When I started to work on resilience, I focused on relearning age-old lessons of self-reliance. My goal was to find useful traditional methods for producing everything locally, so I could stitch them together into a useful resilient strategy.
However, as I dove into the topic, I found something completely unexpected.
All of those lessons on how to produce at the local level were rapidly changing. Innovation was everywhere. New methods and techniques. Better technology. Deeper knowledge and insight. More science.
This is useful, tangible innovation. Innovation that meant it was now possible for people to produce more at the household and community level than ever before.
For example, today’s Resilient Roundtable conference call was with an open source company doing work on producing electricity from a process called wood gasification. Wood gasification is an old technology that was used extensively in the last century (mostly during the oil shortages of WW2) to burn wood in a way that powers a combustion engine.
Used correctly, it’s a wonderful technology. It not only allows people to locally produce electricity from inexpensive biomass, it’s very good for the environment. Unfortunately, until recently, this technology was notoriously finicky and required constant supervision to work correctly.
With recent innovations, it’s increasingly possible to run a wood gas engine at peak efficiency without any oversight. That’s a BIG deal. So big that I suspect we’ll see millions of people burning wood for electricity within the next twenty years.
So, what does this mean in the big picture?
I can only conclude one thing. Abundance is possible everywhere!
Producing more locally isn’t just a survival strategy anymore, or a way to get by in an increasingly unstable world. No, producing more locally using these new methods is fundamental shift. A way of living that could change the world if people voted in their billions with feet, minds, hands to adopt this successful approach to life.
It is a way to thrive.
(This fabulous photo is via Fat Toad Farm)
Get on board
Take the baby steps with me to reclaim this world, one home and community at a time. Join people like Vicki, a member of our community that sent me this lovely note:
John, I love reading your resilient communities newsletters and finally last week I started my first raised garden bed. Two tiers to start with and I can already see that I need a third one right away. I’m taking an Urban Farming workshop all summer long and have learned alot from your website so don’t feel like an absolute newbie (even though I am). I’ve added two trees to my sub-tropical garden this summer, a papaya and dwarf orange tree. These will yield a lot of fruit for my family without taking up much room. You’ve taught me to take what I have and make it work for me. Next up, a rain barrel. Baby steps. No more stocking up crap food in the pantry I’ll never eat!