Friday, July 22, 2011

Dreams of Self-Sufficiency

When I speak of self-sufficiency, I am speaking generally about food and energy.  Even though I love what the No Impact Man  accomplished in his year of being “no impact,” I’m not sure our family could live that way.  None-the-less, I am striving to reduce our impact. 

I realize that being self-sufficient is not easy, but I still dream of the day that we can create enough power from the sun and wind to operate all of the modern conveniences of our home without relying on the electric company.  I also dream of the day that we can survive mainly off of the fruits and vegetables from our 1 acre of land.

These are the steps we are taking to become more self-sufficient:

  1. Reducing our energy footprint
  2. Buy items that will last (non-disposable items and appliances/machinery that can be fixed by my handy hubby)
  3. Plant perennial fruits and vegetables (Click here for an extensive list!)
  4. Expand existing garden and build new gardens to yield more produce
  5. Make use of any available land to build edible perennial landscaping
  6. Grow and dry our own herbs
  7. “Buy it used, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

I do have my limits!  We will not be growing our own wheat/flour, raising our own meat or dairy products.  I would love to have bees for the honey (thus not needing sugar), but I will have to work on hubby for that.  I’m thankful he finally gave in to getting chickens*!

For me, becoming self-sufficient is a way of thrift and frugality along with an awareness of how we use our resources to positively affect the environment.  To become self-sufficient will not be easy nor will it happen overnight.  That being said, I have always had a desire to live this way.  It may take 3-5 years to get the garden to produce enough to sustain us throughout the Winter and Spring months. It will take even longer to make our home run efficiently and with minimal pull from our environmental resources.  Little by little, we are taking steps to reach our goals of self-sufficiency and each year, we get a little bit closer to living out our vision.

Are you striving to become self-sufficient?
What steps are you taking now to help you down the road of self-sufficiency?

*Hubby wanted nothing to do with chickens. As a child, he was pecked by chickens and absolutely despised them.  He said they were only good for one thing: eating!  Since getting our chicks in March, I find him outside holding them, and loving on them without me being around.  It’s so cute!  I am turning my suburbanite into a farmer. 

1 comment:

  1. I too have always wanted a small farm that could sustain us. I would have loved to live like they did on Little House of the Prairie. Call me weird but that was always my dream. No running water, no electricity etc..... Slowly I am changing things to get rid of more modern conveniences and learning to rely less on electricity. Unplugging the dryer and growing our own vegs is just a start. I hope to double my amount of vegetables next year and find ways to lessen how he rely on electricity