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Geoff Kegs
Posts: 30
Location: Northern lower Michigan
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My wife and I will be making a critical decision within the next couple of months.

We already have decided to sell our house and land in Northwest lower Michigan, but the decision lies within whether we stay here in this area and start a permaculture lifestyle here, or if we head South instead.

By South, I mean South of 35 deg. latitude.

By permaculture lifestyle - I mean 100% off the grid & new home construction involving a small, extremely efficient house plan - and all that an ecological based home considers. 

Our revenue will be provided primarily through a diversity of agriculture, including agri-food production and forest management assistance, just as it is now.

What are your thoughts?
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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well since you are about 20 miles south of me I'll say..stay in Michigan..but of course i'm biased.

I totally love my life here..although I'm a tad overworked.

Selling your property in this market must be hard..we sold some property (MIL's ) on craigslists and took a 100,000 loss on it..so good luck, that was BEFORE the market crashed totally..

however, there are some really great buys out there right now..(by the way on 12 mile road and the corner of county line Miss/Wex there are 2 houses up for sale that have been for sale for years..both have land and buildlings with them..less than 1/4 mile from our house...they might take an offer)


 
Geoff Kegs
Posts: 30
Location: Northern lower Michigan
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We really aren't looking to purchase land as our family owns a fairly large tract just 12 miles to the North of here, part of which has solid arable soils.  The land has not been used for many years.  Like many areas, it is only in pasture now with some small parts timber (both conifers and deciduous trees in various stages). 

There are also a few dozen fruit trees currently bearing fruit + some newly planted trees.

We would be able to subdivide a smaller parcel without a problem, and then what we are thinking about building is an energy efficient 48'x60' building with 1/2 of the being commercial greenhouse, in/out poultry and goat pens, 1/4 of it being our residence and 1/4 of it being workshop and storage facility.

I can do the same thing anywhere, but energy requirements (due to seasonal heating) are a challenge up here (4B).

Another issue is the fact that we lack sunlight up here in the winter. 

Again, the point of this would be to establish a commercial greenhouse operation for domestic seasonal supply and to supply local markets with.

Does anyone think it would be possible to heat a structure of this size with a large rocket stove - or say (3) such energy efficient wood-fired stoves?

I'm thinking if we did this in Georgia, there wouldn't be any problem at all - assuming the water isn't an issue...but here?





 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I cannot speak for Georgia, but many parts of that region have some good property prices.  The further you get from prosperous areas, the lower the prices become, but there is also much lower demand for your prices.  Many parts of the South are not yet ready to pay for 'organic' prices.  If a tomato is not "red, round, and blemish-free" they won't buy it unless it is cheaper than Wal Mart.

The closer you get to population centers, the bigger your potential market, but bear in mind that property taxes also increase the closer you are to 'civilization'.

GA is in zones 7 & 8, which are good for most growing needs.

Do some research on property taxes, state income taxes, etc before you make a commitment.

Good luck, either way.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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i just found out that there is a group of people that have recently put in greenhouses between Manton and Cadillac..one is between 18 and 20 mile road west of the highway, but I haven't been there..I have heard that they are selling greens most of the year from their greenhouse, just found out about it this weekend.

There are a few others as well..in Manton the Farm Market is closed down..it would be a good opportunity for someone to purchase that might be interested in a produce store..it did good business when it was open but someone who owned it was busted for something or other so it is vacant again now..might even be avail at a good price maybe bank owned

Michigan is a difficult climate but as you said, we have wonderful water, no hurricanes or earthquakes to speak of and few tornados or serious storms..I feel safe here..
 
                            
Posts: 42
Location: Central Missouri
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Kegs,  the deep South is vast.  Rural land may be cheap, but delivering your produce to market could be costly in time and money.  If the cost of gasoline triples, delivery could wipe out your profits, or even make it impossible.

Since you are talking about a greenhouse operation, instead of 200ac. of cattle, I would think you could find an affordable, smaller parcel closer to a small to medium sized town with a decent market for your goods.  Delivering delivering them would be easier, as would going to town for supplies.

I am in Missouri, near 40* lat, but we are in a USDA zone closer to Chicago's temps.  Personally, I would like to be at the same lat. but zone 6, around Tennessee or Kentucky.  They still have a real winter there, but summer and winter are milder than here.

Just my $.02
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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