An Alternative To Collective Rural Living
Recently on one of the prepper Facebook groups I'm a regular on, a member posted of their desire to move from their city home to a rural property and start a farm. Its a popular desire among preppers, I had a similar desire myself as recent as 5 years ago. Having a decent amount of land, where you can grow your own food and raise chickens or even a cow or two, and a home that you can walk out the back door and not be a stone's throw from your neighbor would be great. I've had access to such a property, during my time as a child (grandparents lived in a small town) and later as a 20 something (a friend's parents owned 40 acres in the Ozarks). There is something really magical about being in real woods and grassy fields.
Its a dream that is unfortunately being more and more priced out of the range of anyone but the truly rich. The cost of land fit for farming has skyrocketed. First came second homes by people with money in the country and more recently during the start of the pandemic, rural properties you could be safe from infection (and conveniently work remotely from) all have driven the supply of small family sized plots of land out of reach.
This has lead to a modification of the design into "collective rural living", where a group of families go in together to buy a larger property which is subdivided into small home lots, while a communal set of common buildings are shared by all. This has its advantages. A small farm will require certain equipment, small tractor, construction and maintenance equipment, farm sheds and food storage buildings all of which are expensive and aren't used on a full time basis. Having a slightly larger tractor, which can be shared and used on all of the resident family's home gardens, as well as perhaps a larger communal farm area, spreads the costs and makes it more affordable. Yet, the number of affordable properties of the size needed for this option are just as scarce anymore.
I want to propose an alternative, which is more readily available and I would argue more doable for a small group.