Striving to be more Self Sufficient

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I have really fallen off the wagon this last year in regards to being self-sufficient. I think when I lost all my chickens and I had to start buying eggs I just little by little stopped doing a lot of the things I had been doing. Not sure if it was just because I was busy or I just got lazy, thinking it was the lazy part haha. So I have decided to start up again only a little harder this time. I want to be able to lessen my trips to town to only once a month. And get all my bill paid off.

I have always wanted to live up in the mountains and homestead, be completely off grid and self-sufficient. That is something that we will never be able to do so I am going to see if I can do it here. Pretty sure it will require a lot more work but I think I can do it, and it will be interesting to try especially since it is something I have always wanted to do. It will have to be pretty much like the old timers did it, since we can’t afford to do solar.

I have chickens coming soon, and I plan to grow my own fodder to feed them. I think with the fodder, wheat, a little cracked corn and kitchen scraps I shouldn’t have to buy feed for them.

I bought a milk goat, I just need to get a pen built for her so I can bring her home. I will also feed her fodder. I will be able to make cheeses, yogurt, buttermilk, and cream cheese.

This fall I am hoping to put up enough food to get us by until next fall.

I am going to try and grow lettuce in the house over the winter and do some sprouting.

Since goats don’t produce much cream I am going to try and trade eggs for cream from one of our neighbors that has several milk cows.

I am going to make sure I have soap made up for baths, shampoo, dishes, and laundry.

I know we can’t go off grid completely but I want to as close as I can get. I will start by trying and get my utilities as low as I can. I am going to start hanging all my laundry out to dry and in the winter I will use drying racks. This winter I will try to do most of my cooking on the wood stove and in my thermal cooker. And when I bake bread I will try to do all my baking that day.

I am going to start using more solar lights, I will put 3 to a vase and set them out during the day them bring them in at night to use where we don’t need real bright lights.

This winter when it freezes I will put out soda bottles full of water and freeze them then set them in the fridge to help keep it cold.

I am getting ready to make a above ground root cellar, and ice house (the ice house just because I want to see if I can get it to work).

I am trying to grow mushrooms right now. Next spring I need to find someone who knows a little more about mushrooms and go to the mountains and pick my own.

The things that we can’t grow ourselves I will have to by, but only when they are on sale.

These are just a few of the things that I plan on doing. I look forward to sharing this journey with you. Hopefully I will be able to do everything that I am wanting to do. As I said it is going to be a lot of work but I think it will be pretty cool to try.

 

 


7 thoughts on “Striving to be more Self Sufficient

  1. Nina

    Hi,
    I am so proud of you!! I too am attempting to get to the place where I can do EXACTLY what you are attempting to do. I am still working outside the home and find that due to being a little older I simply do not have quite enough energy to work another job AND become even more self-sufficient. I have a few more months where I am working on stashing away a little extra money and come this Spring I’m going to stay home and attempt to do the very same thing you are. I don’t have a wood stove nor a goat but there are so many things that I will be able to do just given more time!! I’m looking forward to better mushroom and plant identification. I also want to practice more on my cooking over a fire.

    One of the things that is important to me is to get my information cataloged. I have an enormous amount of really good information and information I can actually use but so many times I can’t find it and I’m back to the computer hunting it down. I simply can’t remember it all!! I have downloaded what I need but it’s sitting here and there. I want to get it put in binders and somewhere where I can go and find it when I need it!!

    My garden is just about finished. I’ve planted a Fall garden for the first time this year. I’ve got some zucchini, yellow summer squash, lettuces, beets, arugula, and Swiss Chard in the ground and a small row of late baby limas and purple hulled peas that will be ready in about 3 weeks. I still need to plant garlic for next year and finish bringing in the spaghetti squash and butternut squash. There are a few straggly tomatoes which suits me just fine. LOVE tomatoes!! I’m off to the market for apples and I’ll be finished!!

    Hey, anyone out there got an idea on how to keep the squirrels out of my pear tree. It borders on our woods and is one fine tree but the squirrels decimate it every year. We trap, shoot, you name it and still they get my pears. Suggestions?

    Good luck!!

    1. watkinsranches@yahoo.com Post author

      Nina,
      We really should live close to each other lol. We can do this, and it is going to feel so good knowing and doing as much as we can ourselves and not being as dependent on others.
      I am also planting a fall garden for the first time, and garlic. My garden is just now starting to produce and the tomatoes still need a couple weeks before they will be ready, I am so ready for fresh tomatoes.

      I also need to get my information cataloged it is so frustrating to need some that you know you have but have to spend an hour looking for it, by the time i find it I am over it lol.

      I defiantly know what you mean about not being able to get as much done as we get older, I have all these plans for the day but only half seem to get done. Although I am lucky that I work from home so I can get a few things done during the day while I have kids. I really want to get more self sufficient so I can cut back my daycare to only a couple kids.

      As far as squirrels I have no idea, our pest here are the deer , raccoons our neighbors cows and the occasional bear lol.

      Have a great day
      Connie

    2. Gail

      To stop the opossums here in Australia we sometimes wrap tin around the trunk of the trees so they have no grip when they try to climb. Not sure how high squirrels can’t jump though as we don’t have them here.

  2. Elle mental

    Sounds like a good plan Connie! I wish you well 🙂 We got a tankless water heater this year as a way to reduce our electricity use and the wastefulness of heating and holding water at temp. For use periodically. Our savings has been about $80 a month and our gas bill hasn’t changed noticeably so the initial investment will be paid off in just a few years! We can’t be totally off the power grid but we are taking big steps to do what we can to reduce our power usage. Next enough solar panels to run our well, (we can easily live without power, long story but we’ve had practice…), but our well is presently power dependant. This is unacceptable, since when there is no power there is no water, (also have long term experience with this). With the tax breaks NC is giving we are hoping to afford this next year.

    1. watkinsranches@yahoo.com Post author

      Elle,
      Thanks, That is a lot of savings, funny how things add up that you wouldn’t think would take a lot of power. I would love to get solar but just not in the budget right now. My biggest concern is water we do have a ditch that runs year around through or place but the water is pretty nasty. I am hoping we can get some rain barrels set up one of these days. I guess if things get real ugly we do have a lake a couple miles from us. (hope it never gets that bad lol). Can you get a hand pump for your well ? We could live without power if we had to, we both did for a while while growing up. It would take some getting use to but we could do it.
      Have a great day,
      Connie

  3. Judy

    I love hearing other people say they wish to live self sufficient I have wanted to live this way all my life and it is good to know there are others out there that share the same dream, best wishes and I will look forward to reading about your adventures from Judy in Australia.

    1. watkinsranches@yahoo.com Post author

      Judy,
      Thanks, It is something I have always wanted to do, so I figured I am not getting any younger and if I am going to do it had better do it now lol, where I am.
      I look forward to sharing all I can do.
      Have a great day,
      Connie