There are two forces at work in the world today: those that turned the 20th century into humanity’s low point and those voices that are rapidly increasing in numbers that say there must be a better way to run the planet. The response that Christine and I have chosen is to adopt Abraham Lincoln’s words, “The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.*”
We have been blessed with a plot of land of 4,000 square meters, about 1 acre, on which we have built our house, have 55 olive trees, a number of fruit and nut trees and a vegetable garden. We are self-sufficient in olive oil, eggs and most vegetables so our food expenses are low.
With modern technology it is much easier to live away from the city but take advantage of good times when there is full employment. When bad times come and work is hard to find, there is never an idle moment improving your property and perhaps selling surplus produce from the garden.
As there have been more than 120 financial crises over the last 30 years it would be unduly optimistic to believe that the powers-that-be have suddenly found the magic formula for long-term economic prosperity and stability. We have therefore adopted the policy of Plan for the worst but hope for the best. This is similar to taking out an insurance policy hoping that your house will never burn down but averting a catastrophe should you be unlucky. The fact that 37 million Americans are on food stamps suggest that the insurance policy is already paying off.
One side of the equation is lowering our expenses and making sure that we survive under the worst case scenario. The other side is increasing our income and Christine seems to have found her niche by teaching pottery, making pottery and hosting visits by school children. In addition we host university courses and families that would like to take advantage of what we and northern Greece have to offer.
This part of the web site is a weekly diary recording progress in our endeavors, our successes and failures, and lessons learned along the way. We hope that it may be helpful to those of a like mind who are thinking of taking out their own insurance policy by adopting Abraham Lincoln’s words, “The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.”
* From Five Acres and Independence: A Handbook for Small Farm Management by M.G.Kains.