"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Q&A #1 "Why do you do it?"

Q: Why do you live the way you do? Why live the green/ permaculture/ organic/ hippie etc lifestyle? 

For the most part I will simply answer that I prefer to live on my own farm growing my own food. I suppose the larger answer is that the world is going to get a lot more crowded in our lifetimes unless we as a species start accepting some responsibility. Taking control of our personal impact upon this planet is the major reason we chose this lifestyle. We are responsible for our own food and for the wastes we produce insofar as we are able. Even though we are not now and probably will never be fully self sufficient we will still attempt to do as little damage as humanly possible.
Our lifestyle is also a living example and encouragement to those who are interested for whatever reason. Many folks in our community use us as a practical library- we have taught people to grow veggies, milk cows, slaughter livestock, make cheese, keep bees, build fences and so on.
The last and possibly most accurate reason for me personally is that I just need the space to live like a real human being. I firmly believe city life is entirely detrimental to human kind. It is an environment where people are shielded from the natural world and as a result lose the understanding of their place in the natural cycle. We are just another animal on this planet, nothing more, and it is high time we began behaving like good neighbours rather than overlords.
On our farm we live alongside nature. Our farm is divided in two. The top level of our farm is paddocks and orchards. This is where we live alongside our livestock and grow our food. The bottom half of our farm is tropical rain forest and will remain so. It belongs to the local wild life. We do not farm this area or allow our animals to enter. We do not take from this area except to pump water for our tanks in the dry and we allow none of our wastes to enter this area in any form.
We also learn to live with the seasons. We eat whatever is in season at the time or learn to preserve for when it is not. We read the weather and learn to prepare for the coming rain or dry. We understand the language of our livestock and care for their needs. We are aware of the sound of the world around us- I can tell the season by the birdsong or know a predator is near by the change in noise. I know if a stranger or a local is walking along the road by the sound of the livestock.
I believe this is the healthiest and most natural way for a human to live. In the coming years the possibility of such a lifestyle will become rarer as more and more humans join us on this planet. I want space for my son and his family when I am gone and I want my son to know how to live well. I want to try to spread this message to as many other people as I can in the time I have left.

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