16 Comments
author

One other note on housing -- the proposed shelter is a small cabin or retrofitted shed / tiny home. To your point, purchasing and maintaining a full sized (typical) home AND homesteading (plus an RV to boot) is incredibly expensive and beyond most of us Americans. A small RV, a few acres, and a simple cabin / shed with minimal offgrid utilities executed properly and frugally can be much less than a typical suburban home ($300-$400s). We’re talking basic elements!

Expand full comment
Jan 22Liked by Kemble Hildreth

I think this whole sub-culture could be named Solar Punk. Why don´t we all agree on this concept which can put all of these terms together and portrait a pretty awesome sustainable future?

Expand full comment
Jan 22·edited Jan 22Liked by Kemble Hildreth

Great article, but I’d like to make two comments.

1) I really like your vision but I think some aspects repeat the American individualism aspect of our culture that is so prevalent in many of our subcultures, even ones that try to do something new. I know you address this in other articles, but I think it’s important to reiterate the community aspects. We can’t create a new world alone by moving out into the countryside in our RVs, as much as we want to, but it will take us together. So I think even in our fiction and “utopias” we have to display that ( a community of tiny RVs or a small ecovillage where the land itself in owned in commons). Obviously, its your work and your vision but just a helpful note from a stranger haha.

2) While this subculture is new for our generations, its actually reoccurs quite often in American history. Every 30-50 years or so theres a great back to the land movement. The reason I mention this is that I think its important to learn from their mistakes and learn where they succeeded. For example, as you may already know, the Appropriate Technology movement ( late 60s to early 80s) promoted almost all of the same ideas that you guys talk about. They focused on small, appropriate tech that was labour intensive, not capital or resource intensive; they promoted decentralization in almost all aspects of modern society, from food production to politics; and they tried to envision a new mode of living, where we could live lightly on the planet. A reason I like the work you guys are doing so much because it really connects well with that movement. I think its important to connect back to the work before us and use it as inspiration as well as recognizing the shoulders we stand upon. But also, the movement failed to bring about that new world (due to a variety of reasons) and we should know why. If you’re interested in digging deeper, Counterculture Green by Andrew Kirk and The Appropriate Technology Movement in American Political Culture by Jordan Kleiman are both great resources to look into. You guys seem like a reimagined New Alchemy Institute and it gives me hope for the future.

Cheers, brother.

Expand full comment
Jan 22Liked by Kemble Hildreth

This lifestyle sounds idyllic. But there's no mention of how they got to this point - a food forest takes years and countless hours of labor (and a lot of money) to set up, which isn't very realistic for families with small children who are working and homeschooling and living self-sufficiently.

There's also a pretty big undercurrent of privilege in this lifestyle that isn't addressed. Where does the land come from? The cost of maintaining an RV in addition to a home and property? These things are out of reach for most Americans.

It also repeats one of the biggest flaws in modern living that desperately needs to be addressed - the total and utter lack of community.

Without these things being talked about and addressed, this lifestyle will remain a utopian fantasy for everyone but the privileged few, and it won't fully address the needs of the time.

Expand full comment
Jan 22Liked by Kemble Hildreth

Please make podcast versions of your articles 🙏

Expand full comment

Keep up the good work! My family and I live at Pun Pun Farm in Northern Thailand. We homeschool all our kids and focus primarily on saving seeds and building with natural materials. You are welcome to visit anytime!

Expand full comment