The idea of becoming self-sufficient can seem very exciting. It certainly is to me.
However, sometimes it can also seem very daunting or even impossibly out of reach.
As with so many things I do, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the massively ever increasing to do list. And there can be times when it feels that you’re not sure it’s all worth it.
I think it’s important to say that the idea of self-sufficiency is one that comes with an element of harkening back to an ancestral yearning to b
e in charge of your own destiny.
And that’s more how I think of being self-sufficient.
Do I currently produce every single thing that my family consumes in our garden or by my own hand?
And I doubt realistically, that I ever will, on whatever level, you want to look at it.
I don’t think any of us really want that. I certainly don’t want to live in a world where I cannot enjoy the benefits of things such as the connectivity of the internet. I never want to feel that I can’t have access to the wealth of information that a smartphone provides me or that I can’t share my wins and losses. With countless people I may never meet.
No, to me self-sufficiency, is more akin to self-reliance, in its strictest sense. And what I mean by that is, I want the destiny of me and my loved ones in my hands.
So being able to produce a significant portion of our calorific intake means that I am significantly less vulnerable to the vagaries of outside pressures that come from government, markets and global politics.
Knowing that I’m able to Fix a great deal of things that may go wrong with the building I live in means that I’m far less likely to be putting the wellbeing of my family at risk because I can’t afford to hire a contractor immediately when the roof leaks.
Being able to generate the small amounts of income from selling eggs at the side of my road or teaching cheesemaking to kindred spirits are ways I can supplement my income that are unlikely to be affected by things like redundancy or a downturn in the economy.
These are what I consider to be the real key to self-sufficiency.
There is certainly something to be said for division of labour. Many of you will be reading this on a smartphone or a PC.
These devices weren’t made by one person. In fact, I would be quite certain that there isn’t a person alive that holds the knowledge to construct every single component, from the tiny screws made from ore mined from the ground up to the coding and microchips and touchscreen glass. It is the division of labour and delivery economies of manufacturing that this produces that allows these magnificent miracles to exist in our world.
And while I’m not seeking to give these up. To me personally, it’s important to be less dependant on these things to be more self-reliant, more self-sufficient.
That’s what it means to me and while I will work towards producing 100 % of my family’s consumption, it is the journey, not the goal that is important to me.