Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Land in New Mexico can be cheap....water is not

What a busy somewhat stressful week this has been! We decided that since we have been enjoying New Mexico so much that we should at least make a stab at looking for some cheap land. We knew we wouldn't be lucky enough to find anything super close to Albuquerque, not even any of the quaint nearby small mountain towns we have been loving so much. We did however find a lot of rural land about an hour from here right where we broke down no less for $1000 an acre. In fact the picture Riki took from our breakdown spot was of the area where the land is located. Uncanny, right? Well, we didn't get our hopes up because we know all too well how these things can not work out or be too good to be true, etc. We drove out there and the land was picturesque enough, in the prairie with beautiful mountain backdrops as long as you didn't count the other lots with beat up trailers and junk in the yard. I told Riki there was no way in heck that code enforcement could care what we built or put on the land. That was a win win. Nevertheless we reconsidered when we found out it would cost about 16K to drill a complete well, half that to drill and put our own hand pump on it. That 1K piece of land turned out to be much more than that. Plus it freaks me out a little bit that New Mexico has a real water crisis with rumors of running out in ten years or so. I know the whole world is dealing with water shortages of some kind but that scared me a little.

In a way we are a bit relieved. We've spent the past few days going over scenarios for rural off grid living, housing choices, what we could afford, how we would transition, find work, start a home business etc. Many of these topics aren't new to us but they always stress us out to talk about. I did get a little hopeful that this might finally be the time when we would get that piece of land and live sustainably with a little yurt and have some chickens. Once again though, it just isn't the right time I suppose. We just keep on moving and say maybe one day...

It isn't that I dislike being on the road or even small spaces. I would just like to be a bit more self sufficient in terms of being able to grow our own food like we started to do before, not paying ""rent" so to speak, and finding a community to get involved with. Then again, the minute you stop you have all these permanent living conditions to stress about. So I've let it go and let the universe decide when the time is right.

It is a little depressing to see land so expensive and even intentional communities. I can't believe people are selling earthships studios in Taos for 300K. You can't even get your foot in the door of an ecovillage without paying thousands of dollars to lease a postage stamp plot of land. This could be another one of my green vents where being green has become popular, trendy, and therefore expensive, even in those communities. It seems ironic to me that the very income bracket of people who could benefit most from earth sheltered housing and sustainable living are the ones shut out of it due to the cost of these communities and areas where apprenticeships/workshops are held. We may still get to Oregon and do a cob house workshop. I don't know yet.

All I know is that since we've been to New Mexico I've never seen so many locally owned businesses in my life. Sure, you still have your fast food joints, Walmarts, etc. but the independently owned almost eclipse those entirely. I don't think we have been to one franchise place to eat or shop since we've been in Albuquerque with the exception of REI. It is amazing and sad to see what has happened to Florida where we are from. You see this and it just looks like Florida laid down and let everybody run them right over in terms of development.

Next week we leave for Taos and I am so excited to say that we discovered they are having a solarfest with
Michael Franti while we are there so we'll definitely be catching that. I haven't seen any festivals or jambands since we've been on the road yet...seriously. I think my foot will be healed enough for some hooping too.

Allergies still keeping me down...don't know what it's from. I've taken two homeopathic remedies with barely any relief so that is a real bummer. I carry tissues with me constantly. Either my nose is bothering me or my eyes are burning like they are on fire. It sucks.

Still loving it there though, the smelll of the pinon (desert pine) on the little backwoods trail that leads to the office....getting around with less of a limp and hoping to get some good hiking in real soon.


Mouse said...

There are tons of craft markets & farmers markets in NM as well.. you're right about the small businesses being plentiful -- its because in NM its free to get a business license & tax id. They make it super easy to own your own business.. I was planning on opening a shop out there (I even had the shop space) until we ran into fire code violations.

Little House On Wheels said...

That's funny because we have been talking about starting our own business...maybe vending at festivals too. I would like to sell some small knitted items like hats and headbands and wraps and stuff. I know you've done some of that on etsy. I guess I need to get my feet wet.