Moving to the Country and Acceptance Into the Community

Moving to the country may require newcomers to cultivate friendships as well as crops in order to gain acceptance into the homestead community.

| May/June 1986

If you move to the country, you may have to cultivate friendships as well as crops.

"My family will be moving to a rural area within the next few years," wrote Diane Unger in MOTHER EARTH NEWS issue 96's Dear Mother column. "One thing that concerns me is whether we'll be accepted by the people who already live in the region .... What has been the experience of MOTHER EARTH NEWS types who have made the move?" 

Well, that simple but significant question loosed a virtual flood of letters from our readers so many letters, in fact, that despite running a number of the responses in the Dear Mother columns of MOTHER EARTH NEWS issues 97 and 98, we still had lots more to share. 

Here, then, is a wealth of additional insight from readers who, though not necessarily in agreement, all have something important to say on rural relations between newcomers and natives. 

Moving to the Country and Acceptance Into the Community

When Nancy and I made our move to the country in northwestern Montana, we noticed that the natives had a somewhat reserved attitude toward newcomers — but it was never a real hindrance to us. We didn't have time to let it be one; we were too busy working our land!

I realize now that our hard work is one reason the local "newcomer mentality" never had much effect on us. And I've also come to understand that there's good cause for reserve when it comes to making friends with new arrivals.

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