Hello, Ozarkians! I hope this finds you all wearing the winter well. Wish I were there now sniffing nippy air, redolent with woodsmoke. On our way, though! My family(as in the one I hail from) owns land in Douglas County(SWMO), and we're(the family of my making, husband and kiddos) wrapping up our time here in Kentucky so that we can move closer to it. Circumstances don't currently permit moving TO it, and that is okay. Just want to be near it and working on infrastructure.
In the meantime, we are on the hunt! Looking for a rural rental property within a 45 minute drive of Ava, Missouri(where hubby will be working). I sincerely hope to find something online... Anyone familiar with the area is going to know how difficult it is to find ANY kind of rental property, let alone a homestead-friendly one. Mansfield, Sparta, Seymour, Gainesville, Mtn. Grove, Dora, Norwood... For the right place, we'll drive.
By 'right place' I mean a few things. Homestead-friendly, first. Can we garden, have chickens, a dairy cow(in order of importance)? Is there a well, and a woodstove(in order of importance, again)? We also have cats and a dog(which we take seriously, no hungry reproducers staked out on chains). Next, is it livable? We don't want fancy or high-falutin by any means, and would be willing to work on minor repairs. Realistically, though, we need something in good shape because we have kids, one income and want to focus on gardening vs. a rough, needy house or trailer. *Conversely, if there were an opportunity to use 'green' methods to rehabiliate a building and we had creative license to experiment, we might consider that on the grounds of experience gained.* This ties into the next point... For a decent, comfortable place that fits our needs, we could potentially be long-term tenants. How dreamy is that? Reliable, quiet, friendly gardeners that want to settle down and pay you on time for a few years? One of the needs to be met is affordability. We are a self-sufficient(read; no assistance), homeschooling family with one income hoping to rent in Southwest Missouri. A posh organic chalet with granite countertops for $875 a month isn't in our budget.
We do have references. Our current rental situation has been a blissful one, where I invested much time and money into a great no-till organic garden and gifted the landlords at every opportunity with veggies. I asked in the spring for a cow, and didn't get an answer. Apparently it just took me putting proof in the pudding... Not long ago my landlord said he was impressed with our care of the property, enough so that he would trust us with a dairy cow and make room for her in whichever area would be most convenient for us. I fell a little in love with them at that point. I am almost sad to go, but my home(the Ozarks) calls and the time is right.
I appreciate the time spent in reading this, and look forward to responses, if even only leads. Thank you!
Hi...Chrissy and welcome. What a great post...I really admire someone with a plan and I wish you lots of luck. I'll add your post to some other topics in case that catches more attention. I thought there were several permies up in southern Missouri but maybe they are snowed in with no online access as we have been...I use the library computer.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
Thanks, Judith, for the help! I grew up in the "Show Me State", and love the independent folks that live there. I know there is a huge garden/crunchy/permie/natural network there that is growing, and it is part of our motivation for going back. If nothing else, I'd love to get to know other permaculture oriented folks in the region! Good neighbors are a treasure.
Finding a place to rent in your price range may be quite a challenge. When I was looking in that area, anything under your price was a real fixer-upper or was in towns. You need to look at the listings every single day as the good ones go quick. Good luck to you!
Hi Chrissy, It may be that we could work together. My place is not quite as close to Ava as you specify, but almost. I have not been here very long, but have plans that sound similar to yours. It would be great to develop the place with other people. Sounds like you might like that idea too. Maybe it would be good to talk off this site. If you are really interested you could write to me at rowansc at yahoo. Any one else interested in making a great place for a real permaculture endeavor could contact me too. I am open to considering unusual ways of collaborating.
Hey Chrissy! Not sure if you've found a place to rent yet, but I'm interested in possibly working out a very cheap rent or possibly a no rent/barter (for keeping up the property) situation with you. My significant other and I own 14 acres in northern AR with a newer 2 bedroom mobile home and a year round creek. We have plenty of garden space with raised beds, terraces, cold frames, hugelkultur beds, fruittrees and a homemade greenhouse. There is a large fenced area great for dogs, and chickens would definitely be doable. A milk cow might require some extra fencing, but there is plenty of space for that. We are not as close to Ava as you want to be, but maybe you could use it as a temporary place for a few months while you look for something else? Let me know if you're interested, my email address is: envirogirly at gmail.com