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Free Land – Are you Ready to Try Homesteading?

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Self-reliance is an appealing alternative in today’s economic reality…

By Greg Seaman, Posted Oct 3, 2011

homesteadingThe bright lights and fast action of city living may be losing some appeal to the growing number of people today who are out of work and short on funds. It’s an uneasy feeling to set our fate in the hands of a job interviewer, or to risk our last bit of savings on new skills training for a job that may never materialize. The future seems uncertain, and trust in the systems in place to ensure our welfare seems to be eroding.

My wife and I felt this way when we were young, even though times were better back then, and so in 1980 we moved to a rural area to try our hand at homesteading. It turned out to be a great move for us. We’ve raised a family and found security and independence which, in today’s economic climate, seem especially appealing. I would think many young people today might benefit similarly.

Since the 1920’s  there has been a trend of people migrating from rural areas to cities in search of job opportunities and living standards which feature convenience, access to educational opportunities, more diverse economic activity, and more social alternatives. For nearly a century this migration has served peoples’ needs, and even today many rural communities are seeing an exodus of residents in search of a better life.

Today, many rural communities are looking for ways to reverse the trend in depopulation. The intention of bringing residents back to rural communities is to stimulate and help sustain local economies and institutions, and in some parts of the country, free land is offered as an enticement to prospective new residents.

Homestead Living has Changed

Modern homesteaders have more lifestyle choices and income opportunities than their pioneer forebears. There is a wealth of information available today to help people experience the benefits of self-reliance without suffering the setbacks of greenhorn homesteading mistakes. Gardening and farming know-how is easy to come by thanks to rural agricultural extension services, library-by-mail programs and of course the internet.

Job opportunities in remote areas, thanks to the internet, have improved greatly. Online businesses can be inexpensive to set up, and since the cost of living in rural areas is lower than living in town, the requirements for a successful online business are lower. One of my neighbors, for example, has a small website which provides information about wood cookstoves, with a link to suppliers who provide referral fees on sales. The business may only bring in a few thousand dollars per year, but this covers about half of the annual homestead fixed expenses.

The isolation of rural living is also mitigated by internet access to social networks. Whatever niche captures your interest, there will be a forum online with like-minded individuals sharing ideas and providing social stimulation. Online friends are no substitute for a close neighbor, but modern homesteaders can maintain a social discourse, and good mental balance, thanks to modern wireless technology.

So where is the free land?


The Department of Natural Resources is directed by the state constitution to sell land for settlement and private ownership. There is a Remote Recreational Cabin Sites program where an applicant is allowed to stake a parcel of land in a designated remote staking area for recreational use. The parcels are leased for a limited length of time and purchased at fair market value after the completion of a survey and appraisal. There are no building or “prove-up” requirements required with this program.


Manilla – The Manilla Economic Development Corporation offers 15 new single family lots in the New Sunrise Addition Phase II at no cost to qualified individuals or entities that build a new single family residence subject to certain conditions. More info.


Several communities in Kansas are offering free land and other incentives to attract new residents. The goal is to help rural areas sustain and grow economically. Look for opportunities in Atwood, Ellsworth County, Mankato, Marquette, and Washington. For a list of communities which offer free land in Kansas, click here.


Beatrice – The city of Beatrice has passed “the Homestead Act of 2010,” a plan to give away city land to anyone willing to build a home there and live in it for three years. This has been a successful program, and the last free lot of this initial offering was given away in January of this year. However, if this region interests you, it may be worth contacting municipal authorities in Beatrice to learn of future offerings, or if any of the assigned parcels have fallen through and are up for offer.

Other towns in Nebraska which are offering free land and incentives for new residents include Callaway, Central City, Curtis, Elwood, Giltner, Kenesaw and Loup City. Contact municipal offices in these towns for details on their land offerings.


Dayton – Dayton is following the example of Beatrice, Nebraska, and charging would-be homesteaders only nominal fees for homesteading land.

Where else is there free land?

Opportunities for free land are available to those willing to think ‘outside the box’ and take a chance on an adventurous new lifestyle. If you can narrow down your search to a specific region that appeals to you, here are a few suggestions which may yield good results:

Look for care-taking opportunities.

As any homesteader knows, rural homes and properties need to be lived in or they will deteriorate rapidly. Roofs need frequent repair, homes need to be heated in winter to prevent mould and rot taking over, fences need attention, water lines need draining in freeze-ups, and the list goes on. But the life situations of many rural landholders may change. People get old and move to assisted living, but may want to retain their homestead for future occupants.

One of my friends care-takes a magnificent waterfront property with garden and orchard, and is even paid $1500 per month for his efforts. The owner, due to financial misdeeds, will be spending the next 15 years in prison. My friend was thinking out of the box when he found this opportunity!

Care-taking someone else’s property has the secondary advantage of letting you try out the homesteading lifestyle to see if it suits you. When a homestead is already developed, you can learn what works and what mistakes to avoid, and apply this knowledge to your future homestead as it develops.

Look for cooperative opportunities

The mention of the word ‘cooperative’ may stir anti-socialism sentiments among the paranoid and uninformed, but I have been living in a land co-op for 31 years and the experience has been most rewarding. In fact, I owe my homestead lifestyle to the co-op model, since my wife and I could never have afforded the collective land we share with others.

Cooperative living arrangements are nothing new, although land co-ops are not as common as housing co-ops which proliferate in cities and towns. But friends can pool their resources and look for land which can accommodate multiple dwellings. Shared orchard and garden space can make food production practical when more hands are available. In our co-op, some of us specialize in growing certain crops which we share with others in exchange for a share of their specialty crop. It makes the gardening process much easier when you can focus on a few crops rather than trying to produce the many crops which provide a varied diet.

Perhaps the biggest concern in land co-ops is the matter of equity. Homes built on co-ops do not build equity the way homes on private lots do. (Or used to!) It is not easy to sell a home on co-op land, since the buyer needs to be accepted by the other group members. You won’t be able to take out a home equity loan. This can be a good thing though, looking back over the past few years, since these loans have put many people financially “under water”.

Approach holders of large parcels

A group of 6 friends in Oregon approached an older man with 160 acres of land, and made a proposition to him. If he would let them put an organic garden on a piece of his land, they would share the harvest with him. After the first season, the owner grew fond of the company of young people, and offered to let them park their bus beside the garden. The relationship grew and blossomed, and today the landowner has given 5 acres to the young group to build their homestead cooperatively. The landowner benefits by feeling a part of the sustainability movement, and by sharing ideas and knowledge with young people. The young people benefit by having free land, of course, but they also enjoy the benefit of an older person’s experience and perspective.

People’s life situations change over time, and opportunities arise for those who seek them out. If you’re feeling insecure living in the city, or if the notion of self-reliance appeals to you, homesteading can provide a feeling of independence and some measure of control over your life.

Homesteading may seem old-fashioned to many, but we think there’s going to be a lot more interest in this way of living as the global economy continues to unwind.

Posted in Preparedness Tags , , ,
  • intelq

    It is not necessary to give up all modern conveniences to reduce your carbon footprint when you utilize alternative energy and green building techniques. Passive solar design coupled with straw bale, cob, cordwood, or earthbag construction can yield an efficient, comfortable, and green built structure for your homestead. Solar panels and wind turbines are tried and true forms of alternative energy, but new technologies such as geothermal, micro hydro, and bio-diesel offer additional flexibility to power your off grid homestead.

  • Thank you for sharing the homestead alternative. I never knew this existed. This is a good alternative for people that are looking for rural living and getting back to green living. I appreciated the wealth of information shared on this article.

  • quintessencecreations

    It's interesting how people find ways that work in hard times. I personally like living a little more in the rural areas, but not too far off the beaten path. I love the last story of the 6 people wanting to grow organic garden and how it blossomed into something more.

  • sole sister

    My cousin caretakes a lovely waterfront property for wealthy owners who use the property only two weeks per year. He and his wife vacate the property for this time, but otherwise enjoy the place as if it were theirs. And they are paid for their service! They have maintained this arrangement for about 15 years.
    The examples in the above article may get some people thinking.

  • Rosalind Hildred

    Self-reliance also happens in spades if there is $100 or less available to spend. My partner dropped his lifestyle as engineer( as well as professor of mechanical engineering), among other things, expecting to succumb from Hodgekin's lymphoma. He started with a backpack, hammock and blanket, a change of clothes and a pocket knife, knowing that at the end of the day he would be no worse off. He walked many miles to where he could put up a shelter for $25.00 (plastic $19.99, screws $4.65, scrounged mill scrap and a few borrowed hand tools.) A couple of work trades and he had an old seat to sleep on, a broken fishing rod, and a little wood stove. Nine years later when we got together, he owned little more, but he had life and freedom.
    I, after working myself through university and realizing what else it was going to take to survive in 'the system', started nearly 40 years ago with an army tent and a change of clothes for myself and two kids, and no more else than I could carry on my back. Total collected in welfare for single mother with children making a total relocation and lifestyle change, $260.00 over the first two months. I learned to cook beans and forage for wild greens, and thank god for clams.
    Today, I am more than proud of my 'boys', pleased to have my highly intelligent and entertaining lover, and happy with my humble abode. Neither of us collect any kind of financial assistence, although I must admit, I'm looking forward to the OAP next year!
    The scariest part was that first decision.

    • Greg Seaman

      "The scariest part was that first decision. "

      Thanks Rosalind, this is a good point that's missing from the article.

    • Douglas

      What a wonderful and interesting tale. I write short stories and truly thought that I was reading a manuscript. I left a job in the south with a $75,000.00 salary and moved to the woods of Maine for one year until moving to another homestead. Rosalind, I wish you well strong lady…

    • woo hoo Ros! Love the story and with my birdies out of the nest I’m looking at doing something similar. been paring down the ‘materials’ for years now … not quite down to a hammock and pocket knife yet, but hey, it’s a process 😉

  • Jenna

    Your artice interests me. I think the isolation factor is the main reason we haven't moved to a more rural place but as you say, co-ops and land sharing can involve other like minded friends. I also like some of the comments and want to learn more about people who tried this and how it worked for them.

  • Your article is very encouraging. Thank you for this one.

    The key thought of your write-up is “Go out of your shell.” It’s time to expand and explore. Have the confidence to start a new one on Homesteading.

  • Austin

    Free land? Where do i sign up?! In all seriousness, this is a great article with a lot of information about homesteading. I've heard of it, but now i know what it actually is. Thanks!

  • ej95815

    Jenna's point about the isolation factor is what would scare me the most. Especially with children. I would love to give it a try for, say, a 3 year period. I think it would be a great way to live. As with most people I think the free land would be a necessity since you certainly wouldn't be making enough $$ to pay any sort of monthly payment for the land.

  • tranatlivg

    Your earth friendly homestead site is valuable advice for natural sustain able living Earth easy business natural living and products is a valuable resource for the novice and experienced in transition,I've been researching on this subject daily, and will advocate speaking.Natural housing materials also include industrial hemp is a gradual growth industry,many people are starting over from scratch, the many options of materials available ,it is a lot to learn and to adapt.I've been looking for over two years and partner volunteer with a sustain able organization, there is no free land or crown land available for free in Canada to my knowledge.I volunteered near Ottawa to learn about homesteading organic farming with all chores, including shoveling horse manure that was a reality awakening with no monetary pay ,the experience room and board is hard work. I came close to injuring my back, is a great learning experience.I'm still on the grid and in a country suburb and a renter.I came here because it is quiet and peaceful with access to a wooded area and a Lake and Farmers Market seasonal.
    You are aware of any free land opportunity in Canada,please let me know.I also wrote to my local Habitat for Humanity head office in Canada their criteria is the family must have a good credit rating what about people whom have lost their jobs lay offs,become ill ,stress leave from the system, and are good decent people with values about helping individuals in service to others while learning to help themselves and no income,low income,differently abled families ,individuals to have their own land, independent homestead green sustainable housing as earth ships for example and received no response.For many,life is becoming unsustainable and exploitations of resources of the elite are transitioning easy they have the money,gold all earth extractions with real estate and resources with seed vaults and underground cities even to do so, the past few days of demonstration protests prove this change is needed world wide and there are people that prefer to transition to affordable basic solutions with decent fair standards .Humanity is going in this direction it's not quite there yet.

  • It’s interesting how people find ways that work in hard times. I personally like living a little more in the rural areas, but not too far off the beaten path.

  • Many of those who live and work in urban places go back to rural areas when they retire. Living in the rural area brings less stress, but of course we have to earn for a living. And the internet is one good example, online business such as blogging can be a good source of income, a good niche can be related to what rural area we live, we can choose farming, animals, etc. as good niche.

  • Polish translations

    I’ve Master’s Degree in Agriculture and always said that with your own land you are self sufficient, land feeds you and you don’t have to work for anybody like slave.

    • kelly

      I really agree with your response . Its nice to see thay sombody else has yhe same views that we live in a modern day of slavery and blinded by benefits. A mother can not stay within the home anymore to even raise chidlren because there is a demand for both parents to work in order to “provide”. I hope that there is new light for a new type of lving where people work with nature instead of wasting resources taking from the environment and never giving back. The world would be a great place without money and politics. Just people helping people.

      • I hear you Kelly. Our basic “needs” seem to just keep growing.

        • 605591aa

          But basic needs aren’t a BMW SUV for mom and dad. The most expensive everything and raise your kids to think they’re better than their peers while buying them everything. My wife, myself, and 2 children live in Oregon and exist on $1203 a month and live quite well. Its just what you think is basic needs and stick to it so as to exist without any help from anyone or the government for sure.

          • Bo Spurlock

            My income is nearly exact same. Im researching homesteaders act trying to find land to do such. I live in south point ohio and live well myself. Im a disabled veteran of iraq wars and would like to make afresh start in the wilderness. If any info please share.

          • Trish House

            Local Communities Dismantling Corporate Rule, part 1

          • carl inWis

            TNX, Trish for the info —

          • Charlotte Travis

            If you find homesteading act any where Please let me know! we grow fresh veggies, have fresh eggs, if we had a milk cow we would have fresh milk, we would love to live off the grid, when we bough our home maybe 2 cars a day went by to & from work now it is all day and all night & we live in the hills, in the country people buying up land building chicken produce farms UGH

          • Matthew

            I too live in Oregon with a small family and always seek ways of living better on my small property and sensibly as possible! Frugality is a nesecity in our household and would love to connect with others in my area that share these ideals! We started our own small family business to pay the bills and most i portantly serve our family and make OUR dreams come true and not the dreams of a corporation willing to buy humans out of their ambition and willingness to sell off their talents in pursuit of things that do not truly matter in our precious little lives. I know this thread is old but perhaps youll read this and perhaps we may connect and exchange knowledge and ideas for a better way! Thank you!

          • queenofmeanie

            I am retiring at the end of this year. I am looking to buy some land and putting a yurt on it and living off the land.

          • Elly Norris Huff

            My husband and I are planning to do the same. Let me know how this is going for you .

      • Richard Beasley

        I totally agree with Kelly, as individuals within this new society we have become dissected and cloistered to feed the needs of corporations. Their plan is to pay us such meager wages that we will be held in chains for the rest of our lives. We soon forget how to care for one another and selflessness is soon forgotten.
        I miss the smell of fresh dirt in the spring, and ,the ability to see only nature before my eyes. We were made to live in a caring compassionate community but that is now almost completely gone. If can not even be found in a Church which was to be its very foundation. Everything and I mean everything revolves around money, If there is a problem not understood look their first, it truly is the root of all evil.
        We are controlled by it in all ways, if you are wealthy it gives great but false pride, it dulls the mind to compassion creating a host of other personal issues never seen, .If a person is without it they are torchured with depression, self doubt and fail to see their true value. Yet only in a community that has matured in self sufficiency is able to heal from the corruption caused by competition for monetary gain. Yet I am sure that when recovery takes place love will become the new wealth, and it will grow if we work for it. I feel strongly that it is the only true wealth and this wealth can never die or washes away with time.. Like monetary wealth it does not just happen; both have a beginning however the difference is love has no end. Plainly said, those that love can never die, the question for myself is how do grow love in a wealth driven world when all my energy is spent in bondage to it. Why do we fear it so when it is the greatest power, why trade it for a weaker one just because of fear. I do fear as well, I am just willing to write about it.
        One last thing, we must not confine love to our nuclear family, that is just too easy, so easy it teaches us almost nothing, it must be moved into our community with the same vigor this is primarily what I have been writing about.
        Thank you, Rich

    • J.J. McCampbell

      The job of farming is no cakewalk, and not everybody is cut out for it. You have to have the right land, you have to make the right crop choices. Are you going to eat meat? Raise and process it yourself? Barter for it? Get paid by the government not to grow certain crops? There was much uncertainty over weather and crop prices. It’s why the small, self sufficient farm has become a rarity these days. All that being said, I would do it in a heartbeat, being self sufficient would be it’s own reward.

      • Erika

        I agree and we do it in a heartbeat as well although there are many things to think about before doing that and it seems it would make more sense for a few families to get together and do it together rather than one family try to carry the entire weight doesn’t it?

      • carl inWis

        You have to size the amount that you can handle!

    • Lloyd

      I don’t agree that working for someone in a business makes you a slave if your paid. “you are where you are because that is where you really want to be whether they admit it or not” earl nightingale

      • samuel adams

        Nonsense. The state controls, the land. Perpertually taxes you for it. Mortgage interest applied to an overpriced home. And corporations maneuvering your wage down to nothing, and your earnings up the pyramid to the CEO. You slave your whole life to live. A tiny house is not even legal. Zoning, and RV laws etc make life difficult. You ARE a slave. Slapping down a place to live in a peer-to-peer mortgage interest free manner shouldn’t take your whole life. Having a paid off home should be done in 5 years max. Any more than that is corporate slavery. Let the business magnates build their own yacht clubs and sky scrapers. All human needs is adequate shelter, food, basic healthcare.

        • absolutely

        • carl inWis

          Sam – Read “Cultural Marxism” ffor how we got to this mess. It was a deliberate plan of certain elite to get control. [1873]

    • King J

      try telling that to my wife, she has 2 masters degrees and can’t get find a job, unwilling to think outside the box or work for the family.

  • Tenby Cottages

    Interesting ideas. There’s modern alternatives so you don’t have to give up all mod-cons. I’m looking at ecospaces at the moment that come with solar panels. Hoping to live on a plot of land when i’m old in one living as a homestead.

  • Guest4656

    There is no homesteading land in Dayton. I have lived in Dayton all my life. You would have to get out of the county to homestead. Also Dayton has some of the highest crime rates in the country. Dayton also has some of the highest property taxes in the country. A $45,000 house pays $1,500-$2,000 per year in property taxes.

    My advice is stay away from Dayton.

    • FEDUPAmerican1

      not true about crime, i live in Dayton and the crime rate is not some of the highest in country.

  • It is do-able, the main requirement is intention.

  • FreeSpirit

    I would like to find free land in British Columbia, Canada. Anyone know of anything?

    • adniram

      I was looking for the same thing. Have you learned anything new?

  • KimandJoe Walsh

    I love the co-op idea and am thinking that multiple family members will too. It might be a great long term plan for us.

    • The co-op model has worked well for us for over 35 years. If you have questions as you move forward, feel free to email me with your questions.

  • potato

    FREE LAND for positive productive people to use to do cool things……There is 21 acres of land in TN that people are free to use and live on. The land is there to help those that want to help others. So if you have something that you want to do but need land to do it, now you have land…..there is a 9 acre field two creeks a pond a spring box and a well ….there is no house but lots of good camping and anyone’s
    welcome to build a dwelling…I would like to see this land turn into a community of people that not only helps each other but others to and a place where travelers can go for rest, resources and learning or a home base if they need one. I want to grow enough food to eat, sell, and give to disaster relief and gatherings…..we have big plans to do awesome things and even though we have already accomplished a lot we have a lot more to do. What we need is building materials so we can finish the barn, build more shelter for travelers, a roadside farm stand, a green house and other things . Homesteading supplies to help us live off the grid. and a tractor so we can grow so much more food…..we really want a tractor!!. Money……ya we need money and people that want to work on projects. especially next spring. There is so much we can do if we work together. Come on out, this is a big project and we need all the help we can get…….. if you do come out you should be willing to make conscious effort to get along with others and be respectful. this is not land that people can do any thing they want this is not a party squat. there is a core crew that helps govern and keep the land on track. others are encouraged to have input and if you prove yourself to be down you will become core crew. there is no max size for core crew.

    • I like your project, your attitude and your web page. This sounds like a great opportunity for the right person(s). Maybe you can write an article about how things are progressing – we might want to post it in our blog for others to draw inspiration from.

    • Angelia Stewart

      Who do my husband and I talk to about this .

    • John Curbo

      Potato my email is Please email me if at all possible. I live in Tn. and am interested in helping. I have a lot to offer. Thanks

    • Elaine Kelly

      I know people who need land to camp or live in RV’s…. those of us who have been exposed to Highly Toxic Mold are without homes. Is there any possibility for a section of land used to house people who are trying to recover and need a place to stay ?

    • very interested …. have skills to share, teacher, nurse, gardener, artist, yarn arts {including a potential project that could make a little money] … love the disaster relief aspect a lot

  • Charlotte Travis

    MeadowLark in Colorado does not have homesteading anymore, sent emails & it came back as address unknow, I check to email address twice, my husband & want to do this but hit dead ends everytime

  • Tim Coy

    Could ya’ll use a blacksmith ? My family has been considering something like this for a while now.

  • Sovereignty

    Thanks for sharing this article, it’s inspiring me to keep walking down this alterative path. Three years ago my husband and I set off into the unknown after giving away our belongings. We have been volunteering on farms, retreat centers, and communities across the country.
    I feel deeply that it is time to come into a new way of living, one that is more in alignment with my truth. I’m working to reawaken the earth-honoring traditions that have been trampled under the frenzy of mindless capitalism.
    My idea is to start creating cultural healing centers across the land to teach regenerative farming practices and holistic healing techniques. Check out this link for more info on the vision and feel free to contact me if you have any insights into how to get this idea going!!cultural-healing-centers/cwl

  • Pam

    We have a 104 acre farm in North East Tennessee and would LOVE to have a group come do what they did at the mans farm in Oregon with the 160 acres. That would be phenomenal! We have the land, have the facilities but there are just 2 or 3 of us to maintain it. A community effort to build and maintain and help pay for it all would be awesome. We have a dream of building a Christian retreat. We have been building for 12 years now and have a small campground, have started a bath house but have not been able to finish it. We have several fishing ponds fully stocked that need cared for also.Having the extra helping hands who would also benefit from the land here would be a blessing! We are considering selling everything because it is so much to take care of. Living off the land is a dream a lot of people cannot accomplish. It can be a reality with the right direction and assistance. It is the best way to go!

    • Listen up folks – Opportunity is knocking!

      Thanks Pam.

  • Of course some income is needed regardless of the lifestyle. We made end meet doing odd jobs, selling crafts, starting a small business, doing more odd jobs, and then starting this website. In small communities where people know each other, there’s also a lot of sharing, trading, bartering that helps make ends meet. Where ther’s a will there’s a way.

  • Again, interesting comments Trish. You might be interested in developing your thoughts into a New Year’s message to send to blogs of your choosing for posting.

    • Trish House

      Good Idea! Thanks Greg.

  • Hmm. Thought I replied to this. The most promising developments I see locally are similar to the vision you express. You could expand your ideas into a longer article that I think would be worth submitting to any environmental-themed blogs of your choosing.

    • Trish House

      You did reply nicely, but this comment got stuck in the “waiting for approval” queue so our wires crossed. Sorry.

      • No problem Trish. Your comments are always welcome.

  • Monty C

    The sky-fairy? really? Living off the grid is a reality – not some delusion of grandeur.

    • Timothy Steele

      He gets by with a little help from his mind.

    • frecoll

      My daughter, husband and 3 children live off the grid for about 150 dollars a month. They don’t hurt for anything, they don’t run to the ER every time the kids have a sniffle. The animals are fed and they are beholding to no one. Yes it can be done.

  • jeffreyg

    “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

    ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

    • Thank you Jeffrey for posting these words from Thoreau. Could anyone say it better?

      • jeffreyg

        By the way, great article and site!!

  • As a young man wondering how to escape the New York rat race lifestyle, I found Thoreau an inspiration. My suggestion is to go visit where you would like to be and let your intentions be known. You may be surprised at opportunities which unfold unexpectedly.
    You have the right attitude, and you will get there!

    • samuel adams

      Its tough for an untrained city slicker with 4 kids to unroot and move to the woods, and the gov does all it can to prevent that from happening. Truly sad indeed.

      • Erika

        I understand completely. We are also untrained city slickers with three children looking to do the same thing.

  • Guest2014

    One problem I see with this…. Many of the people who would receive the 2.2 acres would still not work it and demand that others give to them. Then we have the truly unable to work it and provide for themselves due to physical or mental limitations. I agree that we are developing a chasm between the richest in this nation and the masses below, but I do not see that stealing from anyone is the answer. You mentioned landlords…. I am a landlord and I’ll tell you how I became one. I went to college on LOANS from our govt and then repaid them from my teaching salary. I managed to take care of myself and my two children and over time, by paying my bills instead of beating people/banks out of the money they loaned me, I got a very good credit rating. With that and the help of a local bank, I bought a strip of property in 2002 that was in such bad shape I paid only $18,000 for a duplex and a couple of condemned garage apts. My son and I worked on the duplex for 9 months… while I still taught school. We sanded, painted, used books to learn how to do electrical and plumbing work and turned that dump into a darling duplex bringing top rent AND the gratitude of the neighbors! Now I own another duplex and three houses and I have retired from teaching…but still work on the rentals. I intend to sell everything and move back to the country. I get pretty exasperated with people who whine and tell me how they can’t get ahead in this life because of “banks, government, and landlords” wanting to increase their wealth. My renters thank me for giving them lovely places to live which I take good care of (thanks to the rent) but I net only about 25% of the total. Willingness to work and persistence in a goal is the KEY to living a life here.

    • Trish House

      Urgh *~ urp I just threw up in my mouth a little. So, you are willing to enforce the current system because of “whiners” who resent its oppressive power and the people who enforce it. So, okay, you worked hard and won in the system. What you fail to notice is that the social structures around you are crumbling because the wealthy few have manipulated laws to make it ever more difficult for the majority of us to keep a portion of what we earn. Parents are forced to work 3 jobs each and yet still rely on food donations and food stamps to eat. A person gets sick and the usurious medical/insurance industry strips their entire family of all their security including their homes – for profit. The fact that you call the people who suffer this “whiners” disgusts me. In a shared resource culture your life could have been spent in joyful ease, or in the pleasure of creating things of beauty or that benefit the society instead of slaving to create your security on the backs of other Americans. I am so angry at the arrogance and cruelty that you and those like you bring to society and justify because you worked hard. Most of us have worked hard – Americans work longer and more productively than any other nation on earth – for fewer rewards. Last year the 1% bled off 95% of the profits of our labor. So pitch your righteous indignation elsewhere, please – I am thoroughly sick of it.

      • John J Publicus

        You actually make pretty good points on some thing Trish. Your ranting and raving about things you DONT know about though….

        Now do you understand why I make my comments private? Thought you might….

        • samuel adams

          I appreciated Trish’s heartfelt comments. Glad she didn’t go private. Needs to be heard.

      • Good thoughts here are well … it’s the imbalance that has been created that is such a thorn as a balanced society would not have a problem sharing what they have when needed … a small percentage such as MJ (the other one) may have hit the right things at the right time but not everyone has perfect stars in alignment all of the time for such a successful outcome. When things are going well for someone and they are being successful, it is easy to see others who are not as “whiners” when they are voicing any kind of angst in relation to their difficulties. On the other hand, too much time spent in whining could otherwise be used in trying to overcome obstacles.

        I frequently go back to a book written by Victor Frankl, a Jewish psychologist who at one point was working successfully in his field in Germany, then suddenly was thrust into a concentration camp – one hell of a roadblock I think. Instead of becoming a ‘whiner’ he used the time to contemplate and investigate what gave meaning to life. He saw three groups of people during that time. Those that gave up and faded away because they lost hope, those that gave up in a different way and became part of “the system” and the third group that simply realized every second of life was precious, and that even when you are in a ‘slave-like’ condition, no one, NO ONE, can totally own your mind and spirit unless you let them. His book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” is a worthwhile read to give you hope when whatever powers that be think they have it all under control …. because there is a part of you they cannot have … unless you let them.

        • What a fine comment. I remember reading Mans Search for Meaning in high school as required reading, but was too young to appreciate it. Thanks for your thoughts.

        • carl inWis

          Bravo! – TW

        • julianna j williams

          Exactly right… I have worked hard all my life… I have worked at many types of jobs from packing moss…. a job where we worked in very poor conditions where we were made to breath air full of moss particles, and the temperature was over 120 degrees f. to caring for the elderly and disabled in there homes… to truck driving… all hard labor… most of these were very low paying, however i simply got by or got another job… also i raised my children by myself without even their fathers helping financially. mind you i am not complaining simply explaining my position.
          my point is that for some people no matter how hard they work, or how many jobs they work some times you just can’t get ahead enough to be able to get land and like it or not for the first few months on the land (if they could get it) they would have to continue to work at whatever jobs they had.
          with my situation i would have had no time to work the land between the jobs the children and other things like keeping house, homeschooling and shopping… etc. so it is not as clean cut as some people think.
          By the time my children were grown enough to take on some of the chores and such and to an age where there homeschooling could be scheduled and then they could be more on their own i had been in an accident and had my back broke in three places… again not complaining just stating facts…
          anyway after working my way through all of this i would still love to have a place where i could grow my own food and raise animals and be self sufficient.
          at present i am living on a disability payment of 816 dollars a month and am still able to make my way and help others in one way or another mainly bartering for my craft items and baked goods, but i know with my usual will power i could make a homestead work… with my bartering skills and all of my children helping we could make it work. but sometimes it is just not in the stars…

      • truthaganda

        All the things you complain about are caused by leftist ideology. People aren’t being payed less. The dollars they receive are worth less and less, caused by the Progressives implementation of a central bank, known as the Federal Reserve. When the federal reserve prints money to cover overspending by govt. the dollar goes down in value. It’s how govt. taxes you without you knowing it. Our society is being destroyed by Socialism. The further down the road into socialism the worse it will get. This is what you are seeing. The best system ever created by man, a Constitutional Republic with free market capitalism which created the richest most powerful society the world has ever known being destroyed by socialism, an ever expanding iron fisted centralized govt.

    • samuel adams

      you wrote “people who whine and tell me how they can’t get ahead in this life because of “banks, government”…

      It’s not about getting ahead or getting rich. Not everone wants to be rich. It is about not being EXPLOITED. Four basic walls on a small plot of land should not be a monumental accomplishment fought hard for like you write above. The metrics are simple, the pyramid scheme disallows freedom in this world. We want out FREEDOM from corporate exploitation. This is the issue. {Read life in the woods – Walden -Henry David Thoreau}

  • samuel adams

    Hard to pay taxes trapping fishers. I love the show “mountain men.” You have to be a genius like Eustace to barely make it in that lifestyle. People of that lifestyle should not be paying property tax. If I bought a TV and had to pay a tax every year on it, just to keep it, I’d get rid of the darn thing. Taxing what we need to live is the root of slavery. Tax peoples excesses…NOT their NEEDS.

  • Erika

    me too and that’s my thought exactly especially with the way the government is changing and I’m sure there will be an oil prices before we know it I think being self sustainable will be important to many of us. not because of the crazy zombie apocalypse or anything but because our families are important to us as our life

  • Erika

    do you have an idea on which date you would be interested in purchasing property the start with?

  • Well said Trish. Thank you.

  • Trish, that’s a good idea, the ‘”share of the land” and wonder if John would be willing to offer small plots to those who haven’t much funds to help purchase but who could trade out services and goods, and eventually crop portions to help build the community he envisions. Maybe as a temporary thing with the option to stay with intent to then purchase the rest of the plot through funds obtained in some commercial aspect such as selling goods created/grown at the complex.

  • Mike

    Oh, I love the way you think, Trish! How nice to find a page full of thoughtful comments from nice people.. and not a single angry tirade? This must be the right place! Yes, lookers.. include me in your ideas to build an intentional community, like those 6 young friends in Oregon!

  • Mike

    Greg, thanks so much for posting this article!

  • carl inWis

    So what’s with the ‘survivalists’ blogs that tout you can raise enough food on a city lot for a family?

    • J.J. McCampbell

      It’s a lie, plain and simple. The best you could do would be to stretch your food bill. Crops don’t just grow anywhere. They need tending. They need water not contaminated by city runoff. And a single city lot will not feed a single person for four months, even if done right. Growing vertically and hydroponically would allow you to grow more, but you would need grow lights, a complicated rotation system, and a fresh water supply. And any true survivalist knows that cities are death traps if the supply of food is interrupted. Most cities have about three days of food on hand at any given moment. Food trucks bring it in 24/7 to feed the packed masses. People living in cities are totally dependent upon that supply chain. Riots and looting would wipe out most sources very quickly if the supply were interrupted for any real length of time. Then, the masses would start migrating outward from the center, taking everything they can get. Zealous gun owners would defend their property until the ammo runs out. Then they would get their hoard taken and they themselves would join the masses scouring the countryside for food. My advice… Stay Away From Cities over 12,000 people.

  • carl inWis

    Right, the only block to that is the people have been brainwashed for 100yrs by a corrupt press to think the world owes them support when actually they are solely entitled to the fruit of their toil.

    • Trish House

      Really, well that’s very good news! No more taxes for us!

  • J.J. McCampbell

    You speak of an Agrarian society, which is what we had prior to WWII. Where most people lived in rural areas which were more or less self sustaining. Most people in the US now live in cities. So let’s give those city dwellers 2.2 acres and say, here ya go, sink or swim? What would they do with it? They wouldn’t know how to do anything. So, they would go hungry. I was raised on a farm, and know how difficult it is to get through a winter on what you produced during growing season.

    • Trish House

      J.J. you are right of course, but none of the activities involved in farming require a rocket scientist level of I.Q. During the last great depression the government formed the Civilian Conservation Corps which was run by the army and in which, over a 9 year period, around 3.5 million young men built thousands of miles of roads, thousands of bridges, hundreds of dams and terraced growing fields, and they planted over a billion trees, made parks, etc. Farming in America is often a family concern and because of the profit structure that is built into the system they all work massive, exhausting hours to keep it running an profitable. I contend that if we were living in collective eco-villages we could share the work load, everyone would be secure, we could likely help each other to have free education and health care while not working nearly as hard as people are required to do in private, for profit enterprises.

      • J.J. McCampbell

        It’s a nice vision, and one that I would sign up for. But I see limits to the practicality of it. Namely, the size of the villages, the location of the villages, the water supply to them, the quality of soil, etc… Not every place is good farmland. A solid resource management plan would have to be utilized. And then there are people. People are the weakness in this vision. Eco village wars, border skirmishes, disputes between neighbors over water and other resources. It seems that we have plenty of land when you look at the map, but spread out the population evenly, and some are going to be in places where it is hard to live, places with no water, rocky soil, wrong PH in the soil, etc…. That will cause tensions. Tensions lead to fighting, fighting leads to warring, then we must build a thunderdome. All jokes aside, we have too many people. The reason for our population being too large is our technology, powered by fossil fuels. It makes it possible to ship food to places that ordinarily would not be able to support a population of great size. Take away the motive power for our system, and mass famine begins. It’s a kind of trap for sentient beings. Our population increased five-fold during the last one hundred years, due to a relatively cheap power source, albeit a finite one, allowing us to feed most everyone. But it is a limited resource, one that now takes a high level of technology to propagate. Figure out a way to power our technology before our non-renewable power runs out, and you have answered many of our most pressing problems. But ideological, political, and personal differences make that a task that is seriously beset with problems. Not everyone will get on board. Many will fight and deny there is an actual problem. So, I fiddle whilst Rome burns. I don’t worry much about it. But, I would also feel right at home in a post apocalyptic world. I’m an anarchist at heart.

  • Trish, your posts are the best! I think your vision is the direction we are headed.Thanks!

  • J.J. McCampbell

    That is a beautiful vision. I wish that people had the magnanimity to do that. But, as a realist, a somewhat pessimistic one, the evidence points to the contrary. The people of the world have been sold a bill of goods that for most is unattainable. It brings to mind a line from one of my favorite books, Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut.

    “The Population Reference Bureau predicts that the world’s total population will double to 7,000,000,000 before the year 2000.”
    “I suppose they will all want dignity,” I said.

    “I suppose,” said O’Hare.

    We have created a trap for ourselves. The survivors of the population correction may indeed embrace the eco village, and strive very hard to work together to end all wars, disagreements, and fighting. But most people haven’t the vision to look beyond their own discomforts.

    • julianna j williams

      there was a time when people respected the fact that people of an older age had lived through times and issues that at present the younger generation was living through, and because of that they went to those elders to get the knowledge required to solve whatever issues they had.
      that is how i raised my children and the children who have adopted me… maybe if more people were able to be more involved in their children’s lives and made an effort to be close with their children and give them the freedom to verbally express themselves, in ways that were not combative we might actually have more insight into how the younger generation would respond to situations such as the above mentioned situation… i have found that when a person is approached with the respect that we all expect they generally respond in kind, also i have found that when people know that aggressive actions are not acceptable even by their peers they tend to learn to find ways to act that are accepted
      so given the right environment you may find most people have more vision than you think…
      almost all of my adopted children were from homes where they were abused and or neglected, they were all what society calls troubled youth, i find that most of the trouble with youth has more to do with the uncaring and/or completely discouraged adults who are raising them, and once adults give them a little respect and show them that what they think and feel is important, they are amazing young people… most adults respond in kind… i have also found that when people have very little to worry them other than their day to day they are more cooperative with each other so maybe if you had more faith in people… you might be pleasantly surprised…

  • J.J. McCampbell

    From personal experience. I was raised on a farm. We grew all of our own vegetables, raised our own meat, traded for things we couldn’t make ourselves by providing mill services. We were in Tennessee, so our growing season was about five months. In that time, we had to raise staple crops, feed crops, and enough food to feed eight people for a year. When I tell you that 2 acres per person is skinny eating, you can take it to the bank. Not every crop survives. Not every crop comes out great, or is prolific. We grew potatoes, corn, squash, tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, onions, watermelon, cantaloupe, lettuce, cabbage, kale, collards, spinach, eggplant, hot and sweet peppers, and several others. Each had it’s challenges, and insect and rabbit damage was generally high. Caterpillars would do damage to the leaves. Subterranean insects would target the potatoes. We had drought times, which were particularly hard on the garden. The occasional heavy rains in the early season could wash out seeds, or drown them in water, where they would rot. A crop failure in the garden of any one crop would reduce the amount of available food for the winter. From October through, we ate preserved foods. Smoked pork, canned (in mason jars) everything. Some of the canned stuff was awesome, the pre-made soups were the best. But some was always the last to get eaten. When the fresh stuff came ready, believe me, so were we. Two acres looks good on paper, but as a realist who has been through it, you want more. People used to develop nutritional deficiencies during the winter, because of lack of balanced diet. Safety along these lines means nutritional redundancy. Proper storage of preserved foodstuffs was also all important.

    • wrenee

      Wow that much acreage seems really high. I was able in one year to get about 100 pounds each from two plum tomato plants And about 20 lbs of peppers from three to four pepper plants. Maybe I was lucky. I traded with some of my friends that had potatoes and cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, onions, etc.. I had enough produce to last three months. Of course, I am only one person. I also had dandelions, arugula and herbs like rosemary, basil, etc. One thing that I was lucky with though that I found out by accident from my cat trying to eat my pepper plants was that if you pick a leaf off of any of the plants it will in turn make another quadrate stem and produce four or more flowers on each one and a new pepper on each one. It just keeps going! Huge bushy plans, esp. tomatoes. I found that the tomoato plants also did this. Amazing yield! I had to give at least one bucket of water to tomatoes every day. I also gave a small amount of African violet food to tomatoes at beginning of season. As I mentioned with just small backyard gardens enough produce for six to eight people for three months. five to six month grow season in W. Pennsylvania.

      • J.J. McCampbell

        Great yeild! But, if you extrapolate the numbers, one acre provided you with three months of food. This exactly equals 4 acres per person, per year. Trading a high yield crop that you can grow well for other food your neighbors are growing is good practice, as long as you have them. I was raised on a self sustaining farm, where we grew 80 percent of what we ate, plus we grew commercial crops as well. That was in Tennessee, we generally planted early crops in March, weather permitting. Final harvest in late September for slower growing crops.

  • Kell S. Jackson

    I live in southern Indiana and would love to be able to find some free land

  • TimSingleton

    It never occurred to me that a coop would smack of socialism or Communism. It is, after all, a COOPERATIVE, not a supposed charity at government gunpoint the way we have in the US for the most part.

    More and more I am beginning to realize that success is more about time and not being dependent on others than it is about collecting things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like.

    Besides, people who own their own land and grow their own food worry a lot less about the future than folks who worry about there only being two weeks worth of groceries in the stores at any time. →Katrina woke us up.←

    • I’ve lived in a co-op for almost 40 years. It has made a life possible for us that would otherwise have been unattainable, as we could not afford enough land for a private homestead. Associating co-ops with communism is way off track.

  • Jason Chester

    Most of these places are out in the middle of nowhere.

  • frank and lisa

    we are looking into homesteading in idaho just my husband and i and we would appreciate any comments on how to look for property and build a home

  • Karinna Grammer

    May I ask how do you acquire
    home stead land in Oregon

  • Mike

    Just FYI – this is not an open discussion. The author removes comments from people he does not like, even if the comments are supportive.

  • Janice

    That would be nice. Don’t hold your breath though.

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