We are working with clients who want to develop food production for their off-grid places. This is a different approach than your normal garden, aiming at deep self-sufficiency, indigenous knowledge, culinary innovation and discipline to seasonality, and community-reliance.
We have established a LIFEBOAT potluck group whose purpose is to further our discourse and thought in response to the challenges of our times (COLLAPSE references) by sharing the practices group-members are engaged in — gardening, solar energy, rain water collection, green building and local economy are part of our curriculum. The group is doctors, engineers, architects, artists, writers, and entrepreneurs who are rationally concerned about our economic, environmental and social stability in the near future.
We hope to re-define the possibilities of the bonds of COMMUNITY, and enhance the constructed infrastructure that we’ve pursued individually. You can join our LIFEBOAT Facebook group.
Had a chance to meditate on LIFEBOAT EATING while trekking through the panorama of extraction from Taos back to Austin. (it’s a doozy — complete with Monsanto billboards about their “trustworthy food system”)
– the LIFEBOAT garden will be different than the way we are gardening and farming now with the support of EMPIRE (no commercial nurseries, no commercial compost, no commercial minerals, no industrial water) how do we garden/farm without these commercial inputs?
– what did folks eat BEFORE formal agriculture in this region? (native plants, game, insects)
– how will we adapt our gardening to climate changes? (I know Jake likes this one! and may be practicing some relevant approaches at his project)
– how can we involve local culinary talent to help us develop easy and tasty menus based on the things we know we can cultivate/forage in our LIFEBOATS?
– how do we develop a MARKET strategy for our existing gardens/farms that can TRANSITION into LIFEBOAT eating?
Taken on the whole, I think there is lots of great research and practice to dive into in the short term that will yield some exciting and productive activity for our families and community — and potentially build a transition market to support LIFEBOAT practice in the near-term and into collapse.
LIFEBOAT Eating Goals
– produce home-grown, healthy, organic food for our family
– “practice” gardening (spend the time laboring, learning, communing)
– get out of the city regularly for this PRACTICE
– learn (research, practice) “LIFEBOAT gardening” – as distinct from gardening within EMPIRE
– build MARKET to support the PRACTICE above
– build COMMUNITY into the PRACTICE above
– provide info, material support to other in the community
– INVEST time/$ into LIFEBOAT infrastructure — the physical garden/community
Wendell Berry from “The Gift of Good Land” –
In some respects, traditional subsistence agricultures are the best agricultures, the best assurances of a continuous food supply, simply because they are not – or were not – dependent on outside sources that must be purchased. To exchange these locally self-sufficient subsistent agricultures for the “good life” of a consumer economy is like climbing out of a lifeboat onto a sinking ship. That image, I think, only seems extravagant. The values of our present economy do indeed suggest that it is better to perish with some ostentation of fashion and expense than to survive by modest competence, thrift, and industry.
In saying such things, one must anticipate the accusation that one is simply indulging in nostalgia – sentimentalizing the past, yearning naively for the survival of quaint anachronisms and relics. That might be true if one were dealing with only rare and isolated instances. The fact is, however, that these instances are not rare or isolated. The decline of Indian agricultures of the Southwest follows exactly the pattern of decline of local agricultures everywhere else in the country. The economy of extravagance has overthrown the economies of thrift. Local cultures and agricultures such as those of the Hopi and Papago do not deserve to survive for their picturesque trappings or their interest as artifacts; they deserve to survive – and to be emulated – because they embody the principles of thrift and care that are indispensable to the survival of human beings.