Episode-1171- The Bright Future of Homesteading in America

In the 70′s there was a very large back to the land movement that just didn’t last.  Many are calling the current boom in gardening and small livestock keeping something similar, but that is quite short sighted.

To begin with the current boom in such things really began about 2006 and was in full swing by 2008, it is now 2013 and things are moving faster then ever.  That is a total of 7 years so far, the 70′s back to the land movement only lasted about half a decade before fading into oblivion.

So what is different this time and why is this new multi generational group of homesteaders different and what does the future hold for us.  That is today’s subject.

Join Me Today As We Discuss…

  • The 70′s movement was yet another cycle of things that occurred in the 60′s and the 30′s
  • The 30′s were driven by survival and the 70′s by an escape mentality
  • Both movements had some urban components but were mostly rural
  • Today’s homesteaders are working land from 1/10th to 100 acres and more
  • Today’s movement is driven by multiple factors
    • Concern about the future
    • The quality of our food
    • The environmental damage of big agriculture
    • The concerns about GMOs
    • Regaining what was lost in Generations X and Y for everyone
    • A change in the fundamental understanding of wealth
    • An understanding of what is actually “beautiful”
    • A desire to regain control in our lives
  • What will sustain the modern homesteading movement
    • The I can do this almost anywhere mentality
    • The internet and info sharing
    • Opposition will strengthen the movement
    • It is being done BEFORE an economic crisis
    • The problems of modern society are more evident then ever
    • Automation and technology will make doing it easier
    • The biggest reason, it is simply becoming accepted by most people
  • Why I believe almost everyone will do at least a bit of homesteading in coming years
  • What decentralizing even 25% of the food system would mean for society

 

Resources for Today’s Show…

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31 Responses to Episode-1171- The Bright Future of Homesteading in America

  1. Oh wow, so if you want to laugh and cry at the same time for our fellow Americans, just read the comments that people are posting on that Washington Post article. Just a choice comment:

    “If Montgomery county allows homeowners to keep chicken, the following conditions should be mandated. The property should be two acres minimum. Written permission of a homeowners’ neighbors on all four directions should be obtained. There should be identification tags on the chicken. Owner should pick up after the chicken.”

    Sigh….

    • Or the ones about the thousands of chickens abandoned or given to the humane society. Heck, give them to me. I bet they’ll be delicious.

    • I live on .25 acre in Montgomery County. I’m seriously considering getting a pair of hens next spring, eating my own eggs and waiting for a fight. Good episode, Jack.

  2. It’s why I say politicians are like Pro Wrestlers, they kick the hell out of each other in the ring then go to a lavish party and celebrate together

  3. These “migrant” picking jobs were once done by teens. The school schedule was worked around the picking of crops . The picking money stayed local and help the local economy . Now the government has made it ellegal for the teens to work of many farm task and most would not dirty thier hands anyway. Why should they ? Mommy and Daddy hand them everything they need. They come out of collage as 20 something’s with never having worked and no sense of accomplishment .

    • Brother when I was a kid we bailed hay and got .33 a bail sometimes throwing bails almost 10ft in the air to the top of a trailer, I haven’t seen kids do that job in 20 years.

      • Kilted Brewer

        You got paid for that? Damn. I was doing it for free on my friends farm because it was fun! We used to build the best forts in the hay barn after it was unloaded. Picking rock out of freshly plowed fields was another job turned game. And bringing in the cow corn… that always turned into a mini war as we whipped those little corn cob discs at each other!

        All kidding aside… we’ve made such a bad bargain- exchaing hay forts for Wii and xbox is just the surface.

        • Modern Survival

          See people always say this stuff both you and Fixit but you are both overlooking reality, big time. Sure kids used to do this stuff (I did too) on small farms, 40-80 acre type concerns. Please both of you do yourselves a favor and find a way to watch Morgan Spurlock’s “inside man” on picking oranges. Teen’s from high school are not going to do this level of labor and never have at anytime ever.

          Your solution is much like mine, what I stated was perhaps if everyone at least harvested 25% of what they consume and if we decentralize the food system so that can be done we can shift things. You can ban migrant workers, stop all illegal immigration cold and let kids out of school in picking season right now and you know what will happen, the oranges will rot on the trees and the lettuce will bolt in the fields.

          We have been so lied to that we now think a man willing to kill himself 18 hours a day and not see his family for years who sends 70% of the money he makes to that same family is the problem, rather than the system that created a dynamic where that man is willing to put himself though that much for so little in return.

        • Kilted Brewer

          Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply I had a solution. I don’t really. Somewhere along the way I realized that it was unlikely that I’d find anyone willing to pay me what I thought my labor was worth. And that it was REALLY unlikely that I’d find anyone who could compensate me for my time in way that was more valuable than actually spending that time with my family. So, I could work lots and buy my kids that xbox (for example)… or, I could work less and instead spend that time working with my kids to buld our first ‘sorta’ huegelkultur bed.

          I’m a new listener and forum member, and didn’t mean to imply I had answers. I’ve been moving in this direction for awhile on my own, but I’ve accelerated since finding your show. But no way do I have it figured out… rather, I and my family have figured out that we get a bit happier the further we move along this path!

          Anyway, really enjoying your show, and thanks- I hope I didn’t speak out of turn or ruffle feathers.

    • It sort of doesn’t bother me alot if I had to pay extra for orange juice or a pair of decent shoes. I think I could get by if I had to drink some other kind of fruit juice even instead of orange juice or even tangy tangerine vitamin drinks instead. It doesn’t bother me either that there are some migrant workers who want to work for cheap and they let a bunch in. I think if they let too many in it could be a problem, but I couldn’t tell you the answer. If you want open borders then leave me alone if I want to go to Mexico and live there for as long as I want and cross back and forth.

      I think it does bother me a bit that our govt props up dictators which creates poverty and cheap workers and that the foreign workers care mostly about making money and not about constitutional freedoms and that it may be harder to cross the border into their country for me.

      I just found out that some LL Bean boots are still made in Maine ..

  4. Great show! Loved the social justice piece. Homestead in Montana, walk to freedom! Find me in Helena, MT if you’re walking this way.

  5. From the chicken article:

    “Harris also worried that a chicken wandering out of its coop could cause a driver to swerve dangerously to avoid hitting it. She said, “They get out, and they cross the road,” she said. “Don’t ask me why.””

    I believe that the answer she’s looking for is “to get to the other side”….

  6. As a resident of Arlington Va I would like to point out that it may have the highest prius per capita rating in the country

  7. I wonder how homesteading will develop outside the US. I live in Europe and while there seems to be a trend towards it, it’s not nearly as popular as in the States. Will you discuss this in a future podcast? Maybe interview someone from the UK or mainland Europe.

    • Modern Survival

      I think the bug has hit harder in the UK it is just a lot harder to do there. Less land, land costs more and more regulations then we have here as well.

      • I recently spent 2 weeks in the UK on business. My general feel was it seemed more ingrained in their culture to have a garden. I even saw a garden in London with these triangle flags (like you see at a car lot when they are having a sale) over it to (I presume) keep birds out.

        In the country side from the train perspective, there were quite a lot of gardens and what appeared to be outbuildings and animals. Not very scientific, but my impression is this type of thing was pretty much part of their culture. At least, more so than in a conventional American suburb.

      • I believe in the UK at least from my experience in London that there are community gardens where people can get allotment space in the garden to grow stuff.

  8. I haven’t had a chance to listen to this yet but I read the chicken article. Wow, that’s sure a lot of baggage to put on a chicken’s back. People get worked up about the strangest things.

  9. This is just another way of controlling your food supply.

  10. found an interesting article about GMO’s and “genewashing” and how they are trying to hide gmo’s in the NON-GMO products.

    http://www.naturallysavvy.com/natural-and-organic/gmo-genewashing-the-food-industry-s-plan-to-keep-you-unhealthy

  11. Good show with a lot of interesting thoughts.

  12. Regarding the “chicken case” in Arlington, VA, check out the website the opponents of backyard chickens erected to gain support for their cause…Jack it would be great to hear you tear this site apart.

    http://www.backyardsnotbarnyards.org

  13. Maybe the farmers market scene would become more than marginally profitable if the big food producers were weened off of a sub-minimum wage labor pool and subsidies.

    Migrant labor is monoculture’s best friend, whether is be Latin Americans or honeybees. Obviously we couldn’t ween American agriculture off of that overnight, but if sustainable polycultures are ever going to make it big as businesses, without relying on WOOFers and book sales, we’re going to need to see a leveling of the playing field first, even though it does imply higher food prices.

    I know as a libertarian open borders are a pet issue of yours, but the damage done by industrial agriculture is a much more pressing problem, not one that can be solved at any time with the stroke of a pen.

  14. I’m so horribly offended by anyone who would plant and grow potatoes in their garden. Do you horrible people not realize what a slap in the face that is to all of us Irish Immigrants. ‘Tis bad enough we can get not reparations from the vikings or the english, but now to see potatoes reminding us of our former poverty is just too much!!!

    • Modern Survival

      Boy oh boy will that confuse some passer by who doesn’t have the context, LMAO.

  15. Brent Eamer

    The HOA on our private road works as follows:
    We have a road maintenance fee that is levied as follows:
    1) Property owners pay 100 a year
    2) Seasonal cottage owners pay 200 a year
    3) Full time residents (me) pay 300 a year.

    We have a few restrictive covenants, such as livable buildings must be minimum 700 sq feet, and not mobile homes. Other than that, the money we collect goes to road work. We have a few who refuse to pay, and we have taken them to court and got the money. A seasonal resident is a lawyer and does the legal work free. We have some old cranks that think $300 a year should give them more services than they get. We recently had our ditches cleared on 1.9 kms of our private road and it cost $6000 cdn. Now I understand you don’t need a HOA to do that but with 50 odd residents, varied demographics and income levels, it was damm near impossible ten years ago. So that is what we do up here in PEI, I don’t like parts of it, but for the most part it works for us

  16. I think the idea of free food on public land is great. I can see 2 reasons the politicians would not like it. First they would ask who is going to pick up the spoiled fruit. Second is there going to be public outrage when a highway needs to be widened and the 30+ year old blueberry patches go away.
    Personally the first is a piece of crap and second there would be many more patches to pick fom if your idea was implemented .
    As a kid I remember picking blueberries by the side of the hi way in New England. It was great, sometimes you needed to watch for the wildlife that also wanted the berries.
    Thanks for all ou do.

  17. You should give your listeners a bit more credit for searching out a website that talks specifically about homesteading/survivalism when commenting: “I know it’s hard for you to understand how someone can be over weight and nutritionally deprived…” etc. Sounds a bit condescending and at minimum people seeking out this type of site know a bit about the deprivation of quality foods in the US and the choke hold monsanto has our agriculture. I’m going to listen to a few more of your shows but that kind of editorial turns people away.

    • Modern Survival

      I’ll tell you what my dad always said to people that showed up and then bitched, “there’s the door, don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out”.

      There was no condescension in what I said but your attitude isn’t necessary around here, so if you plan to keep it us, c-ya. Otherwise stick around and perhaps you will change your tune about what we do here.