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Old 01-10-2011, 07:28 PM
 
24 posts, read 50,672 times
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My wife and I are thinking of buying a small farm to produce our own food and hopefully make an income from the crops and livestock (down the road). Raise our boys and live the "good life". Get out of the rat race and just have a nice life with the kids. I have a bit of farm experience and my wife grew up on a farm in Virginia (and her Dad is around to give advice - he was manager of a large cattle farm).

We are realistic in thinking that one of us will need a day job for the first few years. However, I work offshore with the oil companies and can pretty much live anywhere (as long as reasonably close to an airport).

So... my question - if you could have a farm anywhere in the US, where would you live/farm?

Our wish list -

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!
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:39 PM
 
11,257 posts, read 44,316,643 times
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What you are proposing is a self-sufficient lifestyle with the possibility of producing more than you can consume for income from the property. Don't confuse this with real "farming" on a larger scale, which requires much more land, labor, and a substantial capital investment in production equipment/facilities.

Perhaps the eastern Ohio rural areas would meet your requirements ...

4 seasons

great soils, plenty of water ... capable of growing a wide variety of crops, vegetables, and fruits

reasonable pricing for housing with acreage

access to Farmer's Markets

USDA processors in the area for your livestock (for your convenience or necessity if selling your product)

I saw many rural properties that meet your list for privacy and pricing within a big city radius in eastern OH, on a trip there last year. There were quite a few more towns and regions like that all the way back west to the Missouri river basin ... If you'll get off the interstate highway and take the state highways, you'll get a chance to see many little towns which fit your requirements.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:19 PM
 
2,542 posts, read 6,065,113 times
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Many family farms are up for sale cheap in Wisconsin--probably in Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa, too. However, that may be too cold for you or too far away from family.

For instance, our family farm (130 years) is for sale, 65 acres, barn, several outbuildings and two houses for just over $200,000. I wish I could buy it and keep it in the family...
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:15 AM
 
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Ohio looks promising Sunsprit - any particular area that you like most?
CrazyMe - send me the link via PM and will take a look. Likely too cold but you never know. Thanks for the suggestions.

Any other suggestions/comments?
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: central Indiana
220 posts, read 390,325 times
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The rural area around Ft. Wayne, IN might be similar to what you are looking for. I know that about an hour drive time (in good weather) can find something to suit your short list, within your price range.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:50 AM
 
Location: central Indiana
220 posts, read 390,325 times
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Ft. Wayne, IN is home to a nice airport, I hear.

My rural property is within an hour's drive time (in good weather) and several farms in the area are on the market. From what I have seen, there should be something in your price range.

Many smaller communities (under 100K) are scattered around the area to provide the necessities and even some amenities!
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:31 PM
 
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Thanks Lollykoko - will take a look.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Denver
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Virginia has one of the better all around climates in my opinion. I lived in N Carolina for awhile. Beautiful state but the summers are just too hot for me.

You might want to chat with some farmers and get some feedback on the draconian laws our government now enforces on people for growing food.

A lot of people are trying to get away from it all. I hear that land in western Kansas has been going up. An uncle has about 5000 acres there. Wind blows 'all the time' and winters are a bit rough.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:56 PM
 
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I'd look at middle Georgia in one of the counties near Athens.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:58 PM
 
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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
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