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rural living in california
Recent statistics state that fifty percent of the world’s population now lives inside cities. In California the transitory shift was a long one that took several generations, as suburbs spread from city centers to the countryside connecting every vacant hill to a vast network of freeways. Orange County used to have acres and acres of citrus groves! Slowly the industrial parks creep further out on the landscape, while the factory outlet malls grace every convenient tourist stop.
Our 7 year recession is slowly becoming an economic depression, as the sluggish economy crawls along and corporate retail bankruptcies continue. Waves of city-dwellers heading out to the countryside to live and grow food has just begun. They seek a simpler life, fresh air, peace, quiet and learn to live forgotten, old fashioned ways.
Rural properties, water wells and sunny acres are all in high demand, as well as forested land, flowing creeks, wood burning stoves and solar powered homes. Off grid homesteads (those that are self sufficient w/ electricity, food and water) are found few and far between, but they can be located if you search online diligently. Or you can choose a fixer upper and transform it into your own uniquely personalized homestead. Craigslist and Zillow are the top choices for rural real estate bargains. County land auctions, held annually, are also good places to find deals.
Farm to Factory: the further we move away from our food production, the less we know what’s in our food.
Farmers markets and organic produce have grown more popular in recent years. We like to support the small businesses within the golden state, so under ‘local links’ on towns pages we link to family farms, you-pick orchards, farmers markets, wineries, farm stands, health food stores, organic cafes, coffee shops and restaurants.