Do NOT Copy

Do NOT Copy

Stepping Slowly Toward Self Sufficiency

When we moved here almost four years ago I had no hopes or aspirations of trying to produce anything of my own except beautiful plants and flowers to landscape my yard with. It sure is funny how time can change our attitudes.

I am used to being a city girl, I've lived in town my whole life. I never dreamed or imagined how so many things that we use are made, they just came to our house from the grocery store shelf. Well, obviously we all know that's not true. It seemed like such hard work and really we should leave cheesemaking to the experts, right?

As I've lived in the country new insights have come to me through many avenues including nature, new friendships, and checking out books from the local library. Our health has continued on a gradual decline and I have begun to search for alternatives that do not include taking pills for the rest of our lives.

It occurred to me as I was reading one of the many diet books from my own personal library that many people are declining in health, and it's not just the unhealthy people either. What's the cause? I am no scientist, nor have I done any experiments to confirm my theory, but the more I think about it the more I feel that chemicals in our every day products are part of the blame.

What better way to begin thinking about self sufficiency? It's not a program that a bunch of hippies are attempting to implement going back to the 1800's, but it's a way to provide some things for ourselves and to know what's in the products that we consume.

When we moved here we found that we had an abundance of wild blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries growing in the fringes of the woods surrounding our house. It was a nice bonus since my children tend to prefer sweeter fruits to the healthier vegetables. We have since added plenty more plants to help provide us with inexpensive, chemical free food. (To see a list please check out my side bar.) Last year I decided to take it a step further and planted a veggie garden. After much research, I combined a bunch of different organically based garden styles into one with which I had tremendous success. It was so successful that I added two more beds which I just finished filling with dirt this spring. Unfortunately it doesn't appear that this dirt was as rich as the last batch that I used, but I will continue to enrich it and hope for more future successes.

My nine year old daughter has begun to "bud" as well. This perplexes me since no one in our family was early to develop that I can recall. I was talking with a bunch of mothers on one of my many recent field trips about this fact. We came to the conclusion that it's probably due to the growth hormones given to animals whose meat and milk we consume. These same animals are also fed lots of antibiotics which we feel is contributing to the antibiotic resistance that we hear so much about these days. These conversations got me wanting to raise my own meat and milk products as well. I know that this can't happen anytime soon since we can not have livestock in our development, but once we move I think I may just have to look into the possibilities.

While I will never produce my own beer (I hate the stuff and don't feel that it's worth the effort), I can see myself doing many other things on our little homestead. What's even better about this approach to living is the fact that we can all do little things that fit into the lives we want to lead and we don't have to wait for any government's slow wheels to bring a change about.

Thank you for stopping by to chat with me. Please leave me a message, I'd love to hear your thoughts!Cindy


Barbee' said...

Hi Cindy, you leave me (almost) speechless at the amount of work you have put into that place. What a long list of plants of all kinds. You really are an inspiration. Yesterday, I was given, and did plant, four little top-sets from old heirloom Egyptian Walking Onions; planted them into the ring where I used to grow tomatoes. I also have four or five sets of clumping onions, plus 2 good sized clumps of chives. I don't know how long it will take before there will be anything to eat. Wish I could do as much as you do, and your husband. Enjoyed this thought provoking post.

NellJean said...

They say that if you can 'see' it, you can do it. Imagine yourself with a cow to milk, twice a day without fail. Ask the library to borrow a book on animal husbandry for you if they don't have one.

When I was first married, my MIL went to hospital. The first thing they asked me was, "Do you know how to milk a cow?" My mother, who milked cows for years, had prepared me for just such an event by telling me years before, "If you never learn to milk a cow, you'll never have to."

Eventually we had beef cattle and naturally there was the occasional cow whose calf had trouble getting the hang of nursing and SOMEBODY had to milk the Mooma and hand feed the baby to get him started. It fell to me, whether I knew how or not. (I really could. Fortunately I knew more about anatomy and physiology than about cows.)

It is a marvelous goal, self-sufficiency. I wish you well.

Nola @ the Alamo said...

I totally agree with you about our health declining due to all the "unknown" chemicals and things we consume in our processed food. Good luck with self sufficiency.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Cindy,
I am tickled for you that you are expanding your vegetable garden. It's not a great year here for the veggies, mostly due to rabbits. I want to get some rabbit fencing when we get a chance.

When I was young, it was my dream to live off the land, but my husband didn't share that dream. He said neither one of us is handy enough to live on an acreage. I imagine he's right about that.

Have fun with your endeavors!