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Old 02-13-2008, 03:30 PM
 
6 posts, read 26,896 times
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i live in nyc and had a dream intuition shall we say that i was living on a farm in iowa. i am a writer and thought that owning a farm that was not too expensive would be nice. I was wondering where people from Iowa thought was the nicest farmland in Iowa. I thought south would be better as it would not be as cold. But perhaps the wilderness is nicer in the north. A nice little town center would be appealing. I am looking for feedback from anyone on where they think they would go to look first.
Deb
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Iowa, Des Moines Metro
2,073 posts, read 5,054,513 times
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Generally the state very good farmland everywhere. One of the small towns that I like is Eldora, in Hardin county...It is situated on the Iowa River greenbelt with great farmland around as well as timber, and it has a town square with a court-house in the middle, and very friendly people, as well as Pine Lake State Park -- which has trails, a small beach, etc...

But I would imagine this town is one in a million here.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:44 PM
 
Location: IN
21,518 posts, read 37,832,684 times
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Try the area south of Dubuque near the Mississippi River. That area has great scenery and farms scattered about on top of the bluffs.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Des Moines
586 posts, read 2,002,006 times
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The best farmland in the state is in North Central Iowa, from north of Des Moines up to Mason City.

If you want more pastoral land with rolling hills and timber, you may want to check out southern Iowa, which also has some of the lowest land costs in the state too. Southern Iowa is generally not quite as prosperous as other areas of the state, and many places are slowly dying, but you can locate close to some county seat towns that can meet your requirements for a nice town center. Albia, Centerville, Knoxville and Fairfield come to mind. Corning is in the most rural part of the state, but is a town that has made some improvements for the better.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:47 PM
 
Location: in the general vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
296 posts, read 1,190,979 times
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There is nice farmland everywhere in Iowa. That's pretty much what Iowa is. You will not find an appreciable difference in climate between the north part of the state and the south part of the state -- both get very cold and windy in the winter and very hot and humid in the summer. Also, the whole state is pretty well settled these days, and there is no more "wilderness" in the north than in the south. I've never been to Ireland but Iowa, in general, isn't a place people compare to Ireland; Iowa is green some of the time, but not as much of the year as Ireland and we're nowhere near the sea, while Ireland is kind of surrounded by it. Also, it gets a lot hotter and colder in Iowa than it does in Ireland (see above). Farmland in Iowa is a lot like farmland in northern New York state, actually. It might be more expensive in Iowa, though; I'm not sure. I don't think there's really such a thing as a farm that is not too expensive... land is expensive pretty much anywhere, and keeping up an acreage/farm is generally more expensive than keeping up a house in town because there's more of it (although rural taxes may be somewhat lower). Generally, towns out east are more likely to have the quaint "town center" that is beloved by Hollywood (See the movey "Funny Farm" with Chevy Chase). There are a few towns like that in Iowa, but most have been ravaged by the failure of the farm economy in the 80s and the proliferation of WalMart. "It's the Model-T Ford made the trouble, made the people wanna go, wanna get, wanna get up and go... who's gonna patronize a little two by four kinda store any more?" as Meredith Willson lamented

If you want to write, you should come to Iowa City. It is the home of the International Writers Workshop and there are great resources, as well as lots of terrific low-paying jobs and old three-story houses that will help you to starve in a garrett, which is pretty much a requirement for becoming a writer. I looked into it, myself, but didn't like the starving or the three flights of stairs (at least there were no groceries to carry up them!) so switched my major to something with which I could make a lot more money (which, when we're talking about writing, means things like "janitorial specialties" and "advanced ditch digging").

I don't mean to sound discouraging, but I think maybe you need something a little more concrete to go on than what you have. Read a book or two about moving to a small farm "Fifty acres and a Poodle" by Jeanne Marie Laskas is one of my favorites; "The Egg and I" by Betty McDonald is rather old, but I know people who have run into all of the same problems within the last ten years, so I'll throw that one in there also.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Dubuque Metro, Iowa
209 posts, read 1,024,162 times
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Yes, I would consider the Iowa City area, too. But, you are looking for a small town, Iowa City in in the 60,000-70,000 range with 400,000 in the CR-IC metro...
You could work there and live in a smaller town near the city, Lone Tree, Tipton and West Branch seem to fit your criteria. West Branch is a bit more suburban and is located along I-80, I think it is in Muscatine County. Tipton is located about 10 minutes north of I-80, and in the center of Cedar County. I love Tipton... Tipton is the picture of what people think of when they think midwestern small town, IMO, the population is just over 3K, and stagnant... surrounded by farmland, and the area is RELATIVELY hilly. Lone Tree is in Johnson County, I have been there twice... It is a very nice small town, a smaller scale Tipton, almost... not quite. But, the city is beautiful and is not really TOO suburban like North Lib. and W. Branch are...

Other areas I would recommend, as plains10 said, areas south of Dubuque, ESPECIALLY BELLEVUE. Bellevue is my favorite city/town in Iowa... it is along Highway 52 30 minutes s. of Dubuque in Jackson County along the Mississippi River.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Iowa, Des Moines Metro
2,073 posts, read 5,054,513 times
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I would recommend Tipton as well as what I said earlier. Most of my family lives in Tipton and Cedar County, so I was sort of raised there in a way. It's really a great area.
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