This is a statement of our goals and purposes here on the farm, and is a working document open to discussion. Maria and I are a couple. We have our direction, but we are frequently joined by a small group of others, who have related interests and philosophies. I think that we are in agreement on one point: Our lives must have purposeful passion.
The first goal of this household is that we do not hurt anyone, human or any other species. Absolutely, we hurt people and other animals just in the act of living, but we sincerely try to be as considerate of others as humanly possible.
The farm has working animals. Our income comes from hiring out the teams of oxen. Maria processes fiber, spins and weaves. The third major effort is my writing, which may take up as much as a third of my working time. Other activities are support for the people living here, food production, preservation and storage, and firewood. Our plan is to increase our livestock to some degree and begin gardening again.
With the increased cost of fuels, and other attendant problems of our times, we hope to maintain flexibility while becoming less dependent on the outside world. We do not see an “End Time” or any other spectacular disaster, but our world is changing and the old, oil dependent lifestyle is ending. We are trying to prepare for tougher times.
We wish to pursue a “Green” lifestyle. In practice this means we are learning how to limit our carbon and waste impact on the environment. Along these lines, we aim at reducing our electrical usage, minimizing our use of vehicles and eventually restructuring our sources of power and transportation. Maria has had tremendous success at reducing our electrical usage. We all need to be a part of this effort. This means we have to think what we are doing, limit the activities that use electricity and keep unneeded appliances turned off.
Along these lines we support a sustainable economy and sustainable agriculture. We cannot survive in a country that imports everything simply to provide greater corporate profits. Nor will this world last with the current trends in corporate farming. We will take an active part in changing our society to a more responsible attitude, setting the example by our choices. Prime among these choices is that we need to eliminate our debt load and reduce our spending so that we are not slaves to the financial and corporate world. At the same time, we have to watch where we spend our money. Buying from a corporation that has irresponsibly destroyed the environment is to encourage their irresponsibility. We have resolved to vote with our dollars; Every Time.
Consumerism has become a destructive force in this nation. We feel we have to have things, as senseless as they may be. We try to fight this in ourselves. Also, on these lines we try to buy used items, not only for the economic savings, but to reduce our impact on the environment and resources.
Overpopulation is one of the world’s great problems at present. In our own little way we wish to influence this by supporting adoption. We have to make the world aware of the problem and educate people in order get anything to change. Cult of the Child expresses the backward thinking that has become so destructive. Somehow people have come to believe that everyone has the right to bear children and that these children are entitled to all the creature comforts the culture can provide. This has become a destructive cycle that must be stopped if we are not to be swept over the waterfall by overpopulation.
It is our goal to make this homestead as independent as possible. We want to make and grow as much of our needs here as we can. Of course, this is not something we can do immediately. The homestead is just not set up for it, and we do not have the skills. Still this is the direction we are going.
We believe, passionately, in freedom. Every person is an individual. The choices they make, good or bad, are their right. It takes courage to grant other people agency, but it is necessary. Each of us only has freedom as long as all of us are free. However, a direct extension of this is that all are to take responsibility for their free choices. If one makes a bad choice, one bears the consequences.
Race has become such a divisive issue in the world we cannot sit in our comfortable hollow and ignore the damage. Race does not determine the value of a human being. We will do anything we can to promote equality of treatment and opportunity for all.
We strive to develop our own learning and creativity and support others in their quest. The basis of all invention is the exercise of the mind. It is our most precious treasure. Learning is the foundation of creativity. We all need to expand our minds, daily. We look things up. We read. We help others to do so. And, as an extension of this, we support independent and collective creativity.
Our approach to nutrition is both practical and ethical. We do not agree with the mistreatment of food animals in factory farms and feed lots. Additionally, a vegetarian diet is better for us in the long run. However, we recognize the environmental and financial impact of creating fake meat out of soy. This means we favor meats produced locally by people we know, and vegetation is allowed to be plants, not meat. At present, we have designed our diet to have meat infrequently.
Naturism is not just living without clothing. It is an attitude of being close to nature in all things. It is remembering that we too are animals. It is also a way of going softly through this world. What we have found since we started this is that we have reduced our water and chemical use tremendously by spending most of our time nude. Our bodies are cleaner. Skin disorders clear up. We do what we can to promote this attitude.
We do not believe that sexuality is immoral or evil. It is a part of our physical and psychological body. People have a right to sex in the manner that they choose. This does not in any way preclude an individual’s right to say “no”. The caveat is the second paragraph in this document… we are to be careful not to hurt anyone. Rape and seduction are wrong because there are victims. However, the male ownership of a female’s reproductive system is wrong too. Possibly the best answer seems to be honest sexual experimentation with the purpose of improving a family’s or couple’s relationship. Currently we have been exploring
polyamory with long term committed relationships.
Spirituality is the relationship between us and our concept of a supreme being. This we believe in. However, we have come to believe that the organized churches we have seen have lost touch with spirituality and have become immersed in property and power. Religion does cause harm and no one has the right to a comfort that hurts others.
We wish to live lives free from toxic chemicals. The world population seems to be completely unaware of the damage done by the increasing exposure to chemicals, often introduced to our lives through expediency rather than necessity. We are trying to eliminate household and agricultural chemicals. We avoid polyester, nylon and other synthetics. We look at what we are doing and do not just mindlessly buy the quickest or cheapest answer.
We read and watch things with which we disagree, as long as there is intelligence behind them. We must turn off that filter that only processes information that we already believe. If we allow our minds to be closed we are as good as dead.
We are politically aware and involved. We use our communications skills to influence others. It is necessary to talk to the government often. People who govern are like people everywhere else, they respond to squeaky wheels. If we believe in the democratic process, we must be an active part of it.
Eventually, we plan to have this farm energy self sufficient producing most of what we need in structures that are safe, warm and in concert with the environment. Farm design has to compliment the other parts of our lifestyle. We are artists with different disciplines. The farm has to support this. We expect to see increasing economic, weather and above all, energy complications that we cannot control. This homestead is our insulation. We work to improve the design, build the necessities such as shelter and tools, and develop the skills that we need to continue on these lines. It is to be a never ending project. It is life.