My family and I purchased some land two summers ago in the Northern Colorado mountains. This is 70 acres in total, but really two neighboring plots of 35 acres each with Roosevelt National Forest bordering. We are looking for someone to purchase one of them to become a mountain homesteader with us.
Thus far we have focused on bringing infrastructure up there (a couple large greenhouses, small shed, amending soil) and developing observations. The opportunities are endless here as it borders national forest on two sides, has a 'spring' running through it, a creek within 5 minutes walking, and 5 lakes within 20 minutes walking. Being so close to the forest has allowed for a large amount of wild foraging of medicines and food. The spring is really a creek that runs on the edge of property. I am certain it dries up many years, but it has not in the two years I have been here (we do not have irrigation rights to either creek, but animals...). Not too mention quite a bit of beetle kill wood (on-site lumber), great sun exposure (just below 8000ft. elevation), gently sloping grassland, and fairly decent soil depth/fertility considering we are in the Rocky Mountains. I would say about 75% of both plots are prairie with 25% Ponderosa Pine/Douglas Fir forest with a few rock outcroppings.
What/how etc. are all still in the works as to how it will all look in the long run. What we have agreed upon thus far is that we are very interested in having a relatively intentional community living there and developing it into a permaculture/re-wilding education center.
I have an Advanced PDC, Soil Food Web Certification, actively learning about wild plants (along with many other courses and self-teachings) and have been active in the permie world for a handful of years now. With that written, there are still many areas I would like to engage in more. In particular, I would like to be apart of the creation and holding of space for people to come and be inspired.
So, back to the land. My family and I have worked very hard to be able to meet the financial responsibility that we have accepted and have succeeded. Unfortunately, this has forced more stream-lined efforts to develop the educational center to be put on the back burner. We are looking to sell the front 35 acres as is, or would consider dividing various sections of the land for smaller investments of 'ownership.' The preferred goal is to have community members (permaculturists, naturalists, woodsy folk) that will be working together on various projects so that the lines of ownership do not run black or white.
Potential rotational grazing, A large food forest already in the works, Mushroom cultivation, Natural Home-building, Wild-crafting, Fermentation Kitchen, and many other ideas are all possible here.
I have also developed a network in this part of the state of other Earth minded folks who also have or are acquiring space. These people will be able to coordinate, arrive and help with bigger projects. EX. home-building, big planting day, watering for a weekend. Not too mention, they provide the opportunity for you to have access to their space for other projects.
Also, there are a few in the nearby community who already have established sites with goats' milk, eggs, etc. that would love to increase the food exchange network.
The site itself is over an hour away from any real civilization (Fort Collins, CO), 20 minutes away from a very small town, nestled in the national forest. There is no HOA. And you get my brother and me as your neighbors. Hard working 20 year olds with a lot of knowledge and two years growing experience in this climate.
Keep in mind this is in the Rockies, so plenty of wind, sun, temperature fluctuations, and critters of the wild sort are frequent design problutions. I also believe that for some of the farming that you would do at a lower elevation, you would trade that for more wild-crafting and learning how to work with the plants and animals already here. With that written, I do have a very healthy crop of garlic and cilantro going right now (without a greenhouse) and have had some great success with peppers (inside). Also, the air is clean, mountains call to be played on, and there is top-of-the-watershed water nearby, one doesn't get that too often in CO.
Let me know when you want to come see it.
Please include any specific questions as well as who you are, what you may be interested in. Remember no question is not worth asking and very few answers are simple. So phone would be preferred. A price is not so fixed as potential for us to talk about getting a well (already have a permit for it) and/or building a home is a possibility if you are looking for a summer get-away. We are putting it on the market for $209,000. Please send me your contact information and I will definitely get back to you.
PS A rent to own type situation is a possibility too to the right person.
Congrats on your growing sucesses - are you using micro-climes or particularly hardy species of plants? I have recently bought (and skimmed but not yet read) sepp holzer's book, and it looks like his climate is somewhat like Colorado.
I am just at the beginning of looking for land in Colorado (as I noted in my Introduction msg, I've been dreaming about a piece of land), so this is more of a fact-finding message at this point. In fact, I'm such a 'noob' about this that I'm not even sure what questions to ask. I am concerned about lack of water and way too much government oversight/regulations/nose-in-my-business. Obviously I need to do some research into water regulations in CO. Any other legal areas you might suggest i look at? I'm a Nebraskan by birth, so I am familiar with lots of snow, arctic winds, baking summer heat, T-storms/hail/tornadoes. But I've also been living in the South for 30+ years, so I expect I'm going to have to grow some thicker skin to cope with CO winters.
My son and I are attempting to coordinate our schedules to come up to CO in early-mid February 2017. In part, this will be to see if I can 'recognize' the land from my dreams. Once we have a better idea of what we're doing schedule-wise, I'd love to arrange to come look at your property, if you'd be OK with that. I'm intrigued by what you're doing, and also by your very positive mindset toward it. And I LOVE the fact you are putting together a permie community in your area!
I am glad to see you are looking for a change in your life. Yeah, the winters are not easy around here, that is for sure. Let me know your plans a little closer to the time you plan on being in the area. In the meantime, keep staying positive yourself.
My wife and I are looking for just this sort of thing.
I've been hooked on Permaculture since I discovered it about 5 years ago (if fit right in with my ethos and background). I just recently took my PDC this last Spring at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland (birthday gift).
We (wife and 2 young children) currently live in FC and I work at OtterBox, but we have been looking for a little piece of land to start homesteading on and quite ruining this planet.
If we can figure out financing or you are still interested in selling off a smaller portion, maybe we can make something work.
I love the whole like-minded/supportive community/neighbors approach and have been trying to do just that with some friends, but haven't been able to make it work.
My husband and are looking for land in Colorado to start a small homestead. We have lived in Haines, Alaska for the past 15 years where we have built an off the grid timber frame cabin with a rain catchment system. We love Alaska but we also love growing food year round. I have read Jerome Osentoski's (prob not spelled correctly) book about a four season permaculture greenhouse. Our dream is to build a passive solar straw bale timber frame home. We have spend the last 2 winters in the Ridgeway/Montrose area and have helped with Buckhorn gardens year round CSA. We are amazed with what is possible in Colorado with the year round sun. Winters in Alaska are so long and dark, but we do have abundant salmon, clean air, and clean water...
We have just recently been gifted a loan from family and are looking for the perfect piece of land. Im not sure if we can handle 35 acres, we were thinking more like 5 or less, but we would love to see photos or learn more about what you are hoping to sell. If you would like to know more about us let us know! Peace and love
Amy Robinson wrote:We have just recently been gifted a loan from family and are looking for the perfect piece of land. Im not sure if we can handle 35 acres, we were thinking more like 5 or less, but we would love to see photos or learn more about what you are hoping to sell. If you would like to know more about us let us know! Peace and love
What sort of diet do you have in mind and how large is your family? Climate conditions drastically change the potential yield.
I know if I were looking to homestead for two in Colorado I wouldn't even look at less than 10 acres with a flow of water [such as the spring described in the OP] or 20 acres without.
Of course this assumes a desire for raising high quality homegrown meat and dairy of some form- adding pastures to patches of 'maincrop garden' interspersed between pockets of food forest.
But everyone has different goals for their land. At least the abundant sun makes passive house design far more practical than a cloudy winter climate like mine.
Its great to see some people with a stronger intention to make moves with their lives. (edit) I suppose all this should be read by interested parties.
@Kyrt Yes, water is always a concern here in this state. As you mentioned, a big trade-off is the amount of sun. Another trade-off with this place in particular is the access to the wilderness. As I gathered up permie knowledge and such over the years, I gradually began to realize the abundance that is already there. Water is an issue for lettuce, not for wild rose hips. Water is an issue for tomatoes, not so much for currants. So I have found that this space really is prime for both cultivation of traditional farmed crops (more or less), but also that with a community, wild-crafting and preserving can be done with efficiency. Albeit a change of perspective for the farmer may be needed in regards to work patterns, and more importantly taste patterns. With all that said, there is more than enough space to cultivate for the entire surrounding community.
@Matt Hello, we have been hesitant to break the sections apart for a variety of reasons, but it is still a possibility. I will keep you in the loop if something of that nature does occur. Or if something of equal potential arises. We could meet up at some point during this winter.
@Amy Hey Alaskans, I miss it up there. Yeah the climate battery is super nifty. We are definitely interested in extending the season up here. Ive had the good fortune of being able to visit Jerome's space and take a course on his greenhouses. Oranges in winter are kinda nice That course is offered during summers out there at CRMPI. In regards to strait farming, this is probably not the most ideal setting CO has to offer. As Kyrt mentioned, there is a good amount of hail (especially in June)(side note: at that elevation it usually doesn't get too big, but it is somewhat frequent certain years), wind, and at 8000ft, the sun can be excessive for a number of plants. With that said, this part of the state has reminded me of Alaska more than most anywhere else I have visited in the lower 48. Moose, snow, cold, and privacy. All of course miniature compared to AK. So if you are looking for a BIG leap, might not be the spot. But if you are looking for a smaller leap, with vast amounts more sun, then you're on the right track.
So, we have two people here who are looking for smaller sections, I have a third nearly guaranteed and a couple more possibilities. This will all be factored in. Community is a highly desired goal, it is also more difficult to initially navigate, especially with the factors we are working with (zoning, financial obligations, off-grid living, desires of existing members)
Thank you all for your interest in both the space up here, and also in seeking out a healthier life.
If you want to add anything more (ie about yourself, more specific on your goals, your needs, wants, capabilities) please pm.