. There is a strong small farm sector here as well.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:38 PM
 
Location: cemetary
363 posts, read 906,175 times
Reputation: 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfarmer View Post
So... my question - if you could have a farm anywhere in the US, where would you live/farm?
We have farmed in:
Crown Point, De Motte, Nappannee and Terre Haute, IN
Kalona, IA
Morris, LaSalle and Bloomington, IL
Cody, Powell and Lander, WY
Ferndale and Swan Lake, MT
Whidbey Island, WA
Almont and Lake City, CO

of these the purest land, without commercial fertilizers and pest chemicals were in Nappannee, Kalona and Almont.

Currently we are farming a small plot in De Motte - primarily soy for fuel oils.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
26 posts, read 45,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sll3454 View Post
This compares Holland, MI, with Charlotte, VA.
Climatology Comparison for Connellys Springs, NC - weather.com

Holland isn't as bad as I thought, but it's colder than I'd want. I shouldn't have said OP wouldn't want to farm there; maybe to him those winters aren't long and cold. (I have seen plenty of posts from Michiganders desperate to leave because of the cold - maybe those are the city folk?)
Ever bought a North Carolina apple at a major retailer not in North Carolina. Ever had Queen Anne chocolate covered cherries? Not from North Carolina, they are made from Michigan Black Sweet Cherries. Ever had asparagus east of the Mississippi/ Chances are it came from Oceana County, Michigan. Ever had any Mr. Turkey products, yup West Michigan. How about Gerber Baby food? Most of their product other than tropical grown in Michigan. Carrots, onions, apples, cherries, peaches, and more come from Michigan and are sold nationally, not just in Michigan. Get my point?

North Carolina is number one in hog confinements. Oh by the way, what was the name of that hurricane that hit Holland . . . oops I guess I had my states wrong.
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