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Old 08-12-2010, 01:10 PM
 
3 posts, read 13,335 times
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We have plans to move to Oregon in the near future. After researching what we could, we are considering Klamath Falls, Grants Pass, and Oakridge. What I haven’t been able to determine is which areas have soil conditions to support a large garden. We’re looking for a place where we can find 2-5 acres of land, suitable for building. I’d like it to support a large garden and eventually some chickens and possibly other small livestock. B favors Klamath Falls area, but I’m concerned about its ability through soil and water to support good plant growth. I know there is some agriculture there, but it appeared to be mainly in the basin that used to be swamp and has more organic matter. Is the surrounding soil easily amendable? Are there water restrictions?

We are quiet people and enjoy simple things. We don’t require a lot of outside entertainment beyond our surroundings and what we create for ourselves. We get along well with folks, but enjoy our privacy, too. We’ve lived in different areas; know the snow storms of the East and the High Deserts of the West. We’ve lived in big cities and small, very isolated ones. We prefer smaller, but want a place that has a decent little hospital and good doctors nearby. It’d be nice to have a water source around, river or lake. Not interested in the Coast, though. No need to worry about schooling, and we’re bringing our own income with us. We would also prefer not too much wind (like in the High Desert) or snow (meaning to avoid Eastern-style snow storms and feet of snow). Cold is okay, would like to keep the heat under 100, and we love the rain. It’d be nice to have easy access to a highway, too. A little longer list than I initially thought, but we are also flexible on our desires.

We plan on renting initially and then searching for the right plot of land. But, we want to at least get into an area that will meet our needs. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to personally visit ahead of time, which would certainly have made this process easier. Thanks in advance for any help we receive.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:23 PM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmallPleasures View Post
We have plans to move to Oregon in the near future. After researching what we could, we are considering Klamath Falls, Grants Pass, and Oakridge.
Klamath Falls is on the arid, high desert side of the Cascades. Grant's Pass will have a longer growing season and more rain - also much less snow in winter.

The water issue in Klamath Falls is more related to irrigation than residential supply - people who rely on water rights from the river or the ag canal to water farms, orchards or very large gardens are subject to restrictions in drought years (which this is, or was, anyway, at the start of the growing year).

Merrill, the small town south of Klamath Falls, lost the city water supply and had to set the pumps for the town wells a couple hundred feet deeper this year when the farms around them lost the river/lake/canal surface irrigation water and started pulling down the water table via irrigation wells.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Oregon
218 posts, read 688,997 times
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If you are looking for land to buy, here is a couple sites I have came across in my research.

Oregon Land for sale, Oregon acreages for sale, Oregon lots for sale at LandWatch.com
LandsofOregon.com - Oregon Land for Sale, Oregon Farms for Sale, Oregon Ranches for Sale, Acreage

I hopefully down the road plan to buy property to build a off the grid home or put up a yurt or something when I want to get away from the city. The above links seemed like a good place to start.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:05 AM
 
Location: Oregon
218 posts, read 688,997 times
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Oregon land, lots, ranches and farms for sale
Search Country Homes, Farm Land, Ranches & Waterfront Property For Sale
Oregon Land - Cheap Land - Land For Sale By Owner

Couple more land links I found!
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:46 AM
 
3 posts, read 13,335 times
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Thank you for the info PNW-type-gal. It sounds like there is a water problem in Klamath Falls area. Being High Desert, I'm sure it's not unusual for it to experience drought conditions. Do you have any idea how quickly the water tables recover? If Merrill had to drill their wells deeper, then this must be a worse drought season then they've experienced in recent history. Iamscott, those links are very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to post them. I'm checking each of them.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:41 AM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,785 posts, read 17,160,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmallPleasures View Post
Thank you for the info PNW-type-gal. It sounds like there is a water problem in Klamath Falls area. Being High Desert, I'm sure it's not unusual for it to experience drought conditions. Do you have any idea how quickly the water tables recover? If Merrill had to drill their wells deeper, then this must be a worse drought season then they've experienced in recent history.
Merrill's wells were deep enough, but the pumps had to be dropped lower as the water table dropped. It took almost a week to get regular water supply back because of the turbidity created in the abrupt water level change and the fact that a municipal well has to wait on water chemistry tests before allowing public use. Big water tanker trucks were brought in during that week.

The Klamath Basin gets 10-12 inches of precip per year, most of which falls in winter, and the favorite crops are alfalfa and potatoes (and ranching cattle). Depending on the number of cuttings of alfalfa per year, it takes something like 1-3 inches of water PER WEEK to grow alfalfa, so the water has to come from elsewhere. That's traditionally been Klamath Lake (Upper and Lower) via a network of canals and direct pumping. The problem is that, in drought years, there is not enough water to go around to the 2 huge wildlife refuges, the farms and ranches, and the rivers that feed and drain the lake (and the fish supplies).

The first huge clash was in 2001, when the A canal was shut off because of extremely low water levels. (See: Klamath Bucket Brigade) This led to the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (2009), which was supposed to be a master planning document regarding the lakes, the rivers, the dams on the rivers, water for agriculture, fish, wildlife, etc etc. The current format involves removing dams from the Klamath River and prioritizing water use in different scenarios. Virtually no one is happy with the agreement, which may or may not be a good thing.

Two different views:
Klamath Water Users Association | KBRA
RESTORING THE KLAMATH BASIN -- The Klamath Basin Coalition

This was, the the start of the year, another drought year. A lot of farmers, when they couldn't get enough water to grow alfalfa, switched to potatoes (which will doubtless go the way of all farming and create a potato glut and crash the potato price). Some farmers either put in new wells, increased the size of old wells and pumped the water, dropping levels all over the place.

The Cascades have been below "average" snow pack for, I think, 9 of the last 10 years. Klamath Lake and the rivers depend on the melt of that snow pack for supply.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Oregon
218 posts, read 688,997 times
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I have also heard of people buy build-able land for practically nothing. even as low as a couple hundred dollars at tax sales but I am not sure how to go about that route.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:57 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,466 posts, read 12,503,124 times
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The water issues in Klamath Falls are poised to only get worse in my opinion. As farmers drill deeper and start taking previously untapped aquifers, residential users will need to do so too or start trucking in water at high expense from other locations.

It's going to be a vicious cycle, add in the the need to create an environment for an endangered species living in the lake (not to mention the cash crop of rare blue-green algae that live in Klamath Lake,) and I seriously think that K-Fall's population is going to start shrinking drastically in the next 5-10 years.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
478 posts, read 718,352 times
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In K-Falls, water is not the issue for gardening. The temperatures are, because even in summer it can occasionally freeze at night. You're very limited in what you can grow without a greenhouse or whatever.

Last edited by OregonYeti; 08-22-2010 at 11:34 AM..
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:48 AM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,785 posts, read 17,160,647 times
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My harvest this year of tomatoes, corn, lettuces, summer and winter squash, spinach, chard, onions, potatoes, beets, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, rhubarb, asparagus, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, plums, apricots, grapes and massive amounts of hops says otherwise. The apples, pears, cantaloupe, wild plums, huckleberries, chokecherries and some of the blueberries aren't ready yet.

The biggest problem in gardening is that we do have a short season, comparatively, and the very cool spring nights and frosts and freezes are a problem for a lot of the fruits - we've had years where the cherries and other stone fruits freeze at the blossom stage and we don't get a crop at all. Sheltered starts, greenhouses, hoops and cold frames are a necessary addition to the garden to get a longer growing season and to grow through winter.

Water has been an issue, depending on where it comes from, especially south of town.
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