Monday, June 13, 2011

Becoming Self Sufficient

Learning to live self sustained and becoming self sufficient isn't as easy as it sounds. It's not really that difficult either, once you change your mindset for it. The biggest hurdle is in the way that we think. Some of the common responses I hear to the self sustaining ideal is; 1- I don't have any land. 2- I can't live without (insert your particular item here). It can prove to be very difficult to get over our notions of what we absolutely have to have to live. We are most certainly not used to going without or not getting what we want "right now".

Now, let's discuss what "self sufficient" really means. Self Sufficient-adj.-Needing no outside help in satisfying one's basic needs, esp. with regard to the production of food. Emotionally and intellectually independent.

One's basic needs, what are one's basic needs? I think of this as the fundamentals of life. 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food and you die. We all have to drink and eat, we have no choice on that. Our choice comes in when we get to choose what we drink and what we eat. We can choose to not consume food and drink filled with chemicals, artificial flavors, steroids, antibiotics or lab created sweeteners. We can choose to not consume the genetically modified monstrosities being pushed on us by companies such as Monsanto and Dow. Choosing to not consume these fake foods is the easy part. Getting your hands on real food can prove to be a daunting task.

For me, the outlets for real food are almost non existent. The seasonal farmers markets are full of fruits and vegetables trucked in from other areas and priced much too high. The high prices are a particular annoyance for me because I grow my own food here and I know that it does not cost more money to grow non GMO fruits and vegetables than commercially produced foods. So, why the huge price increase? Plus, all you have is some strangers word that they didn't douse those fruits and vegetables in some chemical pesticide or chemical fertilizer. So, what can we do then? Grow it for ourselves.

There are only a couple real living situations I consider to actually be difficult if not impossible without some serious help when it comes to growing any amount of food for yourself. Those would be living in an apartment and living with an HOA. Neither of these 2 situations give you much option or flexibility for growing yourself some food without creating an indoor growing area. Every other situation can be successfully navigated with container growing, raised beds or conventional, in ground gardens. While gardening in any form has a steep learning curve for people that have never tried to grow anything before, it won't take very long to learn and with a little effort, you will be growing food successfully in no time.

Making the conscious choice to become more self sufficient is just the beginning. Once you get going, you'll be amazed at the things you will choose to eliminate and learn to live without!


  1. This is an excellent post, I couldn't agree more. We have 1/2 acre and our goal is 90% food self-sufficiency by 2014 -that's when the fruit and nut trees should be mature and producing well. Currently we have a large garden with vegetables, berries and grapes, we have a flock of egg layers and raise our own meat birds and we hunt for our red meat.

    The only things we can't have are pigs (we can live without pork) and a dairy cow.

    I read that you grow your own coffee, I would love to learn more about that. If I could do that it would be great since we are addicted to the stuff.

    You are right, once you start down the path of self-sufficiency you desire a lot less "stuff" and a lot more freedom.

    Continuing to pray for your hubby and your financial situations.

  2. Hey Lorie! Outstanding on the garden and trees! LOL, I had hogs, they stink. The milk cow I've not decided if I like yet or not ;) The coffee plants should be above dirt very soon, I will be talking a bunch about them in the near future :)

  3. This is sooooo encouraging! We have 1.5 acres. I've been taking an on-line course in permaculture...growing 5 times the food in the same size place as conventual gardening. I'm sure you've heard of it.

    Can't wait until I am well enough to get out and on that learning curve you talked about. I made a container herb garden this year. My neurologist and DH thought that was surprising, and wondered how in the world I managed that. One scoop at a time I told them. :-)


Comments always welcome