Sometimes I wonder why I ever leave my farm. People just amaze me. Okay, I'll explain it.... Tonight was my daughter's school awards thingy. She got an recognition for her full scholarship for basketball, an Excellence in English award and of course, her honor roll award. I had to linger at the end while they took pictures etc and was approached by some people that know me and asked how our farm made it thru the inland hurricane. I of course said "just fine" and I was then subjected to a whole string of complaints about the Red Cross storm relief food and how they gave out generic bottled water, how awful it was for them to not have electric and how they missed their favorite TV shows, how they had to wait in long lines at Walmart and the grocery stores, how they had to wait in line at KFC because the local pizza joint had no power, on and on...
What's wrong with them? I know it's not me with the problem. I ate ribeye, fresh eggs and home stuffed sausage, pancakes, smoked pork loin with fried potatoes, had plenty of water available, we ate better that one week that we do on "normal" days and we never left the farm the whole time.
Self Sustained. What does that mean really? For me it means not having to rely on anyone, a single person or governmental agency except myself for my day to day well being. I know I eat chemical free food and live a simple but comfortable lifestyle. It's the satisfaction of knowing whatever happens, I've got it covered. The world could burn down or be blown away and I'm still gonna eat without having to sit by strangers in a church basement eating something I can not identify off of paper plates with plastic spoons and forks. Every time I walk into my pantry I feel good looking at all the jars of food I grew and canned myself. What a feeling! If I run out of bread I know that the next loaf is just a couple hours worth of rise time away. I never run out of eggs, I always have a block of cheese and a gallon of milk. Life doesn't get any better than being self sustained!
Here's something else I love to talk about. Cheese. Artisan cheese often sells for $20 to $35 a lb. Store bought cheese is anywhere from $5 to $7 a lb. I spent $31 and I made 530lbs of cheese! Or, how about canned corn? Even at the discount grocery, it's .50 a can. I haven't spent any money on corn seed in 10 years. I can 60 pints of corn each year plus what we eat fresh and freeze for later. It's free. Same goes for peas, beans, tomatoes, peaches, strawberries, apples, pickles and so on. Since I seed save, I consider my food free. It does cost a little time and effort tho but I'm not spending money for it or for the fuel I would need to drive to buy it!
So, I'm self sustained. I take care of myself and my family. We live in an average home on small acreage with average furniture just like everybody else. What we don't do is the daily rat race. We hate the mall and Walmart, we don't run up and down the road every day and we don't eat out. When we want pizza, I make it for us. Our meals are not eaten in front of the TV and we actually talk to our children on a daily basis.
How's that for the American Dream?