Let me try to explain what I mean by being more self-sufficient. First and by no means am I saying, That I will not go into a store to buy things. As a whole we can't possibly make or produce everything that we may need to survive comfortably, not anymore. We of the United States, for the most part are up to three or four generations removed from the family farmsteads. However some people are turning around so to speak, and are going back to the land. They are re-learning the "old ways" of doing things. It is a cycle that seems to take place about every twenty to forty years. So in the end all may yet not be lost, as some people are interested in the do-it-yourself (D.I.Y.) hands-on mentality.
Now for the most part food production has followed in the exodus, away from the family farm to city opportunities. As in the creation of big Agra-business that mass produces food, farming corporations now that should scare everyone. Since the things that we have lost to this so called industrial progress, has in reality acted more like the "Texas Two Step". That being for every step forward, we lose two steps backward. So let's get off of this losing dance floor.
Not everyone can re-learn everything, I know. What we all need to do, is to re-learn some of everything while specializing in one or two things ~ Like our ancestors did. Then barter our specialty for someone Else's specialty. Let's see the government tax that transaction.
Let me see ... A "lost art" might be raising our own food for the most part, also preserving the harvest. Or maybe keeping honeybees, to pollinate our plants and produce honey. Then too remember that Mead is a alcohol that is made from honey. Maybe someone could make cheese to preserve excess milk or maybe butter, after all both are made from the solids of milk, and both are better for us than the alternatives. Someone could re-learn how to make thread from plant fibers and/or animal fur. So that cloth could be woven, with which to make our clothing. Now digging into a mound of clay could produce tile or pottery. Paper can be made from natural fibers, even cloth. Imagine writing a note on a piece of paper, made out of worn out jeans to your child's teacher. Be careful here as some public school teachers are on the side of the liberal left. Who have taken on the challenge of indoctrination of our youth, as part of their goal. OOPS! Sorry but I seam to have drifted into politics again.
For the most part people are starving for tactile, creative and productive work. Something; Anything that they can hold up admiringly while proudly proclaiming, "Look ... I did, or made, or grew, or produced This!". After all how many of us can remember the smell of from scratch homemade baked bread fresh from the oven. Or the taste of free range chicken eggs, with your own homemade maple cured smoked bacon or ham, and a side of home grown homefries and grilled home grown onions, that both were just dug out of your humus rich garden the night before. Uh Oh; I almost drooled on the keyboard. Who remembers the smell of the compost pile as you worked it into your garden soil, to further enrich your home grown foods? So I say, let us all get busy working for our own betterment, not a cooperation office somewhere.
Now remember that produce can be grown in flower pots, while watering with "gray water". Some small breeds of farm animals can be raised in your back yard. Should you live in a town or city, maybe you can make an arrangement with a farmer outside of town for some of your food production. Possibly an act of volunteering to help out on the farm, in a sort of labor exchange. Maybe that in its' self could turn into a real paying job for you.
Personally I grew up on a dairy farm, we had 80 milking head and about twice that many in young stock. That was for the first twenty odd years of my life, so yes I know a lot of what I just spoke of. True, not all of it, but most of it. I am currently in the proess of re-learning the nearly lost art of welding. You see my uncle took care of most of the repairing, fixing and rebuilding of the farm equipment. His son (my cousin) and I helped, but as that was well over thirty years ago. So am re-learning welding as it will aid in my intentions of building my own transportation. That in turn may grow into an income stream, in my way-to-soon to arrive senior years. As this blog is intended to document the process there of. While I shift away from the all consuming auto industry and the related slavery to foreign oil interests.
So basically self-sufficiency to me means, being less dependent on any big business that has to transport goods across "X" number of miles for a consumer to buy. I know that this is a tall order, but do able I think. Since that the time that it takes to do or produce things, is on the side of people who are either under-employed or are unemployed, during this economic crisis that is on par with the great depression of eighty years ago during the 1930's. You see what we need to do is to remix the "old ways" with the new and improved without losing either. That way we as a whole will be able to survive to the future of our world.
So join with me as I roll up my sleeves and get busy getting busy ...