Are we entering the post-work world, at least in terms of traditional jobs in western countries?
Society is leaving 20th Century jobs behind and no amount of political promises will bring back the past. Rust belt cities are contracting and communities are being disrupted. Parents don’t know how to advise their children as they move into an uncertain future.
Money is only one concern. What will bring us satisfaction, freedom, and a sense of community as automation replaces human beings in manufacturing and services?
What future will we build?
Perhaps we’ll leave consumerism behind and follow our interests, talents, and inclinations – how about farming? It seems an ironic tribute to the past, since only a hundred years ago mechanization drove most Americans off their family farms, but boutique farms offer a 21st Century alternative. People are learning how to make small farms work with biointensive techniques.
Biointensive’s key components [include] transplanting and double-digging, on-site composting, close plant spacing, use of seeds from plants that have been naturally pollinated and specific food-to-compost crop ratios. These methods are rarely practiced on large farms, where mechanization is more profitable, but they can be life-changing for the 90 percent of the world’s farmers who work 4 acres (2 hectares) or less by helping them to make the most of a given plot of land.
Biointensive farms use 50 to 75 percent less land and 94 to 99 percent less energy to produce a given amount of food than does conventional farming… less fertilizer… less water… Perhaps most intriguingly, biointensive methods “grow” farmable soil.
Envisioned as “a potential way out for malnourished people worldwide,” perhaps such farms will be the answer for some of the displaced people in America. While these techniques were developed to feed human bodies, perhaps they can also feed human souls.