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Good Locations to start a Permaculture Community in the Appalachia area  RSS feed

 
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Howdy!

We are a group of 10 inspired and full of energy humans disembarking on a path of settling down and creating our vision. We have been traveling around learning natural building and permaculture skills for 3-4 years now, and its time to get our own land and start practicing. Does anyone here have any good recommendations of places in the appalachia region where (1) land is cheap, (2) close to progressive city hubs, (3) has 4 seasons, (4) no fracking around, (5) beautiful land?

Any suggestions or comments are appreciated. Some of us grew up in the midwest, but have mainly been in Europe and Oregon for the past years, so we are now a bit unfamiliar with this region. Much love you great people!
 
Posts: 2
Location: Berkeley Springs, WV
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We are in Berkeley Springs, WV and I'd say it meets all of your criteria
 
Posts: 8
Location: Pendleton County, WV. Zone 6A
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Hi Eric! I would suggest you check out wild, wonderful clean and pristine Pendleton County, WV. It's just over the VA line from Harrisonburg VA - home of James Madison University and the land is beautiful and inexpensive. Hubby and I are building a permaculture learning center/homestead there too, so we would love to have like-minded neighbors nearby! We are surrounded by National Forests and there is no coal or natural gas in the county. We have a growing zone of about 5B on the top of our 2,000' ridge - and the mountains are similar to those in Galacia and Asturias, Spain!

Here is a recent news story about Pendleton:

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/wireStory/bucolic-west-virginia-county-markets-remoteness-30440722

Hope to see you in our little part of heaven!
Buen Camino!
Karen
 
Posts: 140
Location: Zone 7a
5
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As I said in another thread, Central VA (Fluvanna County especially) is a pretty good cost versus value set up. Acreage is cheap (especially large amounts) and it is really close to a lot of high wealth areas which would allow you to charge a higher price for the same product.
 
Posts: 23
Location: Gatlinburg, Tennessee
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Charlotte County, Virginia has tons of available land dirt cheap. It's basically been stripped for wood and left. Pretty remote, an hour from most suppliers, but beautiful, if depressed, country. I was offered a farm there by friends just to take over, but I'm not willing to deal with the snakes.

Two caveats:

The land is high clay content; you will be spending your first three years just amending your foundation soil to support a diverse permaculture system. Hugelculture will be a necessity.

Getting permits for water sourcing is not an easy task.
 
Posts: 7
Location: Southern Tier NY
chicken hugelkultur trees
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I would recommend land in the far north of Appalachia, perhaps Tioga County NY. The land is cheap (for NY), the rainfall is abundant, the hills and valleys are perfect for permiculture operations, 'small town living at it's best'. There are a few progressive cities in the region; most notably Ithaca, NY and Binghamton is a growing college town/city. Only 3-4 hours from NYC and major urban markets (if that's your thing). Fracking is no-longer an issue, but many rural places are at the beginning-edge of their respective watersheds... so you could eliminate some concerns about contamination.

Many of the impacts of climate changes won't be a problem in this part of the world.

NYS has some beginning farmer tax incentives/grant programs. USDA rural business enterprise grants may be available. PM for more info.
 
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I would suggest you look into monroe county tn. Lots of water nearby, creeka, rivers, lakes. Inexpensive land. Light or no regulatory hurdles. One hr to knoxville or chattanooga markets to sell your production. See coker creek, tellico plains, vonore for starters.
 
Posts: 18
Location: Kuwait
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Eric Puro wrote:Howdy!

We are a group of 10 inspired and full of energy humans disembarking on a path of settling down and creating our vision.  We have been traveling around learning natural building and permaculture skills for 3-4 years now, and its time to get our own land and start practicing.  Does anyone here have any good recommendations of places in the appalachia region where (1) land is cheap, (2) close to progressive city hubs, (3) has 4 seasons, (4) no fracking around, (5) beautiful land?

Any suggestions or comments are appreciated.  Some of us grew up in the midwest, but have mainly been in Europe and Oregon for the past years, so we are now a bit unfamiliar with this region.  Much love you great people!




Hi wondering about the update of this thread .. did you find a location ?
Bash x
 
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They have located South of Berea, Kentucky.

look up their website thepoosh.org
 
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Update! We have 62 acres and are interested in meeting new people and, if you are a good fit, having more people join! Contact us at michaelbeck14903(at)gmail.com
 
Posts: 12
Location: Missouri
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Kay Barry, I'm interested in what you are doing in Pendleton County.  We are looking for a way to get back to WV.  Can you email me?  a3davis1400@gmail.com.  Thanks!
 
Posts: 25
Location: South of the the headwaters to the tributary at the final bend of the Monongahela River
bike forest garden trees
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Ugh!
I'd recommend Pittsburgh, except for those damn fracking idiots who are invading my hometown.
We could definitely use more help keeping them away, if you'd want to get an urban green space we have a lot of it, hundreds of acres of vacant land and wooded hillsides with abundant materials on-site with-in city limits! It would be a damn shame to lose one to a wellpad.
Also, the steel making and mining legacy left a lot of contaminated soil that will require remediation, although in many places the contaminants have already been removed through reforestation and natural processes.
There is a controversial housing development idea involving Hays Woods, that may disrupt a bald-eagle nest. No plans have been presented and no $ mentioned, but a better idea would probably be welcomed by this progressive city at an economic and environmental cross-roads
 
Donald Johnson
Posts: 25
Location: South of the the headwaters to the tributary at the final bend of the Monongahela River
bike forest garden trees
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Unfortunately you can't really avoid fracking or Pipelines in Appalachia, this whole region is either coal-country or gas-land. We're in the "Shale Crescent" overlap zones between the Marcellus, Utica, and Devonian shale formations. All of them have frackable gas, and the industry wants it all, mainly to support an Ethane Cracker and Pipeline network to turn our entire city into a massive petrochemical hub.
Not trying to make this about our local plight, but if you go with Pittsburgh, I will be happy to help you find a location to get started! Especially Hays or near Streets Run (the whole valley is a beautiful second growth hardwood forest that covers at least 1200 acres, with steep hills and flat landings, and wooded valleys. The soil needs some remediation after logging and coal mining, and the stream beads some help with acid mine runoff.
Aside from the fracking and mine legacy, this urban/suburban area has everything else that you're looking for!
There is also a wonderful network of environmental activists coming together to counter the fracking threat with creative solutions, permaculture and green infrastructure are cornerstone concepts towards achieving that.
There will absolutely be a place for your tribe here! We actually need your help!
IMG_0360.PNG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0360.PNG]
This entire watershed is the center of this, just south of the bend in the Monongahela river.
 
Posts: 22
Location: Maryland
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I have to say that a lot of these regions I have been through and seen or lived around.

It's hard making a decision and I think you'll have to write out a list of factors between everyone, since you have a group of people to consider.

I'm in Maryland and want to stay around where I am if possible for the time being. I know that I want to be somewhere relatively accessible too because of my needs, but I have lived in the middle of nowhere which was hard and sometimes traumatic. It's not for everyone if they don't have the means to support themselves as much on their own.

 
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