Closer to Home

Welcome to my blog about choosing to live closer to my home.  What do I mean by that?  Well, bear with me and I’ll explain.

You’ve probably heard of “preppers” before – you may even know one. Those people who are busy building underground concrete bunkers and filling them with every kind of weapon available from the least discerning vendor at the local gun show.  Stockpiling a year’s supply of MREs.  Getting ready for something – their idea of what may vary, from the one-world-government shock troops in black helicopters to the zombie apocalypse.

My family and friends sometimes call me a prepper too, but I like to think of it as a kinder, gentler form of “prep”.  Preparation for a dual calamity that, though insidious, is all too well known: the gradual disappearance of the cheap energy that has fueled the industrial revolution, and its collateral sidekick, global climate weirding.  Since you can’t shoot either of these with an AK-47, some might wonder exactly how you do prepare for them.

That’s the story I hope to tell with this blog: the story of how my neighbors and I are gradually building a resilient local community around good old fashioned values and skills.  And I do mean old – think about what humanity could do in the 18th century – or the 8th century – and you’ll see that a lot of really important things haven’t changed.  We still eat, drink, sleep, and try to stay warm.  We (21st century Americans) have gotten rather accustomed to eating factory-farmed processed-corn-based fast food, drinking corn syrup laced soft drinks or imported Australian wine, sleeping on memory-foam beds, and heating our homes with convenient gas or oil furnaces.

For me, and probably for many people reading this, “buying the things I need” (or want, but pretend that I need) has become an automatic, non-intentional, unexamined habit.  So I propose to stop and examine it – carefully.  The phrase NIMBY – not in my back yard – has become ubiquitous – everyone has something they don’t want there.  So instead, let’s look at the opposite question: what do I want “In My Back Yard”. What can I grow, or make right here to fulfill those needs and wants. And if not my back yard, what about my neighbors’ yards, or on our larger property? Or in my town… and so forth. And if it does come from far away, then what is the justification, and what is the impact?

Of course I’m sure I’ll talk about a lot of other things along the way…