opinions on homesteading areas in central & northern california (CO also)

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We are looking for 20-40 acres, partly wooded, partly pasture in an agricultural/rural area. The area should have things like feed stores, sale barns, custom butchers, etc. We'd like to stay away from the fog valleys, elevations above 5000 ft., and USDA zones lower than 5. We'd also prefer temperatures that stay below 90 degrees most of the time. We are living in a very rural area of Colorado right now and do not want to live in an area that is just a weekend get-away for city people; we want to live with farmers and ranchers. We would also like to stay north of Santa Barbara and out of the San Joaquin Valley. Any help you can give us would be appreciated, and perhaps we can answer questions about southwestern Colorado for anyone who is interested. Thank you--Sheri

-- sheri ligtenberg (farmgirls@bewell.com), January 16, 2000


Response to opinions on homesteading areas in central & northern california

Hi Sheri-My wife and I live in the Hayfork,CA area-Trinity Co 60mi W of Redding. Don't know if this area is what you are looking for-it is fairly isolated and jobs are scarce but we like it. Wooded mts with some nice valleys. The winters tend to be rainy rather than snowy. About USDA zone 7 most years with an occasional below zero winter. Tho there is some ranching it's more what i would call homestead country. If you go north more toward Yreka,the surrounding areas there tend to be more what I would call ranching country. More wide open and windy-we wanted to be more in forested country so we picked here. I'd label that area USDA zone 5-6,depends alot on specific locale. It's pretty hot everywhere around here in the summer esp if you go into Redding! but for the most part with the cool nights we manage ok-if you have specific questions feel free to email-all the best-Howie

-- Howie (biggguy79@hotmail.com), January 16, 2000.

Response to opinions on homesteading areas in central & northern california

Sheri, I personally don't like living in California. I guess it's a personal bias. However, if I didn't have this bias, I'd probably be investigating the Booneville, Mendocino County, area. I used to work around there, measuring rivers for quantity and quality. This area sounds like what you are looking for. Year round farming is a real possibility, without too much really hot weather.

I'm in SW Oregon, and I love it, but it's not nearly as good a spot for farming, in my experience.

This part of Mendocino almost never freezes, yet there is a large orchard industry. Also, if you don't live withing ten or twenty miles of the coast, the fog is not a frequent problem. There are even orange groves a bit farther east, like around Cloverdale (which also supports lemons and limes), and west of Geyserville, in the Dry Creek Valley.

Good luck--by the way, I personally LOVE southwest Colorado, but have never lived there. My wife won't live more than a couple of hours from the ocean; says she needs to "charge her batteries" by visiting the beach. I personally have a better way to charge her batteries, but that's another story...

-- jumpoff joe (jumpoff@echoweb.net), January 22, 2000.

Response to opinions on homesteading areas in central & northern california

Dear Sherri,

I live in Placerville, CA - one hour east of Sacramanto, in the Sierra Foothills. this is definitely not farming or ranching country. The biggest problem in any area of California, rural or not (even WAY out), will be cost of land. Scott Valley (town of Etna) is about the most beautiful ranching area in No. Ca. It is a mountain valley at about 3500' Farm land is very hard to find and very expensive. Search on the internet for "Siskiyou County" or "Etna" and you will get some real estate pages. Another area is the Modoc Plateau in NE CA, wide open alfalfa ranches, but again very expensive. We have been looking in rural areas of No. CA for 10 years. We are now looking into area in the midwest.

I hope this is helpful.

-- Andrew Price (at_price@pacbell.net), December 14, 2000.

Always interested in other areas, but we do like ours. We live in Mariposa County. It's about 100 miles from Fresno, or 40 miles from Merced. We are in the area of HWY 140 that takes you into Yosemite Nat'l Park. This is a very rural area with a lot of ranches and I believe there are a lot of homesteaders. Rolling foothills. The summers are generally quite warm, but the winters are sunny unless it is storming. The summers range from 80's to 100's but it does cool down a lot at night. We very seldom even use a fan at night and always turn the water cooler off at sundown. There is usually frost during the winter nights and in some areas snow. The portion of the county that we live in gets snow about every 3-5 years, and the snow doesn't last long. We normally get quite a lot of rain during the spring. The price of land and housing is like everywhere. Some high and some bargains. We paid $27,000 for our 5 acres with a well. Realestate here doesn't move very fast so there are a lot of sellers that will carry their own loans. If you are interested you can email me direct and I will give you some contacts. I believe our local paper is on the net and if you are interested let me know and I will find the web address for you. Good luck !

-- Cindy Palmer (jandcpalmer@sierratel.com), January 19, 2001.

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