WHAT IS THE RESILIENT FARM COMMUNITY?
If you are looking for a Resilient Community for like-minded people to deal with a world of uncertainty from a position of strength, then you are going to enjoy learning that our Farm is:
- A place that has its own steady, robust source of organic food. And LOTS of it.
- A place that has multiple sources of water. And LOTS of it.
- A place where people have several renewable energy options to generate electricity- hydro, solar, wind, geothermal… where they don’t have to rely only on the grid.
- A place that’s secure…or fairly easy to secure…located within a stable society, ideal with healthy economic fundamentals.
- A place that’s independent, isolated… but not remote… something that is near schools, amenities, healthcare, even nightlife.
- A place that’s absolutely gorgeous, with excellent weather… where you actually want to spend time.
- A place where freedom can rule…where people can be left alone to act like grown adults.
The centerpiece for the community is a farm. An active, professionally managed farm. Something that produces crops both commercially (to generate a profit for the farm), but also grows more than enough food… and a huge variety of food, to feed the residents.
It would have to be big to make the scale work and grow enough variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, livestock, year-round aquaponics, as well as crops for biodiesel.
All the residents would have co-ownership privileges of the farm and be entitled to their share of the produce. And water. And livestock.
We’d then have houses around the farm… not scattered together like some cookie-cutter subdivision, but ample-sized lots with great views and plenty of privacy .
The idea was that someone could come to this community, build a house, and never have to worry again about where they’ll get food. Or water. Or even Internet… because the farm can provide all of that.
Best of all, the farming operations make it so that the community wouldn’t have to charge some BS home owners’ association fee (which does nothing more than line the developers’ pockets).
So instead of being a money sink… a center of consumption and expense… it becomes a center of production.
Now, the idea is not to build some fallout shelter or ‘end of the world’ bunker. I’m incredibly optimistic about the future… probably because I’m so well-prepared for whatever may happen.
I don’t hold the same optimism for this Keynesian fiat system… but we’ll save that for another time.
No, the idea isn’t to build a place and wait for the end of the world… but to have a community where external shocks no longer matter. Let the system collapse. Let another trillion dollar bailout come. Let inflation come. Let the people riot in the streets.
Who cares? It won’t affect us one bit.
BUT… what if things play out differently? What if the end of our monetary regime is a slow, painful grind rather than a quick burst?
Or still– what if the clouds blow away and sun starts shining and the unicorns magically come out to play… and nothing really terrible happens?
Also, who cares?
No matter what, the community would be a place where residents would have a beautiful piece of property located in an exciting, thriving economy that they really enjoy visiting… where they eat all the organic food they can and forge strong relationships with the other like-minded residents.
And if the worst happens, they’re going to be some of the most well prepared people on the planet.
As I have traveled and researched possible locations all over the world, I always kept this idea in my head. And during my travels, I ruled out a lot of places.
New Zealand, for example, is a lovely place with lots of potential. But you feel like a train wreck when you get there from the jetlag. The Caribbean is quite nice, but not agriculturally sustainable.
The South of France is gorgeous… but cost prohibitive and in a dying country. Most Asian countries are far too tropical, plus foreigners cannot own property in many of them. And Africa is… Africa. Not really an option at this time.
The right neighborhood clearly became Latin America, and after numerous site visits and years of study, the short list became Chile, Panama, and Uruguay.
Panama has great geographic proximity to North America… though I had concerns about agricultural sustainability and its coziness with the US government.
Uruguay has great potential. Unfortunately the regulatory structure in the country was simply too burdensome. It would take 18-months of approvals and applications before we could start pushing dirt, and I wanted to get started right away.
Chile had, by far, exactly what I was looking for-
- It’s economically sound. Chile is in a good position, with an export- oriented and service economy grounded in solid fundamentals. The Chilean middle class is the most vibrant in the region, and the economy is booming.
- It’s extremely well developed. Most people are shocked when they come to Santiago for the first time, they think they’ve landed in Europe. The city is clean and buzzing with positive energy. The infrastructure is modern, and every amenity imaginable is available. This is not some third world country where you have to constantly make compromises. You can have your cake and eat it too.
- It’s stable, and the people are fantastic. Chileans are an independent bunch. They value freedom, and they’re extremely friendly. This is a people that has seen the face of disaster before (2010 earthquake) and dealt with it in a civilized, orderly manner. Crime is low, and the culture is non-violent.
- Minimal corruption. In my experience, Chile has lower corruption than most places in North America or Western Europe. You do not bribe police in Chile, and the system is fair for everyone.
- Strong property rights. One of the great things about Chile is that water rights are separately entitled… you own title to water just like you own title to land. And foreigners have the exact same rights as locals.
- It’s gorgeous. Chile easily ranks as one of the most beautiful places in the world… and the weather is fantastic. It’s like California… the toilets just flush in the opposite direction.
WHERE IN CHILE
Chile is a loooooong country. It’s the equivalent of the distance from central Mexico through southeastern Alaska. So you get a lot of varied terrain and climate zones.
In the north, it’s one of the driest areas in the world. Nice weather, but no water.
In the south, it’s gorgeous. Patagonia. Really spectacular. but it gets very cold in the winter, and it rains a lot.
Central Chile is definitely the place to be– the best weather, the best soil, and if you find the right place, plenty of water.
The tricky part… actually the downright difficult part… is finding a piece of land that is
(a) already an operating farm,
(b) with top quality soil,
(c) that is sufficiently large [most farms in Chile are quite small], (d) has clearly entitled land and water rights from multiple sources, (e) and is actually for sale!
After a long period of search, I came across a farm that ticked every single box.
The whole region looks something like Tuscany or northern California– olive groves, vineyards, and lots of fruit orchards, with beautiful rolling hills and plenty of sunshine.
The property itself is about 470 acres… and it’s gorgeous. Standing in the lot area, you can look out and see snow-capped Andean peaks in the distance… and there’s nothing but beautiful, lush valley for as far as the eye can see in every direction.
It’s important to understand that the soil in this part of Chile is some of the best in the world. Things just grow… naturally. And abundantly.
The concept is that every lot owner will have freehold title to his/her lot, plus a share of the farm itself. This approach entitles residents to do whatever they like with their own private lot, and then having joint ownership with respect to the farm and its production.
The governance of a farm is similar to that of a well-organized company. There will be a board elected by the residents. The board will direct the strategic vision of the farm, which will then be executed by management.
The board will also manage a reserve fund for the farm, which I will initially capitalize myself. The farm’s profits, net of maintenance costs for the community, should flow into the reserve fund to meet any future contingencies or agricultural expansion costs.