Know Any Literary Animal Lovers?

Hi there PureJeevan readers! We wanted to let you know that Jim's new novel CHROO is available on Amazon. It's a crazy adventure involving a billionaire heiress, her Chihuahua BFF ("Chroo") and a host of human and animal characters. Find out more on Amazon! Here are some links:

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Today we're running another installment of our "Thankful Thursday" series. This time, we're especially thankful ... for YOU, the Pure Jeevan family! Who'd have thought, less than two years ago when launching this blog, that we'd make thousands of connections with others looking for inspiration on their raw food journey !!? It's simply astounding -- and we're still actually "just getting started."

As always, we're thrilled to provide information and inspiration. It's counter-intuitive, when you really consider it; "raw foods" may be just two simple words, yet there always seems to be more and more to talk about, more people to interview, more success stories to highlight, more recipes to contribute, more tips and tricks to share, more personal reflections to offer.

While we would love to develop a more interactive experience (and we're working on some things!), the format here on the blog is pretty much the same as it is for all blogs; we present information for others to read. It's kind of an outward-facing act, when you consider it.However, today we're turning that around 180-degrees. Today, we need to leverage the cumulative knowledge of the Pure Jeevan family. We desperately need your help! And it might just be SO easy for you to help us!

You see, we're researching. Since we had to postpone our U.S. RV tour, we can no longer wait until we're on the road to discover our own Utopia (which was part of our original plans).We figured that during our cross-country tour we'd visit someplace and just *know* we found our new home. Now finding the ideal location to relocate has become a bit more difficult.We're currently seeking the ultimate place to live (for us) and want your suggestions! Below is a list of qualities we're seeking in a new home. We're asking everyone we know (and even people we don't) to take a look at the following list and offer us any suggestions for further research. So, please, if you know of a city that potentially fits our needs (or at least fits many of them), then please let us know. It could be a simple comment like "Santa Rosa, CA" or as long of a recommendation as you care to offer!? Here's our criteria:

Sunshine.? We've discussed this periodically before. This and the next item were what prompted the move in the first place. While Pittsburgh is certainly a beautiful city, it ranks very low on this criterion. In fact, it's less sunny here than Seattle! (We have 45% sunny days here; Seattle has 47%.) We've also likely discussed some related factors here -- e.g., how sunshine affects mood, how Vitamin D deficiency is linked to disease, how raw foodies tend to feel cold more often, etc. So, sun is important to us! We need a minimum of 250 days of sunshine per year, but we'd prefer more.
Fresh air.? Again, while Pittsburgh is a fine city, it also happens to be among the top-most areas for air pollution. Year after year, the American Lung Association publishes its list of the worst places to live in terms of air quality. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh is always near the top. Since we have a chance to design our lives, we want to breathe the freshest air possible! In fact, we want to live in a place where the air quality is valued and safeguarded. Wendi has strugged with the poor air quality before eating raw foods, but now she's even more sensitive to air pollution (we all are, actually). So, no more industrialized areas for us!
Proximity to a progressive / artsy city with lots of unschoolers and activities for teens.? As we stated in a prior post, we're also doing this for our daughter. While it may be fun to live in an extremely remote area, she really needs to be somewhere where she can make good, solid friendships. As she's a highly artistic, creative person, it would be best to find like-minded people her age. We've found some amazing locales based on all of the other criteria here, but this one's definitely a deal-breaker. (Sorry Redding, CA. You almost made it, but just weren't perfect for us in this area!)
Affordable land.? After living for more than a decade on a postage-stamp-sized lot, it's time we stretched out a bit and acquired some land.We'd like 20+ acres (though a lot more if the price is right--we'll be needing a lot of land for a future project). Ideally, it would have hills, trees, rocks, streams, wildlife, and privacy ... and yet be close enough to civilization or a city so that our daughter could have many friends. A tall order, yes, but we're sure it exists somewhere.
Long growing season.? Aha, and here's another reason we want land -- the ability to grow most (if not all) of our own food! The longer the growing season, the better, in fact. We suppose this is another way of saying that we want a "warm" climate. However, we're also not opposed to a little bit of winter. Perhaps one of those areas where it might snow just a little bit. But, we're through with these "cold from November through March" scenarios! Fort Colins, CO, was very high on our list two years ago, but we've since decided that we need a warmer year-round temperature and longer growing season.

So, as you can see we need some help, since we haven't traveled all over the US.We're open to any and all suggestions. Surely such a place exists. We're simply searching for it at the moment! So please think on it and let us know any suggestions you might have. We really appreciate your help! If you'd rather drop us a direct email, you can reach Wendi at WendiDee [at] or Jim at Rawdiant [at]

Thanks so much!

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On July 30, 2009, Speakout wrote:

I'll plug my little slice of Heaven. I live in Naples, FL- The SW corner of Florida sandwiched between the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Everglades. We definitely have sunshine- even in Winter. And NOW (unfortunately for me) land is affordable and AVAILABLE! The housing crunch has hit us HARD here and bargains are everywhere. As for an artsy community.....Hmm...Well, there's lots of art shows in the winter. And there's also definitely a holistic community, and there may even be a raw foods community, though I haven't really found them yet, since I'm just starting out. But there are a few restaurants here that have raw options. It's kind of a wealthy community with lots of midwesterners and not that many natives, but I do love it here...As for teenager stuff....not really sure. I know there's lots of great public parks including a water park and a skateboard park that are both public parks. Good luck in your search!

On July 30, 2009, touchthespindle wrote:

Come live by me!

I am in Corralitos, California. I have the best of everything: I live in the redwood forest (mountains) but I'm just 30 minutes from the beach. The sun shines here nine months out of the year; we have a loooong growing season. There are year round Farmer's Markets with a huge variety of local, fresh, organic food. The air here is crystal clear. Nearby Santa Cruz has a huge homeschooling community; the locals are friendly and green; there is plenty of artists here and lots to do.

Please feel free to come by and stay awhile if you are in the area.... we would love to have you. You can check out my blahg for pictures of our ranch and what I'm up to in general.



On July 30, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Must be plenty of coconut trees down you way, too, eh ! Thanks for the suggestion. We'll look into it!

On July 30, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Hi Aurora- Wow, you know, that is pretty close to one of the areas we once looked at in CA. Originally, I was going to stay in the corporate world and commute somewhere. I really honed in on Silicon Valley at that time, figuring we could find a place somewhere off in the mountains behind Los Gatos. (We loved Los Gatos for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact that the word "Gatos" means "cats" -- and KDcat is, as you may have guessed, obssessed with cats!) But, I hadn't looked into many areas further south such as Corralitos. I wonder if it's far enough from the valley that there aren't so many people commuting to the Valley -- and thus keeping the land more affordable in that area. I'll definitely look into that! Also, we have a niece in Santa Cruz, and she's always said it's so nice there. What about even further south, toward Salinas? I'd love to live so close to the Pacific... I've always wanted to take up kite surfing! -Jim

On July 30, 2009, bitt wrote:

whenever you figure it out, i will just move there too. i have all those requirements as well! less sun than seattle? yikes! (i'm from seattle)

On July 30, 2009, touchthespindle wrote:

Hi,I know that real estate is pretty slow due to the current financial slump... agents are willing to be creative.I love Los Gatos too (my daughter goes to LGHS) but it's really expensive there.I grew up in Salinas.... it's rural and lovely, as is Hollister, San Martin, and Gilroy.... but probably not socially / culturally quite what you are looking for. Also a long commute to the valley (a place I prefer to avoid - very industrialized as you might imagine.)There are many offshoots of Santa Cruz... Aptos, Soquel, Capitola.... things are more expensive as you go towards the beach, but again, people are hungry to get the money flowing and may be able to work with you. I certainly see plenty of For Sale signs around.Again, my door is open to you and your family if you ever want to venture by. I would love to create some amazing raw food for you from my garden and my weekly CSA box!Peace,Aurora (Kat)

On July 31, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Hi Bitt- Yeah, it's a big mystery at the moment. Which town satisfies ALL of those requirements? Time will tell... Just as soon as we find an answer to that monumental question, we'll broadcast it loud and clear for everyone to read! It'd be amazing if lots of like-minded people would move there, too! -Jim

On July 31, 2009, kerrymum wrote:

we live on 2.5 acres on the outskirts of salem, oregon. the pacific northwest if beyond beautiful and the air is sooo clean. we can grow from april - october. actually, i grew lettuce, broccoli, onions & carrots in my covered raised bed this winter. (even in the snow/ice storms!) there are lots of homeschoolers here (we homeschool our 3 kids, too) & plenty of artsy things in salem/portland. the willamette valley has some of the best soil and there are many communites that would fit what you're looking for. if you want more info, feel free to contact me. : )

On July 31, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Hi Kerry-

Wow, thanks for that! You know, we've always felt *very* drawn to Oregon. We nearly moved there in the mid 90s, but opted for Pittsburgh instead. Lately, Wendi found an amazing community a bit south of you -- place called Corvailis. However most of Oregon doesn't quite get the level of sun we're after this time around. Salem clocks in at around 43% sunny days (~159 days/year), and we're shooting for 250++. But, I must say that it's quite painful to pass on Oregon, as it's *so* perfect on all of the other criteria!!! Great people, great atmosphere, great land, affordable places, lovely mild winters. :-)


On August 3, 2009, Lockwood wrote:

I live in Corvallis, and I wasn't going to comment until I saw your last comment. The winters can be dreary, but they are generally mild, rarely getting much below freezing. The summers are generally heavenly, though we just came out of a heat wave with 3 days in a row breaking a hundred. Property values in and close to town are high, but lots of rural area with much cheaper land close by. From what you describe, I think the rural Willamette Valley generally would fit your wants, but you'd have to get used to having sun for half the year and little for the other half. You might also look at the Bend area- much more sun, but more extreme weather, and much more conservative.

Check out my blog and click the "Corvallis" label for more on my friendly little burg.

On August 3, 2009, Lockwood wrote:

Don't know why I didn't think of it before, but Ashland, Or is drier and sunnier than Corvallis, and has milder weather and a more progressive political outlook than Bend. 198 sunny days per year (compared to 149 for Corvallis).

On August 4, 2009, Shannon wrote:

If I were you guys I would try Taos or Santa Fe or the surrounding areas. I'm really not sure how great it is for growing, its a bit arable, but it is certainly sunny and clean air and a great community.
The other place I would try is the Ashland, Oregon area. it's a LOT sunnier down in southern oregon and it pretty much fits your criteria completely. It's not cold, it's sunny, it's BEAUTIFUL, it's a hip, cool community and while I am not sure I would call it "affordable" the surrounding areas might be.
Good luck!

On August 4, 2009, Shannon wrote:

Lockwood, we had the same thought :-) I didn't see your post

On August 4, 2009, Shannon wrote:

I think Salinas is kind of sleazy.... probably not where you want to go.

On August 4, 2009, SEDONADIXIE wrote:

I live in the Village of Oak Creek just outside Sedona. Cottonwood is just up the road and property is less expensive there.It is beautiful with plenty of raw, vegan and vegetarians living locally. There is a need for what you do and you can earn a living doing it.
It's safe, 1-2 days of snow per year, righteous seasons and good schools. Check it out.

On August 4, 2009, Pwyll wrote:

Hi--i am currently in Albuquerque--checking it out--from, by the way, Corvallis, OR!!!
Which--as the previous writer said, is nice in the summer--you can grow things all year(cole crops)...however, the damp and the wet got to me. ABQ boasts 310 days of sun a year. West coast is beautiful--but the coastal areas are forecast to be severely subjected to overdue earthquakes and tsunami's. MY focus is drier and warmer. Santa Fe is nice too--but another 1000 feet higher. I see apricot trees, pears, apples, peaches and gardens---so they must be able to do a lot if they want to in that regard. I have been here three weeks--looking-and likely will rent to determine just what you are asking about. Down by the Rio Grande it is 5000' elevation--and I know mush is grown in the valley. The upper side of town is about 6000' against the backdrop of the Sandia mountains---10, 648 or so feet high. No industry to the west---where the prevailing winds are from---so the air quality seems pretty good so far--. Good luck!

On August 4, 2009, marina wrote:

I love Santa Rosa, CA / Sonoma County..
It is beautiful here .. We are so close to the Ocean ( Bodega Bay), close to San Francisco, Close to the wine country ( Napa).... I love the changing seasons.. great opportunties for organic/ yummy foods from the local farmers..
Check it out..
Blessings, Marina

On August 4, 2009, Tami Jo wrote:

My mom and dad have lived in Minnesota, Washington, Oregon and Colorado and have traveled the US. My dad swears this area (Lodi, CA) is the best. We are half an hour from Sacramento and about two hours from San Francisco. I know of homeschoolers in the area, but I work full-time and therefore my children attend a small public school. I am new to raw food and have found that Sacramento is close enough to make it easier to live this lifestyle but not have to live in such a metropolitan area. I would love to have some more raw foodists in my area. The housing market here is starting to stabilize but there are still some good deals in the area.

On August 4, 2009, nbo wrote:

Two areas that come to mind are Austin Texas - very progressive place and there is land on the outskirts of Austin. Austin has lots of music, is home to Whole Foods and many other great food places, Waldorf schools and other school opportunities plus homeschoolers, the U of Texas is there also so lots of cutting edge stuff with college, and lots of high tech with Dell, etc. I have lived in Austin and it is a very cool place to live.

Also, Asheville North Carolina - I have not been there but have heard it is a great place!

Check them out.
good luck,


On August 4, 2009, Debra wrote:

I live in a small town area outside of Tucson, AZ. Close enough that you can shop there but it is cooler where we are and land is much more affordable. There are several Farmers markets. There are several home schoolers in our area. I live in Saint David, AZ but there are many small towns outside of Tucson that would fit your qualifications.

On August 4, 2009, jnd888 wrote:

Check out Bisbee, Arizona if you like smaller towns (~6,000). We're about 100 miles southeast of Tucson, right on the border with Mexico (and about 40 minutes away from St. David, mentioned above!) We are up over 5,000 feet so the summers are not too hot, we have a fantastic farmers market, a great local artist community, and a wonderful food co-op.

On August 4, 2009, run26long wrote:

I'm so interested to read all the great suggestions, as we often toying with the idea of moving to a similar place - Santa Rosa would be at the top of our list if it weren't for the housing costs.

We're currently just north of Orlando, FL in a town called Lake Mary. Lots of sunshine, the air is good and there is a small but growing arts community. Our real estate market has been among the hardest hit, so I'm sure there are opportunities for good deals. Regarding gardening, our growing season tends to be cut short more by the heat than the cold, but I'm finding something to grow just about all year long. Best of all, the green/local/vegetarian/vegan community is thriving; I am fortunate to have two vegetarian, two vegan and one raw vegan restaurants within a 30 minute drive. Florida is also a good state for homeschooling (you can see more about Orlando homeschooling on my blog).

I've made it sound so great that I'm not sure why we want to leave. LOL! Even though I've lived here for more or less my whole life, it just doesn't feel 100% like home. Not sure if it's the area or our situation (living in a neighborhood when we're really ready for more space). Really, I think I'm a West coast girl at heart. :)

On August 4, 2009, lenorekitty wrote:

I also would recomend the Austin area. The outskirts to the west have hills and you can still find land on the outskirts, you'll get plenty of sun. There is a raw food community out here, whole foods, farmers markets, a coop, a couple of raw food cafes with one more opening up this fall. I have my garden going about 10 months out of the year, but think if you frost proofed you could probably get even loger of a growing season. And then of course the artsy down town and music. There have also recently been additions of local symphony theaters. Round Rock has free symphony concerts at different times of the year. There are also plenty of things for families to do, many towns now have movies and concerts in the park as well as other family activities, and homeschooling groups. We moved the family to Round Rock, from Orange County, Ca just a few years ago, and other than the heat during the summer which flares my MS it's been great. I especially enjoy the family centered atmosphere and open mindedness of this part of Texas.

On August 4, 2009, gracehappens wrote:

Fayetteville, Arkansas! Beautiful weather, nestled in the Ozark Mountains. We have four distinct seasons, but none of the seasons are extreme. We might just have one or two snow storms a year. We enjoy 218 days of sunshine per year. Our average temperature in July is 78.7 degrees, and in January it is 34 degrees. The yearly average is 59 degrees. We enjoy a long growing season, have lots of homeschoolers, affordable land, and our motto is "Keep Fayetteville Funky," Air is so clear lichen grows on all the trees.University of Arkansas is here, and beautiful and friendly people. I've lived in 12 states, work remotely and can live anywhere, and literally can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be.

On August 4, 2009, madell wrote:

We have a second house in south Myrtle Beach, SC and we just love it. They actually have 2 growing seasons and the weather is just great. We were just there for 2 weeks and we had sun for the full 2 weeks. At least we have a place to go to this year to have our summer for here in NY we have no summer. We are hoping to get down there perminently when our son is in 11th grade so he can get his diploma from the school system. They are a very homeschool friendly.

On August 4, 2009, dsilva333 wrote:

I live in Cloverdale, 1/2 hour north of Santa Rosa, CA. Very expensive out here but I think there are some deals right now. I hear the famous Luther Burbank landed in Santa Rosa cause he could get away with tropical plantings. We have some freezes here in Cloverdale but I am starting to see banana trees here and there. Last frost is Apr 1 to first frost Nov 1.
I have many friends who are home schoolers.
There are so many artsy towns surrounding us. Mendocino and Gualala on the coast. (Very small towns) You might look into Healdsburg.
Cloverdale can get very hot in the summer but Healdsburg and Santa Rosa are 5-15 degrees cooler. It cools off at night.
I think the air quality is very good in Cloverdale and less in each town as you move south.
I will ask my artsy unschooler friends to see what they think of the area for these two areas that you are interested in.
Wish I could answer your questions better but I think this area is worth a look.

On August 4, 2009, Amy wrote:

Cocoa Beach, Florida I think might be very nice, I have been to art festivals there, artsy community and some kiteboarding, not too sure about some of your other requirements though, just thought I would mention Central Florida to ya again, I saw you got a pitch for Orlando....St Augustine is nice, too...good growing season, lots of sun...Good Luck!

On August 4, 2009, amberlee wrote:

There is a website online where you can plug in all the things you want in your new place to live and it will give you a list of choices. I think there are a couple different ones. Here are a couple links:
This one you can compare and contrast different things with different cities and take a quiz:
Other links:

Not sure if that helps. I am sure there are a ton of other places to look online.

On August 4, 2009, LuckyLee1 wrote:

I live in Placitas, New Mexico and love all of NM from Albuquerque and north into Santa Fe and Taos. Many home schoolers and Natural Practioners of Health and Natural Living. I live on an acre of fertile land adjoining the National Forest. We are at 6000 feet and have cedar, pinon and juniper trees all around us.

This is an area where people love the outdoors.

Placitas is between Albuquerque and Santa Fe and was settled in the 1500 by the spanish and in the 1960's the hippies moved in. It is a mix of expensive homes and homes built by the people themselves.
Let me know if you need more info.


On August 5, 2009, gretchenconley wrote:

Ellicott City MD: repeatedly scoring VERY high in the top places to live nationwide! Lots of surrounding farmland, a great customer base. Howard County has the highest percentage of library card residents in the country (an interesting predictor regarding the residents), great schools (if not for you, then for your client base), close proximity to DC, Baltimore, weekend train to NYC, Boston. Not too cold for too long in the winter, maybe snows twice on average. Not the big city, but close proximity to everything -- The perfect solution! And I was just thinking this morning, reading an update about one of our Columbia village centers that recently lost their chain grocery store, what we really need is a organic co-op, though I don't know what your plans are for the future, business-wise! Howard County, home of the Choose Civility program, and the first county-wide health coverage initiative, and a generally progressive, well-educated resident base, would be a win-win for you AND for us!

On August 5, 2009, salemnurse wrote:

Check out Asheville, NC. It is definately a "foodie" paradise, especially raw and vegetarian. They have tons of local, organic markets and are close to Hendersonville, where there's apple orchards everywhere. Downtown is full of artsy, cool stores. There are mountain views, inexpensive land, and 4 mild seasons. Lots of cultural activities, and colleges. I've heard that lots of people from California are moving there because it's less crowded and lots cheaper. If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be Asheville.

On August 5, 2009, Cindy wrote:

Hi Debra,

Is St. David's lake still there? I am from Tucson and have been to Saint David many times.


On August 5, 2009, Cindy wrote:

Hey Guys.

I live in Jacksonville, an hour and half away from St. Augustine. Husband's step uncle lives there. Great place. Near beach. Lots of sun. Mild winter. Great farmers markets. Raw restaurants. Close drive to the southern part of Florida.


On August 5, 2009, g11571157 wrote:

U might be confused with everyones suggestions, but i live in Miami 4 the last 10 yrs. & I love it. The sun shines everyday, the sky is always blue, the trees & grass is always green. There are lots of Art here & raw food restaurants.

On August 5, 2009, leonadavey wrote:

WOW All these locations sound wonderful ! I live on the west coast of Canada. It is paradise here, and the mildest climates in winter. However, the US is where you call home, so I would suggest, the Oregan coast, it is so beautiful there. About the earthquakes and tnamis, I have yet to see a big one (40 yrs).
Make sure you look into the crime rates in making your decision too, the comments are going to be sugar coated.

On August 5, 2009, cindyand wrote:


On August 5, 2009, Red wrote:

Montrose, CO is a nice small town, about an hour north of

On August 7, 2009, clemsonbud wrote:


Check out Clemson, South Carolina. It is located just north of the I-85 corridor. Up I-85 just a short distance is the large city of Greenville, SC and down the corridor is Atlanta, GA. Plenty of easy access to all the arts you would desire. Lots of land with streams hills and whatever at very low prices. You will think you are in the wilderness but can get back into civilization quickly anytime you wish. Clemson is a college town (home of Clemson University) which adds even more options for the arts. SC is a pro-homeschool state and has lots of people educating their children and a varied network of available groups you can tie in with to share some socialization, field trips and athletic ativities. Lots of history here in SC to explore and the beach/ocean is only about 5 hours away. I would say it is sunny here 99% of the time. Hot but not to hot, cold only a couple of months out of the year. We see a sprinkling of snow each year for about a day and then it melts. Gets everyone excited and we stay in, drink hot chocolate and then life resumes as normal the next day. Clemson is about an hour or so away from Asheville so it is easy to jaunt up there if you like mountains but it is much colder there and the land is definitely mountainous there making use of land a little more difficult. Good luck on you search. When I finish my Ph.D. I might have to move away from this area and will be very disappointed. Then I may me asking you for some advice about what you might have learned about where I could be headed.


On August 8, 2009, Robert wrote:

Depending on how far out from the "big city" you want to be, I'd recommend you consider Manhattan, Kansas, which is about 100 miles west of Kansas City. Close quick and easy 2hr drive to KC, which has tons of museums and such. Manhattan is also within 40 minutes of the state capitol, Topeka, as well as many cute historic towns like Wamego. Manhattan is home to Kansas State University, which attracts many cultures of students, many whom settle in the area bringing diversity to the community. Lots of stuff to do in and around Manhattan, like walking along the Konza Prairie, many trails and places to camp or swim. Cost of living is low, and between tons of farmers and markets, and a long growing season, produce is plentiful. Manhattan is actually in the flint hills, so while you can get plenty of flat growing space, the area itself is rolling green hills. If you want closer to the metropolis, western suburbs of KC are also nice, like Lawrence (home of University of Kansas), Bonner Springs (home of the regional Rennaissance Festival, and an open air concert arena), and many other nice communities. Another great think about Manhattan is you are not far from Omaha, and within a days drive of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado or New Mexico, or Branson, Missouri in the Ozarks, all which can be fun summer vacation spots.

On October 11, 2010, Edjoan7lksn wrote:

I know you would just love North Carolina. For all the reasons stated above, 360 days of sunshine, artsy cities Ashville area and long growing season. Good luck with your decision.