New Beginning from Failure: (Re-)Starting My Self-Sufficiency Journey

Reader Contribution by Jeremy Obermeyer
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In 2015, I wanted to start and work on achieving our goal of becoming completely self-sufficient and to help others achieve the same goal by documenting and writing about our journey. I was out of town and relatively close to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office, and so I told the editors my plans. I wrote my initial blog post, kept trying to live the lifestyle, kept writing, and the rest was supposed to be history — right?

The fact is, like many things, I did it all wrong! I did know quite a bit about gardening and had written several newsletters, but that was pretty much it. I didn’t prepare well at all when it came to chickens, vermicomposting, and everything else I tried and it cost me, and not only in the checkbook. I was also working a full-time job and even though it was a very good job, I didn’t want to be there. My family and I were renting but had hopes of moving in the near future, so I didn’t want to invest a lot of time and money into a place that we did not own.

Seeming Failures Mount

So if you add up my homesteading failures, my job failures, and everything else that went wrong, things were really rough. My life, just like my garden, was being overtaken by weeds! I mentioned in the initial post that I was going to write about my success and my failures so everyone could learn what to do and what not to do, and I fully intended on doing so. The only problem with that was, the only thing I had to write about at the time was my failures, and I think people don’t want to read about someone who was failing all of the time.

Over the last few years, things did not go all that much better — until recently. My attitude had been terrible, which has led to more of the same. The gardens each year would increasingly get more weed- and bug-infested, my composting worms dwindled down to nothing, I sold off all of the remaining chickens, and since I really didn’t care about much and what I was putting into my body, I gained a lot of weight. I also got a new job that ended up not being what I thought it was going to be, and we thought we found a house that would actually be ours. The house deal went through a not-so-normal course and then on the day we were supposed to close, things went south and we backed out of the deal, which also caused a lot of stress and turmoil.

Faith in the Process, and in Yourself

I know this blog has been a downer at best, recounting all of the negative things that have happened, but I felt like I had to mention it in order for this story to unfold from here. The best news needs to make sense and sound that much better. You see, even though our time on this Earth is relatively short, God gives us several chances to make ourselves better no matter what the circumstances! Each morning it is up to us to make our days great by making better choices than what we did in the past, and not letting the bad choices get us down.

As you can tell, in the past I handled my bad situations terribly and let them get me down. Instead of learning from them, I whined about them. My jobs may not have been what I expected but I have learned a lot of useful knowledge, in which, some of it has already paid off, plus have made several good friends !and business contacts. I have been able to study more about gardening, writing, chickens, and vermicomposting, plus realizing that I would also like to do a vlog about some homesteading subjects that I never thought of before. We are still renting and I am just starting on working on my health, but I now have a much better attitude about it and know what to look for when thins affect me negatively.

Join Me on this New Beginning

In closing, I want to thank the readers and editors of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for joining me on this New Beginning!  I am looking forward to all of our victories of not only growing and raising vegetables and animals but also growing a business of helping people become more self-sufficient. Yes, I know that there will be failures along the way, but is it truly a failure if you learn from and correct it? I think not!

Jeremy Obermeyer owns and operates Obermeyer Heritage Farms with his family in Gypsum, Kansas. Obermeyer Heritage Farms is an all-natural farming and gardening operation using organic techniques to grow only heirloom vegetables and raise only heritage breeds of livestock. Connect with Jeremy on Facebook, and read all of his MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


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