Recommended Region: The Walla Walla Region (Walla Walla and Columbia Counties, Southeast Washington)

Wednesday, Oct 5, 2005

This is one of the best dry land farming regions in eastern Washington. The drive east of Walla Walla is like a trip back in time to typical 1950s American farming country. Aside from the satellite dishes and the now ubiquitous crop sprayer tank trailers, not much has changed since then! When searching for a potential retreat, concentrate on the small towns east of Walla Walla proper--like Waitsburg and Dayton, but none smaller than Dixie.
Statistics (for Walla Walla):
Average high temperature in August:
Average low temperature in January:
Growing season: 190 days.
Average snowfall in January: 19.8” (64.7” annually.)
Walla Walla County Median residential home price: $114,300.

Advantages: Proximity to good hunting and firewood sources in “The Blues.” Precipitation is sufficiently plentiful year-round to provide reliable dry land farming. Crops in the region include: Wheat, peas (including seed peas), barley, rye, sugar beets, alfalfa (for hay and seed), and of course the famous Walla Walla sweet onions. Sadly, even though the climate is favorable, truck farming has declined in the past few decades.(There used to be a wider variety of vegetables grown--but now most of the truck farmers have switched to the Walla Walla sweet onions since they are a more sure cash crop with few spoilage problems.)

Disadvantages: A Washington State maxiumum security prision is located near Walla Walla. This could prove problematic isn grid down situation! (it houses 16% of the state's worst criminals, including approximately 116 sex offenders. The current inmate population is 2277. Walla Walla is sometimes downwind from the Umatilla chemical weapons storage depot, depending on the winds. The large college-age population could produce a sizable displaced population in the event of a sudden-onset TEOTWAWKI. (There are three colleges and Universities in Walla Walla.) Heavy winter snowfall.

Grid Up Retreat Potential: 3 (On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best)

Grid Down Retreat Potential: 7 (On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best)

Nuclear Scenario Retreat Potential: 5 (On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best)


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