With an ever encroaching government prying into our personal lives, mandating purchases for products we do not want, regulating, monitoring, and controlling nearly every aspect of our day to day living, maintaining, or even retaining, freedoms seems like a hopeless endeavor.
The system wraps its tentacles around everything good it seems and sucks the beauty right out of it. Decentralizing is one great way to break free. My family and I have made some changes in the last few years to create a more sustainable lifestyle and become less dependent on the system.
People living in the middle of the city are raising chickens and growing food. Edible landscapes are becoming popular and even urban bee keeping! Aquaponics and vertical gardening techniques allow for more food production in smaller spaces.
Diversity is the key to sustainability.
Since beginning our homesteading journey, I have met many people possessing all kinds of skills, experience, and knowledge. Some of these include: bat house construction, permaculture training, gun making, canning, bread making, urban chicken farming, various gardening methods, martial arts training, archery, homemade wine making and beer brewing, plant medicine, and wild crafting, to name just a few.
These seem like old fashioned notions, but these practices were commonplace before big box stores, fast food joints, and an unhealthy dependency on the system. Self sufficiency is just a good idea, zombie apocalypse aside.
In this technological age, social media has substituted real human interaction. It is somewhat contradictory to our human nature. It certainly can be an asset but just like medicine, it is all about the dosage. If we feed ourselves too much of the virtual and not enough of the face to face, it can become more like poison or mono-cropping that depletes us of valuable nutrients.
The internet is a great place to find information on anything you can possibly imagine. I love having so much knowledge at my fingertips.
We should not dismiss, however, the importance of interpersonal interactions which are also key to decentralizing and marginalizing the state.
People often say, “We need a revolution.”
I propose a backyard revolution. As with sustainable living, diversity is also key in revolution and the backyard can be the perfect setting.
This month I am participating in an urban chicken workshop in a friend’s backyard. We will be sharing our experiences on raising chickens and how to get started. Another friend hosted a sourdough baking class in her home. Last year I attended a gathering where several people showcased their talents and skills such as roasting coffee, building a vertical garden from a rain barrel, and urban farming. We also had a seed and plant exchange, enjoyed some local craft beer and a potluck.
The hands on, interpersonal interactions offered so much more than just reading a document or watching a you tube video on the computer. The greater benefit is creating friendships, networks, and symbiotic relationships, as found in the sustainable garden.
We can work together, voluntarily, without the regulation of the state. We can still congregate freely and what happens in the backyards, stays in the backyards. Unregulated voluntary exchange of goods and services is a beautiful thing. It may not seem like much, but breaking out of our virtual shells and working with each other will bring about a revolution of decentralization and state irrelevancy. It may seem like a tiny step, but it is the many, small, concentrated efforts that will shake the foundation of the status quo.
Are you now considering what magic can happen in your backyard, what skills you can share, and planning your first gathering? Do you know people with skills who would be willing to host a workshop?