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Smiley Stiles
#1 Posted : Sunday, May 27, 2012 5:29:01 PM
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Posts: 134,494

Here's some advice for those who are just starting out for wanting to try their hand at self-reliance. No matter where you live whether an apartment or trailer park (which is my case). Ok, maybe, I'm not able to raise bardyard animals but I know someone who can and through bartering and favors, I am able to obtain my fresh eggs. There are many things large and small you can do to become more self-reliant.

First on my list was food. In a simple 20 X 20 foot area and using container gardening technics I was able last year to can all my spaghetti sauce, green beans, spinach and strawberry and blueberri preserves. Plus all the dried strawberries I could eat. From my own garden. Plus enough to sell a few things on a roadside stand. Not that I could make a business out of it but I made a dollars. I've planted much more this year and increase the size and scope of my container garden. I make use of growing somethings vertically and use different spce within my garden for different crops during the growing season. I can't remember the last time I bought lettuce or salad greens. I raise them indoors all year long.

A big part of my growing season is a greenhouse. A simple plastic covered 10 X 20 I purchased at Lowes three years ago for $200. Between this, my garden space and my container garden it is enough to can and have some extras for a roadside stand. Even if you don't have the space to grow everything you need, your area farm market or flea market has wonderful produce at reasonable prices to fill in the gap.

Learn to can-The initial cost is in ther jars. But once you get a nice collection you can re-use them although I buy new lids every year for a better seal than reusing old ones. One of best sources where I learned to can just about anything (besides my dear grandmother) is from a source you would expect to trust and that is the Department of Agriculture. It's called 'The Complete guide to Home Canning and Preserving". Best food book I ever bought.

Energy- In reducing reliance on the grid, conservations is a key way to do this. It's a good way to train yourself in the philosophy of reduce, reuse, and recycle. Currently I have a small solar power station that powers a t.v., dvd player (don't have cable) , a fan and 2 lights. Between conserving and running the afore mentioned devices from solar, I have reduced in one month's time my dependence on the grid by 45 percent. As you probably heard the cost of solar is coming down. But you don't have to do it up all at once. Get started then add on as you have the money to. I purchased a 45 watt solar power station kit at the national tool retailer Harbor Frieght Tool with the coupon they currently have out for $149.99. With a $90 125 ah marine battery from Wal-mart, I have a solar power station for less than $250.00. I have save enough to invest in another system for next month to power my bedroom. A couple of power inverters top it off.

Self-reliance isn't easy but the more you do for youself, the more you'll want to do. It'll become a way of life almost on it's own. Almost an obsession. First take the resolve to start and it'll snowball-no matter where you live. There are many resources out there that can help. Personally, I belong to the National Gardening Club, The National Hunting Club, several books and the internet. And, of course, the best and my favorite. Mother Earth News. The point is GET STARTED! My next move is to find a place where I can raise a few barnyard animals. Right now though I do pretty good and am well on my way to green self-reliant living. Even in a trailer park.

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