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Did Human Planet get you thinking about how to become just a little bit more self-sufficient in your current circumstance? We’ve compiled a list of 10 ways that can help jump-start you on the journey to self-sufficiency.
Contents for Start this Weekend | 10 Ways to Become More Self-Sufficient
- Vegetable Gardening
- Herb Gardening
- Planting Fruit or Nut Trees
- Plant a Medicinal Herb Garden
- Reducing Electrical Consumption
- Start a composting bin
- Raise a few Farm Animals, Anyone?
- Bake your own bread
- Harvest and replant your own seeds
- Harvest and heat via Firewood (maybe even cook with it too)
Creating your own vegetable garden can be quite fulfilling, especially when you eat your first salad with fresh and tasty ingredients from your very own garden. A nice side-effect is the savings in the produce department at the grocery store. Assuming, of course, you don’t kill your crop of spinach, like I did the first year I tried to grow spinach… and broccoli – but we won’t be getting into that.
Tired of that same ole’ flavor of oatmeal and eggs in the morning? Check out these recipes with herbs from your very own plants! In my experience, Herbs are generally easy to grow and require much less maintenance than growing vegetables. I have Oregano and Rosemary that I’ve neglected for a couple years now and they are still producing more than enough flavor for my family.
Planting Fruit or Nut Trees
While not as immediately fruitful (#haha) as vegetable or herb gardens, this is a great way to not only supplement your grocery bill but have some of the freshest produce for years to come. My three lemon trees produce more than enough lemons (I have well over 100 lemons each season) for this freshly squeezed lemonade recipe:
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 cups squeezed lemon juice (about 9-11 large lemons depending on your squeezing skills)
- 5 cups cold water
Plant a Medicinal Herb Garden
I have Aloe Vera planted randomly around the yard or in pots and use it for burns (especially Sunburns). I remember as a child my grandfather walking me around his farm pointing out various plants and describing their medicinal uses – unfortunately, I don’t remember most of the details but thankfully knowledge like that is lost because of books like Magic and Medicine of Plants. I purchased this book when looking to further my very limited understanding of how this whole get-better-from-plants-thing works. It seems like everything good originally comes from plants! Who would have thought…
Reducing Electrical Consumption
We found out that not using our dryer saves us approximately $600 / year on our electrical bill, all things considered. Sources: Sticker on my dryer + A/C Manual + Electric Bill + A little bit of math. Instead, we use this drying rack to accomplish the same goal and as a side effect, our clothes are seemingly lasting longer. What savings! Yes, and furthermore you are now reliant on one less electrical appliance. Welcome to freedom from the dryer and a suddenly more spacious laundry room.
Start a composting bin
Food waste. It happens, even as much as we try to avoid it. Since we don’t have any farm animals where we are currently living (thanks, HOA from hell) we can’t just give our food scraps to the Geese and Ducks we’ll have on our Rural Property. We didn’t want to just throw the remaining nutritional value away in the trash can and send it out to the curb to be hauled off to a dump, so we started composting to supplement our garden’s nutritional content. There are many options to choose from but we ended up with this composting container that we use in the kitchen. When full we tote it out to are composting area housed by 1 X Geobin Compost Bin. It has worked well for us so far. New to composting and don’t know where to start? Try this book for quick reference.
Raise a few Farm Animals, Anyone?
Chicken, Lamb, Duck, Geese, Rabbit. Since our hands are currently tied due to HOA bylaws, we don’t have any of these. I did however recently purchase this book from Amazon to being my study of how to properly prepare the animals. A friend of mine, who lives about an hour or so outside of town (and is not bound by the #evil HOA) has a dozen or so chickens that produce more than enough eggs to share, and a little bit of meat when the time comes. Since he free ranges his birds there is no feed cost so he comes out ahead. Anyways, we’ll be utilizing the methods learned for the birds over the course of the summer. I’ll let you know how it goes – yikes!
Bake your own bread
We just got our very own breadmaker and I am so excited to try it out this weekend. Hopefully, there will be no more trips to the grocery store to buy their fresh-frozen (I still don’t know why this is a thing) bread. Definitely looking forward to flavoring with our very own herbs too! If anyone has any killer bread recipes you think we should try let us know in the comments!
Harvest and replant your own seeds
Tomatoes are one of the easiest to do this with, assuming you’ve planted an Heirloom variety in your Vegetable Garden. Or you could be like me and plant the seed from an Avocado you bought from the grocery store outside of your son’s bedroom window and hope it fruits Soon™. We are in year two and while the growth is tremendous (10 feet tall now) we don’t yet have any fruit. Maybe this year will be the year?
Harvest and heat via Firewood (maybe even cook with it too)
We don’t do this currently as our place doesn’t have a fireplace or a wood stove or any open flame source BUT we are incorporating both a fireplace and a wood stove into our Homestead Design. We’ll publish the designs Soon™, ya know.. once we’ve figured them out.I've started my journey to self-sufficiency and living more #sustainable Click To Tweet
So there you have it, not even close to a comprehensive list but 10 solid things that can be implemented to aid your journey to self-sufficiency. What do you plan on implementing first?