I am a green prepper. I am retired but consider myself semi-retired because what I am doing is more work than a status quo job. I want to say it is rewarding but I also want to say it is disappointing. The rewards for example are being out in the woods making fire wood and taking a break and looking around at how beautiful it is. I would not see this beauty in an office. Seeing my grazing system function is wonderful. Watching a garden come up and fruit start on my orchard is satisfying.
The disappointment is the realization of the incongruity of modern life with this small farmer reality. The costs of the comforts of life compared to the return to permaculture farming is dramatic. I could greatly expand my stocking rates. I could grow the size of the farm effort but then what happens is you drift into being a factory farm and let’s face it even big farms are struggling.
I try to find a balance. I am providing my greater family with recreation and a place to hide out if SHTF. I am a prepper so I do those things that increase resilience and sustainability to shocks. Green prepping is about combining permaculture and security. Localism is safer and it is also greener. The sad part is I am living off investments that are 30 years of fossil fuel drenched activity. My goats and cattle cover cost but do not reward my labor. It is much cheaper to go to the grocery store for vegetables but we still make an effort to garden. I heat with wood but electric is cheaper when all the labor and equipment is considered.
I am in my mid 50’s and feeling the pain of this constant work. I do think it is actually keeping me stronger but that only makes the pain a little less apparent. I go out in the cold, hot, and wet which is uncomfortable. Bugs in my face a ticks crawling up my legs make me think how nice a beach would be.
I am living a life of green prepping and telling people about it which is rewarding but then I also feel like I fool because it does not add up. I am telling people to live like I do when the reality is, I have the time and money to do it. If you don’t have the time and money how can you do it? I have come to the humble conclusion that I must respect those who make no effort to do what I do. I target a few chosen who have the time, money, and the awakening. I target those who want to green prep instead of winter in Florida or RV to the west. They care about the planet and seek to lower their footprint instead of growing it. They want to feel the rewards of producing things. They want to take the journey of a transformation of learning to live with less but find more meaning.
I did not find meaning in the status quo world. Maybe I am too intellectual so I saw through the narrative of a way of life that does not add up. Currently I am green prepping a monastery of all the knowledge and best equipment I can accumulate. I have small working farm that also serves as a hideout from bad times for myself and my family. I am living this and evaluating it as an alternative to the failed narrative of growth and affluence my status quo job was. I am downsizing relatively to my people and place.
I feel I am following the planet so in a sense I am embracing the way. I am like a shaman going to the fringes and reporting back to the tribe. I humbly report that I find this difficult life better and the primary reason is meaning not satisfaction. Satisfaction is there but equally there is pain, suffering, and let downs. Not enough time or money to do things right in my mentality of perfection. The disappointment with community that is not there but should be. I can’t find people to work so I do lots of low value work because I have no choice. The meaning comes from nature and the animals saying thank you for believing in us. Thank you for a home that is cared about. My family thanks me for a nice place to play and a refuge of sorts if things fall apart.
I find knowledge, experience, and the creation of something a hard-won meaning. I am not looking at how rich I am with a portfolio of wealth. My wealth is wisdom. The wisdom of learning what to use and what to leave is very special. So, concluding I would say do it as a road to meaning not comfort and affluence. Do it within your limitations and do not feel guilty if your effort is small because we are all trapped in something beyond our abilities. Embrace this way with humility and do it for the planet that is dying. Do it for your significant others because meaning is a beacon for them. Do it for yourself because meaning is golden.
6 thoughts on “Green Prepping”
You nailed it about how living a simplistic lifestyle, growing your own & being as self-sufficient as possible is much harder than going to the grocery store! I am sure that the hard work in harsh conditions contributed to peoples lives being much shorter than they are today.
And I believe our society is no longer mentally hard wired to embrace this lifestyle. Perhaps it is human nature to take the easy road. Most people have no conception of the effort that goes into growing things or cutting one’s wood. Or maybe this has something to do with our “manifest destiny” mindset and being as so-called independent from each other as possible. I consider this a farce because we are not as independent as we think and I challenge someone who believes they are completely self sustaining without any exterior contribution to contact me and talk to me because I would love to hear how they do it! It is extremely difficult to reduce one’s needs to the point of needing absolutely no outside assistance or tools.
The young usually have the energy & no $ to create a rural life. The older have the $ & little energy. Unlike other cultures that embrace multigenerational families living together & working for the good of the whole, the US mindset is repelled by that concept for many reasons. I decided to head out into the northwards because even my close associates had little desire in pooling resources if the SHTF. So I will spend my remaining days with my companion until one of us dies or circumstances change. At least we are living lifestyles that feed our souls. Better than leading lives of quiet desperation…(Thoreau)
Right on! Aren’t you glad you live where you do now!
Thank you for doing this blog! I agree with what you write. The degrowth will be hard and painful. As you live in the US with the greatest energy consumption of us all it will hit you hardest.
I moved from Europe to a tropical country in Asia for retirement. Here I can live cheaply in the countryside with plenty of locally produced food. Green prepping to me is to become a part of the local community and be treated as a member. Be useful to others and show that you are one of them, rather than build a bunker to hide in. Been studying permaculture and building a small “farm” that can supply me with much of what I need in a few years from now. Fruit and veggies mainly, chicken and ducks for eggs and meat.
I would be careful pointing to the US and its energy consumption. The US is a very big country with lots of riches and poverty. I agree the wealthy the world over who have huge energy budgets have a wakeup call coming. Some of the worst collpase will hit the third world where populations are far beyond carrying capacity. I hope you chose wisely with your new country in Asia.
Green prepping is about community on more than one level. It is about human but also the planetary community of the web of life. Embracing both is critical for success. Growing your own food is critical but not the only avenue if you are in a solid community. Other activities might be specialty crafts with food or goods. Making something to eat out of local produce of making a product for use. I have elements of a bunker but that is not my central focus. It should be part of your green prepping portfolio. Security is vital. It is important that your group cooperate with security. Farming is hard work. It requires investment of time and money. It is hard on the body. Keep this in mind on your journey. The rewards are great if you are wise about your investments.
Hmm, you seem to see things from a very “american” point of view… I found many Americans I met can’t handle criticism of the US. Maybe you haven’t been around Europe, Africa and Asia and seen other ways of living. But that is the normal, we judge others after our own experience. Most of us do that.
Yes we have passed the carrying capacity of the planet. We need to be less people or reduce our living standard/energy use back to something like end of the 1800. It’s not the countries near the equator that’s in trouble, we can get by on a lot less energy. We will always survive on a lower standard. Food grows year around here. The cities will dwindle and people move back out to take part in food production again. With permaculture we can produce many times the food we do now on the same area. But it takes more people, those forced to move out from cities.
The West has it’s future behind it. Asia is probably still going forward for another decade or so, slowly. Africa has plenty of resources and a fast expanding population.
Farming is always hard work. Regarding security it’s being part of a community, not guns and bunkers. If you are valuable to the community you will be safe. Guns will only help you a short time. I don’t believe in mad max scenarios, a slow gradual decline through time over decades is more realistic. With adaption to new realities, and a gradual reduced population.
That said, the US stands out with more violent attitudes. I would be careful judging the rest of the world from an american perspective.. ;-).
My wife is Italian and my daughter Spanish. I have traveled the world. The world is almost as bad as the US as far as carrying capacity breach. This is a global world so you can’t decouple you nice subsistence retirement from the realities of too many people and too much consumption. These go hand and hand.
Guns are part of a prep asset. They can be used for security and or hunting. I am not a gun freak but I have them.
I do not want to throw cold water on your comfort zone but you apparently think you have a refuge and the sad reality is nobody has a refuge. Some will be better positioned than others. My green prepping is a journey not a destination. A refuge is a destination. The wisdom of insecurity says expect to at risk and learn to live with it.
I am used to getting lectures from people who are not American. You all tend to be anti-American and want to blame the worlds problems on the US. It goes with the territory of being an ex-empire so I accept this. I personally go back further and point the fingers at the Europeans that initiated the destruction of the planet with their European “ISMs”. BTW, I have 100% German and Dutch blood per my DNA. Asia and the US are just a symptom of the failed European idea of conquest of nature and the manifest destiny of intelligent man.