Thursday, February 11, 2010

Self Sufficiency

With the worries about the economy there has been alot of talk about stocking up, cutting expenses, and becoming more self sufficient. Becoming more self sufficient has been a subject that has always held an interest for me. It's a horrible feeling to be so dependent on outside sources for survival.

With a 9-5 job, a large mortgage, and two car payments you are at the mercy of the ups and down of the economy. I remember that horrible feeling of worrying about how we would survive without a stable income.

We have had a desire to become as self sufficient as we possibly could for quite some time now. For a long time it was just a dream. This last year has opened up a few doors to bring us closer to our goal. Even with Scott's layoff and self-employment we have been brought so much closer to realizing that dream. I suppose God wanted to get that great paying job out of the way to bring us to where we are at now. God has blessed our business and our life tremendously through self employment so now it is just time to take the next step. If it is God's will, we will be on our own small acreage, debt free, sometime next year! It is just another step we are taking on the path God is leading us.

That means that right now we are in the research and planning phase. While we have been studying for years, it's time to take it up a notch. I am reading a great book, by Joel Salatin, called You Can Farm. What a great read so far. We have been busy trying to learn as much as possibly can before we buy. We have made some local connections with people in the agriculture industry that are showing us the basics.

We plan on learning more about raising pastured poultry, pork, and beef. We are learning more about gardening and on how to build up nutrient dense soil. So much of our soil is depleted of most vital nutrients it needs. We will also how to make our own dairy products. We by no means plan on operating a large farm, but instead, we hope to practice alternative farming. There is so much to soak in before then.

We are also doing a few small remodeling projects to spruce up our place before we have to put it on the market. Another thing that we had to do was to give up our egg layers until we move. We needed to take the coop down to let the grass regrow. For some reason, we believe that most potential buyers wouldn't see a chicken coop in the city as an amenity. It was really hard to see them go. We sure do miss our eggs. The store bought ones just aren't the same. We will still be doing one more batch of meat chickens though. We have had so much interest in our birds that we are doing a small batch to sell.

This is one our family's vision. It is exciting to be able to include our whole family as we travel down this road. To learn together as a family, all 9 of us working side by side. Building our future together while building lasting memories.

I know I have neglected my blog for some time now, but I plan to write more about what we learn this year as we travel down this road. I hope to continue blogging in some form of what I used to. I have had so many ask me to start back up. I can't make any guarantees that it will be updated regularly, but i'll try.


Mr. Brown said...

I came to Joel Salatin via Food Inc last month and have now read You Can Farm and Family Friendly Farming. Just a word to encourage you to keep at it! He's the real deal.

Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food and the films--Food Inc., King Corn and now FRESH--convince me that an alternative to a centralized, industrialized food system may actually have a chance despite this country's farm policy and the agribusiness giants that control it.

Look forward to reading about your progress!


Teresa @ A Life At Home said...

Mr. Brown, we have actually been fans of Joel Salatin for a few years now. We heard him speak at a conference for entrepreneurs a few years ago. It was actually that conference that changed our whole way of thinking.

Now, I did sit down and watch Food Inc. last month. Sadly, we've been knowing this about the food industry for some time. What we did enjoy was that they showed Polyface Farm on it. Getting a glimpse of them "processing" chickens was nice.

The policies they are enacting endanger even the smallest of farms. If they had their way, it would be illegal to grow any of your own food. While it may come down to it one day, for now, we still have that freedom.

Anna said...

Glad to see you posting again.

Mr. Brown said...


Just saw this on CNN:

Kind of fits with what you're talking about.

Good luck with the farm.

Tracy said...

Great post! I'm adding that title to my reading list. I am looking forward to reading more of what you are learning. Praying the Lord continues to bless you in your hearts' desires!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

How exciting! I just found your blog but hope to follow your journey in the endeavor.


Teresa said...

Tracy, it is a fascinating read, if you want to become more agricultural. It is geared towards actually making the farm a family business. We first heard of Joel Salatin through Vision Forum's Entrepreneurial Bootcamp audios. We enjoyed all of the speakers, but really loved Joel's sessions. I still think you could glean alot of wisdom through the book. I do plan on putting up a review of another book you may enjoy on homesteading soon.

Teresa said...

Anna, thanks!

Niki, Hi! Nice to "meet" you!

Lori Dupre Jackson said...

So happy for you Teresa!!

Teresa said...

Hi, Lori! I knew if you read you'd be happy to see this post. Oh, the kids loved the pictures of honey. They want a cow that looks just like her! lol