Want To Know Why We Farm… Part II

February 27, 2008
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Beth pointed out here that one of the reasons we farm is for our health.  I would like to point out one of the other reasons is cost.  This article and the articles mentioned in the Parallel Economy post are all strong encouragements to remove ourselves from dependency on the corporate economy and move towards a more local family based agrarian economy.

It is not really about saving money as good as that is for a family of 10.  What is really the driving force behind this aspect of our agrarian adventure is the dependency on a system that is not only unhealthy, but is fast becoming undependable and expensive.  

One of the most important aspects of the parallel economy concept, that really helped our vision and our plans for the farm and family life, was being able to identify which economy we were operating in.  Consider the following purchase of a commodity that is on the rise: (Second Ref)

1 Gallon of Milk

  • Corporate Economy
    • Cost $5 a gallon on sale
    • o Dependencies
      • Money on hand to purchase
      • Transportation (For you and the milk)
      • Corporation solvency (milk company, transportation company, store chain)
      • Store hours
    • Cost Drivers
      • Store profit / operational costs
      • Oil prices for transport
      • Feed Prices
      • Farm Workers
      • Equipment Costs and maintenance
      • Cattle costs
      • Federal and state regulations
      • Taxes
  • Agrarian Economy
    • Cost – none out of pocket
    • o Dependencies
      • Healthy cow
      • Milk bucket
      • Maybe a rope if the cow is ornery.
    • Cost Drivers
      • Hay for the winter if you don’t cut your own
        • If you cut your own, fuel for your tractor, if you don’t use hand tools

Of course you could be somewhere in between on your journey where you are sharing a cow with some other families, or buying milk from a local farm.  The point of the parallel economy is, to understand where your dependencies are and know what risk you have for each of them, to provide for your family. 

The ability to provide our family with affordable and healthy food is a fairly important concept of freedom.  If you can’t eat, you can’t live.  If you are dependent upon a failing system to eat, then you are depending on this system to live.

I don’t think we are in for a cataclysmic end to our current economy.  All I know is that it will end.  History teaches us that there has never been an economic model that has not ended.  (Can anyone think of one?)  I am rather inclined to believe we will continue the cycle we have begun and will continue to reap bad rewards from bad practices.  The fruit of that is if you are dependent upon that economy you will be subject to it.

If the corporate economy came to a halt tomorrow, do you know where your next loaf of bread would come from?  What about if it continues a slow decline that lasts until your grandchildren are parents?  Are you training your children on these principles?  If you doubt the importance of what I’m saying, ask yourself this question; How is it I know the phrase “Russian bread line”?  Russia was once a thriving economy, but that is not what she was known for in recent years.  I would submit that we are on the same path as Russia.

(Pro 22:3) A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

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