where is the the best place to start a FARM ?

farmfreedomApril 16, 2004


I am interested only in the land I can always build a house later. I am planning a hobby nursery and seed opperation .

Any and all suggestions appreciated. I am particularly interested in land in the UNITED STATES AND ITS TERRITORIES , where would I get the highest return for dollar invested? be as specific as possible . tell me towns and cities as well as states .

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I guess everybody would like to know the answer to that rather vast question. Could there be such a thing as the single 'best' value in such a large and varied area?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2004 at 7:35AM
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Like yourself, I too have pondered this question, and yes, it is as pnbrown said, very vast indeed.

Take in consideration, where you'd like to live, weather wise, small or large community and whether you want an established land, such as water or very raw undeveleoped land, where you would have to wait to get the very basics like cable and convenience and pay for getting all the convenience.

I've been going on the Farm Life fourm to get very good advice on my future plans for farm life too. Check them out, might help you.



    Bookmark   April 19, 2004 at 5:01PM
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Dear people
I am considering moving to any state. I am looking for farmland at the lowest possible price per acre. I will also consider land that can be converted into farm land legally. I will not consider hazardous waste areas. I will consider 4x4 access but I must have frontage on a public road, (no rights of way)! I am considering farming, a nursery, seed company, landscaping business, aquaculture businesses. However I am open to any suggestions no matter how innovative or unusual. Please include any special inducements, incentives or programs to move to your state.
I need you to send me free the following:

  1. A copy of you forbidden and restricted plants and animals.
  2. A copy of the wetlands acts in your state.
  3. A list of the lowest priced land areas: towns and counties, and sections of the state.
  4. Any special incentives you are giving any one to start a business in your state. (I am very versatile)
  5. a roadmap of your state and any other maps you care to send.
  6. A list of any and all restrictions on agriculture
  7. any employment opportunities in your state .
  8. Any real estate bargains in your state.
  9. Where is the best agricultural land in your state?
  10. Where are the hazardous waste areas located?
  11. Any special programs state, local or federal to: help someone build a home, get started in agriculture, aquaculture, start a business, or make money, or anything else you think could help me.
    Please send this information to:
    P.O.BOX 352
    Easton, Mass. 02334-0352

I am ready to move now! Please refer this letter to every reputable real estate broker and salesman in your state, and every agriculture group and anyone else that may help.
Thank YOU VERY Much for your help! or respond to :farmfreedom@hotmail.com

    Bookmark   April 20, 2004 at 11:53PM
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Dude, we are individuals much like yourself (more or less nutty) - not state agencies with nothing to do besides send you reams of data, regulations, incentives(!), going rates for farm-hands, etc. In fact, there are no such agencies.

Time for you to hit the road, sounds like. Ain't nobody going to do it for you. Boa sorte.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2004 at 7:13AM
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Farmfreedom -- You better open your eyes --- no one will give you an incentive to farm -- its way too costly. There are thousands of kids of farmers who would love to be able to farm on their own but the price of land, equipment and the lack of finacial security makes it impossible for them.

Do you know ANYTHING about agriculture? To me, you sound like a city boy who thinks now that we have $3.00 corn and $10 beans --you want to get a cut of it! Start farming like the rest of us did --- with barely holding our heads above the water!!!!

Trust me -- I won't send you a thing -- we don't want your kind in Iowa!!!


Do you have any

    Bookmark   April 21, 2004 at 1:09PM
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yes I rented a farm lot in past years . By the way how much corn does$3 buy ? And how much beans does $10 buy.
check into writing grants , renting land ,
there are farms that have sold off their development rights
that have kids who don't want to farm and have contracts that the land "MUST BE maintained as a working farm !"
they are rare but they sometimes exist .
actually I am more interested in genetics I love to crossbreed almost anything .I am also alarmed at the decline of seed companies . Maybe if I get successful I will start one .
Sources of income for famer wanabes land scaping they get $25 dollars and up for a lawn mowing in Ma.
they charge a landscaper - $600 per year for a 1 truck parttime opperator ,to dump his mulch then in 5 years they sell it for loam . They charge to dump rocks then sell them to masons. then there is the presumably lower risk of nurserys .Owning land has its advantages .boarding dogs like greyhounds over the winter . and installing high and dry storage buildings , and renting them to people for self storage should be a low risk thing in this time and this area . cultivating rare plants such as lady slippers might be eventually profitable. It does not hurt to ask .The only Foolish question is the unasked question.

Hope this helps someone.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2004 at 3:44PM
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babanna(z5 NY)

In the end the best place to start is a place that you will be the happiest. Some people want a change of climate others like their climate but move to a different area that has the same and still others hang out around there area. Where do you want to live? Once you pick that out you can start looking at the options of prices and auctions and things.
Home really is where your heart is. What is your dream? Good luck. Mine is just to be with my family...I would have liked a warmer climate but fell in love with this DH and his dream is to stay here close to his family...and I still have my dream in the end too.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2004 at 3:48AM
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danaann_nc(w NC U.S.)

Check out some of the rural areas of South Carolina. I am from there and my husband and I are also looking to buy some land for a future farm. My grandmother still lives on a farm in what is considered the "poor" area of the state. Did I mention she owns 40 acres of prime/crop producing land!!!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2004 at 4:55PM
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madspinner(z7 WA skagit)

I heard on a national news lately that there are areas of the "breadbasket" of america that are practically ghost towns now. There would be no jobs, but it seems like that would be an ideal opportunity to buy land, and much of it should be great for farming if treated right.

I think that might also have been mentioned in the recent National Geographic magazine.

I love where I am living in the Pacific Northwest, but land here is certainly NOT cheap. Eastern Wa is better for prices, but fewer jobs. It seems that even if the land is ok, if it is far from jobs it will still be cheaper.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2004 at 7:11PM
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The requirments on my first farm where: I had to be close to my family within an hour,at least 25 acres and I had to be able to afford it on one income. This was almost impossible. It takes much sacrifice to get good land now. And as I am realizing it takes even more to keep it. Taxes going up so much. The government wants land owners to be forced into chunking off pieces to make way for another tax payer.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2004 at 10:24AM
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Turtle_Haven_Farm(Z5 NY)

Anywhere in the continental US, if the land is in any way good for farming, it'll cost an arm and a leg. Suggest you don't bother checking out NYS, either! - Ellen

    Bookmark   May 7, 2004 at 3:10PM
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josie_z6b(z6b Philly)

farmfreedom, you're already on the internet, you can look up the answers to a lot of your own questions. Nobody has pamphlets like you're asking for on hand.

Go to realtor.com, which has states laid out by county, then pick each county and list your price from $0 minimum to whatever your maximum is, and see which county has the most hits within your budget.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2004 at 10:33AM
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chicagoman2000(zone 5-IL)

While several have taken exception to farmfreedom's request (it does sound a little audacious), I understand the sentiment behind the desire. I grew up on a farm in So. Il and not one farmer I knew ONLY worked on the farm, and wives also worked outside the home, usually. Except one. My best friend's family. They didn't have a lot, and would probably be considered poor, and my friend couldn't wait to get off the farm--and did after HS. But I now understand why his dad stayed there (his mom left soon after his dad died). It was a more intentional life, but there was a lot arrayed against one, not the least of which is Mother Nature Herself. But it seems, as one poster noted, that now the full weight of the government is against such a life now.

All this to say that I'm very interested in doing something similar -- chuck the rat race for the chicken run! My fear is being Mr. Douglas (a la Green Acres) as my farming experience was long ago and was mostly livestock and grain. I'm not out to make a killing (one is more likely to BE killed), but to keep me and mine fed and clothed with enough surplus to buy that which we can't make or do without (e.g., professional medical care).

I'm marginally aware that being a farmer today can be more stressful than being a broker on Wall Street, always going into deeper debt to keep up with or compete with ConAgra and ADM.

Alas and alak, this might be a bygone dream where Mammon is our goal and not to live. Does anyone out there live a life like this? More simply? Thanks for reading.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2004 at 5:05PM
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pony65(Zone 5)

Chicagoman, I'm also interested in getting out of the rat race (and out from under the increasingly congested flight patterns from O'Hare!).

I'm dismayed and often discouraged by the dominant culture's focus on acquisition: "You are what you own." But the thing is, YOU get owned by your possessions. I don't want to measure my worth by the type of vehicle I drive, the clothing I wear, the house in which I live. I want to be measured by the content of my character, but what I give back to the world, the effect I have had by touching the lives of those around me.

I work with children and young adults, and it's so sad that a good portion of these people have such an entitled attitude, don't know the meaning of "delayed gratification" and expect the world to be served up on a silver platter. They are so overstimulated, they seek sensation by using drugs, sex, and living in the world of t.v. and video games. It's so sad, and so preventable.

I think it's a matter of realizing what's real and what's not. I hate the term "setting priorities" but when it comes right down to it, that's what it's about. What is important? What holds REAL value? Is it more important to spend your time being brainwashed by the Boob Tube and Madison Avenue or developing relationships with people and the land?

I was bred and buttered on the North Side of "The City" (anyone from around here knows you mean "Chicago" when you say "The City"), and all I have wanted to do ever since I was a kid was get the heck out of there. I've made it as far as the North 'Burbs, and hope to get on to our land within the next 6 years. In the meantime, we (family and I) try to leave a soft, gentle, healing footprint wherever we step, and try to live as simply as possible. We organically garden, we preserve, we conserve, we try to consume resources wisely.

If you're looking for folks who are living The Dream to varying degrees, I highly recommend you check out these sites (if you haven't already gone there):


Good luck and all the best in your quest. It takes a lot of guts to set out on the adventure, but I think it will be worth it. And the more people who get out there and blaze the trail, the more people will see that it's a worthwhile pursuit.

*Pony steps down from her soapbox*

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 8:00PM
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gradymom(z5/6 MD)

why do I have the feeling that "farmfreedom" is a put on?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2004 at 1:56PM
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pony65(Zone 5)

I don't know -- why?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2004 at 10:10PM
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gradymom(z5/6 MD)

either it's a put on or he has a very dry sense of humor!

Come on, "boarding greyhounds" or "raising the rare lady slippers"? In the "wildflower" forum, he'd be vilified and I'm surprised no one has taken him to task for thinking of profiting off dog racing. Not to mention the original laundry list request...funny.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 4:32PM
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pony65(Zone 5)

Well, then, I guess I'm a little red in the face, getting up there on the soap box and going on and on...

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 8:46PM
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try whever you live now or anyplace within driving distance of gainful employment i doubt you will be making any money in agriculture. If you really want to find out about the list of items try subscribing to some farming periodicals i don't remember the name but seems like farmland today sent me an advertisement once. You seem to be missing a large part of the picture which is proximity to market if you are intrested in nursery you need a climate that fits the plants and a market to sell them in.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2004 at 6:19PM
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I just heard about Nebraska giving away land if you build a house.
Its probably a slum lot!
If I were interested in a new beginning, I would check that out. Hope you like the cold!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2004 at 10:27AM
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The problem is that in order to make money farming (which we are starting to do although we have not yet quit our day jobs) you need to be near a market who is willing, able, and HAPPY to pay top dollar for top quality produce.

Just a handful of acres 5-10 can produce more produce then one or two people can tend, even with help. If you can establish a market with people paying 2-4 dollars a pound for heirloom tomaotes and 8-12 dollars a pound for mixed greens you can make a living on that land. But you have to be close to a major metro area, and you have to able to sell yourself.

But the land will not be cheap, and "real" jobs are the only way to support it at first. Even through we have or home and 6 acres paid off our property taxes are KILLER!

I know a guy who makes a living for him and his family on 4 acres growing just lettuce. Anouther guy grows mushrooms, they have a lot of land, but only use 1 or 2 acres and they make a good living off them to the point of driving Volovos.

So it can be done, but you cannot think "I'm open for anything." You have to think of it like any other business. Decide what your product is (ours is heirlooms/exotics), decide who your customers are, decide where you will market (we do home delivery and sell at a high end farmers market), and write a business plan and follow it. and then market, market and MARKET!

But that is just my opinion.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2004 at 12:43PM
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I'm from the breadbasket of the good old USA and I assure you that there are many towns with 100-500 population that would nearly qualify for a ghost town. Land is very cheap, too. Not unheard of for it to go 300-400 an acre. Problem is location. Western and southwestern Ks. is dry as hell. We have a couple acres in the very middle of Ks. just a couple of miles from a town of 20,ooo. Got the fence up and a well put in this summer (had to go l75 ft.) and with neighbors on 3 sides only windbreak we've had to contend with planting is the north side. Parts of Ks. can blow like crazy spring and summer. This year especially spring. Plenty of moisture, too. But you got to look at that weather map on TV. Notice where the middle of Ks. is light green, the east is dark green and the westis brown? There is a reason for that. Tried raspberries and blackberries and blueberries this year -no go even with moisture (we used drip irrigation). Gooseberries and currants, native plums, apples, grapes, elderberries,in other words native fruits are OK. Forget apricots. Maybe a crop every 5 years on account of early frost. Even strawberries have a time with the wind. Not a lot of crime, and usually a creek or river around for wood. A site near (not too near) a river helps. On the Arkansas river to the south land is sandy and the north is clay. Thank God for a free mulch program in our town. We hauled tons and used gypsum in pellet form to garden. Raised corn, sweet potatoes,potatoes, lots of tomatoes and peppers, peanuts and squash, cukes, melons, beets, onions, garlic, shallots, celeriac, kale, chard, brussel sprouts, asparagus and of course Jerusalem artichokes. Those things will grow anywhere, aren't ready til they bloom, grow densely to 20 feet and make a great windbreak til our bush cherries grow into themselves. Don't even have to harvest them. Leave them in the ground and dig as you need them WHATEVER the winter. Next year: asian pears, semi-dwarf nectarines and apples, crabapples and hardy plums. Husband wants to try kiwi's on iron poles next to a fence with partial shade. Just a thought if cheap land is what you want.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2004 at 4:21PM
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I think the fellow is a little funny! A day late and a brain cell short.

IF, we had the time to do all of the research so that we might answer his questions, we definitely wouldn't be homesteaders or farmers.

Secondly, the last time I checked, anybody that did that kind of research got paid at least $40 an hour. It's called business research. There are agencies that do that, ya know.

Third, he isn't looking to homestead, he is looking from the sounds of it of creating a corporation to take up some more land. Instead of live on it and maintain it, he's going to exploit it. That isn't farming/homesteading.

My advice, don't move to Virginia, they will chase your funny little tail out of town.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2004 at 3:16AM
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Oddly enough, some of the cheapest land with water and fair growing season in the US is in upstate NY...Friends just bought a 4 bedroom victorian house with 120 acres for $118,000. Sounds high from my perspective (85 dollar per acre land 20 years ago)...but now hunting land in my area is going for 2 grand per acre.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2004 at 1:03AM
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Jungle_Jim(zone 8 / WA)

LOLOL... Mr. Douglas! How funny. I, too, am lookin and dreaming.. where there's a will there's a way, I suppose. But for right now I'm having to settle for my 1/4 acre outside the city limits with my 15x30 'Nursery Area'. S/O calls me 'Oliver'... Jim

    Bookmark   October 2, 2004 at 10:14AM
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Breezynosacek if you cannot support yourself how can you homestead. The tax man won't take a chicken and neither will the pharmacy, or my student loan company. You can make money off a peice of land and not exploit it. In fact, if you are going to continue to make money on it you had better not! That land needs lots of TLC, especially if it has been conventially farmed for any time, then you better start with dump trucks of compost, green sand, and manure.

Jungle Jim, try cold frames or raised beds. Our raised bed area of our gardens produce as much in 20 8ftx3ft properly prepared raised beds as 1/2 acre of our row crops... A handful of cold frames gives us lettuce for ourselves and some customers into November. We built our cold frames so they look really nice, white painted (reclaimed old) windows, and the box we painted green. These 10'x4' cold frames look so nice we put 2 in our front yard. You can do a lot on 1/4 acre.

120 acres for 118,000? I should move!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 8:32AM
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weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

So should I! The 1/2 Acre next door to me is going for $60,000

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 1:26AM
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We have 2 acre bowling alley field next to us... It should sell for at least 100,000...

    Bookmark   October 11, 2004 at 2:09PM
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cool tundra breezes year round, perma frost acreage available at special discounted rates, jobs available in seal industry - must be good with knife,
- 10 pairs thermal underwear
- 50 lbs Canadian bacon
- genuine silver whiskey flask

    Bookmark   October 17, 2004 at 2:41AM
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seraphima(z4 AK)

I think this guy will probably want to know where your favorite fishing hole and deer hunting area is too. Besides being a timewaster, one might also consider keeping personal info to a minimum from someone like this...not everyone out there is "nice" especially if times get tough.

Just a heads up, and I wish I didn't have to say it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2004 at 3:51PM
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geraldo(Cent. WA z6b)

If you truly want to make a living farming I urge you in the strongest possible terms to leave the USA and head south. Go anywhere, except Colombia. Try Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador or even Belize. These countries, or at least areas of them, are safer than the USA, land is much more affordable and building costs are cheap. Health care is often from doctors who have been educated in California, Germany, Canada, etc. The lifestyle is much better; slower paced, families are respected, and there is not the worship of the almighty dollar.
It is becoming impossible to farm in the USA. The rules and regulations require a full time employee just to keep up with them. You receive next to nothing for your products. You know those $2 per lb toms you see in the grocery? The farmer is lucky if he gets 20 cents of that. He is the first to take the risk and the last to get the reward.
And if you think Farmer's Market or direct marketing is the way to go, then have I got news for you. Everyone is thinking the same thing these days and it only takes one or two other people at a market to screw the whole deal for everyone.
Actually, the best advice I can give is for you to get a good government job.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2004 at 9:19PM
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Speaking of farmer's markets, one of the local tailgate markets near here now requires sellers to have a business license. So, what's the poor guy with just a few bushel of produce to sell going to do? And no, there is no incentive to farm. I did hear of a program here in WV that would assist, but you must have at least 30 acres of ACTIVE farm land. That doesn't help people like me who have 15 acres and just beginning to farm. I was offered land bordering mine for $1000 an acre and turned it down. I know it has been timbered twice in the last 15 years and I feel the asking price is too high. On the other hand, my husband and I have always admired a small cottage on one of our back roads that has been for sale for quite a while. I called last year and was told it was 13 acres and the asking price was $30,000. The house was in bad disrepair and we weren't willing to have more than $1000 an acre in it. Well the house sold this spring and the bad thing is it sold for 12,000, so we should have made an offer.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2004 at 9:13AM
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The original post must be a satire on this forum. Modern wanna be homesteading, etc.

I homesteaded, but that didn't include making a "living" off this land. But I did build a house out of local timber, rock, and sand. I garden. I have solar electricity and no powerline. I cut all my own fuelwood so I'm part way to self-sufficiency. No health insurance...

Anywhere I hear that North Dakota is losing population and is largely a rural state. Lots of potential up there.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 11:43AM
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If the root of your intention is simply to live a rural farm life with little investment, try searching the web for 'alternative communities'. These range fom complete co-housing communes where all profit and burden is shared equally, to loose associations of people sharing common land and farm equipment. You will be surprised at the number of these flourishing groups. I spoke recently with folks in New Mexico who would allow me to move a trailor onto thier land for a small fee or work exchange. They are also willing to provide materials and instruction for building a personal earthen-work home. They share no common religious or political affiliation however they do not allow tobacco, alchohol, drugs, or any habit forming recreational substances on site. They seem simply to have a genuine desire for 'community of like minds'. I strongly suggest a thurough examination of such a group before joining, especially if they require financial dedication. However, since a rural self sufficient lifestyle has become an alternative lifestyle, it makes sense to check into alternative sources.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2004 at 2:05AM
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highlonesome(z7 NC)

I have really enjoyed this tread, have never laughed so much.
Reminds me of that old acres of diamonds story where a landowner sells his farm to finance his global search for diamonds and ends up broke and homeless while the person who bought his farm discovers that it is awash with millions of dollars of crude oil or something of that
The moral of the story may be that many of us are sitting on acres of diamonds so to speak but are so motivated for a geographical change or the pursuit of some elusive but unattainable dream that we do not recognize the treasures that are beneath our very feet or underneath our very nose.

reminds me also of the french movie Jean De Florrante, (ca'nt remember exactly how to spell it,) where a man inherits a farm in the countryside of France and kills himself trying to make a living off of it while being sabotaged by his father who is trying to steal the farm away from his son in order to give it to his mentally retarded nephew, because neither father nor son know who each other are until after the death of the son at which time the father discovers that he has killed his true son and has thus ruined his acres of diamonds so to speak.

The poster sounds like that they could be a front man for a group of Amish people who quietly buy up thousands of acres of prime farmland that is poised to increase even further in value in the near future, but I doubt it, sounds more like someone from Japan or somewhere representing a bunch of businessmen or something, who knows, but very funny tread.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 10:52PM
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geraldo(Cent. WA z6b)

You should check out the prices of farmland in eastern British Colombia. People are coming there from India and the prices are just going up at an umbelieveable rate. A friend farms there and properties that were bought five years ago for $250,000 are bringing, in some cases, ten times that much. I wonder if that could happen here.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 10:30AM
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I don't know if this subject is still active, but I too enjoyed reading it. I live in what is termed "upstate" NY (to anyone in NYC, Upstate is anything north of Albany), actually northern NYS near Watertown, about 50 miles from the Canadian border. I think that a house with 120 acres going for the price of $118,000 is pretty reasonable, even kind of high.

There are very few jobs in our area, let alone good-paying jobs, and the property taxes on this piece of real estate could easily run up to $1000/month. So, even if you have cash to pay for the house & land (which people who move here from New Jersey, Long Island, and Mass. usually do), there is still a large annual outlay of cash.

There are very few family farms left, pretty much only the Mennonites are able to make their farms profitable because of their community spirit and helping each other during barn building, harvesting, etc. The rest of the farms are agri-businesses, producing crops to feed their holstein milk cows. Farm life is not what it used to be, and anyone who thinks they can just move to the country and start running a "farm" is in for a pretty rude awakening.
Oh well, it doesn't really discourage people, they have to try it for themselves and learn the hard way.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2005 at 5:28PM
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    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 9:26PM
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I bought an acre farm in Savino, Bulgaria with a well, paved-ish road, town water and electric small fruit orchard with a six room stone farmhouse in 2007 for about 7000 dollars. The topsoil is about four feet deep. I have had to refurbish the house for about another ten. Farming village, great views. I could probably get the place for about 4 thousand now. Great views. Some English pensioners are in the surrounding villages so I get to speak English occasionally. Bulgarian is a bear to learn and it's slow going. Great growing season. The additional expenses include registration of your "company" etc. taxes, etc. Taxes are about 150 bucks a year. Friendly people. Worth a look; plenty of places for sale considering the old farmers are dying off and their kids have gone to the cities or abroad. Let me know if you want any more info. Glad to help. I'm an hour and a half from the Black Sea and the Adriatic so when I need I break I haul it down there. Bulgaria is in the EEU and the dollar is still doing ok. There is NO chance of work unless you want to do work for the English but that is spotty. Very good place for a self sustaining lifestyle. Twenty miles from the nearest city, Yambol.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 3:04AM
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hello Green Man
I am from Slovenia - EU, and I like to know more about possibility to buy a land in Bulgaria, close to Black Sea. I was several times in Sofia, as a bussines, but have not expirience on the other side of country.
You can contact me directly to info@autoperformance.si

rgds, Denis

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 3:03PM
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