[I have cross posted this to Peaknix]
As a proponent of the global Transition Initiative and having been “Trained for Transition” in November 2008 in Cambridge, MA I have a certain worldview. (see Food for Hope: DeGlobalizing – ReLocalizing)
Transition is really about bringing permacultural principles to bear on the current and coming crises around the decreasing natural resources that are in our future. This includes Peak Oil and pretty much peak everything as wealth and societal energies go towards the resource wars and skirmishes and agonies as governments jostle for position in the bread lines for energy, water, food, and diminishing rare materials.
This downward slope is called the energy descent and the Transition Initiative seeks to PLAN for rational energy descent in a way that flows power and resources back to localities where people LIVE (called relocalization).
Its a HUGE thing, deglobalizing. When I first learned about Transition Towns back in 2007 it was this amazing idea happening in real life but in far away England. Transition in England is profoundly different in terms of challenges to here but it took a while for me to be able to articulate why.
Social safety nets. Thats the key. In the US, we dont have much and those we have are failing now or will be failing as the full brunt of the baby boom aging bomb hits it.
Ok, thats a huge topic, huge. I bring it up for one reason today!
Relocalization of food and jobs is a primary concern to anyone serious about making headway during this financial crisis.
Obviously, we personally have relocalized a lot of food in our back yard. Lots of you have also.
This past year was not a good gardening year and it wasnt the year that I thought it would be in terms of working with local community gardening.
We live in a “sparsely” settled area (for this region) and as such have not gotten to know our neighbors well, yet.
I think its important to, once you have gotten your backyard homesteading rolling, you should begin to get the food vibe radiating out and use it to make connections with neighbors so that food resiliency is about more than your own food.
To these ends, I have started a project with our neighbors.
As you can see in the google map photo below, our land is on the right (see box) and then the neighbors across the street, who have lovely pasture (which we do not, we have lovely cliffs!).
I proposed to our amazing neighbors to share a dairy cow (am aiming for a jersey cow – high butter fat) where we put a cow and her baby on their pasture and we tend and milk her. Both families will share in the milk and cream!
This knits us together as a group, working in concert for relocalized food of extremely high quality (we will drink it raw, neighbors will do with it as they wish).
The neighbors thought on it and then said yes!
I am looking forward to this project, will mean work but its so worth it.
We will reskill ourselves and the neighbors will also, as is appropriate for them.
I hope, also, that the idea inspires others locally to do the same. They might start with communal chickens or goats or perhaps cows.
I am positive that most of us can learn these things, its not rocket science.
Helping to mentor others doing this would be an amazing yield!