What will it take to THRIVE?

For almost six years now, my wife and I have labored to build a community called the Village on Sewanee Creek.  I’ve documented our journey towards self-sustaining community on this blog.  It’s been a fertile time for such an endeavor.

The world seems to be falling apart at the seams.  The poor and middle class get poorer while the rich (1%) get richer and more powerful.  Global economies are in disarray.  There is rioting in the streets of London, Cairo, Paris…  Never mind.  It’s easier to ask what major cities don’t have riots or mass demonstrations.  The world grows more polluted or depleted.  Inflation for basic commodities like food and energy is up while the value of houses and 401k’s is down.  Food is GMO, with less nutrition but more antibiotics, chemicals and other questionable stuff.  Overhead, there are chem trails.  People worry about nuclear radiation from Fukushima.  9/11 and other false flag events enabled the Patriot Act and other constitutional abuses.  The TSA gropes us at airports and now searches bus riders and blocks highways.  Obama’s health care bill is loaded with power-grabbing provisions that have nothing to do with health, but it does a great job of paying off the big insurance and pharmaceutical corporations.  Gun and ammunition sales are at an all-time record pace.  And nobody trusts a government that has gone stone deaf to the governed, but brazenly lines its pockets from the public trough and corporate grease.  Corruption is epidemic at every level.

In the midst of all this, we the people, are divided.  Despite accusations from aspirational, hard-working conservatives, it’s not all about lazy liberals who demand a hand-out.  Nor is it just about greedy, heartless conservatives who refuse to pay reasonable wages or their “fair share” of taxes.   I count myself among conservative libertarians, but hope to have the heart of a liberal without resorting to government theft for th0se in need.  See my comments on “I like Liberals”.

It’s about something much larger going on while we squabble over the diversions.

In this blog, I have maintained that the answers are in individuals coming together, living with less greed, more honesty, more charitably, working hard and keeping what we earn.   We have to rebuild local communities where there is trust and relationships flourish.  Freedom is won and retained by people who are prepared to assert their freedom by being less dependent, especially on government.  All that is hard work, swimming upstream against a putrid popular culture that is super-saturated with gratuitous violence, sex and greed.

So, forgive me if I am sometimes overwhelmed with feelings of impotence.  I feel like I’m preaching to a very small choir (maybe a quintet?) and ignored by the masses.  So, when I discovered the video, Thrive, it was a breath of fresh air.    While I can’t vouch for its free energy solutions (simply not qualified to comment), the rest is spot on.  I love what it has to say about taking back control of our country and the world.  If you haven’t seen this one, please watch it.  There is a lot of information here.  Well worth your time.  I’m adding it to my list of “Top 100 Movies for Troubled Times”.

Official Year of Hysteria Begins Today

Well, I guess today is the official beginning of the year of hype and hysteria.  One year from today, the Mayans reportedly predicted that the world will end.  This History Channel doccrockumentary chronicles many of the reasons we should live in fear.  To be honest, there are a lot more scenarios one could get catatonic about.  Bad as these predictions are, they only scratch the surface.  Not enough time in less than an hour.  I found it laughable that the hosts of this program, after building to a crescendo of terror, concluded that on December 21, 2012, one would “go armed to Mom’s house” to make sure she’s OK.  Another said he was thinking of stocking up on a few weeks of food.  What’s THAT all about?
If the YouTube version goes away you can watch the entire show here.

What do I think?  Hooey!  The words “confluence of catastrophes” keep coming up in this piece.  Yep, there are a lot of things happening.  Who hasn’t noticed?  But the greatest confluence here is between people making money out of fear, selling advertising.  “Your Mercedes won’t help you”.  But apparently, if you have an advanced Lincoln, things will be, oh so nice “with innovative technology built in that’s able to aid and assist you”.

I’ll double down on my bet that the world will NOT end on December 21, 2012.  I won’t be doing anything special on that day.  That date will come and go like Y2K, with a whimper.  It’s absolutely the safest bet anyone could make.  If I’m right I can brag about being right.  If I’m wrong nobody will know, cause we’re all dead.  🙂

Meanwhile, the world IS gradually, but at an exponentially increasing rate, descending into poverty and chaos.  Technically, what I’m about to write isn’t prophecy, since it’s already happened and is continuing.  It’s been going on for some time now.  There will be many more natural disasters that will happen around the world.  More governments will be overthrown. Civil liberties will be lost.  Corruption will grow even faster, at all levels unabated.  People will watch on their TV’s and i Pads.  Terrified for 15 minutes, then go to bed, waking up the next morning in the same state of denial and indifference.  People kind of like to be scared.  That’s why roller coasters and horror movies sell.  But these things don’t require any forethought, work or sacrifice of the present luxuries, indulgently viewed as necessities.  People don’t like that.  So, they won’t DO anything about it other than periodically whip up their fears for a perverse thrill.

I can testify from personal experience.  For years, at least 99% of the people who inquire about joining our self-sufficient lifestyle in the Village on Sewanee Creek, after confiding that they are deeply concerned for the future, are still thinking about it, but not doing.  Back in 2006 when times were good, I suggested that it was time to prepare.  Then the sub-prime mortgage crisis began gradually in 2007.  People wanted to wait till better times came and they could get more out of their houses.  Then the 2008 meltdown hit.  People said they desperately wanted to be here, but were upside down on their mortgages.  I suggested times probably weren’t going to get better.  They didn’t.  Today is no different.  People have little money compared to a few years ago.  But they still live in big heavily mortgaged houses, drive expensive (a bit older) cars, wear stylish clothes, eat expensive prepackaged food, pay exorbitant amounts for insurance and health care and incessantly wring their hands.  They still have many assets that could be traded for a simpler, more secure future, but they won’t make any decisive changes.  Frozen in the headlights.  No, that light at the end of the tunnel is not natural.

The great depression was a bad thing.  I believe we are in a depression now that is just as bad measured strictly by economics, but papered over by mountains of debt and extended unemployment payments.  When those cease, people will feel the pain much worse than the great one.  Will there be sudden jolts and disasters?  Of course there will.  But what we have been seeing is not a one-day event.  It’s already happened and will continue to stew the masses like the clichéd frog in the pot.  It’s a really BIG pot.

While the central premise of this documentary, the Mayan prophecy, is mostly hype, they did manage to get a lot of things right, the things we already knew.  If you haven’t already started preparing in earnest, drastically cutting back on the frills and aggressively providing for future necessities, my bet is you won’t.  You will be among those looking for a gun, pillaging your neighbors when TSHTF.  Good luck with that.

What do I expect to be doing on December 21, 2012?
I won’t be surprised if my financial resources are almost completely depleted (or close to worthless, ravaged by inflation).  It’s likely I will have discontinued all my insurance because it’s accounting for fully one-third of my expenses now and probably isn’t sustainable.  So, I’ll be very careful to take care of my health, eating well, exercising and learning more about foraging in the woods for natural remedies.  Not such a big deal.  That’s the way people lived throughout all history up until just a hundred years or so ago.  I’ll still be driving my old cars, some of which lack computerized chips and would survive an EMP or solar flare.  But the price of gas will be pretty high, so I’ll probably be sticking close to home most of the time.  It’s nice that I like where I live.  It’s peaceful and naturally beautiful.  I’ll be wearing my old clothes.  I’ll be living in the grace of God, day-to-day raising our food.  By then, my work building a self-sufficient community (marketing, blogging and sales) will be over, so I won’t depend as much on my wife to do the farming.  I’ll be helping a lot more with the daily chores, feeding the chickens, chopping wood, tending the garden, making compost, taking care of the orchard.  My entire focus will be on daily living.  Do I fear the hoards of starving, thirsty people from the big cities?  I guess there is some risk of that and it’s an unpleasant thought.  But if there is anywhere that can be more easily defended than where I am  and with the people who have joined us, I don’t know where it is.  Will I be well armed?  Is the Pope Catholic?  There is some comfort in knowing that there is little here for anyone to come after.  When you raise what you eat and live simply there isn’t much to plunder.  It’s now late in December and we are still eating fresh tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, peanuts and other produce from the greenhouse.  A new crop of winter greens (Kale, Spinach, broccoli, beets, carrots, etc.) is just coming on.  Kill the farmer and you kill the goose that lays tiny golden eggs.  That reason for a sense of security goes double for living on the edge of Grundy County, TN where people have lived close to the bone for generations.  Survivors all.

After the hysteria, there’s a hymn that I love.  It speaks to the human condition whether in poverty or wealth, sickness or health, joy or anguish.  It is an anthem of eternal hope.  After viewing something like this History Channel documentary, it helps to sing:

Come, come, ye saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.

‘Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this and joy, your hearts will swell –
All is well!  All is Well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
‘Tis not so;  all is right;
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?

Gird up your loins;
fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake.
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell –
All is well!  All is well!

We’ll find a place which God for us prepared,
far away in the West.
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the Saints will be blessed

We’ll make the air with music ring
Shout praises to our God and King.
Above the rest, these words we’ll tell –
All is well!  All is well!

And should we die before our journey’s through,
Happy day!  All is Well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow too;
With the just we shall dwell!

But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we’ll make this chorus swell –
All is well!  All is well!

Ex-Pharma Rep comes clean, exposes industry corruption

This lady makes good sense.

Sometimes it’s overwhelming to think of all the information on the web that points to evil, controlling, manipulative behavior that loosely falls under the category of “conspiracy theory”.

The thing that deludes people into thinking all this is just paranoia is the myth that all evil is somehow coordinated by a small group of evil doers at the top of a great pyramid of evil.  Then again, maybe organic pyramid structures are a naturally occurring phenomena.

Watch Saturday morning cartoons.  Isn’t it amazing that almost all of them nowadays are based on the simplistic story of a super hero pitted against an arch evil nemesis who is single-handedly out to control or destroy the world?  When we grow up, cartoons are relegated to the world of childhood fantasy along with anything that smacks of cartoonishness.  Out goes the baby with the bathwater.  Ergo, arch-villains don’t exist or are at least an aberration from the norm.  Humanity is basically good, so to think that the mass of people would cooperate in a massive evil scheme is… unthinkable.

I view this a little differently.  It has been my life experience that most people really care about one thing – getting ahead.  That boils down to two words, money and power with their derivatives (fame, beauty, sex, comfort, pleasure, etc.)  I have made it a habit of evaluating motives by looking at where the feet are pointing – actions, not words.

Adam Smith, the father of modern economics posited that there is an invisible hand that moves all mankind in a free market to make efficient choices in their own enlightened self-interest that furthers the good of all through general economic growth.  Having observed the nature of man in general, I suggest that Smith was absolutely correct, except that there are cumulative evil side effects of the invisible hand.  Selfish interests do not produce benign results in the long run.  The uncontrolled quest for wealth and power will ALWAYS lead to corruption.  Stated more succinctly, “Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

While almost everyone knows and acknowledges that couplet as fundamental truth, why is it then, that most people remain so optimistically blind to the fact that big, powerful institutions, with incredible consistency, have only one objective in mind, self-enrichment and empowerment at ANY cost?  The higher one rises within the pyramid, the more single-minded one is required to be in pursuit of the one and only god of money and power.  Those lower in the pyramid not having absolute power are corrupted, but not yet absolutely.

Once you recognize that as a fundamental fact in our fallen world, conspiracy is not a theory, it is the most routinely observable human behavior of all.  Conspiracy is a fact of life for everyone.  Everyone is scheming to get ahead.  Conspiracy is nothing more than the survival instinct on steroids.  Conspiracy is just normal individual human behavior with at least one accomplice.  To posit that conspiracy is only a theory or a symptom of paranoid crackpots is to deny that there is greed or evil in the world.

Since we are on the topic of pharmaceuticals relative to the most common of all human diseases, it seems appropriate to ask, “Is there an antidote?”

The answer is YES, but like many antidotes, it’s tough medicine.  Attempting to kick habits that are not only natural to the human condition, but encouraged by drug pushers masquerading as executives, politicians and officers is infinitely more difficult than kicking heroine cold turkey.  If you decide to make the attempt, you will need a good physician and a support group of loyal friends.

I have a recommendation:  There is a good doctor named Jesus Christ who wrote the book and operates a worldwide chain of clinics.  There are many alternative cures of varying efficacy  developed by prophets, philosophers, gurus and shamans around the world.  Some of them are also good.  At the core, the good ones all practice the same golden rules.  But, for my money, Dr. Christ, GD is the best.

There are also many local support groups.  I’m partial to a network forming at the Village on Sewanee Creek of reforming addicts.  As with all addicts, it’s a constant struggle to stay on the wagon, hence the need for a support group.  As a former senior executive, I can testify from personal experience.

Hands-On Preparedness Fair – Workshops

Our call for highly qualified workshop leaders has been answered in spades.   The quality and diversity of topics to be covered at the Fair on July 23-24 is outstanding.  See some of my older posts for a flyer and overview.  Here is a sampling  Preparedness Fair Schedule 7-24-2010

A sequence of three presentations, starts with
Permaculture Design and philosophy, (Saturday @ 10 am)

Permaculture is a design science that takes a whole-ecosystem approach to sustainable development. The term, Permaculture, means permanent agriculture and permanent culture. Permaculture developed in Australia in the late 1970s, by Ecologist David Holmgren and Natural History Professor Bill Mollison, and has since spread throughout the world. Leaders of the sustainability movement are applying Permaculture principles and design methodologies to everything from gardens, home sites, village designs, businesses, and entire regional economies.

Participants will be introduced to a unique tool that incorporates natural design systems into problem solving on multiple levels. Design Resource will offer future classes with in depth studies on topics like energy, food, healing aspects of the landscape, community networking and financial permaculture                                              

 BACKGROUND:   Kevin Guenther is a registered landscape architect, Leed AP professional and certified permaculture designer who has focused his consulting business (Design Resource) on sustainable design

Followed by:
Foraging and Gathering Food and Meds  (Saturday @ 11 am)

Hike through our 500 acre natural preserve in Sewanee Creek Gulf:  Foraging for food and Medicine is the 2nd hour of the permaculture presentation                                                                                                   

Workshop leader, John Rose says, “I work very much hands on, and each location I visit is different. There are a few guidelines common to the practice of safely interacting with anything in nature, whether it is wild plants, wild animals, weather, the elements in general, and ones approach to them.  Includes a general document that will help clarify these things.  I will also include a list of items that are useful learning tools such as a good small notebook with pen, or pencil for drawing and describing plants in their element.  This same notebook can be used as a nature journal for keeping track of such things as time of year, environmental conditions, weather, terrain, and many other aspects, all important to correctly identifying a plant at any given time of year, and under varying conditions.  I will look at not only edible and medicinal plants, but also poisonous plants, and plants that have other utilitarian uses for such things as fire starting, cordage, shelter, and other things.”

And third in the sequence:
Preparing Foraged Foods and Meds  (Saturday @ 2 pm)

Dr. Christina Berry adds that simply identifying edible plants and meds won’t get you far if you don’t know what to do with them.   This workshop will teach about preparing foods and meds from the foraged vegetation found on your foraging journey. Preparations of tinctures, teas, salves and syrups will be made and explained. Discussions of the use of different herbs for different treatments will also be discussed. Resources will be provided for further research.

And there will be much more.  Other workshops include:

TVA’s energy expert, Les Hartman and Village founder Grant Miller present
Alternative Electricity Generation Options.  (Saturday @ 9 am)

Understand available options, pros & cons of each, cost/KWH range, personal work cost, etc.    Understand options for grid tie vs. local battery storage.  See various electricity production options including water, PV, a Lister Diesel Generator and Wood Gasification.

Delve deeper into PhotoVoltaic Solar electricity with George Horrocks, chief design engineer with Tennessee’s largest PV installer.
Power from the Sun  (Saturday @ 10 am)

 Learn the Basics of Producing Electricity from the Sun and Why There has Never Been a Better Time to Go Solar. Whether you want to lock in your energy costs for life, clean and green the world, have backup security when the grid goes down, or see solar as a revenue generator for your family or business, with the price reductions of nearly 50% for solar in the last two years, coupled with incentives in the form of grants, tax credits, and TVA’s Generation Partners payments, now is the “perfect storm” of opportunity to install a solar array.

First on the priority list for preparedness is water.
Rain Water Collection Systems Tour and Demonstration  (Friday @ 3 pm & Saturday @ 1 pm)

Join Paul Owen of Nature’s Tap for a tour of the Miller Home off-grid system.  Understand the benefits and costs of setting up a Rain Water Collection System that can reliably supply all of your water needs.

Then explore options for Water Purification with George Miller,  water quality lab manager for the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley Water District via internet link from California. (Saturday @ 1:30 pm)

Discuss water purification options including filtration, chemical, UV, distillation, etc.    Learn the best use of water from various sources, its treatment primarily for drinking, and its storage.

What about food?
Tour the garden, greenhouse and orchard with permaculturists and gardeners.  (Friday @ 5pm & Saturday @ 1pm) Explore your questions about self-sufficient gardening.  Then learn how to prepare food, observing dutch and solar oven prep’s.  (Saturday 11 am through lunch).  Enjoy tasty BBQ catered from local restaurant, Holy Smokes and learn how to preserve meat and fish by smoking, drying and making jerky.
Sample some local favorites while observing the process of milling wheat for bread, home-made yogurt from milk and tasty jam from local berries.

And you can Can.  Learn how with Carolyn Park and Becky Miller
“Food Preservation Made Simple, Quick and Easy, By Dry-Pack Canning Method”  (Saturday @ 11 am)

CLASS OBJECTIVE:
Have a hands-on experience while learning a proven food storage method.
PARTICIPANTS WILL…
-Learn how to properly can foods such as whole grains, legumes, sugar, and other dry foods.
-Participate in a step-by-step process for canning and sealing dry food in #10 cans and mason jars without the use of electricity.
-See how proper food storage can extend food shelf life for up to 30 years.
-Obtain handouts to help you gain the knowledge to build your own food bank and become food secure.
DISPLAYING:
-Other Food Preservation Methods
-Equipment
BACKGROUND:
Carolyn and Becky have had life long experience in gardening and food preservation. Experience was drawn from three generations of family farming and homemaking.  Recently they have focused on long-term food storage to promote family sustainability and wellness.

“But wait, there’s more”   🙂

  • For hunters or wannabe hunters, expert hunter Bob Blackburn will host a round table discussion on hunting in the Tennessee Woods.   (Friday @ 7:30 pm)
  • For self-defense, expert Brad Bleasdale will present a two-hour course entitled “Choosing and using a Pistol for Defense”   (Saturday @ 10 am)

This Class will cover gun safety, types of handguns, how to eliminate “caliber confusion”, holsters, lights, and lasers, and a host of other topics.
Designed for people considering a pistol, or as a refresher for those who already carry.  Perfect for women, youth, or novice shooters.
Class will include hands-on instruction, and range time with a certified shooting instructor.  Gun and ammo will be available for those without.
Children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.

Bio:  Brad Bleasdale is a lifetime shooter and shooting instructor.  Blessed with the heart of a teacher, Brad teaches novice and intermediate shooters the basics of firearms safety and competence.  Brad has instructed hundreds of people in the safe and effective use of firearms, with specialized classes for women, youth, and church groups.
$10/person or $25 / Family.  MUST HAVE:  Eye Protection (sunglasses are fine), ear protection, folding chair, notebook, water.   Bring your own Handgun and Ammo

Alternative HealthCare for mind and body.

  • Start with a 2-hour Native American flute lesson that will soothe and heal the soul, by renowned musician Tony Gerber.  This hands on instruction includes a Native American Flute, all for just $60. (Friday @ 4 pm)
  • Take care of the physical you with a discussion of holistic healthcare methods that have worked for you.  Remedies for every day live.  This round-table will be presented by Dr. Cliffton Brady.  (Saturday @ 1 pm)

Entertainment and Fun

  • Enjoy a movie under the stars at the 26′ wide Village Amphitheater.  Bring your own steak or hot dogs to grill for an outdoor feast.
  • Groove to the jam session sounds of “Space Craft”  (Friday Supper, Saturday Lunch)
  • For the young in body and spirit, learn to rappell off the cliffs near Miller’s Falls with certified instructor, Jesse Gainer or play Village Games with Haley Blackburn.

And that’s just a sampling.  So much to learn and do.  So little time.  Come, join us for the first annual Preparedness fair at the Village on Sewanee Creek.

Preparedness Fair @ the Village – Permaculture

Permaculture Design Class 2010I’m excited to announce one of the presenters at this year’s preparedness fair at the Village on Sewanee Creek.  Kevin Guenther is a renowned sustainable landscape architect from Nashville.  He will be presenting on the Permaculture ethic, how it is both a community building mind-set “PERMAnent CULTURE” and a method of low impact, productive agriculture, “PERMAnent agriCULTURE”.    I’m attaching a flyer for one of Kevin’s paid courses on the same topic.  Permaculture Design Class 2010

Segueing from Kevin’s presentation, we plan to do a walkabout tour of some of the 500 acres in our Nature preserve to discover naturally occuring “permanent” food and med’s. 

Finally, what to do with those natural treasures?  We will prepare some of these into edible dishes, topical ointments, or other medical remedies.  Practical, hands-on information you can take home and use.

For more information about this year’s Preparedness fair go to https://1stvillager.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/preparedness-fair-at-the-village-on-sewanee-creek/.

A Life Transformed – Part 2

Part II: Dreams

            My summer in the garden changed my vision for my future almost entirely. Things about which I had rarely thought suddenly became central to my idea of happiness. Food was one of those. Being blessed with the opportunity to eat so much whole, real, home-grown food has deeply convinced me of its importance. In just the past few years since we moved here, my family has developed a simple, but unique food culture that gives me a physical, tangible connection to this place as I move on to college and other chapters of my life. I’ve even told my parents that for my graduation present the only thing I want is a supply of our home-canned vegetable soup mix, salsa, Mom’s apple sauce, and, of course, green beans. My everyday breakfast of homemade yogurt and the delicious mainstay of homemade bread with homemade strawberry jam are traditions I plan to carry on. I’ve learned here how powerful food, especially whole, healthy, real food, can be to bring families and communities together.

            Now, when I look at my family’s garden, I see a great deal more than plants that give me nourishment. I see a visual representation of my connection to my family and to this place and of my own personal growth. I see a teacher that has many more lessons for me, lessons about simplicity, gratitude, humility, discipline, perseverance, respect, inner peace, the importance of connections, gentleness, caring, observation, hard work, independence, and love. I truly believe that, as Masanobu Fukuoka teaches, “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation of human beings.” Growing food is about growing yourself.

            But most exciting, when I look at my garden I see my dreams for the future connections I hope to share between myself, the land, and my own family. When I look at the corn field I can hear the taps of my toddlers’ feet and the excited squeals of their game of “peek-a-boo” between the stalks. I can imagine their dad calling them over to help him stuff one of his old shirts for a scarecrow and a precocious 3-year-old telling them they’re doing it wrong. I can see myself buried in a mass of green bean vines until I feel a tap on my shoulder; my little son’s face is glowing with pride at the huge carrot he has just picked. I look now at the tiny fruit trees we planted a year ago and imagine them tall and strong enough to hold little climbers eager for the first ripe apple of the season.

My glimpses have spilled over from the garden spot to encompass all of our land. I envision a driveway lined completely with blueberries and raspberries, flowerbeds filled with sweet potatoes in front of the porch. The house itself is very small, but always warm and filled with light and laughter and people rushing in and out. I can feel the rush of summer air as someone opens the back door to bring in another basket of green beans to snap. “Grandma” is taking a batch of her famous whole wheat bread out of the oven (the smell is to die for) and “Grandpa” is sitting in an armchair serenading us with his saxophone. Someone hops on the piano bench and it becomes a regular jam session. It’s harvest time, and there are tables set up everywhere for slicing cucumbers and peeling peaches. My brother and his wife are there canning their peaches and pickles with us. More probably gets eaten than goes into the bottles, but there’s more than plenty. With all of the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, there are several conversations going on at once. The floor is kind of sticky in spots from where someone has absent mindedly knocked over the syrup for canning peaches. In the evening everyone helps clean up the kitchen and take dinner out to the back porch, where we sit until sunset.

            In my dream all of the people who mean most to me share my love for and connection to the land on which we live. I’m able to instill the importance of that connection in my children, and our whole family grows together through our experiences in the garden. It’s an important bond that we share and the memories of our summers together shape us all and keep us coming home, no matter what other far-ranging adventures life may have in store for us. We are made of this place. The very food we eat is made of the love we put into the garden. The garden is a place of Renewal from life’s stresses and hardships, Freedom from the pressures of the world, a Place to call home, a Refuge from pain, the Memory of golden days, the Peace of silence, the laughter of a Community, the promise of Justice, and the Transformation of the soul.

Prepper’s Top Ten Necessities for Life in Troubled Times

  1. Relationships: Positive, mutually supportive with capable, skilled people
  2. Spiritual & Mental Health: The foundation for all positive action.
  3. Physical Health: Sustainable, natural health care to supplement a healthy lifestyle.
  4. Water: Reliable, secure source of pure water
  5. Food: Natural food from a source you trust and control (yourself)
  6. Shelter: An energy efficient dwelling
  7. Energy: Redundant, reliable, private sources of storable energy.
  8. Reserve: Store and rotate a backup supply of everything you use (water, food, medicine, tools, fuel, clothing & other consumables)
  9. Trade: Prepare to trade for everything else (Cash, Non-Depreciating Assets, Barter-Valuable Supplies, Practical, marketable Skills)
  10. Knowledge & Skills: True self-sufficiency comes from experience – knowing how to do it yourself.

Take a good look at this list.  If this were a report card, what would your grade be on each of these important subjects? For the past 50 years, the developed world has lived in a pampered, complex, yet socially dysfunctional style that values:

  • Entertainment & Entitlement over productive Work
  • Self-Indulgence over Selfless Service
  • Pleasure over Moral Integrity
  • Intellectual Prowess over Practical Skills
  • Dependence on complex systems over Independent Self-Sufficiency
  • Conspicuous Consumption over Provident Preparation.

Is it any surprise that most people lack the skills, preparation, and resources to confidently face a troubled future? Is it any wonder that people feel helpless and out of control? Is there any way you can become confidently competent and provisioned for these ten essential items all by yourself? It’s a daunting task.  But, with help, you CAN do it.

That’s why relationships are at the top of the list. That’s why we are building a community of self-sufficient people at the beautiful Village on Sewanee Creek. If your values are the inverse of the above list, If you want to become more confident, more self-sufficient, and more at peace with your neighbors and in harmony with nature, If you desire close, trusting relationships in a like-minded community, but aren’t ready for a religious or hippie commune, give us a call.