Search OCA:
Get Local!

Find Local News, Events & Green Businesses on OCA's State Pages:

OCA News Sections

Organic Consumers Association

Micro Generation and Micro Farming: Combating High Energy Prices, High Food Prices, and Tyranny

One of the world's leading experts on trend forecasting says that producing our own energy for our homes and cars (called "micro generation") will become a huge trend in the next couple of decades.

What's he talking about?

Well, energy and food prices will keep going up. Every dollar we don't have to pay to the energy utility or food producers is a dollar we get to keep. And the technology for producing it ourselves is getting better and better.

So increasingly over the next couple of decades, we will generate our own energy and food.

Indeed, if the economy really crashes, we may not be able to rely on centralized energy producers and utilities or large-scale agriculture and transportation. So getting a head-start in thinking about micro energy and food production will not only save us money, it will give us confidence in uncertain times.


Due to high oil prices, major breakthroughs in energy production are happening every day.

For example:

A new generation of highly-efficient wind turbines (and see this) is being introduced which can produce much more energy And new approaches to solar energy (see this and this) are making residential solar very cost-competitive

With recent breakthroughs, individuals can now generate enough energy to get off the grid and power their own homes. Indeed, some companies will even provide the equipment for you (and see this).

Moreover, if we get together with some of our neighbors and pool our energy, so we can distribute it where and when it is needed, we will save even more money. I'm not talking about hugging trees, holding hands and singing Kumbaya (although if you want to do that, that's okay). I'm talking solely about economics. If you start talking to your neighbors about this now, you'll be ready when the energy storage technology becomes cheap.

If you have any spare cash lying around and don't know where to invest it, look into micro generation. See this , this and this.


You don't need a huge backyard to grow a sizable portion of your own food. There are ways to grow food even in small spaces.

For example:

You can grow vegetable gardens vertically (it doesn't look that great, but it works) You can get chickens and buy or build a chicken coop for eggs and chicken meat (my wife got 4 chicks a couple of weeks ago; I thought at first she was nuts, but they are actually easy to keep) And see this.

You can also join or start a farming cooperative in your area, so that you have access to food in return for a contribution of money or labor (see this, although the farms mentioned don't seem very economical). Community gardens are an option (see this and this).

Ranching cooperatives are also popping up. I predict there will be more and more of them.

Silver Lining?

My wife says that the economic crash we're experiencing will bring Americans closer together as neighbors, and will remind us of what's really important. I hope she's right . . . But this article is not about getting back to the land and singing Kumbaya. I'm simply focusing on how to stay afloat financially in a very unstable economy.

Moreover, wars are being fought in our name over oil. Tyranny is being implemented to stifle dissent to imperial wars. 9/11 was carried out, partially, as an excuse to launch the campaign to go steal other people's oil.

Huge energy companies -- some with earnings bigger than many countries -- are calling the shots. As long as we rely on them to provide our power to us, we are buying into the imperial wars, injustice and destruction of our liberties.

If we install solar, wind, or whatever other micro equipment we can in our homes and offices, then we could decentralize power-generation -- and thus -- decentralize power away from the energy giants and their imperial political allies.

Indeed, it is arguably patriotic to participate in micro generation and micro farming. The Founding Fathers sung the virtues of "citizen farmers". Don't quit your day job . . . but if we become citizen energy-and-food farmers in our spare time, the self-sufficiency and sense of responsibility might help in some small way we to restore true American values.

For more information on this topic or related issues you can search the thousands of archived articles on the OCA website using keywords:

post Aug 5 2008, 08:04 PM

We have been talking about producing our own energy for a few years now. Trouble is, we live in one of those hoity-toity neighborhoods that doesn't want to look at solar panels, let alone wind turbines. Both are actually forbidden. I've begun thinking the legality of such restrictions should be challenged. Meanwhile, we planted a vegetable garden this year, next to the house where shrubs used to be. It's not that we can't afford to buy any food we want - it just makes sense to grow some yourself if you have any available dirt at all. For one thing, you know what has or has not been sprayed on it.

post Today, 09:51 AM

Decentralization of food and and energy has been slowly occuring over the last 10 or so years, after Western nations incorrectly tried to mass manage and distribute these. From an efficiency and best use of resources analysis, it makes no sense for many regions to expend so much energy merely to distribute what is already cheaply and readily available there already. Most of us already tend to plants around our homes. Why not plant fruits and vegetables you can eat instead, and trade the extra crop for other foods and meats you need. Communities can pool their resources and trading power. Arguably, the most important product we use, food, today is mass produced and pieced together in 3rd world nations, and exploited for profit by brokers and investors around the world. Why should we make an investor rich at the risk of damaging our health. Local food growing and co-ops are a no brainer.

Enery is a little bit different, but again most regions already have ample sunlight, wind, and existing trash that can all generate local power. I was inspired recently to learn the compute chip maker, Intel, has gotten into the green energy movement. I expect over the next 5 to 10 years that we will see a lot of new technology to porduce green energy, that will likely target big producers initially, but as prices come down this tech will be available more locally and individually. I predict you'll see more tech efforts go into green energy in the next 10 to 20 years than any other industry sector. Why? Because there's already so much money it it. And competition will make new tech available. It truly is an exiting time for planet earth.