Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Self Sufficient New Year!

My one and only New Year’s resolution for the past ten or more years has been to not make a new year’s resolution. Well, this year, my wife and daughter and I live in our very first own home. It’s time to start up again.

Now, I could sit here and come up with way too many things to resolve but I’m not going to do that. I’m going to make one solid resolution.

I resolve to be more than 50% self sufficient by the end of 2012. This means many things. So, here’s the list:

1.   Finish off my book on readiness and get it published.
2.   Garden large enough to provide as much of my own food as possible.
3.   Secondary garden grown for the purpose of donation and barter.
4.   Switch to wood heat with propane as a back-up.
5.   Generate at least half of my own power via wind and/or solar with a propane generator as a back-up.
6.   Purchase a pre-1974 pickup truck.
7.   Start building and selling/bartering mission style furniture made from old barn wood.
8.   At least start sewing my own clothing and doing some leather work.

Now, I’m sure I could add plenty more to this list but it’s enough to give you the gist of my goals. Ever since I was a small child, I’ve envied the original homesteaders. I know life was not necessarily easy for them but I can tell you that it was simple.

Yes, there is a BIG difference between easy and simple. In my opinion, life is meant to be enjoyed and we are meant to learn as we live. Easy, overall, equals lazy. No, I’m not calling you lazy because you like easy, but let me give you an example.

I live in a small town. I can walk to a small grocery store, the Post Office, our local library, a park and my daughter’s school. Simple means actually doing the walking. It’s good exercise. It’s fresh air. It’s sunshine. It doesn’t use resources. It allows me to greet others in a personal way. Easy would mean jumping in the car and driving those places. It’s fast. It allows for no distractions. The car has a heater. I wouldn’t have to carry my books or groceries or mail.

Can you guess which I do? I walk. Of course there is a very small percentage of the time I will drive but only if it’s raining or if I have a large amount of groceries to get. For all the walking I do, I find it amazing that the only others I see walking are the local kids. The parents are almost always driving. Now keep in mind here, I’m not talking miles or even one mile. I’m talking four blocks at the most.

That’s just one example. Another deals with my garden. Easy is to drive to the store and buy vegetables. Simple is if I don’t plant the seed, I’m not going to be eating. There’s one difference with this example though. Gardening is not necessarily hard. It just takes time and patience. For many people time and patience is actually the hard part.

There is one trick you can use that can quickly turn a simple life into an easy one. That is love. Before you start some odd thought process here, I must tell you two things. Yes, I am a hippy. And, the love I’m talking about is a simple love for all things. In this case, love what you do. Do you know how much better tasting a fresh, garden grown tomato tastes than one purchased at a supermarket? Oh just about a hundred times better. And if you grow it yourself, you can make that a thousand times better.

Love what you do. I love gardening because it helps my family and I live a healthier life. It lessens the burden on others. It uses local resources thereby boosting the local economy. It allows me to barter for other fresh, local things like the eggs, milk and meat I cannot yet provide for myself.

There is one more reason I would prefer being as self sufficient as possible. That is preparedness. I’m not necessarily talking about survivalism. I mean simply being ready for what life can throw at you. If you are gardening and canning your food, you have a supply of food incase the weather makes it impossible to go to the grocery store or stops trucking lines from delivering. If you are powering and heating your home on your own, when the power goes out it doesn’t change much of anything.

Now that you know my goals for the new year, what are yours? Are you going to do something just for you or are you going to do for those around you?

Here are a few links to help you get started:

ReadyGarden™ 1-Acre SEEDSAFE™: Premium non-hybrid, open pollinated garden heirloom seeds are great for preparation. Comes with 21 seed varieties & almost 25,000 seeds!

Kaya Self Sufficiency Facebook group. My own group dedicated to being as self sufficient and self sustainable as possible.

Lehman’s. A wonderful place to find many of the tools and supplies to help you live your new, simple life.

Also, if you look to both sides of this blog, you will find several other resources for a self sufficient lifestyle. Enjoy!

Happy New Year to you all! May the best of your past be the worst of your future and may your home always be too small to hold all the love in your life!


  1. Nice read, good stuff! Keep it up!

  2. I am going back to the basic way of cooking my food. Simple food = good food, spend time w friends and family instead of on computer. Read more books making things from scratch. I have over the last couple of year simplifled my life little by little so I would stay with program....only bite off what you can chew comfortably. Natalie Palmer