I’ve had several e-mails WRT  to my post on Friday (August 19) titled “Seek a Diverse Economy.” To clarify, this is important whether the scenario is mild or severe. To be suitable for a retreat, a local economy must be sufficiently diverse. It should include small scale agriculture with a wide variety of crops, and some livestock raising. As previously stated, a vegetable “truck farming” region would be ideal. Single crop regions (monoculture) make a poor second choice. Because long distance commerce may break down (due to lack of fuel or lawlessness) it might be difficult to trade locally grown wheat for vegetables from the next county, and so forth. If an area also produces grass hay, alfalfa, and timber, even better! And, as noted in previous blog posts, all crops must be grown without the aid of electrically pumped irrigation water.
A viable local industry or mining are important in the event of a “slow slide” scenario in which the power grid is intact. In the event of a deep, prolonged recession or a depression similar to the 1930s, the payroll from local industry will be important. Without it, even if families are able to feed themselves with truck farming, there won’t be sufficient cash available to pay for their mortgages (or rent), seed, tools, fuels, sundries, and property taxes. Conversely, if a community is dependent on local industry or mining and has NO agriculture, it would be a horrible place to be in the event of a long term worst-case grid-down  TEOTWAWKI situation.