Wanted to put it out there, we are looking to buy land in the next six months and begin the transition. Looking for others ready to make that move, most likely in Central/Western Pennsylvania. Particularly other families.
I am definitely interested. I don’t know that area well, so I would have to get to know it better. Other areas in the lower 48 that have promise (and I’ve been to and have a draw to) are the bluffs and drfitless region of the upper Mississippi, the UP of Michigan and northwoods Wisconsin or the Ozarks.
But I would love to hear more about your plans/vision and the region and the obstacles or what’s needed. And I have my firstborn on the way, though things are complicated with the mother and I now, but I’m thinking (at the moment) and certainly hoping things work out. But I would love to raise my son in a real community with the same sort of goal as to way of life as me.
Good luck with getting any child rearing differences sorted. Hopefully that comes to amicable terms, but I’m learning more daily on how important community is for raising children. Just another reason that the foot is on the gas on this.
Having children does add some complications to the land project ideas. The “homes” need to be up to code, without question. Those codes vary state to state, but things like lighting and running water seem to be fairly universal. We’re looking into seeing if there could be a central location where there was running water, kitchen and bathrooms that served as an extension of “home” structures that could be (ideally) without all of that and probably requiring as little external energy as possible. So that’s something that is unquestionably in mind, but varies between states enough that there doesn’t seem to be a “right” answer to it.
That said, our search has moved a bit more widely, looking for qualities in the land (ie, bordering public land, remoteness and accessibility, size, and existing structures) since we’re finding a lot within what I consider our dismal price range.
Right now the areas we’re looking at are largely;
- Western/Central PA through pretty far north in New York (skipping the heavily fracked sections of PA.
- North Carolina into the section of Tennessee extending towards the Smokies.
- Vermont and New Hampshire get mentions, but they’re on the lesser side.
- The UP (not my ideal)
My cousin was actually trying to sell me on the Ozarks. As much as I loved being there as a kid, I don’t consider it ideal personally.
Clock is ticking, so we’re coming up with the most ideal properties that we can find and then going to whittle that list down further and make visits as soon as possible.
It’s all pretty daunting in some ways, the closer we get, the further it feels. But you get a lot of ideas pretty invested in the notion of what the project might look like, but every property varies greatly.
So much for master plans.
The rewilding/homesteading community in NC seems very large already. If I had kids I’d probably go there. The twin cities/wisconsin rewilding groups seem very family oriented as well, but there’s less people, everyone is spread out, and it’s just getting going.
I would have considered NC or anything in the south to be a dark horse in the race, but based on everything we’re finding, it’s getting up there. There are many similarities with the area I call home and that side of NC/TN for sure and I’ve always felt comfortable in those forests and mountains.
I am NC born and raised (central piedmont region). if I weren’t doing the grazing thing in CA I’d almost certainly be back there. in short, it’s a wildly productive, critter-laden land with actual seasons that don’t hurt–if you can tolerate heat, though the mountains are milder.
there would be a lot of land available to you that others would have passed by given that you’re probably not hankering to be situated near a Bustling Cultural Center.
As you know we already have a land project started here in western Pennsylvania. So far we have our 32 acres, mostly wooded, where we are building our Earthship, and a second adjacent plot that is about 1 acre and vacant. A second family is moving into a small house across the street in the next month. And a third family has plans to build an off grid home here probably starting next year. Game lands within walking distance, 2 springs on our land (more not tapped) etc.
I hope you guys are still planning to visit this fall!
A requirement for the land I would add is it to have a natural water source on it, such as a stream or lake frontage. Then you would have water to drink, bathe in, catch fish from and so on. As opposed to having to rely on a well pump. The benefits of fish, bathe, and drink make this a requirement for me.
The preference is for a spring and stream, but we’re finding so much land that is all over the place. Obviously access to water is central, but if the right situation comes up and the stream is within reasonable distance in bordering lands, then it’s certainly within range. Pretty important aspect, but all of the areas we are focusing on aren’t as prone to water problems as some other places can be.
I just can’t understand why so many choose to attempt sustainability in places where resources must be consumed half of the year just to stay warm. Other factors of those areas don’t make sense either: population density, pollution, nuclear proximity, nearby military targets, geological stability, bugs…
I could make an excellent case against trying something truly sustainable on the east coast or up north, and also make an excellent case for attempting it in the Southwest. If anyone is interested, let me know and I’ll type them out and post up.
The key to this whole project is: don’t sweat it! …and focus on migratory mobile hunting and gathering…
Along the east coast (USA) acquire nodes (within walking distance from each other & watercraft) up and down the Appalachians’ and in between. “Gone to Croton via Woccan”.
The biggest problem we face is: there is so much to choose from!
No time to waste, let’s go!
(Kevin, pick out your first location (PA, NC, East TN, WVA, wherever you choose), and we will expand from there. I trust your judgement.)
Plenty have done it before, but there’s no right answer here. You love what you love.
We’re scouting land actively right now and it includes places that aren’t Appalachia, but I can’t deny that I’m drawn there personally.
Are being near nuclear power plants a concern? I’m not trying to point fingers, or scare anyone. I live in the midst of two of these circles, but it seems like people should consider what might happen.
I think if you’re looking for perfect land you will search forever. We’re looking for a place that we love and want to take part in, both in terms of healing and fighting. It needs to sustain a community, but the point isn’t to build up an empire, it’s to build a community.
If the community can develop, then it can develop the resiliency necessary to move and adapt. Stagnancy is suicide. We’re talking about buying land, after all, but it’s a path, not the end point.
The truth hurts. Going through a more specific property search it is obvious that PA and WV are too volatile. That is a hard thing to stomach.
Boils down to 3 clusters;
- Western NC/eastern TN
- Upstate NY and southern VT/NH
- The UP
NC/TN is a front runner for me personally, but I’m only one person in the group.
We start scouting next weekend.
I’ll be curious what you think about the UP. From my brief research it sounds really cold and snowy, like so much snow you can’t leave your house snowy. Land seems cheap and I think it’s worth looking into. And it may be cheap for a reason. Here’s a report for snow in late April, bringing the total to 347 inches. http://www.mlive.com/weather/index.ssf/2014/04/347_inches_of_snow_and_countin.html
I share those concerns greatly. We’re finding crazy, crazy cheap land in large parcels in areas that are largely unaccessible for portions of the year due to insane snow. Upstate New York around Oswego County in particular, but the UP is all the same. There’s allure to it, but I’m personally not sold on that. Though I’m open to checking out some of the properties.
From a node perspective, if money wasn’t an issue, it’d be an awesome place to be for spring and fall. Basically after the snow, but also avoiding the mosquitoes and black flies. They can be absolutely brutal.
but also avoiding the mosquitoes and black flies. They can be absolutely brutal.
I experienced this for the first time at Lake Superior Traditional Ways. Truly brutal. We were going to head over to the UP but called it off after a week of heat, storms, and flies. I wish I had been brought up in such an environment and was used to it…but it was too much.
Preliminary trip to NC/TN shows tons of promise. THE property hasn’t come up yet, but more parameters on looking. Things are moving in high gear. Got me back into running after realizing the only way to scout property with a realtor sitting there is to run and those mountains are no joke.
I have to say I’m saddened every day because I have seen the land that is in my head and it’s all in the frack zone. Fucking civilization…