MOTHER EARTH NEWS

INVEST IN ASSISTANCE

Do-it-yourself and self-reliance themes are wonderful — to a point. I know that questioning these themes in the pages of MOTHER EARTH NEWS borders on heresy, but hear me out.

Every movement runs the risk of overrunning its original objectives. Concern about genetic diversity can morph into demonization of everything except heirloom seeds and breeds. Eating less meat can morph into militant veganism. Reactionary pendulums never stop in balance; they swing wildly to the opposite side. But when we rebel against convenience, we can easily fall prey to a cumbersome farmstead independence that eventually wears thin.

I propose a balance called “mutual interdependence.” A business guru would call this “community-based economics.” Many times, I’ve had to defend our farm

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