Drop out and take over: Self-sufficient farms pop up all over the country


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Dear Opinion Editor:
Your readers will have interest in this one, I’m sure!

Drop out and take over:
Self-sufficient farms pop up all over the country

A commonality among Americans today seems to be a feeling of dissatisfaction. Almost daily, I hear rumblings of unrest, disenchantment, unhappiness and fear of the future. It appears that many hard-working people are lacking purpose in their lives.

“I feel totally controlled, used and abused by the system [Government],” said *D.B. in Ojai, Ca. “I feel completely suppressed by too many laws, an unfair tax system, rules and regulations deigned to support only the wealthy segment of our society, and I feel helpless,” she said.

While many people are distracted by global social economics, corporate media and legalized death squads (the police and military), many people are breaking out and taking control of their own lives through a life choice of self-sufficiency.

Of the many examples I found throughout the country of folks living off the land and outside the norm, one couple from the small coastal town of Carpinteria, Ca. are living a life of self-created self-sufficiency, outside the system and off the grid, quietly doing their own thing. They saw a way out of their daily hum drum lifestyles with their self-sufficient farm, and have fallen in love with it.

*J. and *P. are organic farmers living on the West Coast, enjoying the life of their dreams and very own design. “Yes, its hard work,” said J., “but, oh, so worth it and for us it has been very rewarding.” The husband and wife couple raises all of their own food: fruits, vegetables, goats for milk, chickens, rabbits, wild game and fish. J. also hunts and fishes for the family’s needs.

J. and P. work their farm nearly seven days a week and have for years. When I ask J. why they work so hard he said, “Because we love it. And we like working outside the system, where we don’t have to depend on anyone or play by all the rules; rules we did not invent and don’t agree with.”

J. and P. sell their crops overage to neighbors and trade for most of their other living requirements. They trade for everything from baked goods to the family’s dental needs. J. even traded for a truck once, and he pays for his gas with fruit and vegetables. “We see this as a way out of the system, and it works very well for us,” said J.

Another way people can drop out and change their lifestyle is to live and work on a communal farm, where each member of the group has a stake in and responsibility for the farm’s survival and well being. The group has a collective incentive to operate the farm at its full potential and enable its participants to live somewhat separate from the system- a style of living that is appealing to many Americans today.

One such farm I visited in Ventura County, California, opens its doors to the public twice a year with very large, celebrated parties, where people can come and taste the lifestyle. There are farm tours and lectures included in the events. People are invited to join the farm’s efforts and live a life separate from society while participating in work that they find enjoyable and meaningful. These types of communities can be found all over the country. I have found several in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, up-state New York, Colorado and North Carolina.

In 1956, L. Ron Hubbard wrote in one of his books, Science of Survival, That, “given man’s contemporary shortcomings he would not have a clue how to live off the land or live self sufficiently, even if it meant his starvation.” No endorsement of Scientology or Dianetics is intended, nor their endorsement of this lifestyle or the author is intended. I merely use this quote to indicate how things have changed. That in this millennium people have returned to a place of self-reliance and are living off the land once again.

One other book of interest I found in a used bookstore is The Self Sufficient Farmer by John Seymour, 1979. In this delightful (non organic) book the author very competently puts together enough information to get anyone started in the farming life with detailed instruction on planting, cultivating and harvesting of crops. This book even describes how to butcher your home-raised animals for food.

As J. pointed out, the farming life can be a lot of work, but can also be filled with many joys, like living independently and paying considerably less income tax. “It beats working 8 to 5 to pay for an SUV you didn’t need in the first place,” said J.

When I asked J. if he had any advice for people wanting to get started, he said, “Yea, just jump off and jump in and do it. Take control of yours and your family’s life. The water is fine and if you can’t stand it, just go out and buy another suit and go back into the world.”

* Names of individual farmers and farms have not been included at their personal request.

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