Sunday, May 19, 2013

Why I do what I do.

I was recently asked what motivated me to become more self-sufficient.  To answer that, I look back to my first post.  Near the end of the summer of 2008 I noticed that our grocery bills were going up each month.  Then the financial crisis hit Wall Street and the talking heads on TV went on and on about the imminent worldwide economic collapse.  That of course was nonsense, but it motivated me.  “What if something bad actually happened?  What if I lost my job?  What if gas prices soared even higher and trucks stopped moving?  That would quickly lead to empty grocery store shelves.  What if… What if… What if?” 

So I started to garden.  I can tell you from experience that there is no better feeling than walking into your yard and picking food for your dinner table.  It gives you a feeling of empowerment.  You know that you are no longer entirely dependent on the grocery store for survival.
My tomato plants were taller than me last year.

Gardening quickly lead me to learn about food storage.  I had to do something with the excess production.  I learned to freeze, dehydrate, can, and ferment as a result of growing vegetables.  Another benefit of growing and storing your own food is that you know what is in it.  Have you ever read the labels on processed food?  Why does everything contain corn syrup?  And what is xanthan gum anyway?
Pumpkin for the freezer, and
canned applesauce and salsa.

After a few years of gardening, and a move to a bigger property, I looked into getting chickens.  Chickens are ridiculously easy to take care of.  They need food, water, and a safe place to sleep at night.  They pretty much take care of themselves.  I don’t know why more people don’t keep them.   I have to add, there is no comparison between a store bought egg and one right from the coop. 

The gardens and chickens benefit each other.  Waste from the gardens, (and kitchen) gets fed to the chickens.  The chickens produce manure that gets composted, which in turn gets put back into the garden beds.  I also cut down my water bill by using rainwater for irrigation.  Water literally falls from the sky for free.  I see no reason not to keep some of it.

This quest to become more self-sufficient has been fun and educational.  I blog about my experiences to share what I’ve learned, and hopefully inspire others to become self-sufficient.

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