Homesteading in Wisconsin??? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Wow!... Do not know where to start. I have dreamed of moving from the BIG city for years and to get out and Homestead somewhere in the Country. I have been seeking employment in many States and areas where I might be able to work in a small City, hopefully near the Country and start to get my grubstake together, get my land, and eventually set up my piece of Homesteading Heaven. I just got a offer for a General Manager position in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Is there country land outside of this city. Is the climate right for Homesteading. Is land cheap or expensive. Anything that can help me in a decision to accept this offer would be appreciated. Is there problems with this city? Wisconsin folks please help??? Email if you wish. Thanks so very much. Ken

-- Ken Rush (, December 08, 2000


Ken, there is country land outside of all the cities of Wisconsin, except Milwaukee. I am a Wisconsin native, first half of my life in the north, second half in the south. I am, therefore, prejudiced, but this is a beautiful state. The farmland in the southern part is (historically) very fertile, but farming in the north is a mixed bag - - depends on the soil in the area, and of course, the winters are long and can be rather severe (though not lately).

I am still in my planning/organizing stages myself, but I do know that land around here (Madison) is quite expensive, and farmland is getting gobbled up for developments at a VERY alarming rate. Other areas vary, but it seems to be a growing trend in this state. I don't know anything specific about Oshkosh, but there are lots of Wisconsin folks on this board, so you'll get a bunch of answers.

Our taxes are fairly high too (income and property). It also depends where you are from (what you are used to in terms of weather, cost of living, etc.) -- compared to California, it's quite reasonable here. From what the other posters here say, compared to Alabama or Missouri (for instance), it's rather expensive here.

-- Joy Froelich (, December 08, 2000.

A nice area, Oshkosh is.Last week I was in Oshkosh and another town close by called Montello. You have to remember not to buy any property from a guy named O'lee or his wife Lena, so I've been told.

Happy Homesteading.

-- hillbilly (, December 08, 2000.

Did you mean Ole? DON'T pick on Ole and Lena! ;-)

-- Joy Froelich (, December 08, 2000.

Ken, we moved to northern Wisconsin two years ago. I work in Duluth, about a thirty minute drive away from where we bought land. The land her is getting more expensive, and as long as the economy stays strong most land will be getting more expensive. The soil we deal with is clay, last year we built raised beds in the garden and had a much better year. We have 29 chickens, but no other live stock. The climete is OK, but we seem to have a couple real cold spells each winter. I would not move back to the big city. We love the peace and quiet. I am a blacksmith in my spare time, and I can have my forge out here in the shop. No problems with the guy next door getting upset about the smell or noise. We have a wood burning furnace, by a truck load of wood for the winter for about $500. Drop me a note if you have any specific questions I may be able to answer. Steve

-- Steve Collins (, December 08, 2000.

Ken I live near and work in Oshkosh (moved here about 2 years ago) I just bought a small farm (about 15 acres) about 10 Miles out from Oshkosh. I can tell you a few things:

1: The soil all clay but the farmers seem to do fine with it (mostly corn and soy beans) 2: Land is relativly cheap considering the proximity to Oshkosh ~1000 - 1500 an acre for farm land slightly more for woods. 3: The landscape is very very flat for about a 20-30 mile radius from Oshkosh. 4: There are a few of the homesteader type people around, but in general the people seem pretty closeminded and unprogressive (everyone seems kind of the same). I must also add the people are in general very nice too. 5: Gardening - This last suumer we grew Tomatos, beans, sweet corn, and lettuce with no problem. I'd say the average day in the summer is about 80 and in the winter around 20. 6: Oshkosh really has no suburbs so as soon as the city ends, its just country. So its possible to live relatively close to the city but still be miles away from the nearest Walmart.

Hope that helps


-- Colin (, December 09, 2000.

I have to tell those who moved to Wisconsin in the past two years: The winters of 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 (these two just passed) were MILD for Wisconsin. They were not normal (unless this is what global warming is bringing us). This winter is supposed to be much more like "normal" -- i.e. COLDER & LONGER. Be prepared.

-- Joy Froelich (, December 09, 2000.

The previous answer was right on the nose. These last couple of winters have been very mild! It usually is much colder much longer with much more snow!! But since I was born and raised in Wisconsin and haven't lived anywhere else in my 41 plus years I wouldn't know anything else! I love it here and think it is definitly a place where you can "homestead" actually you can homestead any where by adapting to the local climate. I'm getting to the point I would like to be somewhere with milder winters due to health reasons, perhaps Texas or Arizona. So if anyone has suggestions along those lines pass them on! Good luck with your new job, I'm sure you will like it in Wisconsin. I'm not real close to Oshkosh, we are near Eau Claire. If there is anything we can do to help or answer any more questions feel free to e-mail us. Happy holidays to all. Barb

-- BARB (WILDETMR@YAHOO.COM), December 10, 2000.

We're about an hour West of Oshkosh, and if the soil is clay there then somewhere between there and here, the soil turns to sand. There are a lot of businesses here known as "sand county... whatever". We are able to have a successful 1 acre organic garden because we added several dumptruck loads full of horse manure and tilled it in. Land prices here have almost doubled since we bought ours 6 years ago. We are hoping this was mostly due to the y2k thing and people wanting a place in the country just in case. One thing you should be aware of is that there are a lot of very touristy places in this area of Wisconsin and you'll probably want to stay away from them. The land prices will reflect the popularity of those particular areas. You'll also want to watch the cost of fuel/gasoline if you're planning to homestead any distance from Oshkosh. We know several people who live close to us who drive 1 hour to the Oshkosh/Fond du Lac/Neenah area for work every day and are now feeling the effects of those prices. We like our winters cold and snowy, so were disappointed by the last 2 years, but are optimistic for this year!

-- Rose Marie Wild (, December 10, 2000.

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