Thursday, May 4, 2023

How To Be Your Own Supply Chain

By Tim Gamble
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"Grandma survived the great depression because her supply chain was local and she knew how to do stuff."

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): We need self-reliance and local economies built around agrarian communities.

Supply Chain Broken 

The fragile supply chain was broken in 2020, and we still haven't fully recovered 3 years later. It will likely break again, accidently or on purpose, and when it next breaks, it may be much worse than 2020, and we may take much longer to recover. 

Here's the real problem: We don't provide for ourselves or our families anymore, and haven't in decades. Instead we depend on the fragile worldly system to do that for us. Sure, most of us work for money, but then we trade that money for goods produced half-way around the world by people who hate us. Our supply chains are no longer local, and we no longer do stuff for ourselves, and most of us don't know how to do stuff anyway.  And I haven't even mentioned the ongoing intentional destruction of US energy production, our agricultural system, and our transportation system, as well as the insane push for a "green economy" that will leave us even more dependent on our enemies, such as China and Russia, for lithium, rare earth metals, solar panels (over 80% of which are made in China), and other materials needed to "go green." 

So, what do we do? 

Self-Reliance and Local Economies built around Agrarian Communities

The only real solution to our fragile worldly supply chains is a return to the old paths of self-reliance and local economies built around agrarian communities.

What is an agrarian community? Agrarianism is an economic system which places primary importance on agriculture and related fields, and in rural and small town living, as opposed to industrialized, urban living. Agrarianism doesn't  mean everyone must be a farmer or homesteader - after all, there are plenty of support functions that must be done - but rather that our lives, culture, economy, and civilization should reflect the primary importance of agriculture, as well as other natural resources (energy, timber, mining, etc.). By the way, I believe agrarianism to be a much healthier lifestyle, both physically and emotionally, than the current modern lifestyle most of us lead. I have several future articles planned that will go into much more detail about agrarianism, so watch for those. 

Becoming Self-Reliant and Building Local Supply Chains

Some thoughts:

     >> Self-reliance is a mind set. Don't wait around for others to solve your problems. Don't depend on experts. Question authority. Think for yourself. Make your own decisions. Develop a DIY attitude. Take responsibility for your own life. 
      >> Self-reliance is skill sets. Develop skills now. Learn how to produce stuff for yourself (ideas: gardening, canning & food storage, fishing, hunting, trapping, foraging, sewing, woodworking, leather working, beekeeping, raising chickens, blacksmithing, raising culinary and medicinal herbs, growing mushrooms for food and medicine, etc.). Learn how to maintain and repair what you have. Learn home repair skills. Learn auto repair. Learn small engine repair. Have the tools and supplies you need to do these things.
     >> A big part of self-reliance is to simply need less stuff. Simplify your life. Become less of a consumer. Don't participate in the "throw-away economy." Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose. 
     >> If you have a garden, expand it. I have expanded by garden space to include almost all my backyard, and even some of my front yard. I live in a neighborhood just outside the town limits, and there is no HOA, so I have no restrictions. If you live in a city or have an HOA to deal with, your options may be limited. Find out what options you have, and push the limits.  
     >> Consider expanding your growing season with a greenhouse, if possible. Greenhouses can be built in all shapes and sizes, and with lots of different materials. You can even build one yourself out of salvaged and recycled materials for almost nothing. Books on greenhouses and greenhouse plans can be found on Amazon and elsewhere. 
     >> Many herbs, loose-leaf lettuces, micro-greens, and mushrooms can be grown fairly easily indoors, even in a small apartment. Tomatoes, peppers, and many other veggies can be grown in pots on your patio or balcony. Lots of free info and videos are available on You Tube and other video platforms. 
         >> Become less dependent on Amazon, the Big Box Stores, and national chains by seeking out small, independent stores and suppliers in your area, and forming relationships with them. This means gun stores, hardware stores, feed stores, gardening centers, salvage stores, independent grocers, butcher shops, and so forth. Meet the owners and managers, befriend the employees, and become known as a good customer to them. You'll be surprised by how much these relationships will help you in the future.
     >> Become a regular at your local farmers' markets. Find the farms in your area where you can buy things direct from them. Meet and shake hands with actual farmers. Talk to them. Befriend them. Ask their advice. Buy things from them. Forge relationships.
      >> Talk to your friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow church members, and other folks around you. Do any have hobbies or side businesses that produce stuff? Within just a couple of miles of my house, I know of two beekeepers, a guy who cuts and sell firewood, a retired doctor turned master craftsman who makes everything from tables & chairs to canoes, an older lady who makes beautiful, and warm, patchwork quilts, and another lady who is an excellent seamstress. These type people exist near you, too. Seek them out. 
     >> The key to developing your own local supply chain is to find and build those relationships now, not after things get worse. You have to get out and meet people. 

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1 comment:

  1. I live in an HOA and use edible plants as part of my landscape and have had no problems - chartreuse sweet potato vines with edible leaves, moringa & katuk in a hedge row at the back of the property, loquats & oranges as specimen trees, cocoplums as side property hedge, barbados cherry stuck here and there, volunteer everglades tomatoes grow in the back hedge, seminole pumpkin fills in an empty corner (and means less mowing and trimming) and I have 10 plus containers on the lanai growing green leafies, red noodle beans, mint, lemon balm , green onions and in the house I grow 4-6 varieties of sprouts at any time. I do buy some items like beans, celery and butter. Changing my eating habits has greatly changed my dependence on the grocery store.


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