Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas
Getting By - Earning Extra Income - Making a Living - Starting a Farmstead - Thriving With Sustainable Growing
- Homesteading - Organic - All Natural - Permaculture - Self Sufficiency -
I've got a picture in my little head of what this site can become, and what it can do. Starting from scratch sometimes makes the process look daunting. One eats an elephant one bite at a time. Getting a website started is easy enough. If I keep on adding to it, making improvements, tweaking it here and there, I should eventually arrive where I want to. It will take some time, and a whole lot of catching up on this technology thing.
I got on this kick a couple years ago, trying to work out ways people can help each other out, working together towards a common goal. I've got a hard drive full of notes made during my morning coffee ritual. All kinds of ideas, but unless they are put into action, nothing much will become of them. To bring some of those ideas to fruition will take some help, in particular, YOUR help.
Create a new account. Send in your stories. Share what you are doing. Show us how you do what it is you do. The people I expect to be viewing this site will be people with homesteads and farmsteads, backyard gardens, maybe some chickens, maybe hundreds of acres. There are people out there raising kids who want good, wholesome food. Folks who have had enough of the traffic jams, 9-5 in a cubicle, same thing every day, fast food, pay your bills with next week's check, mortgaged to the hilt, disposable lifestyle. There are older people looking for a simple lifestyle, young people looking for opportunity. Some folks know what to do but lack the land. some folks have the land but don't know where to start. Still others who have some land and are making a good showing.
It's not a race. I'ts not like someone is ahead of you and you need to pass them to get ahead. Wherever you are on your journey is a fine place to start down the next path, wherever that may lead. I'm gearing this site towards people who want to do more gardening and growing, further a more sustainable lifestyle, be it on a few acres in the country or a small lot in town or an apartment balcony. There are plenty of ways to do more, to become more. There are ways to get the land if that is your dream. There are ways to grow food even without the land. What is it you want to do? It's a sure bet there are other people out there who want to do something similar.
The big vibe I'm picking up on as I talk with people is a desire to get out of the city, find that piece of land and do something productive with it. Lots of folks want to grow some type of plant, be it vegetables, fruit trees, herbs, or just a small garden. There's folks who want to add a few chickens or ducks or a couple of pigs or some dairy cows to their plan. There are folks who want to get into a situation where they can provide for more of their own needs with the sweat of their brow. Some want to learn, some want to teach, some just want to watch. Some people would be happy to earn a few extra bucks, many want to make a good living.
There are more vibes. I hear from people all the time about the way thier food is grown. Is it clean? Does it have flavor? Are the animals treated well? Does the production method damage the environment? Is it local? Is it all about the money or do they care about the land, the people, the community, the environment? Is it really organic or is it just a sticker? How can I grow stuff naturally? Where can I get good food? How do I do all this with no time, no money in my pocket, a houseful of kids, and a world of daily troubles?
The common ground of all these people is a desire to improve their lives. We want better food, cleaner water, fresher air, more options for our choices, greater self-sufficiency, less dependence on a system going haywire, the freedom to do as we wish on our own land in our own way without being dictated to by neighbors, corporations, banks and government. We want to change our world for the better focusing on the needs and health of the people as well as the environment we share.
There is quite a bit of rage out there.
The economy has gone sour. People are angry with the big corporations, the industries, the banks, the governments, the power they wield, the damage they do, and the depth of control they are able to extend over what seems like every aspect of our lives.
Complaining does no good.
Dwelling on the anger is a waste of time and energy.
Blame serves no purpose.
These entities have the power because we give it to them. As long as we keep on buying their products, using their services, and feeding the beast, they will continue to thrive. We can protest against the Agrimonsters with their genetically modified patents, but if we keep serving Cheerios to the kids at breakfast, packing Twinkies in the lunch pail, and tearing into a bag of Doritos while staring at the TV, the situation remains unchanged.
The source of power is the money we spend on their goods. Stop consuming their products, their power will dwindle. It's that simple.
Rather than spend your time, effort, money, and energy on fighting the juggernaut, invest it in your own projects which set you free of the need for those products. Rather than march in protest, plant a garden. Why carry signs when you can use the lumber and time to build a chicken coop? Every little thing you do for yourself is a protest. Take away their power by becoming independent. Share what you are doing, help spread this knowledge so that others can repeat and build upon your efforts.
If fighting the companies is what you think needs to be done, do it without even trying. Mother nature is already putting up one hell of a fight by evolving resistant weeds and insects which are nullifying the savings promised with GMOs, and she's just getting started. This is a battle those corporations won't win.
There is much talk about stupidity and apathy: ignorant sheep sleepwalking about their daily lives oblivious to what is going on. You know perfectly well you are not ignorant. Your family is not ignorant. The people with whom you interact are fully capable of critical thinking. They can make up their own minds, and they don't like what they see. They don't wan't poisons in their water, a fracking site in the back yard, or frankenfoods anywhere near their kids. They don't want oil and radiation washing up on their beaches. They are speaking up, taking action, and searching for alternatives.
This is not a crisis. It is an opportunity: be the alternative.
There has never been a better time to get involved in farming. Land prices are down. Foreclosures and short sales abound. People in a jam are looking to sell property they can't afford to pay taxes on and are willing to finance it themselves. If you already have some land, there are so many ways to put it use that it can be hard to decide where to begin. If you are already raising crops and livestock, there are still ways to improve quality and yield while at the same time reducing the workload and worry. Millions of people out of work looking for a chance at getting back on their feet. Millions more searching for a source of good food so their kids don't get diabetes before they can vote. Give them what they want. Do it without using chemicals. Do it naturally. It's not rocket science. Anyone can do this.
I can't list all the things that are so easy a caveman can do it. All too frequently I come across someone who has not taken on a project because they have never done it before. If I have the chance to show someone how, they may just give it a try. I talk to a guy who has never made compost. I can show him how I do it. Is it the best way? For me it is. Taking a look at how other people make compost offers options. The guy can choose a method that looks best for him and give it a try. In this example, the attempt is all that is needed. Right or wrong, he'll end up with compost.
Write up how you make compost, or raise tomatoes, or house and feed livestock, or build a shed, or market your vegetables. Tell us what got you into growing food in your backyard or how you keep a flock of chickens in town. Give us pictures explaining how you heat your home with sunlight. There are people out there who have an idea in their head, and your story may well be that which compels them to action. There are people who will relate to your ideas and try them, following the directions you provide, even changing and improving those ideas. There are people doing things in a similar manner, but with their own tricks of the trade that just might give you something to think about. You really want to get a small farm going, put a few projects together: leaves, yard waste and manure goes into the compost, the compost goes into the garden, chickens eat the bugs from the compost and the scraps from the meal that came from the garden, in return offering eggs for the table and litter for the compost. One project supports the next. There are ways to do things cheaper and easier. Ways to get a better yield for the same effort. With each new project comes more ability, more advantage, less reliance. It's a move towards greater self-sufficiency. The bills are lowered, you're driving less, you've got more time and resources at your disposal, and you can take it as far as you wish.
People are doing this "farming thing" all the time all over the world. You can make a good living. You can make a great living. You may just want to supplement your income. You don't have to nag your friends, bother your folks, intrude on your neighbors, or go house to house knocking on doors. All you need to do is keep on doing your thing, whatever that thing may be. People around you see what you are doing, they may want what you have to offer. Share what you are doing with the world, there are surely people who will emulate your efforts, and people who will follow their lead. Your contribution is put to work over and over.
We want to make money, save money, and get more value from what we are already spending. We want to raise more of our own food with ample surplus for sharing, as well as for market. We want food full of flavor and nutrition. We want to raise it in a manner that does not poison the soil, the water, the air, the plants, the animals or the people. We want to set ourselves free of a system that promotes the bottom line at the expense of the environment and treats people as a commodity. We want an independent lifestyle. We want to live in harmony with nature and each other. We want to improve our lives, help others improve theirs, and in so doing we make the world a better place.