The intense and distorted fascination with money-—who has it and how can I get more—belies its true purpose as an arbitrary token used as a medium of exchange.
This article reminds us to focus on what is important, the quantity and quality of healthy soil on our home planet needed to sustain life. When we chase the paper gods rather than realizing that our true wealth lies under our feet, we continue chasing a false dream, bringing us closer to the edge of extinction ourselves, just as we have caused the extinction of so many other species.
Instead, we need to honor the health of the soil and do everything we can to restore balance in our way of thinking and in our environment. Farmers who know how to care for the soil in ways that enrich and sustain it for future generations are the bankers we should be looking to for advice and inspiration. They are the ones who know how to care for our future wealth.
We've been fascinated with the concept of tiny houses since we first learned of them. We've loved watching the reality shows that demonstrate the builders' amazing creativity designing multi-use activity areas for the most efficient use of the space they have to work with. One of my favorite uses of space was a quilting workspace and sewing-machine cabinet that doubled as a kitchen table! We have also followed the experience of our friends who had a tiny house built at Starseed Healing Sanctuary in Savoy, Massachusetts. Their off-grid tiny house is nestled in a quiet, wooded area and you can even rent it for the night on AirBnB if you want to try out tiny-house living.
This article notes that tiny-house plans are changing, with designs moving from cute, little spaces to those that sustain a more permanent kind of living, with the perks you would want for a well-rounded lifestyle. There is a trend now to build in a modular fashion to keep an extended tiny-house collection movable, with each piece able to be moved on its own trailer.
The tiny house featured in the article has a separate green house and a comfortable front porch with a swing. The interior of the house is beautiful, with full-size kitchen facilities, stairs that lead to a comfortable sleep space, and dining and lounging areas. You can even buy this exact house because it's for sale in South Carolina for $81,000. We're all set with our smallish house, but if I were looking for a tiny house, I might be tempted by the extra relaxing room on the porch and the ability to grow plants and vegetables through an extended season.
Shareable.net, "A model of community-supported agriculture in western Massachusetts is going strong"
One of the reasons we moved to western Massachusetts was the bounty of small farms in the area. Living here we could support the farms, simultaneously helping the local economy and reducing the carbon emissions caused by long-distance movement of food. Indian Line Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts is located in the Berkshire Mountains west of where we live. It serves as an example of long-term farm planning that brings together community-shared agriculture, land protection, and incentives for investing in local businesses.
Members of the community can purchase shares in the coming year's crop. When they purchase those shares with BerkShares, the local currency, they effectively receive a 5% discount, thanks to the incentives for using the currency to make purchases at local businesses.
A model like this that helps local farmers, businesses, and community members is one that we believe is the foundation of future resilience.
This new economic model, developed by Kate Haworth, takes into account the finite limits of our one planet and the basic needs that humans must have to live safely to show the "sweet spot" for how our world economy must function going forward. To learn more, see the TED Talk video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BHOflzxPjI