Editor’s Note: You can catch Part 1 here.
In some places the old ways never died, here in the arid interior of Mendocino County, the pieces remained and as expats of the cities, we had to relearn them for ourselves. It’s been a slow but beautiful process, a new scripting of our reality as capable American Patriots in the original sense of the word.
Because our community is off the grid and a half hour from town, we have developed the neighborly ways that enable us to function. Our people find meaningful employment in the trades; each works to develop a skill or hobby until such point as to be worth being paid for it. I enjoyed very much my time as an apprentice carpenter, electrician, plumber, farmer, equipment operator, cook; the many skills of homestead life were available from my family, friends and neighbors.
Humans are generally social creatures who love to share knowledge and skills with inquisitive, caring minds. My open nature and willingness to work offered me many opportunities for personal gain in a qualitative manner to which pay was little more than a footnote. Money has never been anything more than my next plan or goal, a simple means to many ends. My goal has always been to use money to send so many ripples out that by the time I’m old I can pick up a return ripple and ride it on into the finish.
Continuing and Honoring A Worthy Heritage
My great honor is to hold this for my parents; the multi-generational farmstead renews our agrarian heritage by providing meaningful employment and truthful human connection. They held the space and had the faith to trust in youthful vision; seeing our productive capacity and abilities expand has been fulfilling to everyone involved.
Our modern, fragmented world shattered the familial and cultural bonds that made farm communities successful. Despite her successes, America struggles with disassociation and anomie as her people find the emptiness that comes from being disconnected with the land. Suburbia was supposed to be the fulfillment of the American dream but the cookie-cutter reality is a pale comparison to our traditional ways.
As a nation, we have an agrarian duty to know where/how our food and medicine were raised. We’ve chosen to avoid these issues, and the resulting ecological denigration is unacceptable. My own process has been a tremendous growth in consciousness in the last 10 years, as I slowly come into an understanding of my place in the world.
We aren’t all headed back to the land, but we each have a duty to participate in our food system in a manner that honors our agrarian heritage. Without this necessary reconnection, we are lost.