Jerome developed a formula for self-reliance in his community that his offspring and a a few of his neighbors followed: own a little farm for subsistence and stability, do your own building and repair, operate a small business, and work long hours. He'd get one after another of his own children started on this formula and then he'd step back...This sounds like the integrated life. The question is: is it still a viable model? It sounds like a model that could survive anything. But if it is resilience perfected, where did all these small farms and businesses go?
This book, Living at Nature's Pace, is perhaps the book I would give to someone to inspire them toward the new farm revolution, which is really the old farm revolution with some new suggestions for economic survival. It does a great job of talking about agricultural policy in America, what traditional 120 acre family farms looked like and how they functioned, Amish farms and Amish economics, not to mention the best rendering of a barn-raising I've read. It also has a few good meditations on farm ecology. An excellent and inspiring read, although I'd say the required reading stops at the end of chapter 16.