Varying Degrees of Self Sufficiency – Finding What’s Right For You

by Chris on March 26, 2011

If you asked a hundred people what it meant to be self sufficient, I’m sure you would get a wide variety of answers. To the hardcore homesteader it might mean living completely off the grid and purchasing as little as possible from retailers. For an apartment dweller it might just mean being able to share in the work and bounty of a community garden. Even amongst families, there may be differences of opinion. One spouse may be gung ho to start raising meat animals and start beekeeping, while the other spouses ideas may focus on a simple kitchen garden to supplement their grocery budget. Each person has to figure out what it means to them.

For us personally, we just aren’t in a position or even a desire to try to be 100% self sufficient. We grow a small garden, compost, raise a few animals (mostly as pets), keep a few chickens for eggs and try to be as organic as possible. Another aspect of self sufficiency for us is being prepared for emergencies and keeping our finances in good shape. We have found our balance for the moment. Around our house, we also try to do any repairs or maintenance ourselves.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that if you are thinking of trying to make your life more self sufficient, don’t worry that you can’t buy a plot of land out in the boondocks right away or that you can’t get your husband onboard with the idea of building a wind turbine in the back yard. Take small steps and see what you can do that gives you more peace of mind. Self Sufficiency is different for everyone and there is no gold standard that you have to shoot for. By taking small steps you can see what’s right for you and maybe even prevent yourself from biting off more than you can chew.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Amanda March 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm

That’s exactly right… it’s amazing how many ways there are to be self sufficient and what it means to different people. For us, it’s a never ending journey of finding more and more ways to do better with what we have.


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