Often when I want to learn a new farm skill I spend a lot of time reading other people’s opinions, tutorials or watching youtube videos on the subject to get a better grasp on how to proceed. The reason is because I didn’t grow up this way and I feel like all these things I want to do have a really steep learning curve. Which brings me to a point that I think is important.
Community is vital!
I don’t believe in the “village” that the government would like to raise my children, but I do believe in community. If you can find or create a community of like minded people doing or attempting to do things, like sustainable living, then you have a built in support and education system for your lifestyle. We live in an extremely rural area sadly without much agriculture or husbandry. Though we are starting to meet people, in the most random ways, who are doing it! And then we swap information, and then we swap e-mails and we visit each other’s “set ups” and learn from one another. It’s great!
Because here’s the thing, not all of us can be great at everything. I’m trying to figure out how to garden, but I already know it’s not my strong point. Maybe one day it will be, but not right now. So if I can find someone who is a fantastic gardener who can 1) teach me how to better do it myself or 2) sell me some of their own home grown produce, it’s a win-win! And maybe someone else may not have the space or ability to raise their own chickens. Then we have eggs for bartering or sale that can help us both out. See?
No man is an island, yet we seem to live like that sometimes. I think we need to cultivate community as well as gardens and farms and ranch operations. I’ll be much more likely to buy beef from someone I know and can trust the way they raise their cattle, ya know?
Having said all that, I’d just like to point out that I’m thankful for online networking as well. We can’t always have a huge strong network of close people working toward the same lifestyle, but we can usually find people online who are also willing to share info and help out when people have questions. We’re out there… we just need to network and find each other! 🙂