Cheap land

I always wanted to live in a place where I could grow a ton of fruits and veggies without having to water the plants/trees. Nature does all the watering. Of course, land also has to be cheap in that area. I asked the US Department of Agriculture but never got any response to my letter to them.

I'd like to grow trees and veggies that aren't normally available in a typical US supermarket. Think chikoo from Cambodia or Vietnam, mango from India, etc. Or cherries, which I hardly ever get to eat because they are so expensive.

I wanted at least 50 ac of land. Not that I have the money for it. But something to dream about and plan for the future. Any suggestions on where I can buy the cheapest land for this purpose?

Where do you live or would you move anywhere in the US that offers the cheapest land? Also, depending on what you want to grow, you may be limited to certain geographies. I believe a mango is more of a tropical plant and needs to be protected from freezing, so you are likely looking at Florida or Sothern California. However, cherries can be easily grown in the northern part of US (Washington and Michigan are known for having great cherries). Also, depending on what you want to grow, if you have the right temperature, you may still need to water, especially if it is not a native species.
USDA does not sell land (generally speaking). Your best bet is to figure out what geography you want to buy land and then try various sites that have land for sale (i.e. or A quick search shows that you can buy 40 acres for around $4,000 near Nevada (not sure if you could grow anything on it) to as much as $35 million for 50 acres with greenhouses in So California.

50 acres is a lot of land, unless you intend to grow crops to sell you could probably get away with under 10 acres. You may also be able to grow some tropical fruits and trees in a greenhouse like this guy did even in Nebraska where the overnight temps get to -40 F.

Yeah, it's a lot. Years ago, our next door neighbors at the edge of town, and the edge of the bottoms, had a 2nd lot specifically for a large vegetable garden. Maybe 2 acres. They didn't have fruit or nut trees, but it more than took care of their vegetable needs. (In northeastern Kansas, they didn't water, but lost some crops if it didn't rain enough.)

Make no mistake, though-- a garden that size is a lot of work. We had maybe 30' x 20' at the time, and some days my SO would be in tears trying to keep up with both the work, and the produce. We couldn't give it away fast enough, and canning/pickling was a major chore. We down-sized considerably the next year Currently only about 40 miles from there, but the soil here isn't good enough to grow like that without lots of artificial support.

In my area we have a place that sells what they call "garden mix" by the yard, it is peat moss, compost, sand, and topsoil mixed together. For $20 I got a yard of the "garden mix", which filled 40 - 5 gallon buckets, in each bucket I drilled a 1/4" hole 4-5 inches from the bottom of the buckets so they didn't get waterlogged. I did this method so an inlaw didn't have to bend over so far to tend to the plants, it turned out to be very low maintenance and the yield was very good. I would recomend this method to anyone that can buy bulk mix.

If you're looking for the best price on "farmable" land, Montana may be of the the better choices. But the growing season and crop selections are limited ( but man, it is one beautiful place!)
Note: It's important to differentiate between irrigated land, non-irrigated land , and pasture land.

Or, you could ask this guy if he has a few acres to spare:

Very interesting replies! Enjoyed reading them!

Land is still pretty cheap in much of Georgia, and water is usually plentiful (rain and aquifers).

The climate is conducive to growing many fruits and vegetables and greenhouses can expand the possibilities even farther.

Don't listen to the people telling you that 10 acres is a lot. You need plenty of land if you don't want the revenuers getting in your business.

Sonehow, that makes me envision a still in the back, and a 'cash crop' in the far corner. (Not that I'm objecting....)

How many acres do you think I'll need?

What exactly are you wanting to do - produce produce for your family or sell? You don't need 50 acres of land to feed your family. Also, if you wanting to grow trees (i.e. cherries) versus plants that will make a large difference in your needs.

Most of the people I know who grow food for their family have at least 50 acres. That might even give you some to sell at the farmer's market.

If you want to hunt for deer and hogs it would be better to have at least 100 acres.

My ex-paw-in-law had 50 acres and it was just enough land to keep the extended family in butter beans, purple hull peas, white acre peas, corn, etc.

My friends with hunting land feel like 100 acres is just barely enough.

Buy as much as you can afford!

While I agree with Chelle to buy as much as you can, just be aware that you can make it on small amount of land. I grew up in a family of 6 and we survived primarily off a garden no larger than an acre (tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, peas, sweet corn, zucchini were primary crops) as well as had some livestock on just a few acres. Produce was canned/frozen/stored below ground to make it last for most of the year. I've hunted deer on timber parcels that are just a couple acres if it's in the right spot (i.e. near a water or food source).

Fascinating replies from everybody!!

Is it at all possible to grow stuff right next to mountains? I would love to be within walking distance of mountains.

Mountains are rarely within walking distance, unless you're in the mountains.

And mountain land may be unaffordable in the first place.

I looked through the land links you guys suggested. In the areas that are affordable, it looks like I will need

  • a septic tank
  • a well for water
  • and solar energy.
    All of which will mean further expenses. And I know absolutely nothing about these three things.

About storing the produce - how did you store produce below ground?

Well... I have relatives who lived in isolated areas, including an uncle who lived in an adobe house in far western Kansas. Although I'm sure there were expenses involved, electricity was not a problem, thanks to the Rural Electric Administration in the 1930's New Deal, which resulted in 98% of farms having electricity. (I'm sure there are areas where it's still an issue.) Neither septic tanks nor water wells require a great deal of knowledge beyond finding the folks who provide and maintain them for a living.

Wow, adobe house huh? I had to look what kind of homes those were. Looks like they are cheap to build but need dry areas, although I could be wrong about that. I also tried to find some cheap houses and came across these "promoted" links on e-bay.

Looks like they need significant assembly, so if someone does that, the cost will be much higher.
I think cabins cost on the lower side too.
Man, I wish I was handy!!