Thursday, January 15, 2009

Homestead objectives (part V)

skyAlthough you might not be able to tell by looking out the window, we live in turbulent times. I have some very real concerns about where things are headed for our country and globally. I’ve had some of these concerns for a number of years. One of our objectives for homesteading is to be prepared for emergency situations.

There is always the possibility of our utilities being disrupted, whether electricity or water. There are many natural means by which this could happen, and I don’t like feeling dependent upon them. Yeah, we like having the conveniences utilities afford, but when they are disrupted, what then? Years ago, we lived in Southern California. The Los Angeles area is located in what is actually a desert. Yet, there are millions of people living there in a relatively small area, dependent upon electrical service and municipal water. What happens if either of those is knocked out for any length of time? There are earthquakes out there, so this is not a far-fetched idea. Besides, where does the water for the L.A. area come from? There are many demands upon that water source.

Then, there’s the need for food. Seems that just about everyone likes to eat. How much of the food consumed in the L.A. urban area is grown there? I’m using the Los Angeles area as an example, but it’s not the only urban area in which people live with great dependence on services that can be interrupted. Over 80% of the US population lives in urban and suburban areas. It used to be that the cities were surrounded by truck farms which produced much of the food consumed there. That’s no longer the case. Food travels long distances (thousands of miles) to reach the consumer.

I believe that our economy is in bad shape. Ours is a debt-based system, not one based upon savings and sound monetary policy. The over-extension of credit has led to a problem in which we are faced with a major recession or even a depression. Our politicians, rather than deal with the situation in meaningful and honest ways, vote to give yours and my tax dollars to those who are complicit in creating the problems (along with the US Congress and the Federal Reserve). It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a GDP growth of 3% and a debt growth of 6% is not sustainable and leads to horrible ends. (You can read more about our economic situation here.)

There are other concerns, of course, that have motivated us to living our homestead adventure. It is part of being prepared for an uncertain future. Not just for ourselves, though. We have a desire to help our families, neighbors, and friends in the event of need. In the event of a major catastrophe, it would be a blessing to those around us to be able to meet some of their needs. So, yes, we are concerned for ourselves, but it’s bigger than that. God wants us to each have a heart of mercy and to love others. Lessening our dependence upon external services and being able to provide for many or most of our own needs means that we can be in a position to help others whenever it might become necessary.

We don’t live off the grid, at least not yet. But, we could if necessary. We heat with wood and can cook with it, too. We have other water supplies besides municipal water. We grow much of our own food and can grow more (we’re working on doing just that). We live within our means, meaning we haven’t developed “needs” that would prevent us from living more simply than we already do.

It would be nice if the only emergency situations we will ever face are of short duration, like the power being out because of an ice storm. However, because we can see the possibilities and potential for much greater social and economic disruption, it makes it all the more important to us to seek to be prepared as well as possible for those eventualities. Better safe than sorry.


The Scavenger

Great post. I belive you are right on the coming fate of this world and I too am trying to do all I can to provide for my family. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and your efforts to live simple. We are very much alike. I have been working on some aternative energy projects today and posted the results on my blog. If you get a chance take a look and see if it's something you may be able to do at your place. Cheap and easy projects are a part of life for me. Thanks for the read and I'll be back.



Thanks for your comment, Chris. I'll keep an eye on your blog. I like your simple energy projects. I'm going to have to do something with those ideas. I would like to use solar power at least partially for our new house. I have some learning to do in that area. There are other ideas about heating and cooling and water supply that I have in mind. Basically, I'd like to not have a need for regular utilities while still enjoying the conveniences they permit. I enjoy being creative, and conferring with others about ideas certainly helps my creativity.

Mrs. G

I completely agree! I've posted about this a lot but most people just don't want to hear it. It's a sad situation but I'm glad to see there are a few people awake and ready.

Mrs. G

Family Stone

Your posts really resonate with me. I was stationed in Los Angeles with the Air Force in 2007 and had the exact same thoughts concerning an unsustainable city in the desert. Brown-outs in LA usually claim the lives of a score of senior citizens; what would be the impact of transportation being cut off to the city for a few days?

Earlier this year some friends introduced me to viewing the Scriptures through a Hebrew lens. We're now a Torah-observant (as best we know how) family with a real pull toward agriculture (I'm pretty sold on the Salatin methods and want to build our farm around animal husbandry). I firmly believe Elohim is leading me in this direction.

I'm currently looking for:
1. Strategic friendships
2. Homeschool program for my 4+ children
3. An area of the country to buy land.
4. A complete plan to keep my family set-apart and not just kick my kids to the Canaanites when they're grown.

Some thoughts. Hope to strike up a friendship with you and your family over times and learn from your experiences.

John Stone
(Somewhat dated blog)


John, it's nice to 'meet' you. I would be glad to talk with you and get to know you better. Feel free to email me if you'd like at darrylapifer(at)

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