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Urban or country for income

 
Posts: 132
Location: Joplin, MO Zone 6b
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If you had a choice, would you buy say 5-10 acres of semi-urban/urban land close to or within a population center or 40-80 acres an hour from any significant cities if you intended to make a living using permaculture ideals?

I am not looking at any properties in particular, just pondering the wisdom of paying more for land to be closer to available markets and how location would affect what one decides to harvest and market.

If it matters, I am from the North American Midwest.
 
Posts: 269
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I'd go with the 5-10 acres near the people.  Transportation costs & time would eat into your profits with an hour trip each way.

On 40 acres, it's unlikely you'd really be doing any kind of intensive permaculture system.  More likely, it'd be forest products, but that would be very long term.
 
Posts: 556
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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I would go for the less acreage but closer to market.Of course it all depends on what you are producing but I went for the 40 an hr away and distance is a limiting factor for sure when it comes to fresh food esp.I have some other income streams so Im happy with my choice but when I go through ideas,distance always comes up as a limitation.I live near a well traveled road so I could sell roadside to tourists.
 
Posts: 1113
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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lhtown wrote:If you had a choice, would you buy say 5-10 acres of semi-urban/urban land close to or within a population center or 40-80 acres an hour from any significant cities if you intended to make a living using permaculture ideals?



Easy. Rural. And that is what I did.

I drew circles on the map decades ago to locate where were the things that mattered to me (e.g., family, rocks, dancing), where were my markets (Burlington, Montpelier, Hanover - higher income areas) and where were lower land prices (rural, mountain). I then checked with the town offices that were in the junction areas asking about zoning and other things. In the towns that met my criteria I looked for property at the top of the water sheds with good timber, water, etc.

My original goal had been a mere 20 acres but I have considerably more than that and use it - we do both sustainable farming (pastured pork) and forestry both along the ideals of permaculture. We deliver fresh pork weekly to the 'cities'* within about 1 hour of us.

We are on steep land and I terrace. Since we don't sell crops we don't need flat land. We sell meat and timber - both of which grow well on our steep land. Pasturing works on land that is not good for cropping.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa

*I say cities. They're cities to us. They have populations of 10 to 39 thousand. To us in Vermont those are cities although I realize that in most of the country they're a drop in a big building. The key is they are our market with the available income to spend on our products. Know your markets.
 
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