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Are you self-sufficient?

 
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Sandy
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Joined: 19 Nov 2006
Posts: 33
Location: MN

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:01 am    Post subject: Are you self-sufficient? Reply with quote

My dh has a construction business that keeps him away from home 60-70 hours a week. We're both feeling dissatisfied with our "dream". Anyway, lately we've been talking about using our 10 acres to the fullest: having a few cows for meat, and possibly for dairy; raising sheep for the wool (I'm a knit-a-holic); putting up a windmill for energy, etc. I'm excited about moving ahead with this, but nervous as well. I am not very self-sufficient as of now. We're thinking of moving slowly, adding every year until he's home most of the week. Has anyone else done these things?
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danamarie
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Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a website that I think you will appreciate! Go to this address, www.urbanexod.us , then scroll to the bottom and check out all the different forums that would apply to your new dream!
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angw8
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Joined: 02 Nov 2006
Posts: 44
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recommend you get hold of A Journey Home ,which is dvd showing how the Wallers did it.It is inspiring and wholesome.
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bittersweet
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Louisiana

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We haven't done it yet, but I just want to say that we have the same dream. a few cows, a handful of chickens, some sheep for wool, fruit trees and a garden big enough to feed us all yr round. We just moved to a little country house this spring. I've never had a garden before, but I am learning-mostly that it's a lot of work! I'm about to start my winter seedlings-just as soon as I get over this cold. I'm hoping that each season we get a better harvest and maybe we'll get the chickens next yr. We bought highly inefficient house and we dream of switching everything over, but the goal right now is to get out of debt. Keep us posted on your journey. I'd be delighted to learn with you.
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Ophelia
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Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 105
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I can't begin to tell you how relieved I am to hear what you all have to say.

My husband and I started out wanting a large piece of property and 3 dogs. (We don't have either yet, but this is the dream). Then I added chickens to my list of requests. Then a few goats (mostly just because I like them). With the outrageous price of milk and 3 children I added a few cows to the list. And then pigs.

The size of my desired garden has grown rapidly over the past 6 years. I started off wanting to grow tomatoes and green beans and now the list is too long to post!

I am now baking my own bread, making my own granola, etc. The list of food we make ourselves keeps growing. My husband's latest fascination is making sausage.

We buy honey and maple syrup from some local small dealers. My husband gave me a strange look when I asked him if he had any interest in beekeeping. I guess that's a "no".

Anyway, it's really nice to hear that other people have the same interests. I was starting to think we were crazy.
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knobren
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Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 195
Location: Charleston, IL

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a small garden and two Nanking cherry bushes and three different kinds of raspberry canes. Clearing grass, roots, etc. to put in a garden takes a lot of effort, but after that it isn't too bad. Most of the work comes at the beginning of the season and at harvest - Yum!

I also find it rewarding. I like the connection to the earth and being able to eat produce that hasn't been sprayed with pesticides. Being environmentally minded, I also appreciate the "eat locally" movement to cut down on the pollutants and fossil fuel consumption of plowing, harvesting, and shipping produce. It actually takes more calories of fossil fuel energy to grow, process, and ship food in America than the amount of calories of energy contained in the food!

My mom had a garden when I was growing up, so I guess I take after her. We also had a few chickens and rabbits and from time to time a cow or pig. I know that animals grown for meat and eggs are raised under horrible conditions - crowded, dirty places where the animals are so stressed that they injure themselves and one another. Corn messes up a cow's rumen and they are kept in small dirty pens, so they tend to have health problems and are fed a daily supply of antibiotics that also leads to the devlopment of antibiotic resistant bacteria that eventually end up infecting people directly or pass their genes to bacteria that do. Don't ge me started on the former practice of feeding cattle ground up parts of other cattle. How unnatural is that?! Also, the wastes from feed lots can pollute streams and rivers and kill fish and other animals directly or indirectly. Also, new studies suggest that feeding cattle corn has shifted their omega-3 and -6 balances, so humans that eat corn-fed cattle are getting less healthy meat than those who eat grass-fed cattle. The same thing goes for chickens. There are more ranchers growing grass-fed cattle and cage-free chickens now. I keep planning on going to some that we have locally, but I haven't done it yet. The meat costs more, but it is more humane and better for you. Some of the local ranchers have banded together to build a grass-fed only, more humane slaughter house locally, but it hasn't been built yet.

You can get similar benefits if you raise a cow or chickens yourself. A mobile chicken pen allows you to keep moving the chickens to fresh grass where they can eat the greens and any bugs they find as well. We fed our chickens potato peelings and other scraps, too.

I recommend the book "The Omnivore's Dilema" by Michael Pollin.

I wish I lived outside the city limits, so I could raise my own chickens! I, too, have that self-sufficiency dream, but I don't see it coming true for me. I did replace my hot-water tank with a tankless heater and I garden, recycle, and so forth, but that is about as good as I get. I live close to work, but don't get up early enough to walk instead of drive. I still eat commercially-grown meat and foreign-grown, out-of-season produce, but I don't eat it every day. I guess I need more will power. Sigh.

I hope you succeed in your dreams!!! Good luck! Smile
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knobren
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Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 195
Location: Charleston, IL

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"O", I also dream of keeping bees Wink , but that isn't likely to happen either.
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Sandy
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Joined: 19 Nov 2006
Posts: 33
Location: MN

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! I'm not the only one! How exciting! I've quit buying bread. My 3 year old and I make our own, and we're working on getting less and less white flour and sugar. I bought the book "Whole Foods for the Whole Family." It's got a bunch of good ideas. We also plowed a bigger area for a garden. Hopefully much will come from it. I've just found out we're adding baby number 3 to our family next July, so, I'm a little nervous that I won't be up to doing a whole lot out there.
In the past month, my Dad passed away from cancer. I can't believe eating all of the processed junk we buy in the store is not harming us. Around here all of the farmer's spray the fields with anhydrous ammonia. It's a poison, yet we fertilize with it. With my Dad's illness, it's at the forefront of my mind. Did he get sick because of what he ate? I'm so anxious to start taking back my family's health.
Good luck to you all!
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WWMama
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Joined: 01 Dec 2007
Posts: 53
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You mean there are other people like me? WOW! In our extended family, I am known as the gal who is just a little "off". Rolling Eyes

Our dream is to continue living self sufficiently. It seems like everyday we learn more and more. We make almost everything from scratch, grow as much as we can, buy local if we don't have luck growing it ourselves, eat mostly wild game that my husband has hunted during the year, drink milk "straight from the bulk tank". We don't "shop for something to do". Once you get into the "lifestyle" its fun to see how it spills into every single part of your life. I am a firm believer that we truly will be provided all that we need...its just accepting that what we have right now is really all that we need.

Its fun to see other people with this passion!
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Papillon Mom
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Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love being as self sufficient as possible. What do you do about health care costs and insurance? Not interested in leaning on govt., of course, as that is the opposite of self sufficient! Rolling Eyes
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Ramona
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Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 414

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Papillon Mom wrote:
What do you do about health care costs and insurance?


We have the medical-care addition to our auto policy. Other than that, we try to maintain a segment of our savings budgeted for health, and live the healthiest, safest lives we can.
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