Have You Learned to Be More Self-sufficient?

| 5/11/2009 11:08:48 AM



In uncertain economic times, it's just good ol common sense to hone your country skills and reduce your dependence on the grocery store, the department store, the gas station, etc. In what way(s) are you striving to provide for yourself? Maybe you've finally decided to try your hand at vegetable gardening, or sewing. Maybe you finally added more insulation to your home's attic or joined a carpool. Many people just needed that extra economic push to stop procrastinating. Share your stories with us by posting a comment below!

6/17/2010 11:19:56 AM

Mother Earth News has been a savior to us! Living in Chicago, we found the pages of Mother Earth to be spiritual. Not knowing what we wanted, but knowing we wanted something different than the city life, this magazine provided all the answers! Growing up in the country, we discovered through the articles, advice and beautiful photography, that what we wanted most of all was to go back to where we came from. After reading a years subscription to Mother Earth, we bought and remodeled an old farmhouse in the country, started an organic garden, make our own soap, candles, deodorant, wine and beer. More than anything else though, we learned the importance of being self sufficient and respecting nature, taking the time to slow down and examine all the natural beauty that Mother Earth provides for us so freely.

john m_3
6/15/2010 6:39:59 PM

these are great comments. we are retired and living in san marcos texas, the bottom of an ancient sea. lots of limestone. with the climate change, we are dealing with chill hours for the fruit trees, serious drought, and it goes on and on. living in the city limits here, water is very expensive, the city is always finding ways to raise money. so we went to rain catchment. at present we have a capacity of 7032 gallons. we want to reach 10,000 gallons. the soil is shallow, bed rock is not far away. so, we are solving our water problems and have found that hay mulch works great. remember cow and horse manure is great for the garden, well they eat hay and absorb nutrients, bypass them and put hay as a mulch. then turn it or not for a new planting. remember ruth stout? this works. we want to be sustainable. if we had to depend on our garden, we would be very hungry indeed. my mother grew up on a share cropper farm in the depression. i asked her how they survived. she said that the family gardens did not produce much if it did not rain. i was thinking that the farms back then were self sufficient. they were not. everything was canned, meat included, hams and bacon were smoked and provided food as did our friends the chickens. and mom told me that when i got hot here in central texas, they had to eat all the pork because it was begining to go the the dark side. so, gardening is tough here. we can lowquat jam, fig preserves, oops, ran out of characters

rick vanhorn
6/12/2010 10:02:53 PM

Last year I toke an early retirement from my employer in North Dakota and moved to a place in Arkansas on 7.5 acres with a year round creek. I went from a house of 2,000 sq. ft. to one of 860 sq. ft. I have raised beds and a 60 x 60 garden with an orchard with apples, pears, and peaches. I have also started grapes, blue berries and rassberries. I also have six laying hens and a couple of crazy roosters. I do the composting thing. In fact I have three of them set up so that they can be left alone while one is being used and refilled. I do some lawn care for people that are not full time residents so I have lots of grass clippings and garden waste. I raise lots of produce and start about mid Febuary in my 10 x 20 greenhouse which has a sprinkler system powered by gravity from a water source (tower) that is filled by rain water collected at the house and then pumped into the 250 gal tank by a solar powered pump. The solar power also supplies the exhaust fans, that came from a auto salvage yard, used to circulate the air in the green house. As of this writing, I'm about to plant my third planting of lettuce and beets. I do not know how they will grow now that the hot weather is here but we'll see if it works. As far as being debt free I have not reached that part as the economy kind of made everything move in the direction of moving to a less expensive area to live. My lowest electric bill has been $38.00 and most expensive one has been $60.

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