I will tell you a little about the area I live in a little later in this reply but first and formost I am on a mission to find someone who may be interested in a trade.
I live on a 5,000 acre ranch in the Black Hills of South Dakota and I am looking for an individual or family that might like to live on my ranch in exchange for doing a little cooking and a few other things for me.
What I have to offer is rent free living in a new home on a 5,000 acre ranch. The home will have all the appliances furnished and sits at the edge of a large garden area and apple orchard with a creek and pond nearby. You will have use of out buildings and a large root cellar and will be able to pasture 2 horses on the ranch along with having other small livestock. There is also lots of firewood and excellent hunting and recreational opportunities. The ranch is only a couple of miles south of Wind Cave National Park so if you want to see how beautiful it is click on their web site.
What I expect in return is 5 organic meals a week, (usually for 1 but quite often for two and a couple times a year for a large family group), 2 freshly baked loafs of bread a week, (in a bread machine that I will furnish), my home cleaned once a week or at least every other week and if you are willing to do my grocery shopping (paid for by me) I will furnish you an older pickup to use within 15 miles of the ranch, all expenses paid.
Now this tread was started by someone wanting to know where to homestead so I will point out the advantages and disadvantages of this area.
Advantages – no state income taxes, the ranch is in a banana belt where the average high temp in the coldest month of the year is 38 degrees and you can grow peach and pear trees here. You are defiantly in the American outback and the 50 mile drive to the nearest town of 60,000 people is mostly open and beautiful. The town of Hot Springs (pop around 5,000) is 14 miles away and has a hospital and most all necessities but no Wal-Mart. You have super well water, clean air, spectacular evening skies, all the firewood you will need to heat your home and to sell if you are so inclined, an abundance of wild turkey and mule deer, and you will only be 9 miles from a great fishing and swimming lake.
Disadvantages- you are only 1 mile off the highway and most of the time can hear it, you are in a zone 4 for gardening, the hail storms can wipe your garden out in a heartbeat, it can be hot and dry (but we have irrigation water), there hawks, eagles, owls, fox, skunks, weasels, mountain lions, and more to kill your chickens or even small live stock, the property taxes in SD are high if you wind up owning your own place and the wages are very low in this area.
Those are general advantages and disadvantages of the overall Black Hills and a few mentioned are specific to this area but there is one major consideration to the trade I am offering that must be considered. YOU MUST HAVE AN OUTSIDE INCOME because this is not a paid position and jobs around here are few and far between and even if you find one it will usually only pay $8 to $10 per hour. There is however high speed internet on the ranch if you are presently making a steady income via the internet.
So there you have it. I hope this gives you some insight into living in the Black Hills and if you have any interest in the trade I am proposing perhaps you will take the time to send me an email and we can talk about it further. My email address is
PS I had an earlier post under “we need more farmers” somewhere on this web site which tells a little about the previous family I had here that you may find interesting.