Anyone from Vermont? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Well, in our never-ending quest (!) to find our 'place' we are now considering Vermont (am I nuts? I hate winter)

Anyway, if anyone is in southern VT & homesteading, I would love to hear from you re: length of gardening season, local attitudes, homeschooling, taxes, property values, etc...

THANK YOU in advance!

-- heather (, March 04, 2002


I'm not in Vermont but my all-time favorite homesteading book is "The Good Life," about homesteading there. Do you know the book - is that why you are looking in Vermont? A very pretty state - but not where you want to be if you don't like a long, cold winter!

-- Scott McAlpine in Ohio (, March 04, 2002.

Heather, I live in southern Vermont, between Wilmington and Brattleboro. Homeschooling is thriving in our area. My children attend public school, but many of my friends here homeschool. I don't know all the particulars but I can find out. Lots of acreage around, some down the road (13 acres, 20,000). Don't know about property taxes, etc. I've rented for two years, met most of the locals. I feel very comfortable, this is a rural area so most know what it's like to scratch out a living here.

When my husband had a stroke, people I didn't know were bringing food, casseroles and volunteering to watch my boys, while I made the commute to the hospital. So definately good, caring people. You can be yourself (whatever that is)!

Folks raising sheep, goats, angora rabbits, rare orchids (greenhouse),and llamas in this area. Good-sized farmer's market in Brattleboro. Many work at several diffirent jobs here during the year. Mt. Snow in West Dover hires many during the winter months. Can find out details concerning gardening for you. Any questions or anything I can find out for you, please feel free to e-mail me. Good Luck!

-- Terran in VT (, March 04, 2002.

I live near Montpelier, VT. For 6 years I lived in a great little cabin in East Dorset, VT. I moved farther north 16 years ago to get away from all the tourist traffic. Check out my web page to see our underground house. My daughter is an unschooler and I have a commercial organic garden. Feel free to write to me. Also, I run a list for Vermont homesteaders. There's a link below.

Peace and Carrots Farm

-- Wendy Martin (, March 04, 2002.

I thought I'd repeat some homesteading advice. I wrote this while watching someone else make these mistakes...

We hosted some wanna-be homesteaders in our driveway. It drove us all nuts. Maybe you can learn something from this. We have learned a lot of lessons from them. This is hard-earned advice. Our driveway dwellers were such a perfect example of what NOT to do.......

1) do not move far away from family and friends....find a place you like in your favorite state

2) do not buy up homestead junk for "someday" then drag it around the country. It will cost more in transportation and storage than what it's worth. Until you are settled, you really don't know what is needed

3) don't spend a penny you don't have to. Look up what the typical disabled or welfare recipient gets and live on that....after all, they are expected to live on it. Anything more and you are wasting money. It makes you realize the necessities versus the junk. Save the rest.

4) Never run out and buy something. Sleep on that thought. Analyze the product. Read reviews. Make sure you *really* have to have it. Freeze your credit cards in ice.

5) Act now like you intend to act as a homesteader. You will not miraculously change when you move.

6) Don't buy the cheapest land you can find. You will live there many years. Access to your house, ease of getting to town and nearby services get more and more important. You might save a few thousand on land and then pay the difference yearly on vehicles, travel, higher prices, etc.

7) Make sure you make your needs and wants known to friends and newspapers and radio programs. Have lists. If you want to build a greenhouse, start gathering free windows and scrap lumber NOW. Keep your eye out at garage sales, etc.....but don't buy junk you might need that you have no plans for.

8) Quit whining about wanting to do something. If you really wanted to, you could be doing it right now. Maybe one part of your mind wants to and the other doesn't. Be honest with yourself.

9) Life is short. Yours could end tomorrow. If you think it's important.....DO IT TODAY!!!!! Don't wait for a time when the planets are going to align for you.

I think enjoying life is key. Nothing is more important than family, then friends, then reaching out to others. I think people who have too many tasks and run themselves ragged are crazy. No kid has to belong to every club and activity that comes along....neither do the adults. It doesn't matter where you can lead a much more leisurely life.

I have never understood the folks who want to homestead, but put it off while saving money. Just sell all your crap, buy 5 or 10 acres and go live there!! A homestead doesn't need to be out in the middle of nowhere....and I think that in most cases, the people who go way out there are making a mistake.

-- Wendy Martin (, March 04, 2002.

How did you build your hoophouse?

-- Hank (, March 05, 2002.

If you truly do hate winter, please do consider SERIOUSLY what it will be like in winter. The growing season in many parts of New England is very short, and snow cover can last until April. The winter can be very depressing, especially to someone who likes to work outside, because with several feet of snow on the ground (and the ground frozen) there's not much you can do, or else you have to do work outside, like shovel snow just to get to your mailbox, etc. Of course many people adapt to it, and locals don't think much of the winter, but if you are not used to a REAL winter, with a lot of snow and cold temperatures and limited gardening, I'd be very careful. DO NOT fall in love with a place in October, when all the leaves are colorful and brilliant, without thinking about what the place will be like in winter. I hope I don't sound cynical, but your comment that you hated winter concerned me. My wife and lived in southern New Hampshire for 2 winters an couldn't get used to the weather. (also, make sure you know about black flies!) Good luck!

-- Jeff Baker (, March 05, 2002.

Vermont is much more expensive than upstate NY .Seasons are about the same .You may want to consider this.

-- Patty {NY State} (, March 05, 2002.

Winter isn't THAT bad :-)!! There are lots of things to do in the winter. I live in Maine (zone 5) and the growing season is plenty long enough to grow all we need for a full year. We even grow watermelon, cantaloupe and 120 day pumpkins!! Actually after planting, harvesting and putting up food all summer and fall, we really look forward to the quiet of winter. We considered moving to Vermont 25 yrs. ago when we were looking for homestead property, but kinda "fell" into this property in Maine. We have relatives in northern Vermont (Montpelier) who absolutely love their area and the people! Patty is correct about property sometimes being less expensive in upstate N.Y. And Wendy gave some excellent advice!!! Just do it! Oh yeah...the blackfly season only lasts a couple of weeks :-)!

-- Marcia (, March 05, 2002.


Ha ha ha ha ha.....yup, sometimes ;-) Last year we had 5 feet of snow right up until the first week of May. Four years ago the snow was gone by the first week of April. You never know.

I live in the mountains. We have a very different climate than Montpelier, 12 miles away. You can see pics of our farm and underground house here...

-- Wendy Martin (, March 05, 2002.

How to build a PVC hoophouse...

there are more links here...

Here at Peace and Carrots Farm, we are zone 3.

-- Wendy Martin (, March 05, 2002.

I live in Walpole, a small town in southwestern New Hampshire. Walpole is located on the banks of the Connecticut River.

My best view while walking my property is of the hills and mountains in Vermont. I would have to say Vermont is beyond beautiful. I spend almost as much time in Vermont as New Hampshire.

I am about 20 miles north of Brattaboro Vt. I always plant cold hardy plants the end of April (almost every year I set my plant date at April 27th) I have not had to change my planting time since I moved here seven years ago.Our last exspected frost date is around Memorial Day. Last year our first frost was not until mid October. I had plenty of growing time.

I find the attitudes in Vermont to be relaxed. The people tend to be very friendly yet very stand-offish when it comes to newcomers. Most Vermonters are afraid of people moving in and developing the state. I respect Vermonters for worrying about losing the natural beauty of their state to developers. I have to say the ugliest places I have seen in Vermont are the skii areas (what and eyesore the condos are on the mountainsides)there ought to be a law against putting developements on the sides of mountains where they stand out like a sore thumb. Most of Vermont is spectacular when it comes to scenery though.

There is plenty to do year round in Vermont. Lots of flea markets and farmers markets. There are plenty of vegetable stands (which I enjoy stopping at during the spring, summer and fall).

About the only thing negative about Vermont (not coming from me but coming from people I talk to in Vermont) are the taxes. I am told they are terrible. Yet, I don't find too many people willing to move from Vermont to a lower tax state.

I think New Hampshire and Vermont are almost identical in so many ways. Both states are great!

-- george nh (, March 05, 2002.

Not yet a Vermontian, but would love to live there, ever since I saw White Christmas as a small lad! Snow,,Snoow,,Snooow,,Snoooow,,Snooooow!!! Also would like to live in Ireland!! "John Wayne" in the "Quite Man" So many romantic notions!!! None yet fullfilled!!

-- Stephen Coffman (, March 06, 2002.

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