The following ideas sprang from a long discussion with long-time blog contributor Ajarn Richard. Richard has traveled the world and is now planning a tour of US sustainable farms in his new van. Part of his plan is to do WWOOFER farm work on organic farms in exchange for learning, meals and parking his van.
Everyone needs community. However, it’s getting increasingly hard to find a community of people that you really get along well with. Richard’s plan is to get to know people on a number of farms, and then hopefully build lasting relationships with those he gets along best with.
Starting a homestead is a serious long term commitment that requires a sizable investment in terms of money, time and effort. Richard feels that it’s somewhat risky to sink everything into a homestead. For instance, fracking companies or a big agra industrial feedlot could move into your area and upset the balance of the environment and local community, increase crime, pollution, etc.
Richard’s plan of working with multiple organic farms in a distributed network spreads these risks. If things don’t work out at Location A, you go to Location B or C. After all, things are always changing. One area could get wiped out in a flood, fire or hurricane. Instead of losing your homestead you’d simply relocate in your van, skoolie, tiny house on wheels, etc. to another site.
Key to the success of a plan like this is first developing skills – learn valuable skills such as how to boost soil quality and crop productivity with natural farming/permaculture techniques, knowing how to optimally plant trees, grow microgreens, etc. ***Create enough value and like-minded people will naturally coalesce into community.