Large family moving to Michigan from West Virginia in the next month or two. Looking for homesteading opportunity. We are willing to rent, rent to own, owner finance, or share land / responsibilities if we found the right people. Looking for a minimum of 15 to 20 acres.
OR! You might try to get as close down to Indiana as you can, where the density of Amish folks is higher. They're a great resource, both in terms of knowledge/skills and also tools/equipment/shops/materials. Interested in draft animals, for example? I know a guy who knows some Amish, etc.
That's how that gets accomplished around here. All your traditional skills.
It's a vast state, with varied growing zones. There's water pretty much everywhere, but different crops thrive in different parts of the state.
If you're hoping to become orchardists, look to the north, on the west side of the state. Mint thrives in Central Michigan, which I'm told is the mint-capital of the world. Strawberries do equally well in that area.
Also, keep in mind that the further north you go, the more snow you'll have to deal with. Last winter was incredibly harsh in my area, and even worse to the north. Greenhouses help immensely, but I can't imagine growing enough food to sustain a large family in the Upper Peninsula. Look at average snowfall, rainfall and last frost dates, and plan accordingly!
Zillow is good, but you could also try the Mid-Michigan and Norther Michigan CraigsList pages. You never know what treasures you'll find there (or what might find you, if you post a Wanted ad). I've seen some nice properties listed in Central Michigan, between Lansing, Grand Rapids, Mt Pleasant and Flint. Also, not everything is online. If you're able to travel to Michigan to look for properties, it never hurts to ask around at localfeed shops, neighborhood hardware stores, lumber yards, etc.
Good luck to you and your family in the search and upcoming move. If you want to talk more about specific areas, please don't hesitate to ask me... and don't forget to check out the Smitten in the Mitten Forum! https://permies.com/forums/posts/list/40/13349
Two adults, 3 kids one on the way. We currently live in wv and have animals and gardens. We would like to upsize everything. Bigger gardens more critters. We have worked with all animals that would be on a farm except cows and we would like to start with that too once we have more land to work with and are settled in. We know alot about survival and the kids are getting about that age where they can start learning that stuff. Our 4acres here just doesn't cut it. We have been in wv for a while now. Time to go somewhere new to see what it has to offer
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