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Old 04-21-2009, 08:17 AM
 
4 posts, read 14,655 times
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We would like to move to an area where we could have a nice home on 10+ acres. We want to grow some of our own food and have some chickens. We are very friendly and love people, but we don't want to live on top of our neighbors (so cities and suburbs don't work for us).

We've been looking at Southern Missouri or NW Arkansas. We want a lot of trees surrounding us (so that's the Ozark region, right?). We've been to NW Arkansas and have stayed with friends there but were a little discouraged by the high cost of housing. We also read where the land in Missouri may not be very good for growing things (but maybe this was referring to large farming). We also have an interracial family mix, so a place where "everyone" is generally accepted would be best. Could anyone give us suggestions on rural towns that would be a good fit for us. We'd like to check them out. Thank you.

I would like to add that ANY State in the US would work for us; we are inquiring about MO and AR because of the beauty and weather (although snow doesn't bother us). We thought about New Hampshire for a while... then saw their property taxes. We also lived in Iowa, Texas, and Oklahoma but there just were not any trees (at least where we lived).

Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:28 PM
 
1,255 posts, read 3,197,383 times
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Being a interracial family I can't think of anywhere in Southern Missouri where you won't have problems other than maybe in Springfield.

hillman
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:07 PM
 
44 posts, read 151,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillman View Post
Being a interracial family I can't think of anywhere in Southern Missouri where you won't have problems other than maybe in Springfield.

hillman

So the folks in Southern Missouri aren't so nice after all.


FarmBoyWannaBe: We're looking for almost the same here. From my readings rural SW Missouri is frequently mentioned because of no zoning, permits, codes and restrictions.

Last edited by BeVeryWise; 04-21-2009 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Rolla, Phelps County, Ozarks, Missouri
1,069 posts, read 2,563,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmBoyWannaBe View Post
We also have an interracial family mix, so a place where "everyone" is generally accepted would be best. Could anyone give us suggestions on rural towns that would be a good fit for us. We'd like to check them out. Thank you.
Listen, I'm not encouraging you to move to Missouri. I would never do that. I will do everything I can to DIScourage you, but I will also be honest with you and tell you that I think you can move to Phelps or Pulaski counties and feel comfortable.

I live in Rolla, which is home of the Missouri University of Science & Technology. We're a pretty white town (I'm lily white, myself, and proud of it) but I don't think you'll get any trouble from folks. There are more Asians than blacks, I think, although I don't know for sure.

Over in Pulaski county, where I work, I see lots of inter-racial couples. This is the home of Fort Leonard Wood, so there black-white, black-asian, white-asian, couples.

Now, you go down into the Deep Ozarks, you might have some problems, as Hillman indicates, but I think if you settle close to Rolla or to St. Robert, you'll be fine. You'll fit in.

That said, let me offer some discouragement. You don't sound like you're a country person or even a small town person. You sound pretty wide-eyed and innocent. You'd better do a lot of research about county life before you move to the country.

I hate to go into it, because I get hammered by everyone every time I do. Go back through these threads and read some of these postings.

Oh, well, I'll just say it, and let the chips fall where they may: If you're from a city, you have absolutely no idea how to live in the country. Before you make a move and spend a dime, you'd better get educated.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Near West Plains, MO
246 posts, read 629,509 times
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I would also do lots of research about growing your own crops
in at least southern Missouri. It takes much work to get the
land to the point where you can grow something. Lots of topsoil,
etc. etc. etc. and it might not be worth it for you in the end because
of the work and the expense. Southern Missouri has a lot of cattle
ranchers.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:59 PM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 3,507,513 times
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There were actually a few interracial families in my small hometown in the "Deep Ozarks". I knew a few, and I never knew of them having any problems, but that doesn't mean they didn't. I'd avoid the smaller, more isolated towns (places with populations less than <2,000 or so), as many of those towns are literally 98+% white, and people just aren't used to seeing those of another race around. I imagine it goes on a town-by-town basis however, some are likely more tolerant than others.

I agree with ozarksboy that Phelps and Pulaski counties, and possibly portions of Dent County would work rather well for you. Land is cheaper as you go further south into the Ozarks and away from population and the interstate, but those areas don't have the same diversity as the area around Rolla does. All of the federal and state government jobs, along with the university in Rolla and Ft. Leonard Wood keep that area more on the diverse side.

As far as living in a rural area, if you aren't used to it, you will likely experience some culture shock. If you have lived in Iowa, Texas, and Oklahoma, however, I think you'll find that the culture in the Ozarks is very similar to rural areas in the latter two of those states. I've spent very little time in Iowa so I can't comment on it. If you have never lived in a rural area before, it is best to think about what you will miss from living in an urban/suburban area, and I suggest spending at least a week or two wherever you seriously consider moving.

As far as gardening, the soil in the Ozarks is very poor and rocky. You can certainly garden...I grew up with one, and I know a family who grows 90% of their own food, but it will take much more work to grow vegetables than in more fertile regions of the Midwest. The soil is hard and difficult to till, and typically requires the addition of lots of nutrients (blood and bone meal, compost, manure, etc) to get a good garden going. You certainly can grow some of your own food...the delicious tomatoes, cantelopes, peppers, and corn that comes out of that rocky soil makes all that hard gardening worth it.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:59 PM
 
4 posts, read 14,655 times
Reputation: 21
Wow! Thank you all for your input.

Hillman, that's kinda sad... but oh, well. Maybe in the year 3025, eh?

Ozarksboy, I know very well what you're talking about DIScouraging folks from making mistakes (the facts are always appreciated). And, of course, that's why I'm asking the questions and reading all the posts (there are a lot of 'em). I do know how to live in the country (I spent many years living on my grandparent's farm). We also have a home outside a small village in the mountains in Costa Rica where we count ourselves extremely lucky to have running water for five days straight. Electricity is a luxury. We just want something in the US (anywhere) that is rural and beautiful.

Mcol, we probably won't be doing THAT much farming... but yeah, I'm reading about the soil problems. We have to dump a lot of top soil in California, too, in order to get anything to grow. I may just think more about Iowa.

OA5599, we won't miss too much from the urban areas. Having lived for five years in the mountains of Costa Rica far away from ANY luxuries has cured us! Of course, every time we return to the States, it's always a THRILL for my wife to walk through the supermarkets and marvel at all the STUFF on the shelves.

Anyway, thank you, everyone for all your input! It has really helped a lot. I'll keep doing my research. I'm really glad I stumbled upon this forum.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Near West Plains, MO
246 posts, read 629,509 times
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I originally thought reading your post that you were interested in using up
most of the land to farm. For a regular garden I would suggest raised beds, works out very nicely for us.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:19 PM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 3,507,513 times
Reputation: 789
If you can handle a developing country for 5 years, I'm sure the Ozarks will be a cakewalk for you!

Raised beds are quite popular for gardening in the Ozarks. They are often easier to construct than improving the local soil. You can garden for sure, it is just a bit harder than in places with better soil.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,416 posts, read 37,017,268 times
Reputation: 15560
I would take anything Ozarksboy says with a very large grain of salt. He is not even a native, he is a Georgia cracker.
That being said, yes, it wont be easy in the Ozarks for you. Does that mean it wouldnt be worth it? Far from it! Its one of the most beautiful places I know of!
BTW, I am a native, and we are not all racists, believe me
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