Tuesday, March 25, 2008

surfacing again

I started this blog as an attempt to sort out my thinking and the available options of where an agrarian, distributist, and anti-war Catholic of orthodox and traditionalist mind could set up a farm. That's still the purpose but I haven't actually done anything toward that end. A lot of my reluctance comes from the (till recently) subconscious awareness that if I really want to be a farmer I'm going to have to move from my native Washington state.

There was a time when it was possible for a man just starting out on the farming path to find a place in Washington and just get started. Some of my neighbors did just that in the '40s and '50s. The soil is in many places fertile. The rain is sufficient, albeit not well distributed through the year. The growing season is long enough, though not warm enough for melons and sweet potatoes.

The problem is that more than 75% of the land is Washington is owned by; the federal government, the state government, or one of the big timber/paper companies. What's left is marginal land, and far to expensive to be usable for farming. Same is true (to a less extreme degree) in Oregon. Ten acres of high quality farmland in Western Washington is sold as an estate, and with a rundown house would run to 1,350,000-6,000,000 dollars, depending on proximity to Seattle. Fifty acres of the more typical heavy acidic clay like we have here in Winlock would run 500,000-3,000,000. Large parcels are that rare. I simply can't afford to buy a farm here.

Where, then, to go? That was the the question I set up this blog to explore, and it's high time I got on it.

1 comment:

  1. Try Montana. Lots of freedom, and they're actually standing up to our new dictator...I mean, president. Not much for employment unless you're in the right industry. But we've decided to move there anyway. I know people making money out there without a job, by working hard. It allows them to be free of a job, but still earn money and spend plenty of time on the homestead. However, to do that, you need to really downsize your lifestyle. If you need the AC full blast, and all the luxuries that aren't good for you anyway (tv, cable, xbox, satellite internet, etc.) and a ready-made homestead, then you'll need a good-paying job. If you can live on remote recreational property, off-grid, and spend your time raising your own animals and food, and selling the extra, and find ways to scrounge free stuff and earn money on odd jobs, you'll do well, and live a happy life. It just depends on the person, and how tied they are to the typical lazy, cushy modern life. I know we were addicted to that lifestyle for a long time. But after a few months of turning off the tv, we're ready for the old-fashioned, hard working, peaceful agrarian lifestyle that we believe God is calling us to. God bless!