4 days ago
i see a shift in something i’ve lived with my whole life. when the chickens rush over to greet me, delighted, when they peck curiously about the pile of tools and watch me go about my repairs, i see it. when the kid goats bleat at the barn door, wondering why i fuss with the leaky old tap and not pet them as they ask, it’s there. when the ducks stand quietly at a shy distance, observing my wrench and gloves with serious faces, i can feel it. we go about our work in connection to others, whether we can see it or not. our attachment to farm animals is easily dismissed, just as old methods of working slowly, with hand tools, are considered quaint. lately, though, we’ve been watching a bigger picture emerge that suggests that within these simple domestic tasks, these affectionate relationships, our work is wholly more efficient, effective. looking at the whole picture, economies of scale have only appeared to work, demanding great subsidising by the earth itself, producing enormous waste at great cost. when we turn to systems that thrived for centuries, closed loop, holistic systems where people work in connection to land, animals, plants, community, it isn’t sentimental but highly functional. the small-scale family farm, the cottage industry, the kitchen garden, the backyard flock, the home dairy, the workshop in the back, these are good old models. the connection i feel to the creatures, the gratification i feel at having repaired the leaky barn tap isn’t the exception, it is the rule. it is the way forward. to avert industrial narratives and reinvent a model of living that considers the whole. yes, the flock of free range chickens produce less eggs than in the factory, yet they lay in vibrant health, foraging plenty while reducing pests throughout the orchard, fertilising and working the land, living long contented lives, raising babies, giving nutrient dense eggs and rich compost. yes, it is slow to grow your food, slow to learn to mend your own things, slow to work by hand, but the speed was fueled by costly decisions. i see great potential in a small, slow life, are you seeing this too?