Owner Built Homes and Homesteads: Development Goals

In this excerpt from his book "The Owner Built Homestead," Ken Kern considers the factors that go into designing owner built homes and homesteads and the mental and physical qualities homesteaders need to be successful, particularly in a governmental policy environment that favors large agribusiness operations.

| March/April 1973

  • Kern - hay fork grass fork
    Knowing the purpose and proper use of your tools is vital for homesteaders.
  • 020-087-01_01
    Ken Kern used the topography map he sketched in the top half of this image to help him plan the design of his homestead, pictured in the bottom half.

  • Kern - hay fork grass fork
  • 020-087-01_01

How can it be agreed that food, clothing and shelter shall be produced en masse, by machinery, and simply as objects of merchandise, things produced solely for the profit of investors of capital, and yet that, fed on machine-made food, dressed in machine-made clothes, housed in machine-made buildings, we shall be able in our leisure hours-the hours when we are not working in the factories—to produce and enjoy the products of human cultivation?  

What an environment!  

And environment is important, because it is as necessary as the thing environed.  

You cannot have responsible human beings in their leisure time, if they are not responsible in their working time.  

For working is the means to living, and it is life for which we have responsibility.  

You cannot have responsibility for your work unless you have control over it.  

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