Stories from an Appalachian Community
Twentieth Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures October 2000, Salisbury, Connecticut
Over a period of one hundred years our forests have been ruined, and it will take at least thirty years to put life back into those lands. We need help to do it. We need to be paid for doing the work that must be done to give something back to the mountains. I think we could generate income if we once got started; then people would come to learn with us. Maybe we could get money to pay those people to help us restore the land.
I have always felt that a community was there to take care of its needs, and then the surplus would be shared with others, just as the surplus of others would also be shared. But in our case everything has been taken from us; there is no surplus.
If there is no way to stop the harmful impact on our region of the mining companies or the trade organizations like the North American Free Trade Agreement, it’s foolish not to have some back-up security for the times when things break down. If a community doesn’t have something like community-supported agriculture or a source of firewood, just imagine what could happen.