by David McMillen
The BackHome Chapters started as an idea of David Bonta. He
formed a regional BackHome club. I joined and started the web site. Interest has grown so much that we are establishing chapters
It is a membership organization that encourages participation on all
levels. There are no officers, dues, or obligations. I send out periodic emails to the membership.
This is my hobby. I do not get paid but the joy of doing it is enough.
Also, it is my way of learning to use a computer. I have learned a lot in the last year, not the least of which is how to
type. It also supports by belief that all persons need a fair degree of autonomy.
The underlaying philosophy is akin to that expressed in BackHome Magazine
and Mother Earth News plus a couple of other publications. That is, independence of the self is a goal to be sought. And that
an aspect of that is through the way we live and support ourselves.
When we simplify our lives and support ourselves in a way non-injurious
to others and our environment we begin the journey to independence. Permaculture or sustainable agriculture, alternative
or innovative building methods, lowered energy use and site-specific energy generation, direct exchange of goods and services,
reuse of so called throwaway materials (grey water, for example) are some of the methods that can be used in achieving this
mine at least, is to create a group of people nationwide that are actually working at and living this ideal. To be a living
example of what can be done through a little effort and thought. And to show that life can be pleasant and prosperous while ever growing less and less reliant
on oversized bureaucratic structures.
This is not a call to form some group to live isolated from everything
else, but an effort to form an avenue for mutual prosperity through mutual assistance. That is the way our forefathers did
it and successfully so. Even
today new arrivals use that system. I could tell you stories of the
Chinese, Mexicans, Greeks I know that came here with nothing and 15 years later are doing well.
Well, How do we do this? Glad you asked. By
sharing information for one. Magazines like BackHome, Mother Earth News, Home Power or web sites like this one can hold a
wealth of information.
By sharing labor. If a fellow homesteader is building a foundation
for his house, go help him. You might learn something of value for your efforts. And he very well may be willing to
help you on one of your projects...no need to hire help..
I intend BackHome Chapters to be that avenue, that juncture at which
like minds can meet. Where all participants can achieve their dream despite personal barriers. And by doing it together it
will be an even greater adventure than you thought possible.
Juggling all the things
in our daily life is no mean feat. However I do love building this net work of homesteaders and persons interested in
finding ways to live cheaper and more autonomously. Plus there is the joy of meeting new people and supporting what
I think is the future, at least for a growing number of us.
BUT I need some help. Gathering material
for the site is time consuming. Surfing the web, reading magazines, books and pamphlets takes time. There is only me. I am
one person. Additional views will round out the site.
Brief stories of your
experiences in farming, putting up buildings etc, what you learned, how you did it are very useful. Even negative ones. For
example the time you blew up the kitchen trying to make waterproof matches (a real story in my life). Lesson learned... make
sure the melted wax is deep enough the match heads don't touch the bottom of the pan. Or that the wax is not too hot.
Even links, articles
or books you found helpful or interesting. Send them in.