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anyone moving to Southern Colorado?? come farm with us! open invitation  RSS feed

 
Kelly Smith
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Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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hi all.
i wanted to make a quick post about our intentional "community". it is very different than most communities you may know- in this community, there is no shared property, no consensus. really we are just a handful of families that all help each other out. we all have our own houses, our own families and day jobs, but in our spare time we seek to build community. we all live within ~20 mins of each other and make sure everyone is taken care of.


the area am referring to is eastern Fremont County, CO. this area is a "farming" area based on the arkansas river and various creeks that flow through the area. (see first pic below) there are also 'dryland' property for those who arent looking to use irrigation.
we are within driving distance to Colorado Springs, Pueblo and most of Fremont County - for those who will continue to work a day job (most of us do).

i would be happy to answer any questions about the area or our little community.

come farm with us

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Eden Lolley
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Hi Kelly! My boyfriend and I are very interested in your community. How much does it cost per month? Can an arrangement be made for work to be traded for housing/food? What is required of the residents? Is food grown on the property? Is there internet on the property? My email is edenlolley9@gmail.com
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 713
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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Eden Lolley wrote:Hi Kelly! My boyfriend and I are very interested in your community. How much does it cost per month? Can an arrangement be made for work to be traded for housing/food? What is required of the residents? Is food grown on the property? Is there internet on the property? My email is edenlolley9@gmail.com


Hi Eden,
I would first like to say, this isnt my community

My invitation is for anyone that wants to move to the area. There is small group of like minded ( beyond organic ) farmers and we would love to see those who think the same way move to the area.
This is not an "official" community - its a group of friends and farmers who all help each other out when needed.

As more and more people discover CO, especially southern CO, I am hoping to draw attention to our area and bring in more regenerative ag / permaculture type people to the area.
What Im saying is "got a job in the area? looking for somewhere to live? like permaculture and or want to farm? move to this area - there are others doing it and are wanting to help others do the same"

Let me know if you decide to move our here, or if you have questions about the area, I'd be glad to help


 
Raynor Mallory
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Hi Kelly,

I'm glad you posted. I've been researching places to buy homesteading land and Southern CO is on my list. I'd love to hear your input on something. I see a lot of promising looking plots around Pueblo.

Here's an example:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5744-Pronghorn-Rd-Pueblo-CO-81008/2101793786_zpid/

That land looks surprisingly green and productive (maybe not for intensive farming, but probably suitable for cattle). But I see the area only gets around 13 inches of rain and 19 inches of snow annually. Do you think the pictures were taken during a particularly green time of year or is this how the landscape typically looks?

What are the challenges and benefits of living and farming in the area? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Oh and by the way, this is more or less what I'm looking to do:
-Buy land for under $50k
-Raise dairy cows (3 or less and all or mostly grass fed)
-Do limited amount of gardening/farming for my personal consumption.
-Build a strawbale house
-Meet nice, fun, stimulating people

Doable in Southern CO? I hope to hear from you.

Cheers,
Raynor


 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 713
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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Raynor Mallory wrote:Hi Kelly,

I'm glad you posted. I've been researching places to buy homesteading land and Southern CO is on my list. I'd love to hear your input on something. I see a lot of promising looking plots around Pueblo.

Here's an example:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5744-Pronghorn-Rd-Pueblo-CO-81008/2101793786_zpid/

That land looks surprisingly green and productive (maybe not for intensive farming, but probably suitable for cattle). But I see the area only gets around 13 inches of rain and 19 inches of snow annually. Do you think the pictures were taken during a particularly green time of year or is this how the landscape typically looks?

What are the challenges and benefits of living and farming in the area? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Oh and by the way, this is more or less what I'm looking to do:
-Buy land for under $50k
-Raise dairy cows (3 or less and all or mostly grass fed)
-Do limited amount of gardening/farming for my personal consumption.
-Build a strawbale house
-Meet nice, fun, stimulating people

Doable in Southern CO? I hope to hear from you.

Cheers,
Raynor




Hi Raynor
I would be glad to answer questions

i think the picture in that ad is EXTREMELY deceiving. the land i know of in that area is pretty much a desert. i would say that the recovery period for grazing that area would be close to 180 days (depending on when its grazed). i suspect it could only be grazed twice in 1 year, as the moisture would likely limit the grass growth (especially in summer)
It does get 13in of rain, and it actually set in a area where the rain would roll off pikes peak, as well as the wet mountains to the south. (ie that property is "wetter" than my property, and i am only ~ 30 miles west) i think the land would eventually be able to handle a smaller cattle breed, but i think in its current state, its likely more of a smaller ruminant property (sheep and/or goats?)
the snow totals can be a bit deceiving. i havent seen much impact from snowfall as it relates to ground water. generally the snow melts in a few days, and with as dry as it is here, i rarely see much snow melt getting into the ground.

that particular property is also along the eastern edge of the Ft Carson (army) training area. we are just off the western edge of the same training area - so you can expect helicopters and planes circling overhead a good portion of the year (army/AF training flights) some may like this, some wont. i was in the military so im used to it, but not a huge fan of it. my wife wishes they would fly somewhere else

imo - the biggest benefit to southern CO is the price of land. we moved down to this area from northern denver - mainly because we couldnt afford to farm up there. the area we moved from, water rights were ~$200k. at our current location we bought a house, large barn with 5 acres and bought water rights for under $200k.

the draw backs are - its a hard climate to farm in. erratic moisture patterns, wild swings in last frost dates (varies from late march to early may depending on the year) are the 2 biggest problems we face. this can be somewhat overcome with lots of land - but then the price of land goes up too....

i will add some info below to your questions:
Oh and by the way, this is more or less what I'm looking to do:
-Buy land for under $50k - this is doable, though i dont know if you can find farm land for that price.
-Raise dairy cows (3 or less and all or mostly grass fed) - imo - you will need irrigation water if you plan to have dairy cows. imo, there just isnt enough grass on a dryland property to meet the nutritional needs of a lactating cow without large swaths of land
-Do limited amount of gardening/farming for my personal consumption. - completely doable. i have a friend that farms a market garden with "city water" (ie not irrigation) and is able to make money, so growing for yourself is totally doable.
-Build a strawbale house - there aer many permitted strawbale and similar homes in the area. earthbermed is another option that seems to work good here. even better if you can get solar/wind paired with that sorta house.
-Meet nice, fun, stimulating people - my area if full of characters. so good, most harmless but all interesting in their own way.


my suggestion would be to look at land from canon city to boone. look on both sides of the arkansas river as there are places all along there that would fit MOST of your wants.
i am assuming you will still commute in for work, at least temporary? if that is the case, the drive time from north pueblo vs say florence isnt much different.


please let me know if you want me to elaborate on anything specifically
 
Raynor Mallory
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Kelly Smith wrote:
i think the picture in that ad is EXTREMELY deceiving. the land i know of in that area is pretty much a desert. i would say that the recovery period for grazing that area would be close to 180 days (depending on when its grazed). i suspect it could only be grazed twice in 1 year, as the moisture would likely limit the grass growth (especially in summer)


That's a bummer. It seems like there are a lot of ads in the area with deceivingly green pictures:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/Antelope-Rd-Pueblo-CO-81008/2101793785_zpid/
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/Pronghorn-Rd-Pueblo-CO-81008/2110169871_zpid/
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/Par-35-Salt-Creek-Rd-Pueblo-CO-81004/2102050963_zpid/

I thought they looked a little too good to be true. Is there a certain time of year that the area greens up or something? Southern CO is a wildcard for me anyway. I'm leaning more towards Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. I'm from TN, and I'd like to be closer to family / friends.

I apprecaite your help and input. I'll keep poking around online.
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 713
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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Raynor Mallory wrote:
Kelly Smith wrote:
i think the picture in that ad is EXTREMELY deceiving. the land i know of in that area is pretty much a desert. i would say that the recovery period for grazing that area would be close to 180 days (depending on when its grazed). i suspect it could only be grazed twice in 1 year, as the moisture would likely limit the grass growth (especially in summer)


That's a bummer. It seems like there are a lot of ads in the area with deceivingly green pictures:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/Antelope-Rd-Pueblo-CO-81008/2101793785_zpid/
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/Pronghorn-Rd-Pueblo-CO-81008/2110169871_zpid/
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/Par-35-Salt-Creek-Rd-Pueblo-CO-81004/2102050963_zpid/

I thought they looked a little too good to be true. Is there a certain time of year that the area greens up or something? Southern CO is a wildcard for me anyway. I'm leaning more towards Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. I'm from TN, and I'd like to be closer to family / friends.

I apprecaite your help and input. I'll keep poking around online.


sorry about my late reply - we actually took a short vacation.

i think those pictures were taken in early spring. the green you see is likely a large part kochia weed (similar to tumbleweed) that grows here. in the summers most of that gets to woody for the diary cows to eat. we are hoping our sheep and pigs will eat it though.

good luck in your search. we looked all over and decided not to leave CO
 
Tara Sanders
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Raynor Mallory wrote:
Kelly Smith wrote:
i think the picture in that ad is EXTREMELY deceiving. the land i know of in that area is pretty much a desert. i would say that the recovery period for grazing that area would be close to 180 days (depending on when its grazed). i suspect it could only be grazed twice in 1 year, as the moisture would likely limit the grass growth (especially in summer)


That's a bummer. It seems like there are a lot of ads in the area with deceivingly green pictures:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/Antelope-Rd-Pueblo-CO-81008/2101793785_zpid/
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/Pronghorn-Rd-Pueblo-CO-81008/2110169871_zpid/
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/Par-35-Salt-Creek-Rd-Pueblo-CO-81004/2102050963_zpid/

I thought they looked a little too good to be true. Is there a certain time of year that the area greens up or something? Southern CO is a wildcard for me anyway. I'm leaning more towards Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. I'm from TN, and I'd like to be closer to family / friends.

I apprecaite your help and input. I'll keep poking around online.


Hi Raynor,
I'm looking to purchase land with others on the Eastern side. I will post my add below. Feel free to contact me.
I am able to invest and purchase now. I am very sensitive to chemicals and EMFs (especially wireless devices) though and am looking in the Quiet Zone where wireless is not allowed. I also want to do bees and bees along with birds, bats, etc are being killed most seriously from wireless so this area should be better for them than most. I was wanting to build some small natural homes on a permaculture property and maybe some rentals to help others that have to get away from toxic homes and can't be around chemicals and EMFs. I don't have a problem moving somewhere else but I haven't found any other location that doesn't have high power lines/substations, factories with pollutants near by, factory farms that spread their toxic manure everywhere and the smell is so horrendous that you can't even breathe, or wireless everywhere. The areas I'm looking at have high speed wired internet available in both DSL or fiberoptics which is also very hard to find in rural areas. Wired electric can be used as long as it is properly installed, shielded, or filtered. Off grid living is what I prefer and have some really good ideas for alternative energy that requires no electricity or moving parts but needs moving water. If you find an area for your community, that does not have wireless or chemicals, please let me know. I would consider moving. If anyone is interested in moving to the Quiet Zone where wireless in not allowed, please contact me if you would like to invest or purchase something together. Feel free to pass my info to anyone who may be interested. I am not very good at understanding how to use this site, so if I'm not replying, then please just email me directly. I currently am in the mountain side of VA near the Quiet Zone. Beautiful weather, nice non-humid gorgeous summers, shorter growing season so greenhouses are ideal, snow and beautiful winters, and no mosquitoes which is a plus for me. I've caught West Nile in TN and Eastern VA before and I'm not interested in being in mosquito infested areas. If anyone has respiratory issues and if being in non-humid mildly hot temperatures helps, this place is ideal. I would like to do some non-toxic stores and businesses as well. I make all my own products, raise my own animals, etc. My info is Tara 540-474-3146, mustobeyacts2_38@yahoo.com
 
Kelly Smith
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Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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i just wanted to drop a link in this thread to our farm: http://www.permies.com/t/55602/projects/Cloud-Farms

it might interest some people to see just how productive we can be here in Southern Colorado.



there also seems to be tons of new farms popping up around the area. i would caution anyone looking "out east" of Colorado Springs or anywhere without irrigation water. not all wells are equal - not in GPM, but in state designation. most well in Fremont/El Paso and Pueblo counties will be a "domestic well" .  This means you can have up to 1 acres of gardens and water for animals - BUT you are allowed to sell anything produced from that water - basically locking you into a homesteading type situation instead of a farming type situation. i also expect the state to crack down on this as more and more people move out to those areas.

good luck.
 
Kelly Smith
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Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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BUMP -

now that other states have legalized cannabis, i suspect (hope!) the prices of land/water in CO will drop a bit.

even if you are only interested in homesteading, Southern Colorado can be a great place to do that.
please let me know if anyone has any questions about the area.


FYI - our animals are STILL out grazing on green/living grass and its midway through Nov.
 
Politics is a circus designed to distract you from what is really going on. So is this tiny ad:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
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