Why do my husband and I bother to strive towards being self-sufficient? It’s something I’ve been asking myself for the past 3 years that we’ve started on this journey.
Up until 3 years ago I knew next to nothing about being self-sufficient, homesteading or even growing one tomato plant and I wasn’t really even thinking about it. However, as time has gone on, I’ve done more reading and research about our agricultural and husbandry habits in this country, and it just doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t like not knowing where my food is coming from and naturally this prompted me to learn more about growing my own food. From there, it was a hop, skip and a jump to wanting to learn more about various skills involved in homesteading. Part of it is a curiosity of what people did before mega-corporations came into being and manufacture nearly every product we in the western world consume today, and part of it is a strong desire to provide for ourselves and perhaps a dash of really loving to grow plants too.
So, since lists are a thing these days, here are our 6 reasons for changing our ways and becoming more self-sufficient:
1) We are What We Eat: Heard that one before? I’m shocked. Really though, having studied biology in my past it’s something that has stuck with me, “you are what you eat” and what that ate, and what that ate and so on. Toxins, bacteria, pesticides and anti-biotics can travel, and they travel through feed to animals to us. It’s being at the top of the food chain, and while we’re sitting pretty up there, we’re getting sicker too. Joe and I don’t want that for our family and are working to improve the quality of what we eat. So I’m not trying to fearmonger here, but it makes you think right?
2) Pride in hard work: I was asking Joe why he wanted to go the route of homesteading and learn to be more self-sufficient. You know what he said? He said he enjoyed the food we grew more and not just because it tasted better, but because he knew all the work that went into getting it. I think I tend to agree, there is a lot of pride and joy in reaping the bountiful harvest that comes from hard work in the garden and out in the field…not that we have a field, but you know, I dream!
3) Nostalgia: All of these skills, knowledge and experience have been slowly dissipating and are no longer the norm for many people. I mean, I never learned to sew, and I pride myself in now being able to sew straight lines and the zigzag with nothing coming apart after use. There are things I never even thought about or heard of until embarking on this journey and the more I learn the more I am amazed at our predecessors. Those were some hardened and wise people who understood work.
4) Becoming More Thankful: Continuing the previous thought a bit, our predecessors knew and did so much and were so very thankful for the little things. They were thankful for the bounty, their freedom, and their lifestyle. Besides attempting to improve my prayer life, I’ve noticed that by growing some of my food, I’m much more thankful of the small things, the more time I put into them, and some big things too. My sewing is a good example, a straight line is not much of anything, but I spent time getting it right and I’m very happy with it, not to mention thankful my cloth wipes don’t fall apart. Today, we spend so little time with how our food, clothing, cosmetics and toiletries are made we’ve become detached, and not very thankful for the abundance technology and progress has given us. We’re simply unaware.
5) Being Prepared: Please don’t read Doomsday Preppers because we are not anywhere near that. However, it’s nice to know that should society end we’d be marginally better prepared…wait, no, what I meant to say is in the event of a natural disaster we’d be…well, no. See we don’t get much weather where we’re at and we’re not in an area that is strategic to national security as far as I’m aware, so those don’t really apply. However, should our power go out for a couple days, or some other unknown event, we’d be quite ok. I like knowing I can provide for my family in challenging, or atypical situations.
6) Living off the Land: This is somewhat a “rose-colored glasses” dream for us and a bit of practicality as well. Living off the land takes work, and it’s never done. While we have just barely begun to enter into this world of homesteading, we thoroughly enjoy all the land has to offer. Get back in touch in a year when we have goats and I’ll let you know how much “love” there is but truthfully being close to nature puts things in perspective that an iPod or tv show never could. It reminds us how interconnected we still are with this planet and how precious life is, something I hope to only grow to learn more deeply.
What are some of the reasons you homestead, garden or some mixture of? Share in the comments!!