Beyond the Sea
Ex-Firefighter/De Facto Leader of Snyder Farms
Before the outbreak, James Caden was a firefighter in the city of Greenwood, Arkansas. James watched his city spiral into chaos during the crisis. His department was decimated by the virus and when all hope was lost, James returned home to his community at Snyder Farms. Since coming home, he has become the community’s de facto leader; a position he never sought, never desired, and bears as a grim, but necessary burden.
James is fair, but firm. He truly makes decisions that benefit the community first and foremost and has sacrificed much for the people of Snyder Farms. Even though all members of the community participate in decision-making, the other residents look up to James, and he, along with Michael and “Father” Kenneth, bear the primary responsibilities of governance for the 26 households (about 50 persons) that make up the Snyder Farms community.
Snyder Farms is a co-housing community. All of the residents share in the burdens of the others. They all assist each other in child care, recreation, growing (and cooking) food, caring for the neighborhood, and most other tasks. This community was planned and settled that way, long before the dead started walking. This is why they have come through the crisis so well. They are used to relying on each other, helping each other, and not being dependent on anyone else for their needs. They have long grown all their own produce. Solar panels and wind turbines produce electrical power for the community. The water comes from their own wells. Their meat, eggs, milk, and butter come mostly from their own on-site farm. As a result of their community structure, Snyder Farms only lost five families during the outbreak.