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Old 07-08-2010, 08:05 AM
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Don't worry.

The midwestern farmers will feed the world .
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:47 AM
Location: Midvale, Idaho
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LOL the last 20 years our town has been loosing population. We have our own version of Walmart. LOL Our local grocery and the only other retail businesses in town are the cafe and the bar.

Pyle Meadows - Midvale Market

Certainly not advertising for him. It is just a fun tour of our local store. Even it might be leaving when Rick retires.

We are about 40 miles from Walmart.

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Old 07-10-2010, 12:59 PM
Location: SW Missouri
15,853 posts, read 30,794,271 times
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Originally Posted by redwhiteblue View Post
So you live in a rural area, I assume that you are at least 40 miles away from the shopping stores in your area.

What do you buy or rent or a service that you hire on a regular basis that requires that you travel to that store? OR do you make most of you purchases online? (minus food)

I'm trying to figure out what you still need when you want to live off the land in a rural area. What services/products do you wish were more convenient in your area, assuming it would not comprise the small population you desire?

The only time that we NEED to go into town other than for food is to get supplies such as fencing, garden chemicals, bird seed in bulk, compost, etc. In the past six months, when you are talking trips of necessity, that is the only thing we have gone into town for.

Now then, we go into town for fun - dining out, thrift store shopping, etc., but they are not necessities. We usually incorporate "fun" trips with going to Aldi's or going to the farmers market in the "big city". LOL

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Old 07-14-2010, 12:42 PM
Location: Middle TN.
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I live in a pretty small town - with about 4,000 people. But I live on the outskirts of town. So it's about a 15 to 20 minute drive to the closest Walmart. But it seems much longer, since you pass nothing but trees really. My bus ride from my house to the school is about 25 minutes. Give or take a few minutes due to stops. But for quick stuff, there's a small trailer/store that sells basics like soda,milk.. etc.. it's nice. Granted, the bus ride sometimes gets boring. But I like it much better then the city.
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:04 PM
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a 25 minute bus ride to school would be considered quite short by many rural kids.
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:27 PM
Location: Interior AK
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Geez, one of my school bus rides was longer than 25 minutes and I wasn't anywhere near "rural". When I lived rural, my ride was a little over an hour each way on the school bus (enough time to get most of my homework done!).

Guess it just depends on where you live whether there are a ton of little local schools peppered throughout the region or one/two huge ones that encompass a larger district. I've lived in places where there was a single 5A school (i.e. a HUGE high school with lots of students) that bussed in kids from 50-90 miles out.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:46 PM
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A 25 minute bus ride isn't overly long where I live ( rural central Minnesota ).

A district doesn't have to be isolated to have a bus ride that long or longer.

Our high school is about 400 students K-12 and other districts are nearby---15 miles to the south-----15 miles to the north------9 miles to the west--and 9 miles to the east.

Going down numerous backroads to pick kids up is time consuming.
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:44 PM
Location: Middle TN.
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Haha, I know
Well when I lived in the city - my car ride to school was 5 - 6 minutes. So 25 seems long to me. But it's nice. I catch a few Z's...
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:17 AM
Location: Augusta, GA
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Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
I live "at the end of the road" in Alaska, 4 hours from the nearest big city with any considerable services. There is a small village about 30 miles away where I can get gas, my mail, and few small things of convenience store variety. We can get groceries delivered by mail, but we normally stock up in the city about once every 2-3 months.

We order a lot of stuff online, but it has to be delivered through USPS because UPS/FedEx does NOT deliver out here. If anything gets shipped by those methods, we have to drive 4 hours into the city and pick it up at the depot. Also, anything really large or heavy that comes freight needs to be picked up in the city, or we pay an arm & leg to have one of the (very) few "bush delivery" companies bring it out to us. With online purchases the big thing we have to watch out for is shipping costs, for some reason people think Alaska is another planet and the costs for shipping are ridiculous even if it's just standard mail (which, in theory, should be the same price no matter where you live in the US).

Sometimes it's more cost effective to just make a big stocking run into the city (eating a full tank of gas!) and hit several stores all at once than it is to order online and pay the shipping. Of course, even the city doesn't always have everything we need, speciality items and such, and we have to order those... that's when it pays to have a friend who lives in the city who can accept your deliveries and hang on to them so you don't have to make a mad scramble for the depot before they send your stuff back!

Now, in the village, there are a few services but sometimes it's difficult to determine which of the residents is the one taking care of that this year. Seriously, everyone wears 20 hats, and sometimes they trade. It can be a bit difficult to figure out who you're supposed to get your hunting & fishing licenses from, who's issuing the wood lot permits, who's selling extra firewood, who's filling propane bottles, who's fixing cars etc.

I don't mind driving into the village to stock up on gas for the vehicles and generator, or to have the propane bottles (the little ones) refilled. It's a heck of a lot cheaper to buy it all in bulk from the fuel depot in the city though, you know, the big 55 gallon drums?! But that's really only cost-effective if you're already in town on a stocking run and have space in the truck for the drums (and a way to get them out of the truck when you get home!). You can also purchase and fill the larger propane bottles in the city, but you are limited to the portable sizes... no one delivers propane out here to the large permanent buried or aboveground tanks and there's really no way to fill a big tank from littler tanks without a bunch of hassle and loss. Kerosene and/or fuel oil can also be problematic, since you can only get those in the city reliably (sometimes someone in the village may have extra they'll sell you for a pretty penny).

Fresh produce and perishables are only really possible a couple of days after a stocking run to the city to the farmer's market, or if you have your own garden... almost nothing in the grocery store is fresh since most of it gets shipped in from the Lower 48 or the rest of the world. If you have a large freezer, you'll get a better selection of "fresh" goods that can take being frozen... cheese, milk, butter, meat, some veg & fruit. Otherwise, you're looking at canned or dried/powdered foods for most of the year. You haven't lived until you've had shelf-stable boxed milk (RealFresh - yum - NOT).

So, the biggest challenge to extreme rural (not quite bush yet) is that you have to plan everything, well and well in advance, and you have to have enough space to store everything between stocking runs so that you don't run out of anything when the roads are too bad to go into the city and it's not something that the village trading post carries (or they can't get into town to stock up either!). Even mail order isn't always reliable since the weather can ground the mail plane, and heavy/big packages can get stuck at the processing center in preference for more smaller items getting delivered... which means you always have to pay for Priority Mail if you want something within, say, the current month, or Express/Overnight Mail ($$$$$$) if you need it by the end of the week! (there is no real overnight here, ask and they will laugh at you!) Mail order is generally resserved for things that aren't time critical, or can be routinely scheduled in advance.
Basically, if you need groceries, building materials, equipment, tools, a mechanic, medical care (other than bumps and bruises)... just about anything really, you have to drive 4 hours into the city or hope you can get a seat on the mail plane (for medical emergencies, you better have LifeFlight/MedEvac insurance!).
I couldn't do that.

I think I live in an area that is supposedly just transfering to suburban from rural. Unless you consider a city that has a rural downtown a city and not just a town, I live 20 miles from one. 10 miles from a store that isn't a gas station. and 11 miles from a McDonalds (and its a joint travel restaurant that was built not too long ago).
If my bus broke down or if a weird bus monitor did something stupid, you could be waiting for 2 hours if you stayed. Its summer so I don't have to deal with that headache, but that happened every 10 days when school was in. If I didn't call after that happened my dad would wait an hour and then get in the car and start investigating.

My parents can handle rural and small town living as they thought about after my mom became disabled, before I went to middle school moving closer to the area surrounding the lake in Lincoln County. However I bet they couldn't handle what you are handling.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:57 AM
Location: Interior AK
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Living this far out in the boonies isn't for everyone. We've still got it easier than the folks who really live in the bush since we actually have access to a road and don't have to bring everything in by plane or boat. It's a hassle and inconvenient sometimes, and sometimes it can be downright expensive to get stuff... but wouldn't trade it for anything closer to town. I love my isolated little neck of the woods and being so remote just means I have to plan better and be more self-reliant.

There is a school in the village that's K-12, I think maybe 20 or 30 kids go there from all over this area... some kids come in by boat everyday from up & down the river. But many folks just homeschool their kids up here. Biggest problem with that is the proctored testing period is in January which is the hardest month to travel into the big city, why the State doesn't do it in June/July is beyond me.
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