2023, A Year For Big Changes on the Farm. . .

Finishing up book #2 & more.

We’ve been pretty silent the last 6 months. However don’t think our silence ever means we’ve given up on building out this parallel world for ourselves and our little goat farmer kids.

I’ve been working on a second book and it’s pretty much done except I keep getting sidetracked by a third and fourth book and life itself. The second book is somewhat similar to the first, as in it is biased against technology, except this time it’s a bit more downbeat because it takes place in our time. The message in this prequel is simply more grim. There’s no obfuscating the truth when you’re presented with your own direct history.

I really have no idea when the second book will be finished, it needs proofreading, which went pretty quick last time but this next book is almost 3 times longer. I pray I can have the same fellow proof it, Nick you worked blessed wonders with the first one.

Another thing which will happen very soon because it’s little effort on my part is that I’m going to start dribbling out all the chapters of my first book for free on a weekly basis, a sort of serial piece of fiction for the mass of desperate men to behold, so keep an eye out and subscribe for that.

I have some great ideas for even a third and fourth book, started writing up some bits and pieces, one occurs in the far past, the other the far future, but as to when I’ll finish all this we’ve got an even bigger announcement which is taking up most of my time and energy as of late.

THE FARMERS EXODUS EAST

In addition to raising goats, we have about 60 pregnant that are about ready to pop any moment at which point we will have close to 160+ goats, we have also decided that it’s time to get the heck out of the state of California. The logistics of moving 160+ goats, 15 chickens, five dogs, a wife and two kids is daunting to say the least, but we are well on our way.

At least that is what I keep telling myself and the wife. We have been fixing up this 2004 fifth wheel camper so we can make it all happen and take this farm on the road. Two pickup trucks, a camper and a livestock trailer stuffed to the gills. That is the current plan at least.

SHORT-TERM

Our goat mentor, a weathered goat farmer indeed, has agreed to let us move our goats and camper to his farm while we sell our farm (hopefully he doesn’t get cold feet!) We may also have a summer grazing gig lined up eradicating some star-thistle. We can live in a camper at that job too, but the pay is just meh. Any extra goat income helps though so we probably will do it all.

goats love star thistle. . .

We could rattle off all sorts of reasons why we’re leaving California, most are obvious to everyone, but perhaps what is not so obvious is that the price of diesel here is still very high. Therefore the cost to feed our animals has gone up significantly in recent times. Farming has gotten much more expensive. Perhaps this what the powers at be want, perhaps this is all just a conspiracy for kooks, perhaps this is just the way life has been designed in a modern society. You must pay more and more simply to live and breathe. You must endlessly expand and thrive or die. A society obsessed with taking it to 11. The endless expansion and debt. The endless mortgages to the hilt. The endless having to grow, grow, grow, open new stores, open new offices, open new franchises, add more employees. Build out a dystopian Meta-world even! Enough of that dribble already!

Well we are still making money and we have a lot more goats and kids from when we started, but we have come to the conclusion that we need to start a hay operation ourselves (it’s the only real cost with goats) and there’s no chance in hell you could catch me building that sort of business in the state of California with all its petty non-sensical regulations and such, lack of water, plus the cost of land here is and always will be astronomical. Trucking costs will always be ridiculous.

Much like my exodus from Silicon Valley, why should I have to butcher one more goat or use one more brain cell just to satisfy some official demands from official-dom?

Also at some point people like us with children have to ask ourselves; Why would I want to raise my children in a place they can never afford?

Much like the Anabaptists we leave when we are not wanted anymore. . .

LONG-TERM

Where are we looking to go? At first Montana, Wyoming and the Dakota’s seemed like a good western locale to start again (Idaho seems lost to California land pricing already) but the lack of water and the land prices throughout the West seem a bit concerning to be honest. It’s almost like the entire Western Coast has been infected by California. My Texan friends tell me to not even waste my time there, it has become Southern California 2.0. The whole covid thing really did speed everything up by 10 years. The accelerationists wet dream came true. Sorry to be so grim but it is true.

Most recently we have been thinking about West Virginia, Kansas and Kentucky for mostly economic reasons, and how often do you actually hear someone is thinking of moving to West Virginia? That is a plus in my book! Moving all the goats seems daunting that far however. . . Kansas seems a good in between.

BUSY BUSY BUSY WINTER SEASON

The rains and winds have been hitting us hard here lately too so we are busy mending fences and keeping the goats happy so they have a good kidding season towards the end of this month. Also we have 5 female goat puppies (Akbash) we are selling. One is sold, just waiting for pickup.

The Struggle is a Desert of Real

We’ve been working on this goat ranch & farm project for 5 years, only to find that we want to move this project somewhere else. What a daunting task. I just keep telling myself, because it’s true, this isn’t exactly as hard as it at first seems because it’s not like we’ve gotten much help building a farm here beyond both of our two hands. Me and my wife.

Most people we know are still hooked on the dopamine hits of screens and TVs, that has not changed one iota. Most people we know probably wouldn’t have the health or lung capacity to carry T-posts and fencing up and down hills while juggling kids. The outside world seems to have gotten worse in the 5 years we’ve been building a farm. Which only makes us more resolute to continue building ourselves at even a grander scale, but at some point why invest anymore effort into a state, or even a country for that matter, that is on such a digitally benign and materialistic driven path to ruins for both it’s health and soul. Our democratic society is broken as far as I can tell while looking out upon it from my greener pastures. Our hyper-real society seems sick and rotten to its core, people seem further apart on machine made deserts worse than ever before.

It seems too that the longer I’m partially extracted from that crazy modern world the more busy I become at continuing the escape from it. It’s a struggle sometimes just to catch up and keep everything moving in a positive direction. I wanted to write this up before the end of 2022 but I simply haven’t had the time. Now that is 2023 and the rains have abated for a brief moment my thoughts are clearer.

Love the Work, Love the Journey.

Do you know what it’s taken me 5 years to learn out here? That suffering is part of the journey. In that world of comforts that we formerly felt so trapped in, it was keeping us from a certain kind of suffering that we often now feel tossed erelong and headlong into. That is the trick of modern times. It keeps you comfortably numb and weak both physically and mentally. You are not prepared for suffering and you quietly cling to your delights. I enjoy a hot soak in the trough.

Disappointments; be ready for them at every turn, this is what the life the goatherd is often about. Sure there’s kidding season when all you see are little Joys leaping abound for months on end but then there’s the drought seasons. The times when the hay and the fuel prices keep going up and up. Times when you show up at the auction to get rid of some rough animals and see lines out the door. The misery spread around to all. After that, the deluge of rain once again and its green pastures as far as the eye can see for miles. The seasons save you.

There’s a whole lot of good times but there’s a whole lot of hard times too, some stormy days it feel like there are more of the latter in fact. You comprehend deeply why it is actually extremely difficult to make it on your own, otherwise everyone would do it. Most of us simply lack the fortitude, some days I do too. To really struggle each and every day is a challenge. Especially when you’re starting a family while you’re doing it. Especially when you’re getting such little support from the world around you. It is a desert in your forest.

It’s a hard life out there. Sometimes Atlas just wants to shrug. Sometimes man just wants to Cut off that ball and chain and run free. . . But this is no time for that sort of talk my friends. We keep pushing upward each day. We keep increasing our numbers and our strength.

My dear readers it as always the journey and never the destination which you need to learn to enjoy. You’ve got to love the work. You’ve got to relish in the disappointments and failures, keep clambering upward and dredging forward. Don’t give up. Let that spark of a dream within you turn into a blazing fire instead of simply ash in the wind. Some days the questions you keep mumbling to yourself are a mix of; “Is it always darkest before the dawn?” or “Is it always calmest before the storm?”

The way that I truly reckon it is that sometimes your suffering follows the Earth’s rotation, in a figure 8 pattern. So watch out and keep your eyes open, otherwise you might miss what good fortune has suddenly come your way this very moment out in the fields.

2023 will be a busy year for us, but we are very excited at where we will possibly end up in 2024 and beyond. Stay tuned . . .

-Jesse Dustin of The Unists & rejectmodernity.substack.com. You can find his book and more on his website.

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