Thursday, July 4, 2013
Because I'm a bit of a word nerd, let's start with the simple a simple definition.
Independence: The quality or state of being independent.
Ok, I guess we need two definitions.
Independent: Not dependent.
Ok, so we probably didn't Need to define those, I think everyone probably knew what they meant but if I'm going to be talking about words I want to have definitions out there to play with. I personally hadn't known the archaic definition of independence of being competent that I found when I went looking to make sure I was using good definitions, though that's mostly a curiosity.
Not dependent, we as people are social animals, we form societies and communities rely on each other. How can we talk about independence at any level? Well, on a national level is beyond the scope of this blog and there are dozens of other sources to talk about national independence and the like. I'm going to talk about what independence means to us on the homestead.
Independence at home
What would it mean to us to be independent at home?
1: To be fully food secure.
2: To be able to trade on an equal level with the communities we are part of.
3: To have enough resources in reserve to not constantly be nervous about any emergency being more than we can handle.
I think those are the big things for us at home.
Food independence is a bigger thing than just our home, and I suspect many of you are already invested in food independence and have your own thoughts about it, and I'd love to hear them. Here's how I look at it.
To be food independent we need to:
1: Be able to know where we can get our food even if transportation suddenly isn't an option. For cities I know this isn't an option, but let's say know where within 100 miles your food can come from.
2: Have local seed stocks that are grown from and replenished instead of relying on seed vendors.
2a: Have local varieties that are adapted to each local condition.
3: Know that there is enough seed diversity that one major pest or crop sickness won't wipe out the vast majority of available food.
4: Have free and open access to safe water that can be used for drinking and watering plants.
Anything else that you feel is a necessity for food independence? I think that's a reasonable list.
For me independence is the knowledge that I am free to pursue my food security, my goals, and my happiness, and do so with a reasonable expectation that I won't be interfered with unless I'm hurting other people.
Sound off on how you see independence.