• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Top Ten Regions for Self-Sufficient Permaculture?

 
David Mitchell
Posts: 9
Location: Canton, OH
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey permies,

Give me your opinion on the TOP 10 regions (mainly US, but open to international input) for a self-sufficient permaculture farm.

Sure, one can set up shop anywhere--it can be done...but what if you could go ANYWHERE! Where would it be? What climate? What culture? What topography? Etc. There's gotta be a good TOP 10 list!

Here's my situation: As a suburban homesteader in NE Ohio, with no family connections to my area, and my youngest child leaving the house next year, and flexible consulting work (traveling), I have a unique opportunity next year to relocate pretty much anywhere. I'm ready to scale up my permaculture efforts. I would like to develop a self-sufficient homestead, as much as possible, but there are so many choices of location!

Many people are tied to locations near family or a job, but I am pretty much free. My family is spread across the country.

My current leanings are toward the Asheville, NC area--four seasons, but not too harsh, plenty of water. I've lived in Illinois, Maryland, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Ohio--and France; and worked in Tennessee, Wisconsin, D.C., and Alaska. So I've seen some places.

Some folks I ask about this tend to defend their CURRENT location as the BEST. That's understandable...and a psychologically healthy response...but for those with an openness to consider all options...where would you go? What is the best place for permaculture? Where would Adam and Eve be happiest?

Thanks for your opinions.

David


 
Ann Torrence
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
110
bee books chicken duck goat trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know where nirvana is, but it would have abundant water, 6.8 pH soil of a reasonable depth, low taxes and minimal nanny state regulations (raw milk being one example that excludes a number of states). Once I overlaid those on a map, then I'd refine it by practical needs, like proximity to airports, medical care, cultural preferences, etc. And fire ants would be another disqualifier!

So I'd start with a soil map of the country.
 
David Mitchell
Posts: 9
Location: Canton, OH
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ann Torrence wrote:I don't know where nirvana is, but it would have abundant water, 6.8 pH soil of a reasonable depth, low taxes and minimal nanny state regulations (raw milk being one example that excludes a number of states). Once I overlaid those on a map, then I'd refine it by practical needs, like proximity to airports, medical care, cultural preferences, etc. And fire ants would be another disqualifier!

So I'd start with a soil map of the country.


Good point. I've looked at a lot of soil maps, and the Southeast has rotten soil (in general): the so-called "ultisols" which Edible Food Forest author Dave Jacke says is bad leached soil.

Yet, I also imagine that certain "pockets" could be found, such as in river valleys, in which some good rich soils could be found. So I'm trying not to be too picky on soil type, hoping that a niche could be found anywhere, as far as soil goes.

The best soil is in the midwest: central Illinois, and the plains states, they say. But I don't necessarily want to be surrounded by thousand-acre farms spraying chemicals either. Hmmm. Maybe there is a niche there as well.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1341
Location: northern California
42
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is a conundrum. It has bitten us more than once. The issue is between the social and the ecological. It comes down to how sociable a person you are, how much you need/want the presence of relatively like-minded people nearby. If you do, this often means trying to locate yourself near a progressive, alternative-minded town. If land access and freedom are more valuable, especially on a budget, this often means locating in a rural, affordable, and therefore often conservative area. We have tried both. You mention Asheville....we didn't last even one year there. Too many neighbors and authorities all up in my business about chicken coops, how "neat" the yard was, and such like. Good thing they never knew about the humanure bucket in the shed! So now we live where it's over an hour and a half drive to the nearest permaculture guild meeting, and we've been there maybe three times in three years. Oh well! Maybe there's somewhere some way to find the perfect combination of the two, but I'm too committed to this place to want to try any more!
 
David Mitchell
Posts: 9
Location: Canton, OH
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Alder Burns wrote:This is a conundrum. It has bitten us more than once. The issue is between the social and the ecological. It comes down to how sociable a person you are, how much you need/want the presence of relatively like-minded people nearby. If you do, this often means trying to locate yourself near a progressive, alternative-minded town. If land access and freedom are more valuable, especially on a budget, this often means locating in a rural, affordable, and therefore often conservative area. We have tried both. You mention Asheville....we didn't last even one year there. Too many neighbors and authorities all up in my business about chicken coops, how "neat" the yard was, and such like. Good thing they never knew about the humanure bucket in the shed! So now we live where it's over an hour and a half drive to the nearest permaculture guild meeting, and we've been there maybe three times in three years. Oh well! Maybe there's somewhere some way to find the perfect combination of the two, but I'm too committed to this place to want to try any more!


Good point. Thanks for the tips. I've struggled a lot with this (social/cultural issue), too, and probably "think too much" overall. We don't feel like we need proximity to dining or entertainment or city life of any sort, but it is nice to have a community of like-minded folks around...if not just for emergencies. Intentional communities are not really our preference either, though. Yet, some of our wwoofing hosts (in such communities) have said "self-sufficiency" alone is much more difficult or impossible without a group/community. We have looked at small college town areas, but these come in all flavors as well--liberal arts and Bible colleges. We've thought of other countries...maybe New Zealand...as perhaps more open minded, as well, but people give us mixed reviews on that, too. Sometimes the progressive groups are a bit eccentric or judgmental, as well. I consider myself more "common sense" so, either extreme is a bit irritating. It seems ideal to find a niche and hide away there, but as you point out, the surrounding social climate is critical.
 
Thomas Partridge
Posts: 130
Location: Zone 7a
3
books chicken duck
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If we could have gone anywhere, we probably would have still stayed where we are in Central VA. There are several positive factors for it.

Rainfall - I pretty much do not have to worry about water conservation because it rains so often in the spring and summer. That is much less work for me.

Regulations - In my county at least, no one really gives a hoot what you do. I read the county ordinances twice and could find no regulations that would in anyway impede me. Although we are zoned agricultural, but if you are talking about the ideal I would assume anywhere you chose would be zoned agricultural.

Location - We are out in the boonies, but still in commuting distance to several urban areas such as Richmond. Best of both worlds really. It is also relatively close to the coast should you like to go to the beach.

Climate - Not too warm for apple trees which is a plus. The temperature doesn't generally get above 100 in the summer or below 20 in the winter. Not only does the moderate climate cut down on utilities but I like how pronounced our seasons are.

Cost of Living - The state average is high, but in Central VA we were able to get a really nice deal on a 2 acre lot with a 1500 square foot house on it. Might have been able to save 10k or so by getting it elsewhere, but the cost was actually about as low as it gets anywhere in the US. So you end up having a low mortgage payment with access to high income areas (should you decide to sell produce).

I guess I would have to sit down and try to think of something that I wish was different about my location, but the fact that I can't really think of anything off the top of my head should probably say something about the location.
 
David Mitchell
Posts: 9
Location: Canton, OH
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Charles Kleff wrote:If we could have gone anywhere, we probably would have still stayed where we are in Central VA. There are several positive factors for it.

Rainfall - I pretty much do not have to worry about water conservation because it rains so often in the spring and summer. That is much less work for me.

Regulations - In my county at least, no one really gives a hoot what you do. I read the county ordinances twice and could find no regulations that would in anyway impede me. Although we are zoned agricultural, but if you are talking about the ideal I would assume anywhere you chose would be zoned agricultural.

Location - We are out in the boonies, but still in commuting distance to several urban areas such as Richmond. Best of both worlds really. It is also relatively close to the coast should you like to go to the beach.

Climate - Not too warm for apple trees which is a plus. The temperature doesn't generally get above 100 in the summer or below 20 in the winter. Not only does the moderate climate cut down on utilities but I like how pronounced our seasons are.

Cost of Living - The state average is high, but in Central VA we were able to get a really nice deal on a 2 acre lot with a 1500 square foot house on it. Might have been able to save 10k or so by getting it elsewhere, but the cost was actually about as low as it gets anywhere in the US. So you end up having a low mortgage payment with access to high income areas (should you decide to sell produce).

I guess I would have to sit down and try to think of something that I wish was different about my location, but the fact that I can't really think of anything off the top of my head should probably say something about the location.


Thanks, Charles....yeah, those are kind of my thoughts about midatlantic/appalachia regions. Seems ideal.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 1992
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
152
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love the criteria method of choosing where to live, it almost ensures that you will not find yourself unhappy with your choice in a year or two.
I have lived all over the USA, Germany, France, England, all have areas that I would live happily for the rest of my years.

The criteria we used to decide on whether to stay in the USA or Move to my wife's home country (Alberta, Canada) were Cost of living, Cost of undeveloped land and acreage available, water availability, attitude of neighbors (preferably far away), location of nearest small town for necessary item purchases.
We found that, since I am still working, staying in the state was necessary, commute will quadruple but that for me is not a problem since it will only be for four more years. We found five acres, available at far under the current per acre values and when we went to inspect this land, it spoke to us, it called us back many times as we continued our searching, two months after our first look and many revisits we purchased it and our journey began.



 
David Mitchell
Posts: 9
Location: Canton, OH
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bryant RedHawk wrote:I love the criteria method of choosing where to live, it almost ensures that you will not find yourself unhappy with your choice in a year or two.
I have lived all over the USA, Germany, France, England, all have areas that I would live happily for the rest of my years.

The criteria we used to decide on whether to stay in the USA or Move to my wife's home country (Alberta, Canada) were Cost of living, Cost of undeveloped land and acreage available, water availability, attitude of neighbors (preferably far away), location of nearest small town for necessary item purchases.
We found that, since I am still working, staying in the state was necessary, commute will quadruple but that for me is not a problem since it will only be for four more years. We found five acres, available at far under the current per acre values and when we went to inspect this land, it spoke to us, it called us back many times as we continued our searching, two months after our first look and many revisits we purchased it and our journey began.


You make a good point. There are many places one could be happy, especially if criteria are few and simple. And it is great when the location "speaks to us". I've heard that before from a wwoofing host.

I've also worried about how to assess the "attitude of neighbors" when exploring an unfamiliar territory/culture. Some wwoofing hosts we have stayed with say they've never been able to break the ice with their neighbors, even after bringing baked goods for holidays door-to-door (farm-to-farm), etc. That seems sad and awkward.

I agree that being close to a source of supplies is very important. Right now I am spoiled as a suburban homesteader by being 3-4 miles from a Lowe's and a Home Depot and a local nursery. I can imagine if these were 25 miles away or more.

"inspecting the land" also scares me a bit because I feel like I should know the most about the soil quality and history before buying. I guess some people can tell the soil quality just by looking at the types of plants growing on it. Others have said, Just make raised beds and you can grow stuff on top of any soil, as long as you can haul in the good organic compost; but of course that adds a lot of additional labor and supplies.

If I were to go to the Midwest, I would consider Missouri and Arkansas perhaps. What is best about Arkansas? I worked in Springfield, Missouri for a while and lived in Kansas as a kid. I remember chigger bites, unfortunately, but also nice rich black soil on our land in Kansas. I imagine you had a lot of choices of regions that fit your criteria.

Thanks for your comments.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 1992
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
152
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
David, I am in the position of being both a soil scientist and agriculturist so for me it was a simple matter to determine soil quality.

We chose Arkansas, which has a variety of soil types, depending on location, ours is a stony, sandy loam with a layer of sandstone clay two to three feet under the topsoil layer. (We are at the eastern end of the Ouachita Mountains, we are on the northern most ridge.)
Our parcel lay fallow for seven years after the previous owners home burned to the ground, the remains of what was there are currently the footing of the burned home, the septic system and the main run electric poles.
Last summer we found the pipes for the city water that fed the burnt home and got our electric pole set and connected to the grid. We have our antique, 20 ft. Holiday Ramblette travel trailer on the property for living quarters.

The way we found out about the few neighbors we have was pretty simple. We just went to their homes and introduced ourselves to them, asked how they liked the area and if they had any favorite places to eat.
Arkansas is fairly full of very friendly people, it is a southern hospitality trait that has been around since the territory became a state.
Canada on the other hand is very different, more to my mind like New York, they keep to themselves, don't say hello or have eye contact, my wife, Wolf, loves it here.

If you locate a place, just take some soil samples while you are looking over the land, take them to the local extension service office and get them tested, that will give you most of the soil answers you need to make a good decision and it doesn't cost a lot.
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 870
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
98
books forest garden rabbit solar tiny house woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
15 years ago we too were in your situation. Where should we go for our final move and create our homestead? We were free to go anywhere. It took us a lot of talking back and forth to finally settle on our decision. Writing down all the criteria and prioritizing it helped a lot. And even after deciding and making our move, it took a full year for us to settle in and adapt to the local culture.

The list of considerations was long. Real long. We initially lumped them into broad categories, but actually broke the list down into individual requirements so that we could determine just how important or unimportant each aspect was to us.
...cost of living compared to what we were used to. We found a moving websites that calculated comparisons which helped. They weren't precise, but it was a start.
...mandatory list: Internet access; where we could survive if the economy crashed; must be able to produce our own food; must allow livestock; must supply some resources for maintaining the homestead (example, fence posts), must have water, freedom to do the things we wanted to achieve
...socially, we wanted an area where we could get along with others in the region.
...wanted to be within 2 hours of supplies/stores
...wanted emergency medical access of some sort within 30 minutes

We did a lot of compromising along the way. And finally ended up someplace I never suspected that we'd live ....Hawaii. We rejected perhaps 200 or more locations before giving our final destination a serious look. There were significant hurdles with Hawaii, but they were workable for our situation. The two hardest for us were cost of land and the cultural aspects. But we managed to find solutions.

Examining our priorities, being flexible and willing to accept changes, being adaptable, being willing to try things we had never considered before all helped. Plus we were willing to accept a failure and move on. Our first land purchase turned out not to work for us. So we sold that and found our current spot. This one worked.
 
David Mitchell
Posts: 9
Location: Canton, OH
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bryant RedHawk wrote:David, I am in the position of being both a soil scientist and agriculturist so for me it was a simple matter to determine soil quality.

We chose Arkansas, which has a variety of soil types, depending on location, ours is a stony, sandy loam with a layer of sandstone clay two to three feet under the topsoil layer. (We are at the eastern end of the Ouachita Mountains, we are on the northern most ridge.)
Our parcel lay fallow for seven years after the previous owners home burned to the ground, the remains of what was there are currently the footing of the burned home, the septic system and the main run electric poles.
Last summer we found the pipes for the city water that fed the burnt home and got our electric pole set and connected to the grid. We have our antique, 20 ft. Holiday Ramblette travel trailer on the property for living quarters.

The way we found out about the few neighbors we have was pretty simple. We just went to their homes and introduced ourselves to them, asked how they liked the area and if they had any favorite places to eat.
Arkansas is fairly full of very friendly people, it is a southern hospitality trait that has been around since the territory became a state.
Canada on the other hand is very different, more to my mind like New York, they keep to themselves, don't say hello or have eye contact, my wife, Wolf, loves it here.

If you locate a place, just take some soil samples while you are looking over the land, take them to the local extension service office and get them tested, that will give you most of the soil answers you need to make a good decision and it doesn't cost a lot.


Thank you for the followup answers. I guess the initial response from neighbors, whatever it was, would be a good measure of their general hospitality. Makes sense. I always thought Canadians were supposed to be nice, too (?). Good luck with your homesteading. Sounds like an adventure.
 
David Mitchell
Posts: 9
Location: Canton, OH
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Su Ba wrote:15 years ago we too were in your situation. Where should we go for our final move and create our homestead? We were free to go anywhere. It took us a lot of talking back and forth to finally settle on our decision. Writing down all the criteria and prioritizing it helped a lot. And even after deciding and making our move, it took a full year for us to settle in and adapt to the local culture.

The list of considerations was long. Real long. We initially lumped them into broad categories, but actually broke the list down into individual requirements so that we could determine just how important or unimportant each aspect was to us.
...cost of living compared to what we were used to. We found a moving websites that calculated comparisons which helped. They weren't precise, but it was a start.
...mandatory list: Internet access; where we could survive if the economy crashed; must be able to produce our own food; must allow livestock; must supply some resources for maintaining the homestead (example, fence posts), must have water, freedom to do the things we wanted to achieve
...socially, we wanted an area where we could get along with others in the region.
...wanted to be within 2 hours of supplies/stores
...wanted emergency medical access of some sort within 30 minutes

We did a lot of compromising along the way. And finally ended up someplace I never suspected that we'd live ....Hawaii. We rejected perhaps 200 or more locations before giving our final destination a serious look. There were significant hurdles with Hawaii, but they were workable for our situation. The two hardest for us were cost of land and the cultural aspects. But we managed to find solutions.

Examining our priorities, being flexible and willing to accept changes, being adaptable, being willing to try things we had never considered before all helped. Plus we were willing to accept a failure and move on. Our first land purchase turned out not to work for us. So we sold that and found our current spot. This one worked.


Good practical advice. Thanks.

Actually, we had considered wwoofing in Hawaii, but have not yet done so. Maybe we should try it out.

As you did, I really wouldn't mind paying extra for land, if it was really the "best" for us and for permaculture. If anything is worth the investment, it is a quality piece of land (and location and water), not just cost per acre, it seems.

I have similar criteria to those who have posted responses, but the choice of region/state is the decision that has got me the most stumped. It seems that one could find most of the things on your priority list in many places throughout the country, except maybe WATER.

The thing attractive to me about Hawaii is the year-round growing season. That is very tempting, since, in the winter in Ohio, I end up trying to do indoor hydroponics, aquaponics, mushrooms, etc. just to keep my green thumb green...and eventually the spider mites get everything! And winter drags on...forever it seems. We just had freezing rain today as I worked to prepare some garden beds, and it is almost May.

Hawaii....hmmm.

Thank you.
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 870
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
98
books forest garden rabbit solar tiny house woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
David, Hawaii is extremely diverse. Hot dry desert to wet cold areas of little sunshine. Everything in between. Elevation has a significant influence on what can be grown, plus the daily temperatures. Plus each island is different. On top of that the climate is cyclic. A couple years of drought switches to a couple of years of frequent rain, back to drought again. So if you do look at Hawaii, be careful. What you see is often not what you get in the long run.

Growing year around is true. But cycles of diseases and pests comes with that. There is no cold winter to help keep the problems down for you. But that being said, by adopting many old Hawaiian growing methods and tweaking them with Western methods, we manage to produce almost all our own food here year around without resorting to chemical bombardment.

Other places that we strongly considered were New Zealand (we didn't have enough money, the correct age, nor the right skills to emigrate), the UK (not affordable on our anticipated US pension), and select areas in Oregon, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Montana. Portugal came recommended but we never looked into it.

Trying to decide was difficult for us until we gave up on the idea of having to make the perfect decision. Once we accepted the idea that we could always move, it became easier. Before buying our land we rented first. Gave us a good chance to get a feel for the place before plopping our money down. Selling the wrong place is far more difficult than moving out of a rental house.
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1268
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
16
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Alder Burns wrote:This is a conundrum. It has bitten us more than once. The issue is between the social and the ecological. It comes down to how sociable a person you are, how much you need/want the presence of relatively like-minded people nearby. If you do, this often means trying to locate yourself near a progressive, alternative-minded town. If land access and freedom are more valuable, especially on a budget, this often means locating in a rural, affordable, and therefore often conservative area. We have tried both. You mention Asheville....we didn't last even one year there. Too many neighbors and authorities all up in my business about chicken coops, how "neat" the yard was, and such like. Good thing they never knew about the humanure bucket in the shed! So now we live where it's over an hour and a half drive to the nearest permaculture guild meeting, and we've been there maybe three times in three years. Oh well! Maybe there's somewhere some way to find the perfect combination of the two, but I'm too committed to this place to want to try any more!


You'd be surprised about the number of conservatives in my area who are super liberal minded in a lot of areas, but don't know it. In fact, I'd say most of the homsteading/alternative ag people I know in this area are conservative. I'm the flaming hippie in the room.
 
David Mitchell
Posts: 9
Location: Canton, OH
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Su Ba wrote:David, Hawaii is extremely diverse. Hot dry desert to wet cold areas of little sunshine. Everything in between. Elevation has a significant influence on what can be grown, plus the daily temperatures. Plus each island is different. On top of that the climate is cyclic. A couple years of drought switches to a couple of years of frequent rain, back to drought again. So if you do look at Hawaii, be careful. What you see is often not what you get in the long run.

Growing year around is true. But cycles of diseases and pests comes with that. There is no cold winter to help keep the problems down for you. But that being said, by adopting many old Hawaiian growing methods and tweaking them with Western methods, we manage to produce almost all our own food here year around without resorting to chemical bombardment.

Other places that we strongly considered were New Zealand (we didn't have enough money, the correct age, nor the right skills to emigrate), the UK (not affordable on our anticipated US pension), and select areas in Oregon, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Montana. Portugal came recommended but we never looked into it.

Trying to decide was difficult for us until we gave up on the idea of having to make the perfect decision. Once we accepted the idea that we could always move, it became easier. Before buying our land we rented first. Gave us a good chance to get a feel for the place before plopping our money down. Selling the wrong place is far more difficult than moving out of a rental house.


Thanks for the details. Interesting.

Can you comment on the areas of Kentucky and Tennessee you were looking at, as I am looking mainly now at western NC, eastern TN, and western VA.

I'm thinking that four seasons is still kind of nice, but Hawaii is tempting. That said, I would like to be somewhere that is at least warm enough to grow some cold-weather crops through the winter in an unheated hoop house. Some say that is possible as far north as East Lansing, Michigan...but it was 15 below zero this winter in Ohio multiple days, and I just don't think that's compatible with live plants.
 
Ben Zumeta
Posts: 153
Location: Redwood Country, Zone 9, 60" rain/yr,
6
dog duck hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It feels like permaculture in NW California is like slow-pitch softball. 327 day growing season and 60" of rain, and all in the winter when its supposed to happen. Moreover, here in Del Norte county there is virtually no code or environmental protection enforcement, for better or worse as I found with a bad roofer and a lying county permit clerk.
 
Enrico Caballero
Posts: 3
Location: Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00153 Rome, Italy
greening the desert trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are you confined to the States?
If not I'd consider going off-shore.
One word - Islands.
Try the Canaries
 
David Mitchell
Posts: 9
Location: Canton, OH
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Enrico Caballero wrote:Are you confined to the States?
If not I'd consider going off-shore.
One word - Islands.
Try the Canaries


Thanks. Probably the only thing that kept us State-side was proximity to family.

We ended up finding a 42-acre south-sloping mountain woodland/pasture in western Virginia, near Abingdon, with restored log cabin, barn, fenced pasture, two natural streams, and other outbuildings. It's working out real nice. Lots of projects, beautiful scenery, quite a few farm-knowledgeable people around, and not too far from civilization. The soil is quite good since we are close to the valley, so hundreds of years of erosion and woodland growth has made it fairly loose, although there are plenty of rocks and boulders to dig out. Based on soil tests, we are low on phosphate and have a high Mg/Ca ratio, and pH of 5.5-6.0. Wild blackberries flourish here and locals say blueberries grow great. We've got 15 bushes in so far, and lots of fruit and nut trees. Made maple syrup already this year--more to come. And wild edible mushrooms are popping up throughout the season: morels, oysters, chanterelles, black-staining polypores, and a few others. We're pretty content, and winter is a bit milder than NE Ohio.
 
Ben Zumeta
Posts: 153
Location: Redwood Country, Zone 9, 60" rain/yr,
6
dog duck hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sounds like a sweet place! Ducks are great for phosphorus accumulation, and you can water straight from the pond on seedlings and heavy feeders alike.
 
Cody DeBaun
Posts: 19
Location: Denton, TX United States Zone 8a
2
dog forest garden toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great thread! I'm inspired by Brenda Groth's notion, "Bloom where you are planted."

That being said, one important element to selection of a region is how it's going to be as the climate changes. There's a good deal of specific projections on how things will change in a given region, covering everything from average rainfall to number of frost dates, et cetera.

This interactive climate report is my favorite resource for this question, but the NOAA region data and the NOAA datasets are also really useful.

 
2017 Appropriate Technology Course at Wheaton Labs http://richsoil.com/pdc
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!