Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I think I am as Self Sufficient as I want....#FoodiesRead2016

Last month I talked to you about a new book club that I joined called Foodies Read 2016.  I sat down the other day and started reading The Self-Sufficiency Handbook, A Complete Guide to Greener Living by Alan and Gill Bridgewater.


I have had this book for a while and I pulled it out recently because we are taking daily photos for National Sunday Supper and the theme for the day was Green.  I posted on instagram because, for me, it is important that my foods be local, sustainable, organic and hormone and antibiotic free as much as possible.  So, of course, when I saw this book at the store it appealed to me.  I bought it, flipped through it and put it on my shelf with all the hundreds of other books that scream "buy me" when I go into a store.

Since I had pulled it out for the photo, I figured I may as well read through it and see what it had to say.  It said a lot actually. The authors appear to be from the UK so some things were a little different but the gist was the same.

They spoke of the land and what kind of plot and location you might want for the amount of Self Sustainability you desire.  My husband and I moved to a rural area onto 12 acres with two ponds 15 years ago.  All set there.

Then they talked about having a self sufficient house.  We did think about going with geo thermal heating and should we ever build a house we absolutely will but right now we can't justify the cost of installation and we don't want to attempt to install it ourselves.  When we first moved in we had a well that was very saline filled.  We immediately hooked up to city water.  The house has full electric and gas hookups.  I am not ready or willing to give up those comforts.

The next chapter instructed how to grow your own organic garden.  We grow fruit trees and herbs. We also get a full garden of squash, pumpkins, tomatillos, etc....that grows all on it's own from the scraps we throw to our hogs.  But I am not much of a gardener.  I hate weeding so instead we belong to an Organic, local CSA and hit the farmer's markets in season.

When they got to animal husbandry, I have to admit, it got be hankering to raise cows.  We currently raise laying hens, meat chickens, turkeys and hogs.  I really would like to raise cows but Frank is not willing to go there so we will just continue to buy our beef from a local friend and farmer who has the same ethics in regards to raising animals.

The final chapter was all about preserving foods and I am all about that.  I water bath can and freeze every season so that we can enjoy the harvest all year long.  This year, for Christmas, Frank got me a pressure cooker canner that I am anxious to use.

When I finished the book I found that I am pretty content with the amount of Self-Sufficiency we have created.  I also realized that this would be an excellent first read for Foodies Read 2016.  I am linking up over at Based on a True Story.  Hop on over and see who else has joined the challenge and what they have read so far.  You can also learn how to join in the fun.....we would love to have you.




14 comments:

  1. I think I am pretty content with where I am right now too!!

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  2. We buy meats and eggs from farmers who raise their animals humanely, and we eat only organic fruits and vegetables. Our family all should have been farmers ourselves but that didn't happen long enough ago. Your blog is a joy to read and keep up the good work!

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    1. You are too kind Zip, thanks so much.

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  3. Whenever I read books like that I always feel like should be doing so much more and it takes a while for reality to soak back in. I'm too lazy for a huge garden.

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    1. You and me both. We can just do our part by supporting our small, local farmers.

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  4. I admire all the ways you are self sufficient Wendy. I have an herb garden on my lanai and try to buy local fish, eggs, and produce from small farmers whenever possible and that's about it I am afraid. I do love to read books on green living and homesteading and live vicariously through the authors. ;-)

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    1. If we all do just a little bit the impact will be tremendous. I love books on homesteading too. Have you read Farm City? I loved that book.

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  5. Sounds like you're doing a great job Wendy!

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  6. Wendy, I am impressed with your time management skills as well as self-sufficiency skills! You have time to read! We have raised chickens just for eggs, and a few guineas, which were noisy as all get out. I LOOVE that your garden springs up from the table scraps that you feed the hogs! I often transplant the volunteer tomatoes or squash that come up out of the compost. But I NEED to read this book about geo-thermal heating and such, have also considered building a cob oven to go with our outdoor wood-fired brick one that is cracking after 20 years. Thanks for reading and inspiring!

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    1. Well thanks for all the compliments Dorette. I have never heard of a cob oven, off to do some research.

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  7. We're suburbanites in a satellite town of a huge city, but we somehow managed to get almost 3x times as much backyard as any of our neighbors & I'm looking for ways to make better use of it than just a big field of grass (even though the dog thinks it is his own magical land, haha). We'll never be able to go for geothermal heating or raising cattle, but maybe this book will have some tips that I can make use of!

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    1. If the area you are in allows laying hens they don't take much room, they are quiet and they are clean. Of course, there are always fruit and vegetable gardens too. Enjoy Louise.

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