When I was in Alaska, they had a lottery, and some quasi homesteading programs, but the 'proving' requirements pushed the price of the 'free' land up to over a thousand an acre, for basically recreational only property.
Haven't checked in several years, but in the mid nineties, when I was working with the gov., the BLM would have land disposal sales, for extremely low prices per acre...but the lands I looked at had no or very little water, no possible utilities, and mostly desert. Good for recreation only, imho.
The Homestead Act (you work the land to own it) is long gone. However, in a few states (Nebraska and South Dakota) there are new programs to encourage people to move into rural areas that have been losing population. You can get low interest loans to start a business or buy property. I know here in NY the state government has been trying to get Amish families to buy foreclosed farms and work them again. Contact state agricultural departments to get details.
Okahoma and Kansas are offering free land in a homestead type offering similar to the 1800s type deal, but jobs are scarce and you have to commit for 10 years as I recall reading. Self reliency on the other hand can be achieved in many places. I was forced out of my engineering position in 2001 and my wife chose to resign from our marriage 5 months later. After I was free of the high cost maintenance of her and her son, I chose to not return to industry and retired in my forties. I have not only continued to maintain the lifestyle I was accustomed to by utilizing only income sources based from my small place here on the knoll, in many ways I have surpassed my accustomed lifestyle.
Sassthe1, I used to live in California. If I decided to homestead in California, I would start by looking at what you HAVE!
Do you have any back yard at all? You can raise SOMETHING year-round in most of California. You plant, raise the veggies for 3 months, then harvest for 6 months. In addition to that, it is possible to raise greens most of the winter. Veggie tops can be put into bins to compost and raise worms. Chickens and rabbits may be possible.
Out here, (excepting for greens), you plant, raise the veggies for 3 months, but then only get to harvest for a couple of months before it gets too cold for the tomatos and cukes and such. I have the Californians love of fresh food, so I find that I buy salad greens except in spring and fall, and tomatos and such in the winter and early summer.
The point of this is, 100 square feet in California CAN be as productive as 300 square feet in Kansas. If you have a yard at all, think about that.
If you DON'T have a yard, then I would do a google search on united country to see where the affordable land in your area is. I have found that if United Country has a listing in an area, there will be other similarly priced lots in that area.
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