For example, if you are breeding rabbits for meat, being truly self-sufficient means you aren’t going out and buying new rabbits for meat consumption. And besides, ew. I want to know where my meat comes from, not just buy it off craigslist.
It means you sit down, have a plan, get your rabbit herd together, and then start breeding your own meat. Sure, breeders die. But that doesn’t mean you have to go get a new one. This means you plan ahead and hold back certain babies from litters so that you can better your lineage and be sustainable. This can easily be done by starting with pedigreed rabbits that come from several different lineages. Knowing the animal and where it came from is half the battle.
We have become much too reliant on EOs, and throw our money at large companies praising them for the “best EOs in the entire world”. But if you don’t know what else is out there, how can you make that assumption? If you, yourself, don’t even know how an EO is made, you cannot falsely claim these statements.
Working and living without debt
This is a big one for a lot of people. Becoming self-sufficient should mean you don’t have to rely on bank loans and debt to live your life. Therefore, you work towards paying off all debt. Being truly self-sufficient means you have zero debt, or at least in a perfect world. However, most of us have mortgages to pay. With that said, people are doing it. People are building their own homes over a year or two time period, just so they don’t have a “mortgage” to pay every month. I don’t think we will ever be there. Our goal is to purchase a larger piece of land, and my husband will build our home, but I think we will always have that mortgage debt for at least a few years.
The other side of this is learning how to work. There are a lot of people who will still continue the daily grind of an office job, etc. Yes, that’s an honest living. But will you have time for that once you are truly self-sufficient? This is where your working skills comes into play. Having a skill that you can offer to others is essential. Can you build things? Can you help others in some way? Or maybe you’ve become so self sufficient that you can buy, sell, and trade straight from your homestead?
Either way, work and living without debt is a major part of being truly self-sufficient.
Off-Grid vs. Modern Homesteading
Do you have to live off-grid to be completely self sufficient? That’s a good question. And honestly, out of this entire blog, I’m not quite sure how to answer that. I would like to think that you can have a modern homestead and still be completely self-sufficient, but that’s just not true. Again, completely self-sufficient is the key word here.
You are still dependent upon an electric company to give you electricity. You are still paying that bill every month. Original “off-griders” don’t have cell phones, don’t have electric, they don’t depend on anyone other than themselves for those things. But we don’t live in the renaissance here, people. We live in a modernized society, where sometimes, it’s better to have a cell phone than not.
So, do you have to live off grid to be completely self-sufficient? I’d say yes.
Do you have to live off grid to be completely self-sufficient in today’s modernized society? Absolutely not.
Going off-grid is a great option, but I don’t foresee it as an option for us. Unfortunately, we are just too modernized. I do have a job that requires me to have wi-fi, for the moment. We do have lives that require us to have cell phones. And honestly, we enjoy our electricity. And I don’t foresee us having the money to pay for solar panels anytime soon.
I’m not going to lie, I don’t foresee us ever being completely self-sufficient, but I see us getting almost there, or in today’s modernized definition of it, in the near future (once we have more space).
This is something I think about often, and something I’m asked often. And I hope that it helps someone out there, somehow!
We have to remember that, while we’re trying to get back to our roots, our roots have grown a lot in the past century. We are not the same world we were then, and therefore, homesteading and true self-sufficiency can look a lot different now than it did back then.
Ultimately, you have to decide what’s right for your own life and family. And true self-sufficiency might look a lot different to you than to others. But, by definition standards, this is what it would mean.
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