new member-looking for homestead

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ksbrooke, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. ksbrooke

    ksbrooke Well-Known Member

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    Hi all!
    I am Brooke-reluctantly living in Kansas-mom to four boys and numerous creatures. I joined this group today because I am on the verge of divorce :waa: and ready to make a big move to a homestead with my kids. It's time to shake the stagnation off, leap off the cliff and participate in life rather than sit and talk about it.
    I am looking to relocate to something affordable where I can raise goats and chickens and all the homesteady-type creatures that one would normally have. If anyone knows of something for rent or a lease/option, please let me know. I am open to just about anywhere in the US.
    Thanks
    Brooke
     
  2. uyk7

    uyk7 Well-Known Member

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  3. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    ksbrooke I don't know what part of Kansas you are in, nor your divorce timeline. With the Kansas State Fair coming up there is always temporary employment possibilities in Hutchinson. Also coming up this fall will be temporary hirings at Stutzman's Greenhouse at poinsettia shipping time. Some will probably be hired full time as a result.

    Hutch has kind of a micro climate compared to Wichita and smaller cities in other directions. Usually the micro climate gives us better weather, such as rain instead of ice or snow.

    Reno county has a considerable number of goat herds so finding stock should be fairly easy. There are also a lot of smaller holdings, i.e. small places with a house.

    The Hutch area has plenty of opportunity for a mom and four boys to raise a garden so that produce can be sold. I believe that there are farmers markets in Hutchinson (2 days per week), McPherson, Lyons, Wichita, Haven, and perhaps Yoder. Smith's Market will nearly always buy quantities of vegetables for resale. The sandy soil close in to Hutch readily grows vegetables given water when the rain doesn't fall to provide enough.

    While you don't seem enthused with Kansas at all, you may wish to consider visitation rights and rethink a move from Kansas. I'll not preach as I don't know any of your circumstances.

    Galva is 4 miles from McPherson and doesn't have building codes. I don't know about animal raising, but McPherson would be a quick drive to work at Abbot Labs, Walmart, or some other employers.

    Welcome to the forum, and best wishes for a speedy, friendly, divorce if it indeed does have to take place. None are easy, but you will get through it.
     
  4. ksbrooke

    ksbrooke Well-Known Member

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    Windy,
    Thanks for the information! I am in Osage City, near Topeka. I relocated here from the mountains in California and am having a difficult time adjusting to just about everything here...the humidity (though this summer is mild!), the horribly cold winters, the people who have known each other since they were in utero and don't take kindly to outsiders, Fred Phelps, the lack of interest in organics...but anyway, I do appreciate all the information you sent me. I have never been to Hutchinson, but I will certainly take a drive out sometime to see it.
    Take care!
    :) Brooke
     
  5. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    ksbrooke, I am ALSO from California, and I am ALSO living in Kansas! Just west of Kansas City, Kansas, as a matter of fact!

    Yes, the culture shock IS considerable, isn't it? But, there are opportunities here that California will never offer again. Things like affordable land, for one thing!

    Though, I DO miss the mountains and ocean!

    Where ever you go, if you stay in the Midwest, remember this. Do your gardening FIRST, before the heat and humity hits. Housework and entertainment is for the heat of the day. Always use something to keep the chiggers and mosquitos off.

    And, lastly, Midwesterners are not as entertaining as the California people, they DON'T think of high spirits when they see blue hair, but they are more likely to help you if you are in trouble, like if your car breaks down. It's part of the culture. People are the same from coast to coast, but the sub-cultures are not.
     
  6. ksbrooke

    ksbrooke Well-Known Member

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    <<<ksbrooke, I am ALSO from California, and I am ALSO living in Kansas! Just west of Kansas City, Kansas, as a matter of fact!>>>

    Well, hi Terri! We are practically neighbors! Wonder if we were in California, too?? I lived in Big Bear...you?

    <<But, there are opportunities here that California will never offer again. Things like affordable land, for one thing!>>

    Yes, you are so right about this...and Kansas also offers clean air (for the most part), hardly any traffic jams, no car chases, and fewer gangs. I know there is a lot to be grateful for, I do know it. Like being able to allow my kids to ride their bikes further than the end of the driveway. How long have you lived here?


    <<Where ever you go, if you stay in the Midwest, remember this; Do your gardening FIRST, before the heat and humity hits.>>

    Oh yes, I learned that the first day we got here (it was two years ago in June, and a VERY hot summer). I felt as if I were boiling from the inside out and swore that summer and I would never be a good mix. I do my gardening in the morning and then go in and cook and clean and sometimes nap :rolleyes: and then I go back out around seven or so.


    <<<Always use something to keep the chiggers and mosquitos off.>>

    Another lesson learned the hard way. I just got back from camping where a girlfriend and I sat down by the lake and talked until 2 in the morning. The next day, we both looked like we had measles on our legs we were so badly bitten. We didn't feel a thing as we were being buffet for the buggies, but I think the peach wine may have had something to do with that. :confused: Suffice to say, after three miserable days of my wanting to scratch until I ripped my skin off, I have made a solemn vow to never go camping again without bug spray.

    <<Midwesterners are not as entertaining as the California people, they DON'T think of high spirits when they see blue hair, but they are more likely to help you if you are in trouble, like if your car breaks down.>>>

    Yes, very good points, and ones I am well aware of. I just wonder if I will always feel like an outsider, or if one day I will wake up and realize that I am truly a midwesterner. I have absolutely NO desire to go back to city life, and I think I would be much happier here if I had some land with a little creek and were living the way I really want to. Anyway, nice to meet you...thanks for saying hi!
    Brooke
     
  7. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    Big Bear! I used to work narcotics for the CHP out of Big Bear. Good dope country.

    Remember back in '91 when that horse and rider fell off the cliff then while being rescued by the CHP helicopter, the horse started thrashing and fell from the sling about 4000 feet? .... that was my team at its finest hour (the finest hour part is a joke).

    I would recommend where we live (Southern Black Hills of South Dakota) but the land prices are insane. There is a little hunting cabin a few miles down the road that recently sold: 3.5 (MOL) acres, 1 room with a loft (524sf), outhouse, co-op power, only running water is a plastic 55 gallon drum with a line going into kitchen sink (no hot water), no well or cistern .......$65,000.

    Our little slice of heaven must be worth a million $$ if THAT sold for $65k
     
  8. ksbrooke

    ksbrooke Well-Known Member

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    <<<Big Bear! I used to work narcotics for the CHP out of Big Bear. Good dope country.>>

    Hmmm, if by dope you mean meth, it is that. But then that's everywhere, right?

    <<<Remember back in '91 when that horse and rider fell off the cliff then while being rescued by the CHP helicopter, the horse started thrashing and fell from the sling about 4000 feet? .... that was my team at its finest hour (the finest hour part is a joke).>>

    That's funny...I wasn't living up there then, I was down in the murky city below, well, Long Beach, but the story sounds familiar.

    <<<I would recommend where we live (Southern Black Hills of South Dakota)>>>

    I would LOVE to live in the Black Hills, but don't have a spare million at the moment. I want to get up there this year for a vacation with the kids though. I've always wanted to see the Black Hills and now that I've seen the pictures on your cute website, it's a must. The kids really want to see the badlands.

    You're certainly living a good life! Goats and all...good for you!
    Brooke
     
  9. Ken in Maine

    Ken in Maine Well-Known Member

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    Hi ksbrooke;

    I used to live in Carbondale about 30 years ago. I always wondered if it changed much. I do know that they built a new highway but other than that I don't know if it changed much.
     
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I honestly do not know if I am more of a Californian or a Midwesterner. I DO regard myself as a beginning farmer, and that would not be possible in California. Land costs too much.

    I am from San Jose.

    The thing is, in Caliornia the farmer gets little respect, and in the Midwest the Californian gets little respect. I am a little of both. Too much of a country girl for California, too likely to be amused (instead of scandalized) by love beads and body piercing for the other. :p I don't really feel like I fit in anywhere, but then I have always been considered to be an eccentric no matter where I lived.
     
  11. ksbrooke

    ksbrooke Well-Known Member

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    <<I used to live in Carbondale about 30 years ago. I always wondered if it changed much.>>

    Hi Ken,
    Carbondale is probably 90% the same as it was 30 years ago. There is a convenience store there now and a health center, but other than that, it's got to be much the same. The library is a one room deal housed in a small building with the city hall. There is a grocery, a small hometown one, on the corner by the new highway-don't know of that was still there- and not much else. We lived on a farm out there for a year when we first moved to Kansas. Loved the farm! I can tell you though , that it is going to be developed one day because Topekans are moving out to the country now, clearing the land of trees and building big, cookie cutter homes on 1 & 2 acre lots. :(

    I looked at your web site, your goats are beautiful! How is the goat business? How did you start? What a life, yes?
    Brooke
     
  12. ksbrooke

    ksbrooke Well-Known Member

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    <<<I honestly do not know if I am more of a Californian or a Midwesterner. I DO regard myself as a beginning farmer, and that would not be possible in California. Land costs too much.
    I am from San Jose.
    The thing is, in Caliornia the farmer gets little respect, and in the Midwest the Californian gets little respect. I am a little of both. Too much of a country girl for California, too likely to be amused (instead of scandalized) by love beads and body piercing for the other. :p I don't really feel like I fit in anywhere, but then I have always been considered to be an eccentric no matter where I lived.>>>


    Terri, you sound much like me- I think you are right, it's my eccentricity getting in the way of fitting in-maybe I don't want to fit in? Maybe that's the part of me that wishes I were the type of person to be happy with a suburban home, meatloaf and koolaide for dinner, and not much on my mind. Hmmm, something to think about. Anyway, thanks for the different perspective on Kansas. It helps, you know.
    Take care!
    Brooke
     
  13. Ken in Maine

    Ken in Maine Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update. I lived there from 1970 until March of '73. Jim Bradley was the Mayor.. John Patterson was the fire chief. We rented from Dickie Liter ( I think that's the spelling.. last named sounded like lighter). Had a good friend named Sylvester Lyra

    I was on the fire dept. and my ex-wife and I used to put on dances for the kids in the city hall building. There was a grocery store on Main St. I also used to be the town Santa Claus for a couple of years.

    I still remember buying tacos at the corner restaurant at the intersection of RT 75 and Main Street for 3/$1.00. Back towards T'peka there was a fellow with some carnival rides. Small kiddie rides. His name was Dale Rodecap.

    I used to do my banking in Overbrook. That bank had a break in where the crooks rented the apartment over the bank and busted through their floor and into the safe. Made off with quite a few dollars.

    I sure would love to go back there and visit but it's quite a long way from Central Maine.

    Glad you liked the website!

    We've had goats off and on for 15 years. Started with angoras and added Boers 2 years ago. I think the goat business is great. We've done pretty much what we expected. We were able to sell about 35 kids and bred does this Spring and we haven't even gotten in to our busy season. Our herd right now is about 85 total. We have fullblood Boers .. reg. white angoras as well as percentage Boers. The average size goat herd in Maine is 8.3 goats so we are HUGE by those standards. Like I tell my customers and prospective customers.... Own goats because you love goats... if you get in it just for the financial potential you'll lose interest after a couple years and the goats will end up suffering from bad management.

    Please keep in touch on our regular e-mail. It's great to know someone from that area.

    Thanks!
     
  14. JoAnne in CA

    JoAnne in CA Well-Known Member

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    Hi Brooke,
    I am presently in Banning, just down the hill from Big Bear. Next month we will be moving to our little homestead in Pioneertown (if you know where that is) down the other side of the mountain. I was born in CA but spent much of my growing up days in Minnesota and then Illinois. It was back to CA when my Minnesota born husband decided he'd had enough of the cold. I didn't want to come back. But, you know, I have learned to love the high desert and it's about the only somewhat affordable land in CA. We purchased 2 1/2 acres 5 years ago for $4000. A couple years later we bought 6 1/2 more for $20,000. We just sold 2 1/2 to my Minnesota brother for $25,000 and that's a steal so we're told. Land prices have skyrocketed and there just is nothing available where we are anymore. We are so thankful to have "fallen into" this property. We had a well drilled recently, financed by our property sale, and are ecstatic that we hit water at 100 feet. We have wonderful neighbors, some with very similar lifestyles. One neighbor, who we hadn't met as yet, stopped by last weekend on horseback to see how the well drilling was coming along. Not everybody has neighbors on horseback stopping by! But, it IS the west. Sorry I've droned on and on, but I understand your feelings. I feel like a midwestern girl at heart, but I do appreciate CA's diversity and openess. We are excited to begin our dream of a little homestead. A few years ago, we didn't know where it would be, but low and behold it presented itself in our own backyard. Sometimes you needn't look far.......
     
  15. ksbrooke

    ksbrooke Well-Known Member

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    <<<< Next month we will be moving to our little homestead in Pioneertown>>>>

    Oh my gosh! Not only do I know it, but my mom and I used to walk around there just drooling. I always said that Pioneertown was THE place to live down in Yucca Valley. How wonderful for you! Are you having a place built there? It is so lovely there...my great aunt lives in Yucca, so I know that area well. ...is it true that there is a high concentration of arsenic in the water out there or is that just one of those crazy rumors? Wow-talk about a step back in time, that's what Pioneertown is. Good luck with your move and congrats on finding your dream!



    <<<We are excited to begin our dream of a little homestead. A few years ago, we didn't know where it would be, but low and behold it presented itself in our own backyard. Sometimes you needn't look far>>>

    Yes, and isn't that usually the way it works? When something is meant to be, it will manifest. If we can learn to just get out of our own way and know that all is well and what is meant to be, will be. What are you planning on doing with the land? Are you going to raise creatures? I hope you stay in touch and let me know how it is all working out for you. I love to hear others' success stories :)
    Take care!
    Brooke
     
  16. JoAnne in CA

    JoAnne in CA Well-Known Member

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    Brooke, it's fun to talk to someone who knows Pioneertown. We're not right in town, but out where Pioneertown Road & Pipe's Canyon Road meet. We also have heard the rumors of the arsenic problem in Pioneertown's city water supply. Our well-drilling neighbor says that is not so much the problem as the fact that there aren't enough holding tanks to supply the town. Arsenic is not a problem at all in our area of Pipe's Canyon.

    We have a fifthwheel on the property, as well as a 10x12 cabin that our kids helped us build a couple years ago. It's tiny, but at least a retreat for my husband or I when the fifthwheel gets cramped. We're anticipating a year before our home is completed, so there will be a lot of togetherness :eek: We're looking long and hard at going solar. We have panels on the fifthwheel and cabin now that keep us in lights and allow us to watch an occasional movie! We're attending the Sol Fest in Hopland next week, where we hope to gleen more solar and alternative housing info. I'd love to build a strawbale house, but our son, whose in construction says no one is doing it here yet and it would be an uphill battle with the county.

    As to critters, at present we have dogs, cats, chickens and rabbits. Fencing is a priority once we're on the property full time. I want pygora goats for fiber and mini nubians for milk. After Carla Emery's visit a couple weeks ago, my husband is looking at a dexter cow. Don, Carla's husband, has him convinced we can raise a patch of grass for grazing. Now that we have water, it seems a possibility. He'd also like a couple of mules. Figures if they're good enough for the Sheriff's Search and Rescue, they'll fill the bill for him. 'Course, these are dreams, you know.

    In spite of being at the property only a weekend here and there this year (as well as only minimal watering), I did get a crop of potatoes this spring. So I have faith that a garden is doable. It'll just be a learning process.
    Let's keep in touch. Greetings from Pioneertown!
    JoAnne
     
  17. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    ksbrooke,

    My family is from Burlingame. My grandma still lives there, as well as some cousins. I grew up there part time. My grandpa was a farmer. He used all the chemicals available, and had no idea about organic anything. Nonetheless, it was his farming that gave me my taste for this homesteading. It is certainly true that if you are not from there, you have a hard time being accepted. I must say that if I have the chance in the future, I would live there again. I would love to have my greatgrandpa's farm (160 acres). We lived there for a few years when I was young. I just loved it. I hope things work out for you.
     
  18. I'm thinking you may not want to go far unless you know a way to provide an adult male who will, where ever you are, interact with your boys. Young males do best with either dad (most preferable) or some other good male influence.
     
  19. peanutgreen

    peanutgreen Well-Known Member

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    I was born here in Kansas and have lived here most of my life. (With the exception of 1 1/2 yrs. in Iowa.) I moved to this town 12 yrs. ago and had that feeling of being the outsider. It seems like small towns, no matter where they are, are difficult to fit into. My husband was born in Wichita and moved here 7 yrs. ago. Our closest friends are also transplants to this area. We just entertain ourselves at the expense of the born here-bred here families by trying to figure out just how inbred they really are! Kansas isn't for everyone, but I can't imagine myself anywhere else. We get all four seasons; sometimes we seem to get 2 or 3 in one day! And if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes. Our garden grows great. We've even picked fresh tomatoes in November before (without a cold frame or greenhouse). I think the one complaint that I hear most often about Kansas is that it's flat. It's never bothered me. I like being able to drive down the highway and see where I'm going (and where I've been, and 10 miles on each side-LOL). I never get lost because I can always see some sort of landmark that helps me keep my directions straight.

    If I were in your situation, I don't think I'd move right away. Surely you know some people where you are. And as you are going through your divorce, you're going to need some advice/moral support/shoulder to cry on/etc. to help get through it. It probably wouldn't be the best thing to move your kids away from their friends while this is happening either. I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible for you. Good luck.
     
  20. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    "It seems like small towns, no matter where they are, are difficult to fit into."
    Peanutgreen is so right.
    When I married my dh and moved to his area of Oklahoma, there was a nice family known as the "family from Arkansas".
    I asked my dh how long they had been in this area....he said 40 years.
    I couldn't believe that the family that had lived here for 40 years were still considered outsiders!! I knew I would never fit in, but...what the heck, I really didn't care!! :D

    Edited to add: Brooke, I feel for you, you remind me of a relative I care deeply for. I wish you well, keep us posted on your progress.