Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Learning to be self-sufficient

They’re not survivalists, squirrelling away food in earthen bunkers as they await the apocalypse.

But they’re convinced a time is coming, soon, when oil is scarce and expensive; when economies don’t inevitably grow; when self-sustenance becomes essential.

That’s why people belonging to Transition Middlesex are learning to grow gardens, restore forests and use home-grown renewable energy sources.

Resiliency, self-sufficiency and alternative energy have become their watchwords.

“This is our stewardship,” says Transition Middlesex secretary Rob Read. “For me it’s an ethical responsibility that we feel, and if we leave our kids and grandkids up the creek, then it’s our fault.”

The group has grown from a half-dozen Poplar-Hill-area residents to a cluster of Middlesex citizens interested in designing a low-energy future for themselves and others with a particular focus on rural areas.

For some, it means asking seniors how to grow gardens and make preserves. For others, it might mean home windmills or planting woodlot ecosystems that integrate nut trees, fruit trees and edible plants.

The group has grown large enough that they’ve set up nine sessions this fall when they hope to attract more like-minded rural residents.

There, they’ll ponder and problem-solve about what the world will look like 25 years from now and what they can do about it.

Sessions include effective gardening, local food and sustainable energy.

There’s also a session on how to keep from getting too stressed out by diminishing global resources.
Read said some people ignore or deny the problem. “Then there’s (those who are) getting freaked out . . . and not doing anything but they’re paralysed by fear.”

These sessions are instead about balancing the two and then preparing to make changes to personal habits. 

“Maybe all you can do (personally) is energy-efficient light bulbs,” Read said. “But maybe you can do more.” (Read further: Source)

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