We’re glad we made the decision three years to become farmers. Living in the country and building our barn and the lodge from scratch have given us lots of flexibility about designing a resilient life from the ground up. But what if we hadn’t made that decision? How could we redesign our lives while remaining in our suburban home?
We start this week’s podcast with a review of the changes we’re expecting in the next 20 years, changes that will not only force an end to the profligate use of energy that has characterized suburban life in the US but also will deprive us of capital to do anything meaningful to respond to it.
So by now, we think, we would have cut down trees to create a full-sun garden space, we would have started keeping chickens and maybe even rabbits for protein, we would have added overhangs on the south wall of our house and external shading on the east and west, and we would have added rainbarrels to catch water for garden use. We’re not certain, but we think by now that we would have found a way to stop using the heat pump during the summer and cut back dramatically on its use during the winter. For most of the year, that would mean spending more time in the basement, and during the hottest months of the year more time on our north-facing screen porch.
And we would need to be reaching out to our neighbors, not the ones within a 10 minute drive but the ones within a 10 minute walk. We haven’t done that yet here on the farm, and we know it’s high time we did.