March 01, 2012

Sustainability and Self-Sufficient Living Off the Land SHTF Survivial Homestead

The post of a blog friend has been on my mind since I read it.  Because  of careful planning and major life changes she was fortunate to set up a farm and throw herself 100% into farming, gardening and homemaking.  Unfortunately she now sees what we, her brothers and sisters in sustainability and self-sufficiency also have learned from years of experience, these are not viable ways to procure cash.  Nature will always fill your belly but you can never count on her to fill your purse.  One will only burn out trying to prove otherwise.

I feel partially responsible for not exposing the cold hard truths of living like this, off  grid so to speak,  that newbies and daydreamers can't know.  The truth is cooking, gardening and farming are excellent ways to save money and feed your family.  The truth is to maintain and secure the necessary infrastructure for these activities  requires the labour of at least one more person and other resources including a cash flow.

I blog about my successes and each picture carefully taken to show a  sense of perfection.   Are there any dishes, can you hear me panting, do you see my dirty nails or the weeds, or the unswept floor?  The truth is I never have time to make my house or my yard look pretty.  I am too tired from keeping enough food growing to fill my freezer for the winter and the wolf from the door.

Anyone who is serious about sustainable living encounters feelings of inadequacy and overwhelming everyday.  We just live with it and keep trudging down the path.  Each day too we take our eyes from our obsession and to see how beautiful the journey really is.  The rewards far outshine the losses,  never posh and frilly but always an exciting adventure.



  1. My motto has always been to 'bloom where you're planted' .. that's not to say you can't pick up and go bloom somewhere else .. but to make the best of what's on your plate. That can be in the inner city or the far outback or somewhere inbetween. My inner child has always been a farmer's daughter .. but the reality was/is that I grew up in the suburbs. The inner child was/is probably a holdover from my ancestors that broke sod, farmed the land and had pioneer spirit. Having a good set of principles can carry you into whatever place the good Lord places you. Be it living off the land .. or being the wife of a public servant taking care of the children and home. One should never feel inadequate .. but do the best with what is available. Always trying to leave the smallest mark upon the planet. There are tradeoffs in life .. you offer such good food for thought. :)

  2. I agree with you. The garden can produce enough food to lower the household costs, but not enough to bring in a cash flow. We sold eggs for a full year and found it made a small profit in the summer, but was a major money drain in the winter.The cost of power to heat the coop and keep the hens laying made the small profit disappear very quickly in the winter. No more layers! We will still do the meat birds, chickens and turkeys for our own use. The cost of feed vs the work involved makes it uneconomical to sell the birds. We got into it so that we know what is going into the birds.

  3. I'm from the Chicken posting and am trying to get your email, but my computer won't cooperate. I do know some friends that hatch turkeys and chickens in BC. You can email at cariboogals at gmail dot com. I'll give you the info!

  4. I mostly find that it costs more, especially when you first start a new project, to be self sufficient. You have to want it enough to pay for it.

  5. You are so right there. Thanks for leaving a note. Peace