Prepare But Don't Launch

by ScottK
(New Terra Farm)

My best guess is that, no later than 2015 our current socio-economic-industrial model will take a major hit.

Whether that hit comes from the imploding economy, or radical weather, or war in the Middle East disrupting the oil supply, or Peak Water, or Peak Soil, or a rampaging superpower flailing about in response to any of the above, there will be trouble.

And this will be just the first blow that marks the beginning of the end for Business As Usual. And our 'leaders', even if they 1 - acknowledged the problems, and 2 - had a clue how to deal, are basically helpless. The time has passed when mega-solutions can be deployed to patch up all the cracks.

This has been made painful obvious by the 1-ring circus (all clowns) taking place in the Euro-zone. Their answer appears to be to borrow their way out of debt, and slash their way to economic growth. Sounds promising.

No one has a plan to fix the Real Economy - you remember that, businesses selling products and providing employment that generate the REAL wealth that ultimately has to pay for all this debt. As opposed to transactions that take place in the financial markets, which create nothing (except obscene profits for some banks and traders.)

But, to bring it back to a personal level, what's a poor farmer/poet/author/half-assed carpenter to do, to improve the odds of survival for friends and family?

For some time I've been struggling with the 'way ahead' for New Terra Farm in the face of what appears to be looming disaster.

If I put my farm in 'surviving disaster' mode, - i.e. operate as if the Big Bad had hit and we had to be self-sufficient - I would no longer have a traditional farm business and the income it generates. Survival mode is rarely efficient; it can't 'compete' in the current socio-economic structure.

But if I don't prepare . . .

I owe my answer to two well-known bloggers: the first is Dmitry Orlov. His advice is to Prepare but don't execute; in other words, begin to acquire the resources, skills, and network that will be required, but don't launch your lifeboat just yet.

When exactly to launch will be a matter of personal choice. My feeling is better too soon than too late.

The second piece of advice comes from Greenpa at Little Blog in the Big Woods and it relates to the point above about the Real Economy being broken. If you are currently 'underemployed', DO NOT WAIT for someone to offer you a job. Jobs are likely to become more scarce, not less.

Instead, look for a way to make a livelihood. Greenpa defines it this way: "Some kind of work, or skill- that creates something of immediate value to the people around you; a way to "earn your keep" in the community, for life."

I might be looking for some folks who want a livelihood on the farm in the near future, so stay tuned.

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