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Self Reliance as the path to survival and saving money

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by monkeyman, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Great information in this thread that made me remember several things I was doing as a kid and young man. We had rabbits and a couple of pigs at all times and a large garden that we canned probably 75% of the harvest, the rest we ate daily off the vine. Been working on getting back to that level of self sufficiency but the going can be slow when you don't have a lot of land. This thread is very motivating for me to reinvigorate some of the skills I was taught years ago and get back to the basics....
    tulianr and RightHand like this.
  2. Hello everyone![alien]

    Seems it's been a while since anyone commented here on this thread, but it's still at the top of the list and I'm new here, so I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in. As far as being self-reliant and self-sufficient goes, I consider it our duty as a human beings born and raised on this planet, in this free and fertile country, to be as self-reliant and self-sufficient as possible. In fact I think we should all feel this way somewhat, right? I mean why not? There is a pride that you can take from living your life, on your terms, by your means. You may not be as comfortable as you would be at a fancy hotel where they do everything short of wipe your ass for you, or you may be more comfortable than you ever have been before! The choice is yours! The knowledge that you built your shelter (no more cold air spots, better insulation, green materials, proper ventilation, reduced heating/cooling costs, wouldn't that be nice?!), or grew or caught your dinner(organic, free-range, fresh killed or harvested what could taste better and be better for you?), or even something as simple as making dinner instead of going out to eat(I've worked in the food/restaurant industry, trust me you are lucky if your food hasn't been recently dropped on the floor, let alone made with fresh organic ingredients like you can make yourself for half the price at home.); The pride, the worryless, stressless, fearless feeling that you get knowing that you can survive, you can fix what's broken because you built it, you can feed your family even when money is tight, you can even eat like kings and gain fun new skills that directly benefit you and your family on a daily basis! Things like cutting wood for the fire so you can be warm tonight and have the knowledge that if not for you doing that, it would be a damn cold and miserable night for everyone. Lets face it, big buisness is known for cutting corners for profit, and they have their hand in every single cookie jar out there, from the insulation and sheetrock in your home, to your pesticide, herbacide, fungicide, POISON sprayed fruits and vegetables, and your hormone injected, GMO corn eating, irradiated grocery store meat, not to mentioned the processed foods that might as well be plastic! The more you learn about how buisnesses and government keep trying to "help" us by providing us with these products and services, the more you realize they are F$%&ing everything up to make their wallets fatter! Do things for yourself as much as possible, on whatever scale you can, even at home, even in the city apartment, everywhere and anywhere and feel good about being alive and working to help yourself and your family! Rope in as many people as you can and do bigger projects together that benefit entire communities like windmill projects, greenhouse projects, bio energy projects or even hunting or gardening clubs! These things will teach you the skills you need to survive when TSHTF. Not necessarily exactly how you will live, but you will know that whatever challenege faces you, you will be able to handle it. And that's what you need to survive. Fear is what kills people in dire situations.

    My advice to most people in cities who are trying to to the best they can where they are, is to save up as much $$ as you can and get out as fast as possible! Land is cheaper than ever if you just get away from the cities! Live like a bum for a few months without luxuries, save up, and buy a piece of land. That's all you need to start making money and living off your land right now. You can build a home as temporary (<$600) or as permanent(>$1000000) as you can afford, and use your land to increase your profits and invest in your home and comfort level every day. Yes there are little things you can compromise with and make due with in your little apartment or in your suburban restricted house, but I'm not about compromise, I'm about following your dreams and making the life your dreams a reality right now. (but by all means, do as much as you can wherever you are, as every little things helps the whole planet!) You can grow vegetables, you can hunt, you can wild harvest things already on your land, you can place bee hives and have organic raw honey for sale, you can fish, you can grow herbs, you can grow flowers and make essential oils, these are not hobby ideas, these are HIGHLY LUCRATIVE buisness opportunities that there are a shortage of people participating in! Big buisness and government will not give you the good life, for that to happen you have to make it for yourself, whatever that means for you, YOU have to actually get up and do it. I know far to many people with "good ideas" who talk all the time about how one day they're going to change their lives. Just do it! What do you have to lose that you cannot gain back again with hard work and perserverance? That's what this country is all about isn't it?? Rising up on your own merit?? Don't let that limit you to thinking you have to be a millionaire in a sky rise in NYC to be successful, even a modest income is superfluous when you limit your expenses and do things with your own bare hands.

    As far as all this talk about meat and bunnies and goats: I am a raw-vegan most of the time, meaning that I do eat meat occasionally, usually when I go out to eat for some celebration or another, I do eat / use bee products all the time and don't care (I believe they are there for us to use like the rest of nature), but survive most of the time on raw-vegan foods available year round, from your local grocery store. If you are going really serious homesteader, you can jar and pickle anything for prolonged storage and health benefits unavailable in grocery store pickled items due to preservatives they use to increase shelf life. (people have been jarring foods for hundreds of years and they don't need artificial preservatives to last!) You can also grow cold storage vegetables and store them in the cellar all the way until spring harvest! You don't need to eat meat to survive people, in fact, research now proves that we are meant to be eating a diet of mostly vegetables and fruits, nuts and berries, and only eating meat when absolutely necessary. You see meat is a great thing in survival situations because the body can survive on meat, the same with certain vegetables like potatoes, and grains like wheat and corn. While the body CAN survive off these items, they were mainly introduced into our diets through food shortages during hard times like the world wars. In the early 1900s people began losing touch with their native home grown foods, and started eating prepared cereals and grains commercially farmed and produced by companies like Kellogs and Quaker. Research now proves however, that it is best to eat locally grown produce, that is organically grown without the use of pesticides and other poisons, to eat these RAW as much as possible, and to restrict your diet to a total meat intake of 10%, and 0% grains and starchy vegetables like potatoes. Now that is not to say that if you eat these things you will die, but the body breaks down when you eat these things instead of gaining strength like when you eat vegetarian. Not to mention the serious question of how long has that meat at the grocery store (which is irradiated and sprayed with chemicals to preserve that wonderful pink color) been sitting there? I eat a meat meal once every 2 weeks or so. Do you have gas? bloating? fatigue? how about arthritis? or psoriasis? dandruff? acne? are you obese? All of these things and more, can be CURED by switching to a raw-vegan based diet, and that is from direct experience and years of research. (see "The China Study") Our sick culture is a product of eating preserved foods, canned foods, cooked foods, foods that never go bad, foods that even bacteria won't touch, (mcdonald's french fries anyone?) we pasturize our milk and other drinks and kill it before we even begin to prepare it. And people are surprised that everyone around is dropping like flies? You don't NEED milk from another animal other than human, you don't NEED to eat meat or grains, and you would be a healthier person if you limited your intake of these things and increased your intake of raw fruits and vegetables. Easy to survive if you can name 60 edible plants that grow in your back yard throughout the year, plus have books with pictures of another 400.

    Homestead, AND live long into your 100s with the same vitality you would share with your sons and daughters.

    My 2 cents. This thread is actually what made me become a member here in the first place. Hope you all have interesting comments and have time to check out my about me page with all the info on how I live off the grid building an aquaponic bio-energy dome with my family to provide food electricity and natural gas year round completely self-sustainable and carbon-negative!

    Motomom34 likes this.
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Sam, nice post but some things popped into my head as I read. This year most of the apple crop and peach crop was wiped out due to a late frost. I noticed even the acorn crop is not bountiful this year as it was last year. Do you account for a situation like this just in case? Basically plan a year and a half ahead? Also, I know that our bodies require certain thing. I know reading Altas Babylon that they needed salt. I know that sailors had issue with scurvy. Do you consider these things or are the just covered by what you grow normally?
  4. I'm not exactly sure what you mean, so I'll try to answer as best I can.

    Do I account for a situation like this? Me, personally?

    As far as eating goes... Well, I try to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, mainly focusing on dark green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, chard, pak choy and also cruciferous (ancient) vegetables like cauliflower and brocolli. These veggies are packed with what you need to survive. Not only do they have proteins, vitamins, carbs, sugars, and salts, but they are all in perfect proportions to their own fiber content (when RAW) so that your body digests and absorbs exactly what it needs from them, without overdosing on anything like you do when juicing or cooking. They can also grow all year round in a greenhouse! We will be planting these exact seeds in about a week! One of these things alone might not be enough to keep you going, but mix them all together and its like superfuel for your body. Avacado has fats and proteins, hemp has proteins and fats, spinach has oxalates, celery has salt, coconut has minerals and electrolytes, and so on. One thing doesn't have it all, but did nature make forests that grow only one plant? I make green smoothies to drink througout the day which contain as much superfood and green leafy veggies as possible, with a little bit of organic fruit for a sweet flavor. Also, we do not chew as well as we should, so baby food (smoothies) sometimes is necessary for proper digestion and absorbtion. No frost or early death issues in a controlled greenhouse, and even if the plant dies, the nutritional variety of the rest of the greenhouse will be plenty to keep you healthy. Nature did not intend to be growing hundreds of the same exact plant on acres and acres of land. This is an ineffecient, unnatural, detrimental and unnecessary method of modern farming.

    When it comes to growing... Like the native americans of old, instead of clear cutting acres of land to plant crops in a silly grid pattern, they saw the bounty provided by nature and enriched it wherever it was. This is why (among other things) european settlers considered these people less than civilized, because they didn't "farm" like the Europeans did, but instead would walk into the woods and collect dozens of pounds of wild harvested fruits and veggies. If they found a patch of blueberries, they didn't rip it out of the ground and plant it in fields, they added fertilizer to the soil and trimmed back the tall tree branches that cast shade. Settlers at the time couldn't fathom the simple fact that nature provides. This is our goal on our property as well, to use edible landscaping techniques as much as possible to have a plentiful supply of local fruits and veggies without even having to think about it. This provides food for the birds and the deer as well so they stay out of other places like our medicinal herbs/flowers garden. You may have not heard of most of the fruits and veggies that will grow in your backyard, but that's only because your local grocery store can only buy produce that is hard and thick so that it survives the packing/shipping process. In reality theres over a hundred different kinds of tomato, but the stores only sell one or two because the skin is too thin on other varieties for packing and shipping, even though the thinner skinned varieties have the best flavors around. Variety ensures that you will survive. Early frost? While some things die, other things perservere. Early thaw? Late thaw? It doesn't matter, because you have the variety of crops you need and the knowledge of nature's refrigerator to get you through any situation.

    So, as far as the "our bodies NEED certain things to survive" statement. Well it just isn't true. Breatharians are human beings like you and I who have learned to live long and healthy lives from solar energy, like plants. Modern science is yet to discover the method or reasons behind this phenomenon, but the facts are there, people stopped eating and drinking like science tells us to, and didn't die in a week like science tells us we would if we did that. Every reason for death disease pain and suffering is simply a product of an unevolved mind, refusing to believe that anything is possible. Science is incomplete at best. Check out this link to my site with an article about a man who doesn't eat or drink, has scientists baffled.
    LHFTF - Coming Soon

    hope that helps.

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
    Motomom34 likes this.
  5. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Thanks Sam. It does help and you shared some info I didn't know. Celery has salt? Interesting. I do not have a green house but I had read a thread on the Monkey about planting in and among native vegetation, I forgot what they called it. You have giving some areas to read up on. Thanks
  6. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

  7. almost everything nature provides has some sort of sodium content as well as trace mineral content. Celery just has a more significant amount. sugars, salts, and trace minerals are in nature, in trace amounts, so that we eat them in trace amounts. we crave salty things and sweet things, because in nature, salty (celery), and sweet (berries) are in foods that are very good for us. However the marketing geniouses decided to use that knowledge to sell us table salt and candy, essentially poisoning us and ruining our natural ability to use taste to determine what our bodies want. Where are you located @Motomom34? I have many books on wild edibles in my area, I strongly recommend everyone learn what's growing in their neighborhood. Maybe I could recommend some to you if that's what youre looking to get into. Most places also have tours and classes with knowlegable foragers from your area so you can walk with them and take notes on what's edible and what's poisonous, what'll kill you and what'll give you a stomach ache. The best method i've encountered so far is looking at native american life as much as possible for inspiration. There are few plants that were not used by them at some point for something useful and interesting, even so called poisonous species.

  8. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    This plan is a lot like mine. First of all in 2008 we moved out of the city and purchased a bank repo home on a small private lake with 10 acres. Most of the acreage is down by the lake in the form of a 5 acre flat which protrudes out into the lake. We call it Kingfishers Point. This is where we put the garden and one of the food plots. This land is wet and sandy so we needed a of lot soil builders like manure and Lime and we even added in some black dirt. We built the soil up for two years before planting our first garden in 2010. It gets better each year as we keep adding manure and compost to it. I started raising New Zealand White rabbits as soon as we moved here. I now have 4 unrelated does and two unrelated bucks. This gives us the ability to breed hundreds of meat rabbits in a very short time . I am currently building a 28 foot outdoor rabbit condo. It will be roofed but open in the front to allow sunlight in. We are not yet ready to get goats. We started and had one here for a short time but need more preparation before we go all out. As of now my food plots barely feed the rabbits. I had to buy some hay this winter as I got a bit lazy in cutting my own. Our garden soil seems to like certain plants and does not like others. Tomatoes grow great. Corn is okay but not good enough yet. Green beans are through the freaking roof. I had to cut way back on the number of Bean plants as we could not eat and freeze them all. Peanut Squash and Zucinni are also very good here. I have never seen Zucinni as big as the ones we grow here. So Im not going to fight with it. Next season We grow the Beans, tomatoes, Cucumbers both types of squash and some more corn. I butchered off the chickens as they stopped laying eggs. Going to rebuild the coop and start again this spring with new chickens and couple turkeys. Hunting was very good this year. Fishing is always good here as the lake has millions of Nice Bluegills, Pike and Perch. Swns, ducks, Geese, Turtles and frogs are abundant. The lake is a huge pantry. We have learned how to use Cat tails and how to filter drinking water from the lake for the animals and how to use it for watering the garden. A couple years back we had the house rewired with three new power distribution panels and a new Propane powered 8000 watt Generac Guardian series generator to run the entire house or just our 240 breakers. The panels can run together or separate. We can also run out 120 breakers with a 3000 watt Honda , solar, wind or even wood gas. Still working on a small system that is long term to produce 20 amps of 120 volts ac. Solar would be nice but funds are very tight right now. We are heating with wood and can also cook with wood long term. I have massive propane reserves for the small coleman camp stoves and canning cookers. We have enough Mason Jars for two years worth of canned goods. I keep a 4 year supply of gas for my chainsaws. Each 5 gallon can will cut 2 years worth of wood. I have cases of oil and about a dozen extra chains and other spare parts. Still adding chains and bars, plugs and such. I use Stihl saws. My Old 1979 Jeep has a brand new motor and all new suspension. The frame is solid and the drive line is in great shape. Even with all this we keep a dozen 5 cans of long term staples like Sugar, Salt, Rice, Mac and Cheese dinners, Powdered Milk and such. I have dozens of cases of raman noodles. A three year supply of Canned veggies and we keep the freezer full of Meat and fish. All this is a huge task to maintain . Building it all was a mountain I never want to climb again. I will never sell this house. I fight to the death to keep it.

    So yes Self reliance is and has been my focus for almost a decade. I still need more basic preparations in place. For instance we planted 30 fruit trees. They don't seem to be doing much. This will be their 3rd summer coming up. I will spend more time enriching the soil under those trees this year. I also want to expand my cutting of fire wood and add in this summer three years worth of Green wood to season. I just dont trust the world to stay functioning properly so I need that wood for my own piece of mind. Warm is good . I need another food plot and where to put that one in is one of my next big decisions. Goats are on the horizon but not until I have the means to feed them twice over. Still have much to do. Kingfish
    ditch witch, Sapper John and BTPost like this.
  9. Jeffersonian

    Jeffersonian Monkey

    It would be nice if I could pipe into my own Natural Gas on my land, It would make a lot of things easier but I have no idea even where to start such a project.
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    You can find a Gas Company in your area, that will drill you a well, and buy your Gas for the Going Rate, and then when you negotiate the Lease, you specify that you want a Supply for yourself, piped to your building Site. A lot of that is going on, at NG Fracking Sites, in Ohio and in North Dakota, these days..... Just make SURE that you OWN ALL SubSurface Mineral and Water Rights to your Land, FIRST.... otherwise you are in BIG Trouble doing any of that.... .....
  11. Jeffersonian

    Jeffersonian Monkey

    Thanks for the info, I am doing research to make sure it does not effect the natural water on the land, I have a few ponds and a large creek 30' wide full of river slick boulders, I do own the mineral rights outright 100%. Thanks for the info.
  12. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Kingfish this summer take some of your rabbit manure and put it around the corn. Corn has a shallow root system and your sandy soil likely doesn't have enough surface nutrition. Rabbit manure is great because it wont burn plants like other manures will.
    chelloveck likes this.
  13. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    We have been pounding the rabbit manure to the garden for 5 years now. The corn gets better each time. But for now Im happy with huge tomatoes, Squash, Green Beans, cucumbers and some real big strawberries.
  14. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Very nice @Kingfish , glad it is working well for you. Bet that rabbit stew is mighty tasty as well..... :)
  15. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Rabbit pies man crust and all. My wife is the best pie maker I ever knew. She takes this huge cast Iron skillet lays in a Pie crust then rabbit filling with mixed veggies and potatoes. Then puts the top crust on and bakes it till its golden brown. We have the inlaws over and we all eat till we cant walk. Nothng better then rabbit Pie.
    Cruisin Sloth, kellory and Yard Dart like this.
  16. cjsloane

    cjsloane Monkey

    Not quite sure how to jump in...

    I started homesteading in '08 and chickens were the gateway animal. I tiptoed in and then out of goats, now I have:
    chickens (dark cornish)
    turkeys (royal palm)
    sheep (black welsh mountain but I'm considering clun forest)
    cows (mini belted galloways)
    pigs (tamworth)

    I've lived off grid for 21+ years.
    Got my PDC (permaculture design certificate) this past summer at Geoff Lawtons online PDC which was awesome. I swore I'd never do it, but having done so it would've save me lots of time & money if I had done it sooner.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
    tulianr and chelloveck like this.
  17. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    You seem to favour rare, endangered and heritage breeds among your livestock. More power to you in keeping that genetic heritage alive.

    Here is a reference to Australia's efforts in keeping rare and endangered breeds viable. http://www.rbta.org/Pdf Files/RBTA Breeds Status Report 2006.pdf
    kellory likes this.
  18. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Cjsloane you might want to look at Icelandic sheep we are getting ready to get some. We have had Jacob sheep before and they are tough.
    chelloveck likes this.
  19. cjsloane

    cjsloane Monkey

    The problem I'm having with the BWMS is that they are small - you really need to wait 18 months till harvest. That means keeping them over winter which means buying hay in Vermont.

    The other problem is the horns. The ewes are polled but the horns on the ram lambs make it really tough to train them to electric fencing.

    Yes, I think those animals were bred to thrive under certain conditions and I'm more than willing to take advantage of the breeders hard work.

    I forgot to add I use Livestock Guard Dogs to protect my animals. I'm in the middle of the forest.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2014
    chelloveck likes this.
  20. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I'm sure that you will find many volunteers from here to help you with any predator problems you may have, and with culling any game that's competing too keenly with your livestock for feed....especially any wild turkeys that have a yearning to sully the genetic purity of your heritage poultry. Being the responsible hun'ers they be, they'll have the appropriate tags, licenses and responsibly colourful high vis garments to wear whilst they're on property. I'm sure that they'll share a fair proportion of their kills with you for the privilege. ;)
    kellory likes this.
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