Time To Make A Move
Hi Suzie, we met at Rowe last spring in the bunkhouse! My sister is retiring in a few months and is leaving Seattle due to cost, safety, and lifestyle. Ashland is on her list of locations to check out. Thank you for sharing and all my best.
Thank you for your thoughts, words of encouragement and information. I especially appreciate the information about water because it is one of my biggest concerns with this area. I am spurred to get more serious about conservation and reuse and see what I can do where I live. For starters next week I will pick up a free moisture meter the city is handing out to all of the residents.
I will definitely keep you all posted of how it's going. So far, so good.
I've been at this for a while, not in Oregon but in Maine. Conditions are different here but the principles are the same. My advice is to keep a wholistic perspective. Every action must serve multiple purposes. In my experience water conservation is best served by having healthy soil. Soil with plenty of microbial activity and organic matter holds excess water for dry, hot periods. A healthy soil is also more likely to produce nutrient dense crops. Keeping the soil covered with mulch, or a companion cover crop, preserves the moisture, and helps keep weeds down. This also feeds microbes. Keeping cover crops growing during the non crop growing periods helps build soil quality, feeds soil life and if tended properly, also makes it possible to plant next season directly in growing beds without tilling. Tilling destroys soil fungi which inhibits nutrient exchange among plants. So much more to this… and there's always more to learn, and it's all so much fun!
[Posted on behalf of reader David C, who submitted this via email]:
I choose Brookings, Oregon, nearly ten years ago for some of the same reasons. Negatives are no REI or good airport, nor bigger stores – but Grants Pass, Medford and Ashland are reachable. Crescent City airport is in flux.Good local shops, Farmers' Market twice a week, bus, hospital (urgent care now), banks, port. Beaches up and down the coast. Coast Trails. Wilderness. Fishing, Good water (Chetco River), coffee shops, bookstore. Tourism, fishing and lumber are big employers. I can walk everywhere. Schools, swings and pool are along the road, but I have no children. Kitchen gardens are possible, if the local deer don't eat everything.No snow, reasonable all round temperatures. Occasional fires (Chetco Bar, 190K acres) to light the night sky.House prices as rational as possible, open sites still available. RV and trailer parks.
David C's comments reminds me of my early 80s bike ride from Seattle to San Francisco since I passed through Brookings. It was very pleasant there, but horrible when the bike trail went more than 5 miles inland since Portland hit a record high of 107F when I crossed the Columbia. I'm therefore wondering if forest fires will never make it to the coast due to their moderate temps and higher humidity. I don't remember of any of this summer's forest fires getting close. If they can't, it will pretty much finalize my relocation destination to the northwest coast.
I drove through southern Oregon last August and man was it ever dry, and smoky. I guess that's just summer there. Beautiful area. I personally love coastal northern California and the redwoods.
Being in Canada I have a bit of an advantage because there is a lot of space up north to retreat to if need be. We have a nice 2 acres on Vancouver Island on a salmon bearing river, in a small community. I think that will be as safe as anywhere, except maybe some land-locked communities up the Inside Passage. Inside Passage Alaska doesn't get too cold, maybe consider Juneau.
If I had my choice it would be Australia or New Zealand but there is too much here for me to move away from. The elites apparently are setting up in New Zealand, if that tells you anything. Australia may have some problems due to the gutting of their economy over the last few decades and reliance on the same bubbles that we have over here, but with much less population pressures. I work for an Australian company and could go over if really wanted to, but I can't leave my family here.
There were comments above about difficulties of homesteading when you are older. I have plenty of skills/knowledge but am 60 and no longer have the strength of a 20 year old. Anyone have ideas of how to leverage the knowledge and still be able to live outside of town with a bit of acreage but not be dependent on fossil fuels? So far, all I could come up with was either just build greenhouses and produce in those, or put up another small living quarters on the property and hire a young worker or two who get the free rent as part of their pay. Any other ideas out there?
Great timing, considering a move myself. Social capital is definitely becoming a major priority when making this decision. would be nice to stay in California but the costs are getting out of hand(have been). One thing I am keeping my eye on is the water from air technology. If you can provide your own water cheaper, less desirable property will provide resilience.
You will find that fires can occur WHEREVER there is fuel. Proximity to water, wind direction, timing and luck. I've been "burned out" of two vacations two years in a row. The Glacier fires that closed the Highway to the Sun, and then the coastal fires near Medocino(?). Finally, this summer, decided on Colorado Rockies, near Buena Vista, and guess what? Last hour and a half of the flight into Denver we were breathing in the smoky haze from around 11k on down and couldn't see the mountains from Denver's downtown. Passed a fire on the way up.
Just no way to know.
This summer's Chetco Bar fire which grew to over 190,000 acres caused evacuations in Brookings, OR, one of the Oregon coastal towns. Travel on Highway 101 was significantly impacted. I think anywhere a town is on the edge of a forest, there is increased risk of fire.