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A Resource or a Liability

January 24th, 2012

Risa, from Stony Run Farm, brought up a great thought in the comments a few weeks ago when we were discussing why you grow your own. If your neighborhood/community got together in tough times to categorize people as liabilities or resources which would you be? Do you think the resources in your community could support the liabilities?

The biggest problem would probably be that many people would consider themselves resources. While that may be true in good times, their skills/talents might not be what is needed to survive during the tough times. I’ve thought about this as I strive to learn to grow some of my own food. Mainly, I do it for healthy food, because I enjoy it and to save some money, but I also want to have the skills necessary should a time every arise when we need to for survival.

Being able to grow food is a skill that most people should cultivate, whether you believe you will ever need it or not; sadly it’s not a skill many people see as necessary. On the most basic level, to survive you need: food, water, and shelter – everything else is really a luxury. Many of the skills we posses and use for our day to day jobs are for luxuries and not for necessities. This is true of my job, I produce a luxury. As a result, I feel the need to be able to produce my own necessities so I don’t have to rely on someone else. If things ever go pear shaped, my job/skills/income would be gone. No one needs a photographer/writer/videographer/blogger to survive, you can’t eat those things – so I would be considered a liability if I didn’t have any other skills.


Luckily, I have worked hard at learning/developing a lot of skills and I’m continually striving to broaden my skills that will come in handy should things every get rough.

Here are some of the skills I have:
growing food
foraging for wild food
winter gardening
seed saving
plant propagation
dehydrating, curing, canning
maple sugaring
sewing/mending
cooking/bread baking
herbal remedies
building
rain water harvesting
Mr Chiot’s hunting is also a good skill

Some skills I’d like to learn:
keeping & breeding chickens
dairy & beef cow husbandry
meat rabbit breeding/rearing
pasture management
butchering meat
smoking and curing
weaving
hone my knitting/crochet skills
root cellaring
cooking with wood heat
first-aid & herbal healing
foraging, wild harvesting


Taking some time to think about what would happen in tough times and working on learning a few skills that will come in handy for you family and your community is something we should all do. It’s kind of like having a spare tire in your car, you hope you’ll never need to use it – but you want it around just in case. Learning a few basic skills will give you a sense of peace knowing that should you ever need to, you could survive.

What can you provide/bring to the table when times get tough?

Great resource books to keep on your shelf:

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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