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Defining a Resilient Community

On 24 February John Robb put up a post on his Resiliency blog attempting to define what a resilient community meant to him. I am going to quote him below, then tell you what it means to me and try to flesh out some details regarding how it may come to pass for me. I encourage you to read his whole post.

“A resilient community is the path to a safe, prosperous, and vibrant future for us, our kids, and our neighbors — despite an increasingly chaotic world.”

“This answer should spark this question: What (the heck) do you mean by that?…. Here’s the short version. The world’s economic, financial, and political systems are breaking down. You can smell the stench of financial panic, sovereign bankruptcy, economic depression, and political chaos in the air…. Despite that nearly inevitable future, nobody seems to be doing anything to prepare for it. The loss of jobs, income, and pensions. Government bankruptcy, corruption, and repression. Food, energy, and water shortages, rationing or pricing of those basic items at levels beyond our means. Social breakdown and soaring crime.”

“So, what do we do? What can we do?… We take control of our future. We implement the only solution that can give us a safe, secure, and prosperous future. We become resilient. We find ways to help local people, businesses, and municipalities to PRODUCE, and that’s and important word, more of what we rely upon.”

That is enough to be getting on with. I found THIS site yesterday. They are a 510 acre homesteading community dedicated to preserving heritage craft skills and have a pretty neat way of including the community and providing a viable economic model for the community members. It seems, at first glance, pretty durn close to what I have already had in mind. I plan to contact them today and see if I can get them to answer some detailed questions such as the difficulties they had getting set up to sell agricultural products like cheese and how successful and in demand their classes are.

For me, the idea of a voluntary community of individuals that provides a viable economic model that both provides for our necessities and improves our quality of life is central to our post-Army plans. The exact details of what products we will produce for consumption and what will be part of our sales is way too early to decide. For one, it will be up to the individuals to identify and pursue their passions. If no one wants to raise chickens and sell eggs, I may keep a few for myself, but we won’t go into production mode. Likewise, we may wind up with someone who loves building musical instruments by hand, and can even teach that as a workshop, but no one who wants to make barrels or teach coopering. But, in general, I believe there will be some sort of food and beverage production that yields an income, several forms of crafts that produce an income and teaching of all sorts of things that yields an income. In addition, I see the possibilities to act as a repository of knowledge and history and a valuable and free in many respects resource to the larger community we call home.

The graphic below will lay out how I see a possible timeline flowing. I would love your feedback. My plans for this week include contacting the Heritage Homestead to set up an interview and getting some legal information from Winston County and the State of Alabama regarding legal issues.

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