Thanks for your reply Josh.
Sorry, I dont think I made myself clear. I'm not talking about re-educating and changing skill sets or teaching artisan trades- which could be great 2ndary income streams
. We cant afford,nor have the skills to teach and supply people with artisan tools etc.
We're talking about addressing what I see as the 1st most important need of the human body-food. Without food the body and mind is unable to focus on anything beyond the next meal.
So a kit is chickens and whatever they cant scrounge
to house them, seedlings and gardening
tools. The plan is to invite people to our place to discuss their circumstances & needs and show them what is possible ie chicken tractor
fed on veggie scraps and bugs, hugelkulture beds, rainwater collection & greywater cleaning methods. Provide the knowledge and then support them on site until can manage on their own. The hope is that these projects can develop into more than just providing food-I could run a soup kitchen with less agro! We believe that by giving people an opportunity to do something about their circumstances they will be motivated to continue on their own paths of recovery. Naive and optimistic I know, but I do speak with some personal experience.
10 years ago we lost our jobs in South Africa as our skill set is a very narrow one - equine and youth work. Coming from an agricultural background we invested our savings in cattle
and chickens using the mainstream approach which failed miserably as the small farmer cannot compete against the big guns of agriculture by copying their methods. Getting steadily poorer and poorer we ended up on someone's farm in a borrowed caravan with no vehicle and no income stream, staring out over forest and meadowland wishing we had access to a tractor
, adequate water
for irrigation etc. I know the feeling of hopelessness and frustration. If someone had come to us with a method of achieving what we envisioned and the basics for beginning we would not have come to the UK. Fortunately for us this was an option as my family originated from the UK, but my husband is SA born and bred and longs for home hence all the internet research and our subsequent discoveries of permaculture and these communities. Now, if we with our agricultural background were not aware of the potential in what is considered dry land farming or grazing land, how can these folks?
I know there will be disappointments along the way and, being an involuntary gathering of people, more than normal frictions and personality clashes. We are hoping that community building of ablutions and kitchens will help people see the worth and appreciate the talents of the individual. There will always be the "bad apple" in the barrel and I was wondering if you had any counsel for dealing with the fallout from these people. We are not councillors and cant afford to get involved in community disturbances between individuals. How do you distance yourself from the internal politics
? Like I said, maybe I'm in the wrong forum?
Does anyone have insight into working in such communities? Feel free to sling something out there.
Thanks for your time Josh, I am reading the other threads with interest.