Something to consider is for many crops to be planted the ground has to be above a certain temperature. Such as corn the rule of thumb is after the last frost & after ground temperature is atleast 55F.
Maybe somehow my Mac doesn't link right, but both the maps link for me just show the average annual minimum temperature. I don't find this very helpful. I'd rather see number of frost free days. Also, it is not very detailed for microclimates, which would be very important for more northern areas. I found this one quickly, I've found even better, more detailed ones in the past and they should be fairly easy to find with a little looking
1. Lots of talk about moving to states with low population per square mile ratios. Most of the talk centered around north western states where cows outnumber people.
2. Combined this talk with the realization that you want an extended growing season (180-300 days) because you cannot live off stored food forever. Food production must start with in 6-9 months of any teotwawki situation. CAVeman made an excellent point about while Wyoming is even in hospitable for cows in the winter.
3. This lead to a good discussion about fresh water supplies and availability. Someone mentioned salt is also important. Picking a location that is now prone to extended droughts seemed essential.
4. Started talking about lines of drift of possible refugees and evacuees from large cities that could devour any resources in their way much like locusts. You want to be able to reach your retreat location without the "golden horde" reaching it too.
5. Talked about Conex containers as a way of caching supplies on your retreat location. Also talked about burying supplies. HH made an excellent point about using 500 gallon septic tanks (unused) if you plan to stock your retreat while not living on site no matter what location you use.
6. Started talking about gnomes and hobbits and other creatures that live underground as a retreat location. And we stopped there...
7. Pay attention to locality of moving water (rivers), for transport, irrigation, power, and of course to filter and drink.
8. In the east there's a lot of trees, in the west, visibility.
9. If you settle in an area with cold winters, consider availability of firewood for fuel.
On that note- HH, the links you show with climate maps are helpful but don't necessarily paint the whole picture. Remember, most of North America's field-based agriculture takes place in the area enclosed by Montana, Oklahoma, Ohio, and all of central Canada. Most of that (sort of pentagonal) area is pretty cold on those scales. Of course, most of this mass growing has been accomplished on a fairly technology-, manpower- and diesel-intensive system in the last century, all of which could wind up in very short supply. Also worth noting is that in these less temperate areas, rather large ranches and farms have supplanted individualist farming. However, this last can be traced back to the much less intensive (and more natural) practice of open range grazing.
As for CA and the southeast, they may be more suitable but each individual should judge any other geographic (population) tradeoffs for themselves. GI2
Also important and hasn't been mentioned before: SOIL!!!!
Is it fertile? Can it be made so locally? Is the average pH right, or will it need mass quantities of lime, potash etc. trucked in each year to accommodate growing people food as opposed to elk food? Track down the local county extension agent, pick his/her brain about local growing concerns. If you don't know how to do it yourself, get someone to come out and assess the soil, its texture, the drainage, fertility, etc., all around where you hope to grow, and get samples taken and tested. This can be HUGE. If you've gotta install drainage and/or irrigation, do it while the diesel refineries are still in operation!
Perhaps equal in importance to temperature is rainfall and precipitation. You cannot put a price on having a good, reliable well that doesn't require filtration of any sort, not to mention steady rain for crops without having to worry about flooding. (One more advantage of the high ground!)
I do think about just staying in Thailand sometimes. Easy to grow food. Plenty of water and some of the agriculture is much more primitive than anything in the U.S. Still done with asian buffalo. And, everything from cashew nuts to all kinds of fruits are easy to grow. Even coffee. Doi Tung coffee is some of the best in the world.
But, ultimately I think the U.S. will be the safest with or big oceans around us that isolate us from most of the world to a very large degree.
Maybe it just nice to get back to Texas a play with all the toys I purchase and haven't been able to play with while I was overseas. This trip my favorites are my ATN 4x night vision scope and, just today from the Optics Zone, my Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600 laser range finder. It's compensates for inclination, ballistics, temperature and air pressure out to 1.5km. Oh, and my new Steiner 10x50 Military/Marine Binocular. I want a ranch where I can shoot out to 800 meters on my own land!
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