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How to find, choose and buy land for permaculture market farming?

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Hello Zach and the rest of the permies out there!

I have been farming on other people's land for about 7 years now, but I want to get onto some of my own land. I live in a place where land is available but quite expensive. It is a great market near a prosperous small city, and I want to stay nearby. I am daunted by the process of looking for the right land to establish a permaculture homestead and micro farm and even more by how to afford it. Neither my partner or I do the kinds of work that qualify for bank financing (self-employed, low income), and we would prefer to stay away from that "death grip" anyway.

My question is if you have any advice on how to best go about looking for affordable land that is good for permaculture farming, what to look for when evaluating it and then how to get alternative financing. I know this is three questions in one but... There I went. Looking forward to all ideas! Thanks.
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I really like my field that is right on the main highway through town. It sucks that so many clueless and ungrateful strangers interrupt my work to ask for directions to get back to the Interstate. It's a joy that so many of the locals stop on the way past to ask me to pick something for them. And I love it that people gossip about what I'm growing, because it's right there on the main thoroughfare, asking to be looked at and admired.

I really dislike rocky fields. There is so much non-rocky farmland in my area, that I'm quite unlikely to choose to farm on rocky soil again, unless I was doing something like orchard, or pasture only.

I really dislike trees that shade my fields, or that sap nutrients and water from them.

I taste the dirt from every potential field before choosing to farm it. Because root crops end up tasting like the soil that they are grown in. And if the soil tastes bad, then I can't market root crops that are grown in it.
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