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Next Move: Away From the City... to Where?

 
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Hello,

I'm new here (and, for the record, my last name really is "Grow"... so I'm staying within your real names policy. ) and new to permaculture. I mean, I've watched various videos, etc., but I'm pretty much a green newbie.

I know it's going to take a long time to learn permaculture. Al least, long enough that I won't be a permaculture non-newbie by the time I'm ready to move out of the city (Orlando, FL) and into the country. I live on the main street here and protests and world events occur too close for comfort. So, finally, my wife understands my two-decade desire and urgency to live in the country, away from people and as self-sufficient as possible. I want to grab as large a lot as I can afford. I know it won't necessarily all be used, but at least it'll be there when or if I do need it eventually.

I have a couple questions that I hope someone can answer for me please. (Please forgive my ignorance if these are dumb/obvious/annoying questions.)

1. I live in Central Florida. I'd like to continue to live in Florida, but it seems that the biggest acreage that I can afford are up in Northern Florida (not far from the Georgia border). If I want to be able to grow some tropical type fruits and veggies, should I not go this high? How far north is too far north for tropical growth? (I'd really, really like to grow coffee and cacao too... remember, I want to be self-sufficient. haha! That may not be realistic... and I think that's too far north... if I remember right, much more north than south Florida is already too far... and I don't necessarily want to go south. Or should I??? I'm flexible I guess, but I don't think I can afford acreage that way.)
2. Florida is flat in most places. Do I need to look only in the more hilly parts (more expensive I would guess)? Or is it better to plan to simply do my own excavation work? I don't mind doing the work, but I'm concerned about affording the equipment after my big acreage purchase.
3. What is the best course to get up to speed quickly? I am familiar with Geoff Lawton and have always been impressed by him.
4. Is there a way to buy land on the "down low"? I'd like to keep a low profile, be hard to find, and rather anonymous. This world is crazy and I'd like to kinda disappear. LOL! Maybe this is a question for a different forum. haha!
5. Is my dream unrealistic for me if I want to start in a year or less? Or should I figure on taking more time than that to learn before I start looking for land? I feel pressure to buy as quickly as possible before inflation gets ridiculously higher. Food is already shockingly expensive here and I'd really like to get self-sufficient as possible, but I want to have realistic expectations. I'd rather buy the land now, even if I simply do traditional gardening on a half-acre to start... at least I would still own the land for once I have learned enough about permaculture. But what I definitely don't want to do is buy land that is not good with permaculture. I suppose that's the subject for another whole forum thread... but any quick high-level tips?

(I really hope I win that book, "Building Your Permaculture Property"... It would be very timely and I would definitely read it from cover to cover and apply what I learn.)

Thanks for any feedback or advice. Really... anything. If I didn't ask it here, I'd still like to hear it. I'm eager to learn  (and to learn quickly).
 
Tom Grow
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No comments from anyone? 😕
 
steward
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Hi Tom! I'm not really familiar with Florida weather at all (though, this week I sure felt it here in the pacific northwest, with temps above 107 and high humidity...and very little AC!).

I added your thread to the Southern US forum, too, so hopefully that'll bring more people familiar with your state to chime in!

Another good resource for you might be David the Good--he's a member here on permies, and also has his own youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davidthegood, as well as his own website, The Survival Gardener, and quite a few books (Compost Everything and Grow or die) and Push the Zome.  I'm pretty sure he's located in Florida, and there might be some good information about growing food down there!
 
Posts: 297
Location: Málaga, Spain
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Hi Tom,
I don't know the specifics at California, but I'd say your goals are not very realistic. You are missing a key point: people. You can't defend yourself, even hide, without a trusty group of people around. And another big one: time. A good permaculture design, one that does not need heavy inputs, requires one year for learning and seven years for establishing. What are you going to do to survive meanwhile?

If I were in a rush, I'd try to find a willing community first. Some place where people can teach me one thing or two, where my skills can complement theirs. For me this is in the city. Beware traditional rural communities, they are not very open to foreigners, especially when the foreigners don't comply to the local customs, including the way you cultivate. It's slightly easier if you happen to be a relative of someone who has always lived there.

Even if you are in a rush, take solid steps. You will be spending money the first five years or so, before you can sustain your family just from your operation. Have you got any plan for paying the bills meanwhile? It might require to lose some comfort for the first years, otherwise. Living in a tent, or a cob, for a few years, with no electricity or fresh water. This might appeal to you, but might not appeal your wife, and without her support things can go very nasty very soon.

Being self sufficient is not about being able to produce everything you need for yourself. That's delusional. It's about being able to provide anything you need with the means of your work. If you are veterinarian and you can pay all your bills from your work, that's self sufficiency. You can be self sufficient in the city. But if your income depends on a single thing, your self sufficiency might not be very resilient. People go to the county not in search of self sufficiency, but of resilience. Resilience usually comes at the price of less efficiency, so typically you will earn less, but you know that you can still make a life when things go wrong.

So let's say you are expecting social collapse very soon. Fine. The very least you will need is food and protection. But after a few weeks or months you will need several other things: clothes, tools, fuel for heating, transport, medicines, a doctor, education, entertainment, a psicologist or a priest, just think about what your yearly needs are. This you can't do alone. Humans have never been lone wolves.
When society collapses, it's central goverment who loses control. There can be some turmoil until new structures form and take the power void. That turmoil usually hits harder in the cities, where more people are living. But the country will not be completely safe, as brigand bands can wreak havoc there, without proper law enforcements.
Make yourself a valuable member of a community, and you will find friends willing to protect you. Learn many skills, especially those that are of high demand where you live. Having a nice market garden is always a plus, and we encourage everyone to grow one, but you don't really need to be able to produce crops to feed your family, unless you are willing to produce crops for the whole community, if that's your thing. Remember, you will need also fibers, medicines, construction materials, fuel, and many other things, you can't possibly provide everything yourself alone.

Let's say you really are into growing food. Then you can start with traditional farming that will give you enough crops even the first year, and keeping a small plot to be turned into permaculture. You will earn money from the first, while you learn how to implement the second.
 
master steward
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Welcome to the forums, Tom!

I have lived in several places in Florida.  I like the area around Eustis the best as it is hilly or maybe not as flat.

I would like to recommend if I were in your position I would want to save as much money as I could for land purchase.  By forgoing things like buying coffee on the way to work, eating out, etc. it is easy to save money.

If I just had to get out of the area I would consider renting something until I had enough money saved to buy what I wanted or even learn what I want and where I want to be.

If tropical plants are something my heart decided then I might consider having a greenhouse, if I purchased land in Northern Florida.

Best wishes for your success.
 
gardener
Posts: 497
Location: Middle Georgia, Zone 8B
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Hi Tom! Welcome!

I live in Middle Georgia, so I can't answer specifics to Florida. However, I've got extended family in Florida, so I've at least been there on more than one occasion and can answer at an elementary-level, I hope.

1. I thought North Florida was lovely. Don't discount it because it's "north." The trade-offs between not being able to grow tropical plants and the cheaper land are a moot point, in my opinion. Perhaps you could plan to save for a greenhouse of some sorts for your more tender plants?

2. North Florida does tend to be flat, you're right. But my experience is that you can work with what you have. There is no perfect property. There are only properties with flaws you can fix or live with. And be happy with it in the process. Don't let the "wish I had xyz" keep you from enjoying the "what I've got right now."

3. The best course is here! (In my opinion.) You can sit through hours-long courses that speak to land conditions which don't apply to you, or you can target-search situations that are more appropriate to your situation. I think most of us here would not consider ourselves permie-experts, but if someone asks a question we are happy to offer "been there, done that" type of advice. If you're more of a hard-copy book kinda learner, I'd suggest any of the above links previously given.

4. Buying land anonymously is not anything I've ever done. So I can only offer some ideas? Perhaps starting a corporation of some sort, then buying the land under the business name? Still not anonymous, but an extra step someone would have to go through to find you. If something like this is high-priority for you, perhaps the help of an attorney would be worth the price.

5. A start date of less than a year from now is really dependent on several factors: most of all, cash. How quickly can you get the funds necessary to buy land? Land is kind of expensive right now, given the current housing market bubble. I'm trying to mentally predict what will happen in the next few years. A housing crash? If so, will bare land prices crash too? If you time the market well, you might be able to get some foreclosed properties at a good rate. (Please, don't interpret my thoughts to mean I'm hoping ill-will to befall homeowners. I'm only trying to suggest we "play the market" for the best timing.)

5a. If you were to find a good piece of property and get started with traditional gardening, consider it hands-on learning for future years. Anything you do right now (organically, hopefully) will give you skills that can never be taken away. As you hone your skills, you can move onward and upward to larger-scale growth.

I hope you find your little piece of heaven on earth.
 
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Tom Grow wrote:
4. Is there a way to buy land on the "down low"? I'd like to keep a low profile, be hard to find, and rather anonymous. This world is crazy and I'd like to kinda disappear. LOL! Maybe this is a question for a different forum. haha!



Yes, there is. Essentially you create some kind of corporate entity and use it to buy property. Check out the books How to Be Invisible by J.J. Luna and How to Disappear by Frank M. Ahearn. Good luck!
 
pollinator
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Hey Tom,

I second Abraham's advice. Moving towards people, not away, will help you in a multitude of ways - whether things take a turn for the worse or not. I'm nowhere near Florida so can't offer any location specific advice but I agree with just about all that he said.

The reason I really think going towards people is great is that you win either way. If things go downhill very quickly, then you've got a group of people who will work together to weather whatever the situation is. However if life goes on (often called BAU or business as usual) then you'll live a happier life by having deep ties to your community. Working on some sort of useful skill is a great idea too - my focus is trades skills because I like working with my hands, but just about anything that could be useful to other people is a great asset.

Contrast this with the prepper mentality of distrust of people and wanting to do everything alone. I see it as a loss either way. If things go downhill very quickly, you won't have a community of people to work with - just you and your wife. When I think of everything we humans require to survive it becomes clear that doing it all alone is basically impossible. If life goes on though, it's a rather lonely experience. I think if one distrusts everyone else, people pick up on that. It might not be a conscious realization but more of a bad feeling people will get. This will lead them to distrust the person who distrusts everyone else - it's a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way.

I do wish you all the best in your journey. I'm not trying to poo-poo you in any way, just throwing my two cents out there. All the best!
 
pollinator
Posts: 3371
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7 AHS:4 GDD:3000 Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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To answer your question I am going to break it up into two parts;
1) The joy of being off-grid with onsite production
2) Being an extreme introvert, dislike of too many folks

It sounds like you are mostly alright with figuring out the onsite production of things in an off-grid way: aka hidden green roof-earth bermed house, well, septic, solar electric, firewood, 25kW gasifier, HVAC, heat pump, outdoor kitchen, walk-in cooler/freezer, food preservation/preparation.  And the all important food production: milk, meat, eggs, vegetables, calorie dense nuts and fruits, herbs and mushroom and starting with your building up your soil with earthworks, added carbon, soil life, rockdust and nitrogen fixing plants+support species.

Now comes part 2,
How will you make an income? drive to the same horrible city?
Will your kids be homeschool?
Will your wife seperate/divorce from you, after being stuck with "cabin fever" without any social outlet.
What happens if others in your home need emergency/medical help?
What are the odds of your dieing by your wife/kids vs a neo-Nazi/protester/terrorist's/floride in the drinking water?
What are other recharge/stress management technique that you can utilize.

Now to answer your specific questions
1) Alot of tropical fruits will grow in zone 8 and 9. But if you want zone 10 tropical fruit you will have to move to cape coral/ft myers or even better metro miami.
2) Flat land is perfectly fine, swales/infiltration basins will still work. Not counting cows, you will only need 2.5acres at most, so no need for big machinery. if you do have cattle, then you might need 4acre of pasture per cow. You can always rent/hire equipment for one time work and then return it once you are done.
3) The best course of action would be to lease a plot of land start practicing all of your soil building sells, also in your city home work on all your food preservation/preparation skills. You can volunteer at Habitat for Humanity to increase your carpentry/house building skills. As for education I think that just picking a forum here at permies and just reading the post and will give you a wealth of info.
4) When you buy the land don't tell family member, co-workers, etc. If you don't want your name to be on the title of the land that you buy, you can create a company then give it the company the money to buy the land. But your name will be attached to the company, so you would have to use a special type of company that is only legal in Nevada and I think DC. Where only your laywers info is recorded and tied to the company (e.g. https://www.northwestregisteredagent.com/the-llc-university-registered-agent)
5) I think that 1yr is more than enough time for you to start your permaculture homestead. All that you really need is a 1/4acre vegetable site. I would say that pretty much all land in Florida that isn't wetland is good with permaculture once you have added biochar.
 
Anne Miller
master steward
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Tom said, "Is there a way to buy land on the "down low"? I'd like to keep a low profile, be hard to find, and rather anonymous. This world is crazy and I'd like to kinda disappear.



Sorry, I missed this when I previously posted.

Yes, just set up an LLC in a business name. I don't feel owning a business is necessary.
 
Posts: 230
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Hi,  If you move out to the country then you are many miles, and longer response times  for fire, ambulance, and police.  Can you do all this alone?  If you are building and need to pick up a 300lb beam who do you call for help? If a coyote or bear or puma attacks you are you prepared to defend your life? Are you ready to kill 2 legged animals who want to prey on you, since an automobile or truck gets them to your doorstep rather easily?  Living alone creates safety concerns you have to address.  Can you be a nurse, doctor, dentist?

Having a community to rely on, especially since you have never mentioned you have lived in the country, is essential for physical, mental, and spiritual health for most people.  Country living is not what you see on TV> It is not glamorous or exciting, but requires a lot of work. Yet it can be a fulfilling and enjoyable way of life. Just go into it with both eyes open.
 
Tom Grow
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Hi everyone... I want to thank y'all for your kind and helpful answers. I've been very busy lately and yesterday I celebrated my 26th anniversary. Today, I stayed off the computer to get some rest from work.

I plan to answer everyone's posts... but again, I just wanted to sincerely thank you. There's a lot of good advice here and I am a teachable and humble person who's willing to adjust my views in order to make the best and most mature decisions possible. Lots of good stuff here for me to consider carefully. It's obvious that I need to take a few steps back and think things through. That's why I posted the question in the first place... I'm all about learning BEFORE I make a mistake, so thanks for your candidness.

Thanks again... this upcoming few days, I'll try to reply to each specific post. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
 
pollinator
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I see and understand all your questions...but what we don't know is what types of skills/experience you have. Are you coming rom a white collar job, never built or grown a food garden before? Are you someone mechanically inclined or have building skills?  Have you hunted, camped/hiked extensively, ever lived outside of an urban city?

For myself, giving advice without understanding your knowledge base (outside of your acknowledged desire to learn and understand permaculture) is extremely difficult. Perhaps you could share your family situation (kids?) and don't forget your wife's skills/experience, along with your own. That would allow us to get more specific in our advice.

For myself, a half acre on the interface of a rural/urban area was all I could afford...but it DOES mean we have more trees than humans, more green than concrete and still are close enough that fire, ambulance and police are available. It means there IS a grocery store close enough that when we need stuff, we can get ice cream etc home without melting, and there IS a local school.

Slowly we are working our way OFF grid, but in the interim, we are FAR better off than we would have been waiting for the perfect acreage to become affordable. Seems to me you need to sit down with your spouse and clearly outline what each of you deems "non negotiable" and use that to define what sort of property would be suitable. Better to clarify that stuff very early on, and ensure the property meets all of BOTH your "non negotiables" - these must be IN place from the start, not something you will work on with a five year plan. That may mean being fully ON grid, while you wean your way down to an acceptable level of off-grid/self sufficiency by adding a well, wind/solar power etc. It may also mean that as time goes on you realize some of your "ideals" were just that, not true reality for you, and that is okay!

Please share your personal goals,, your family's and your "non-negotiables"; that will help you and us better focus on what you should do and the advice we offer.
 
gardener
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Hi Tom!

S Bengi has a lot of good information here as do many others.  I will try to answer your questions as best as I can without repeating what others have already stated.

1)  Where to buy, Central vs. Northern Florida.  This is one where only you can really answer by I will give my own 2 cents.  Personally I  would go for the cheaper land to the north.  My reasoning is that I suspect there is more bang-for-the-buck there.  I realize that there are some crops that are not suited to that particular climate, but maybe you could rig up a greenhouse (maybe you could even engineer a cheap one yourself).  Also, do you plan on having any animals?  Needing any trees/firewood stock?  Extra land would be good for these.  Finally, with the time pressures you mentioned, this does not exactly give a lot of time to save so maybe cheaper is better in this situation.  Again, this is my thinking and take it for what you think it is worth.

2)  Flat land does not bother me so much, but I would be wary of land that is both flat and low lying.  When I built my house I deliberately did so on a hillside so my basement could have a gravity drain--no sump-pumps to unexpectedly fail.  I grew up with some mighty basement disasters (one almost took the whole house!) and I have known too many people who have had flooded basements due to sump pumps failing.  I was scared.  Florida can get some mighty torrential rains, but has typically sandy soil.  Water would be a concern to me.  Again, my advice is to build in a place where water can easily drain away.

3)  Could you define what you mean by getting up to speed quickly?  If you mean educating yourself, Geoff Lawton is an excellent first step.  I would also recommend videos by Gabe Brown.  Resident soil scientist Bryant Redhawk has "Redhawk's Epic Soil Series HERE" somewhere on these forums that is an excellent resource (pretty much all of Redhawk's posts are excellent resources).

4)  I honestly don't know about buying land on the DL.  I understand wanting to live in the middle of nowhere.  However, I have found that good neighbors are absolutely golden.  I live in what is technically a subdivision (but with 10-20 acre lots so it is no typical suburban subdivision).  Most of my 9 acres are completely undeveloped (I have the odd-shaped lot so I only have 9 acres), but I am surrounded by neighbors but they are not right on top of me either.  And they are the most friendly, helpful neighbors I could ever ask for.  My point is that there are real benefits to having even a small community.  Something worth pondering.

5)  I really wish I could answer your last question with any sense of authority whatsoever, but the honest truth is that I have no crystal ball.  On the one hand, there is a strikingly large shift of populations away from metro urban areas towards smaller communities and rural areas thus pushing up the prices of rural land that had been quite low for some time.  The obvious proximate, immediate cause was COVID 19 which ran rampant through densely populated urban areas.  But there was a longer trend at work as well.  Metro prices had been escalating far faster than inflation for over two decades, resulting in astounding prices for sometimes teeny tiny homes.  In my opinion, metro housing was simply unaffordable and I am amazed that people continued to flood in and pay those prices.  COVID is abating (not gone by any means, but better than a year ago) but I don't know if this stops the flow of people out of metro areas.  On the one hand, the COVID issue simply is not what what it was a year ago (but still present).  This might bring people back to metro areas and bring down prices in rural areas.  On the other hand, metro areas were terribly high priced and there may be a longer term trend towards bargain hunting in rural areas which suggests that high rural prices at least stay steady and perhaps continue to grow.  Honestly I don't know.  Either could be the case.  In my opinion, this is an area where you probably need to look at the land prices yourself and just make a judgement call.  

Also, are you buying outright or financing.  I do understand the desire to not go into debt, but right now, with record high prices and record low interest rates, this might be the perfect time to finance.  But again, this is a call only you can make.  Incidentally, buying pure land is more difficult than buying land with a house.  This is all just food for thought.


In the end, the "answer" to all of this is that it all comes down to a judgement call.  We can all offer pointers here and there, but since this is your plan and your dream, only you can make the final decision.  If you have the means and you are tired of waiting, now may be the time if you can find that right spot with the right acreage for the right price (also, don't forget property taxes--shudder!) then maybe now is the time to do it.  If not, maybe wait a bit and see what is happening.  No sense in jumping in unprepared.  My last, parting thought--I would be wary about throwing all my money at the up-front purchase.  I am sure there will be expenses down the road.  Maybe set aside 1/2-1/4 of your money to unexpected expenses (or pick your own percentage)?  More food for thought.

Good luck!

Eric
 
Posts: 13
Location: Currently In Thailand
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Dear All / Hello Tom,

I'm new here too.
Just getting started with everything. Permie web, Permaculture, Horticulture and the whole Kabootal. (sp?)

Tom I am of the same mind as you with the exception I'll be coming in from Thailand.  
(This is my first post but have been referencing information here for a couple years.
Thank you all for sharing your great knowledge and experiences)


I just wanted to share a great book reference site I recently discovered.

https://archive.org/

It's a sort of Digital Library where people can checkout books for 1 hour up to 2 weeks. Free, just like a real Library.

This from the website:

The Internet Archive is a non-profit with a huge mission: "Universal Access to All Knowledge". Based in San Francisco, CA, with satellites around the world, Internet Archive staffers are building the digital library of the future - a place where anyone can go to learn and explore our shared human experience from books, web pages, audio, television and software. Forever.


The search is a little picky in that if I don't spell the book title exactly it may not find it.  (The site is new to me as well.  First impressions are great though.)

Searching on the word "Permaculture" for example returned over 1800 results/documents/books.

Warm regards,
bob
 
pollinator
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I'm going to go back in a bit and read all of the posts, but first -- take a look at David the Good's youtube channel.  He's a permaculturist who was raised in Florida and has done a lot of gardening there (also in Tennessee, and he was on the island of Grenada for a few years -- he's now in southern Alabama).  His youtube channel is excellent, and he's also written several books, which are all also excellent.  I'm reading and using his book Florida Survival Gardening right now.  In the back, he's got designs for two properties -- a city lot, and a half-acre lot.  Either one of them can grow enough food for a family, and the larger lot looks like it could grow some stuff to sell, too.  And that one was designed to be in North Florida.  He says, if you want to grow something tropical in North Florida, you can use a greenhouse, or you can just plant it about eight inches or so from the south side of a building, preferably under a roof overhang.  That will give you at least one growing zone further south of where you are, for those sensitive plants.  I asked him on livestream chat what to look for in land in Florida, and he said get as close to the coast as you can, and look at the vegetation growing there.  If it's big oaks, the soil should be pretty good.  If it's scrub palmetto and pines, it's probably not very good.  You can improve bad soil -- he's working with terrible soil where he is in Alabama -- but it makes life easier to start with something half-way decent.  But if you can get half an acre to an acre of land, you should be able to grow plenty of food.
 
Tom Grow
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So many good comments and helpful advice! Thank you all!

I hope to answer each and every reply this weekend. I'm sorry... I hold two jobs as well as some other part-time projects that are basically sucking the life out of me. LOL!

You guys are awesome. This is one of the best communities I've ever been in. I will reply soon and again, thanks.
 
pollinator
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Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
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Did anyone mention Rob Greenfield?  He grew or foraged literally ALL of his own food for a year in Orlando, in the city.

I was doing internet research on land in Florida myself a couple of winters ago, until I started researching codes and regulations and decided that many of the rules were meant to keep people like me away!  Yet there are people turning even urban lots there into food forests, there are lots of youtube videos and channels about this.

a couple of critical elements for being able to live the permie dream are time and money- both are needed.  In case you aren't aware of it, check out F.I.R.E. ideas as a strategy to' 'buy your freedom.'

If you have lots of money, but not quite enough to retire in USA, other countries in central and south america  as well as Mediterranean and Black Sea countries are worth looking into.   My non expert opinion is its possible to live a tropical or mediterranean/subtropical lifestyle for cheaper in several of those countries but there will be a lot of other challenges you don't have in USA.  

USA  is truly blessed with a huge vast area of Cfa humid subtropical climate zone from Kansas to New Jersey to Florida to Texas.  Living in maritime subarctic Alaska for many years has made me appreciate what I left behind!!!  Flat is great!!!

You mentioned multiple professional obligations.    You might be able to find a better balance in the short term by freeing yourself from the least lucrative/ most time demanding/ least rewarding of these and devoting your freed energies to gardening and foraging.   I agree David the Good would be a great one to study as well as Rob Greenfield.  watching all of their videos may be as good as doing a permaculture course.

A possible scenario depending on your income and savings is you scale your work down to part time remote only work, and use your savings to buy an rv and some rural land without anti budget homesteader restrictions  or even some rural land with a small house, and live from your part time work and work part time on building your permie paradise.    

Remember to take care of your health and happiness!  Why do we want to live the permie dream?  to be healthy and happy people on a healthy happy planet.

I wish you great success and happiness in all your endeavors!!!
 
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Hey there Tom & All,

Just a thought that the Big Island Hawaii is tropical on Puna side & has some pretty inexpensive land if you keep looking. Depends on how much land you want tho as you can certainly grow a lot in a small area if it's planned out right.

We have an acre in the mid-west & it is more than we need right now. We are retired & would like to rent out our place or home share with the possibility of eventually selling.
 
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"Being self sufficient is not about being able to produce everything you need for yourself. That's delusional."

Wow...a bit harsh and not true...there's a difference between NEED and WANT.
 
Abraham Palma
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Location: Málaga, Spain
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Brian Klotsch wrote:"Being self sufficient is not about being able to produce everything you need for yourself. That's delusional."

Wow...a bit harsh and not true...there's a difference between NEED and WANT.



Care to look at the definition? https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-sufficient
  Definition of self-sufficient
     1: able to maintain oneself or itself without outside aid : capable of providing for one's own needs

Explicitly it means without outside aid. It does not say without paying for outside products or services.
English is not my native language, so I might have been harsh without noticing, sorry if it was the case.
 
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I wish to second this suggestion.  A large lot / double lot on the edge of town works very well.  I recently was searching for a retirement place and learned a town of 50K has all the modern services.  For example, Below that and hospitals may not have full services.  
On the low end @ 15K all normal services are available but exotics go missing.  Ie:Hospital but no cancer ward.
For build it your self  county building codes tend to be much less strict then in the city limits, sheds fences lawns are restricted in the city limits.  1 block over and it is county codes.  Goodluck. Hope you find your dream land.  :)   Tom.
 
pollinator
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I have 0 actual knowledge of Florida. However, someone I know recently bought a house there, south florida. They can barely grow anything because the constant hurricanes are always salting their land with seawater.

You can grow cocoa in your house. Raymond Browning from Youtube did. You have to have high, high humidity to grow cocoa trees.
 
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