Durable Trades: A Book Review by T.M. in Arkansas

If you are looking for a change of career you will find this book of interest, especially if you are migrating from a city. There are plenty of good ways to support you, your family, and fulfill you personal work satisfaction.

Durable Trades: Family-Centered Economies That Have Stood the Test of Time by Rory Groves is published by Front Porch Republic Books in Eugene, Oregon. The book is copyrighted 2020 by the author with 293 pages and is available at your favorite book dealer.

The author, a computer scientist now living with his family on a farm in Minnesota is not advocating the usual back-to-the-earth let’s all be hippie’s philosophy, but a lifestyle that is sustainable and rewarding. His website the thegrovestead.com and is worth a visit.

In the Introduction the question is asked, “Is it possible to reclaim some of the lost practices of previous generations – and lost rewards of strong families and resilient communities? Is it possible to build something that will last, something that becomes an inheritance, even to our children’s children?”

The author says “Yes”, and I agree.

He discusses the evolution of job obsolescence over the past few centuries as humans became tied to machines that evolved necessitating retraining of humans to keep their jobs. Consequently, the joy of work and accomplishment has been lost to the drudgery of punching the clock, collecting your pay, and hoping the job lasts for a while. You might be working for the same company, but your job continues to change on a frequent basis. Are you really satisfied with what you did today?

There are alternatives. This book has sixty-one of those alternatives and not merely in a list. Each job is assessed as to it’s stability, resiliency, family-centeredness, ease of entry, and income. The author’s methodology is explained in an appendix. To spice things up there are also profiles of real people/families in each job giving their advice, relating the pitfalls you might experience, and the benefits they enjoy.

Not all sixty-one of these career choices are relevant to all locations, but if you are interested go find it for yourself. Example: Not every town needs a courier service or midwife, but we can all use a good plumber, electrician, schoolteacher, mechanic, roofer, artist, musician, seamstress, carpenter, banker, and so on. Some of these jobs require a college degree, but most do not. There are plenty of trade schools, that can train you to go forth, make a lot of money, and enjoy your work at the same time. All of them require a desire to do what makes you happy and the gumption to get up in the morning and go to work. And, there is no age requirement. It is never too late to start anew and skipping college for trade school is not a sin.

And do not forget the internet gives you a worldwide market for your products if you are an artist, woodworker, knife maker, gunsmith, writer, etc. Thus, you can live off the beaten track and still make a profitable living doing something you enjoy.

In my home county, I purchase my annual beef supply from a local rancher who also doubles as the butcher. I fill up my freezer once a year and he has difficulty keeping up with demand and is looking for an assistant, especially during deer hunting season. Another family has a successful vegetable farm that keeps pantries full of good food. Local tradesmen keep my household mechanicals in good repair as does a local car mechanic for my vehicles. All of these folks have to wash their hands at the end of the workday and are not tied to a chair at a desk or workstation. And we are all on a first-name basis.

Chapters include “The Dignity of Work” ,“The Discipleship of Work”, “Defining Durable”, “The Industrial Revolution: Then and Now”, and more.

The Foreword is by Allan C. Carlson, President Emeritus of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society. He is a scholar and former professor of history among other things.

So, ‘nuff said. Grab a copy or two of this book for yourself and a gift. It is well worth the money and your time.

JWR Adds:  As usual, we’d prefer that you Starve The Amazon Beast by doing your book ordering through Books-A-Million (BAM).  (We are a BAM affiliate, so SurvivalBlog gets a little piece of the action, whenever you order through them.)