Have you ever wanted to own a farm? Not a huge farm with acres of corn or soybeans, but a little piece of land to call your own, with enough room to live, garden, romp and maybe even raise a sheep or two? I always wanted a little house in the forest, but the idea of a hobby farm has overtaken me.
The security in having tillable land is very appealing. Who knows where this country will be in a few years. Food prices have skyrocketed, mostly due to transportation costs. If they continue to go up, many of us will have to grow some of our own food just to get by. This can be done on a city lot, but I think would be much easier on a larger piece of land.
Then there is fiber. I'm talking about the ingredients used to make our clothing. The local food movement has exploded in recent years. Once we have our local food systems in place, I hope our attention turns to fiber. Imagine knowing whose farm your wool sweater came from? If we could localize the animals raised for fiber, fiber processing, and creation of finished, wearable products, imagine the local economic impact that would have. Each step of the way, money would be exchanging hands locally, not leaving the community to make some far-away stockholder rich. And I'm sure we would all feel better if our clothes were made fairly, not by underpaid workers in unsafe environments overseas.
A small farm could be a part of that process. The question is, is it worth the investment, especially as we watch property prices plummet? I believe that the answer is that it depends on what is valuable to you. Is it the most physical dollars you can have, so you can retire early and travel the world? Or is it established community systems (or social capital), so that you can afford the things you need, and that neighbors take care of one another?