- Self-reliance and resilience to the impacts of climate change, resource depletion, and population overshoot;
- A slower, less frenetic pace of life but one that involves - and values - real, physical labor alongside intellectual labor and lifelong learning;
- The application of labor to real capital in order to provide for basic needs of the self, the family and the community without stripping the land of resources in an effort to maximize profit;
- The replacement of non-sustainable, energy intensive technologies, such as large scale automobile use, by re-localizing the production of basic human needs and making basic resources locally available by walking or animal borne-travel;
- The retention of valuable, sustainable technologies that enhance human life, such as communications devices, the Internet, and medical science;
- Avoidance, to the extent possible, of corporate and governmental (and really, aren't they the same thing in this grand new oligarchy of ours?) influences over my life;
- Doing this in such a way that when the need arises others - and in particular our children, descendents, and community members - are provided opportunities to exchange labor for resources that meet their needs and fairly share in whatever modest profits we might produce
The second phase included the purchase of a home near our land, with the intent to occupy it while we developed the land. The purchased home required more repairs than expected. In response, we returned to paying jobs to acquire cash to finance the repairs, and at the same time began modest improvements to the land and began adjusting our lifestyle to include more manual labor, the self-production of some food, and heating exclusively with manually self-produced firewood. This phase is now ending successfully.
I will (very thankfully) leave full time corporate service on July 3rd, and will return my full attention to furthering the goals of the Jupiter Project. In the short term, I have several tasks that will fully occupy my time over the next several weeks:
- Involvement with the local chapter of the VFW has required increased participation in veteran's events; In addition to regular meetings and activities, I have been asked to speak at an event on Memorial Day, and in late June to attend an opening ceremony for a fundraiser whose proceeds benefit veterans disabled by their wounds.
- Involvement with the Village Planning Board. Our Village Plan is fifty years old and in need of updating.
- I have jury service on May 19th; if seated I will have a number of grand jury sessions to attend over the course of the following three months.
- The closing out of multiple projects at work.
- Time allocations to fuel production and gardening.
- Competing final work to the house - tiling and trimming the kitchen, replacing the existing kitchen window, and sundry small tasks elsewhere that have been bypassed while primary renovations have been ongoing.
- Arranging for and accepting part-time labor for pay or barter in and around the community.
- Clearing portions of the land in order to prepare them for the construction of outbuildings for the storage and maintenance of equipment and on-site business office space.
- Clearing portions of the land that we intend to return to active agriculture.
- Improvement of the existing road, bridge, and proposed homestead site.
- Research and training with respect to suitable crop selection, production and marketing.
- Forest management, chiefly thinning to encourage the growth of desirable species and individual trees.
- Developing foot paths throughout the land and bridges across several small streams on the land.
Next year we hope to begin small-scale crop production on Creek Road, with an eye toward scaling up over the coming years to the point where we become a community resource that provides produce, forest products, and employment to the local community. We hope to open a road-side stand on Creek Road where we will sell our own produce, and perhaps permit others to sell non-competitive products alongside our own.
My intention also is to return to this blog after Independence Day, to again chronicle in words and pictures our progress, and to engage in conversation and debate with Connor Stiles, my son and fellow author on this blog. Until then, I will be reading, re-reading, and pondering his thoughts and words.
Meanwhile, later today I will exchange the front end loader that is currently mounted on my tractor, and too large for the tractor itself to handle, for a three bottom plow. I'll let you know how it goes.