Where are we today?
Today rather than judge ourselves by some illusory benchmark of historical rural American self ‘sufficiency’ we might do better for each of us to make the effort to be more self-reliant. By self-reliant I mean making the goal to do as much as possible for one’s self.
When organizing a household – whether in an urban apartment, a suburban lot, or a small acreage – learn to cook what you can, grow what you can, barter and buy what you can within your local community, and beyond that to understand the costs and production realities of the things you do buy from the wide world of regional, national and international trade.
No way to avoid it; we all use gasoline and electric power, we buy tools made by someone else, we buy foodstuffs grown by others. But we can discipline ourselves to participate in the world economy in a more conscious way and to strive for a level of self-reliance appropriate to our life circumstance.
The vast majority of Americans live in cities and suburban settings; they are not going to make their own cheese or harvest their own wheat. But they can support local producers of fresh vegetables, they can learn to cook from scratch, and we all can vote to create conditions of food justice for others, less privileged than ourselves, both nationally and globally. [to be continued]