Sunday, September 21, 2008

Seeking Self-Sufficiency

Currently, my household is nowhere near realizing self-sufficiency. But, we are slowly moving in that direction. Our new house is a wonderful house, but not set up for surviving any kind of real social/economic upheaval. For instance, the kitchen is all electric. No power, no cooking. The windows are the old original ones (working on that at the moment). And the previous owner converted the wood-burning fireplace to gas logs. I would like to undo the gas bit and put in an insert, but I haven't figured that out and it will probably cost far more than I am hoping.

On the up side, we did have a garden this year. This was a first for the kids and the "novelty" of growing our own food trumped their usual new-food-suspicion. I put in exactly one eggplant plant, thinking there was no way the kids were going to eat eggplant. But they were totally excited when we harvested the first one. "THIS came from OUR garden?! Awesome!" How cool is that?

We have also started a compost pile. We have contributed so much to it that we could actually use another. Although I have noticed that when I ignore this one for a bit, it does its thing and before I know it there is room for new additions. Ah, the miracle of decomposition!

Now, I should point out that I don't actually expect a social/economic upheaval that would require us to be self-sufficient. But stranger things have happened! I just think it is prudent to be able to take care of oneself if necessary. Plus, there is an enormous sense of satisfaction and comfort that comes with every step we take toward self-sufficiency.

I would love to hear about your journey toward self-sufficiency- and any tips you'd like to share.


StripyPixieSocks said...

advice is... baby steps! Don't try to do everything at once and definitely don't try to live up to other peoples ideas of self-sufficiency.

Sure, log fired stove ould be great but if you live in a flat in London (as I do) with no access to free logs then it ain't going to happen and my Electric cooker is going to have to stay a while lol... but I haven't got a TV so it's a trade off imho!

At the end of the day it's what works for you, don't make your life unnecessarily hard just because somoene else thinks you're not being self-sufficient enough!

GOOD LUCK... it's lots of fun!!

mamawhatthe said...

Thanks stripypixiesocks (I love that name)! You are right- baby steps are the way to go. And all I can manage anyway!

BTW, we were in London in November. It was wonderful. We came home feeling very backward and a bit embarassed to be Americans- which, honestly, I think was a good thing. Tells me we are building perspective, and that as a parent I am doing something right.

Oh- and I just have to mention that I get the giggles whenever I read about your "water butt." We have "rain barrels" here, though water butts make for much more amusing conversation.

How's that ginger coming along??