More and more people dare to live independently. I’ll tell you what that means and how to get closer to the self-sufficient life step by step.
Live independently – what is behind it?
Living self-sufficient means providing yourself with as many vital things as possible. Those who live a self-sufficient lifestyle are independent and can at least partially avoid system constraints.
For most people a complete exit the system is too big of a deal – but you can make your life only partially self-sufficient. One of the main aspects of self-sufficient life is to free oneself from the consumption cycle. This means to buy as little as possible to nothing new.
Once you have a piece of land or a garden, you can produce your own food and start shopping less.
What advantages does the self-sufficient life bring?
Being self-sufficient does not mean total isolation and encapsulation. The typical picture of dropouts in the forest is long outdated. A self-sufficient life can be designed individually. Self-care has several advantages:
– Independence from the economic system
– Healthier diet
– Less consumption and performance pressure
– Reflection and connection to nature
– Inner balance, by the superfluous has no place
Self-sufficient life: living
How you make your self-sufficient life is entirely up to you.
– Alone or in the community,
– On an old farm, a caravan or in a Tiny House
– In the city, in the village or on a remote piece of land
There are many eco-villages worldwide that live largely independently and are looking forward to growth. In eco-villages, the exchange of knowledge and skills is a great enrichment. Also, the social aspect in eco-villages, communities plays a significant role in the self-sufficient life that lives from constant exchange and networking. As the sociologist Karl Marx said, freedom is achieved in the community.
In order to speak of a self-sufficient house, it should provide itself with electricity and, at best, even have a composting-toilet in order to gain independence in these two areas.
To integrate some self-sufficiency into everyday life
As little as possible to buy new sounds after all a small step, but for many it is quite difficult to implement. To not lose heart you can start with a few small measures:
– Growing Fruits and Vegetables: Depending on the season you have fresh produce from your own garden. If you live in the city, try Urban Gardening or a Vegetable Crate of Solidarity Agriculture near you. This includes only regional and seasonal products, so you can avoid the walk to the supermarket.
– Focus on only one area of life for the time being, which then will make you self-sufficient. For example, a composting toilet is sustainable and brings you fertilizer for the garden, a solar system on the roof provides you with electricity.
– Get rid of ballast so you learn to get along with less. Minimalism is supposed to create a tidy room and a tidy mind.
– Do not buy anything new, ask yourself if and what you REALLY need.
– Use the possibility of repair cafes to repair broken things.
– Swap car against bike.
– Reduce your garbage to a minimum.
Even if a radical change is not (yet) for you, with these simple first steps you can sniff into a self-sufficient life and gradually expand it.
7 self-catering tips that anyone can implement
If you want to grow your own fruit and vegetables, you do not have to live in the countryside – these tips for self-sufficiency also work in the city and sometimes even without a balcony. I also show what you can do yourself beside food.
Self-care is fun, you learn a lot and the self-planted salad or the laboriously watered tomatoes taste better – certainly because its your own work in it. You do not have to become completely self-sufficient, even if you do just a little yourself, gets you already a small piece of independence back.
1. Grow fruits and vegetables
Sear radishes, use strawberries, pull lettuce or plant tomatoes – many things grow on the balcony: in pots and boxes. If you want to start small with self-sufficiency, you can first taste it with a herb garden on the balcony. Look in my gallery, how to grow your own vegetables without a garden. Even indoors, you can bring edible green into your own four walls with an herb shelf for the windowsill or the wall and start the self-sufficiency.
You need more space than the domestic balcony offers space or if you have no balcony? There are many ways to become self-sufficient and grow your own fruit and vegetables: urban community gardens, shared gardens, or solidarity farming are just three ways you can harvest fresh vegetables even without having your own garden.
Where to go with the whole harvest? Many, who grow themselves food in a larger style know this “problem”. You can make jam from strawberries, apples can be stored well for a long time – and your friends are certainly going to enjoy your home-grown fruit and vegetables.
2. Self-sufficiency: pull sprouts
If you do not have a garden or balcony, you can still start self-sufficiency – for example with home-grown sprouts. Crunchy sprouts of alfalfa, lentils, radishes or mung beans are high-quality foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Especially during the winter, with little seasonal fruits and vegetables, sprouts enrich our diet. Read about how easy it is to sprout and how self-sufficiency can be achieved.
By the way: It’s even easier to pull cress yourself. All you need is a bag of organic cress seeds, a flat bowl, some cotton wool and daily water. Lay the bowl thinly with the cotton wool, moisten it and sprinkle the cress seeds on it. Do not forget to moisten the bowl daily. After about five to seven days you can harvest fresh cress. Tastes great in your salad or on your home-baked bread!
3. Self-sufficiency: food preservation
Self-sufficiency also includes knowing how to conserve food – it’s not that hard. Previously belonged fermenting, boiling, inserting or drying kitchen knowledge to do so. Luckily many people nowadays adopt this knowledge again.
Here is an overview:
– Culinary: Particularly suitable for fresh fruits and vegetables and is an easy way to keep the season long.
– Insert: Here foods are preserved in liquid, by vinegar, oil or alcohol. Works well with most fruits, herbs and vegetables.
– Drying: One of the oldest and simplest ways to conserve food. Especially good for fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds and nuts.
– Fermenting: is the transformation of substances by bacteria, fungi or enzymes. This creates gases, alcohol and acids, which ensure that food can be preserved.
4. Bake bread yourself
Self-sufficiency does not have to be limited to fruit and vegetables – for example, make sure you also have bread and rolls that you have baked yourself. I have a simple recipe for you but I recommend you to try sourdough.
Because: Baking with sourdough is an old art of natural baking: without yeast and without artificial additives or emulsifiers. The sourdough is the basis for the bread and must first be prepared – alternatively, you can order sourdough approaches on the Internet or ask around the circle of friends and acquaintances, if someone would give you approach.
If you want to get deeper into the topic, I highly recommend you the book “Artisan Sourdough Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Delicious Handcrafted Bread with Minimal Kneading” by Emilie Raffa on Amazon.
5. Self-sufficiency: make detergent
Now you are already providing yourself with fruit, vegetables, sprouts and bread – how about making your own detergent? Two methods that I have tried are ivy washing and chestnut washing. But what make ivy and chestnuts an optimal detergent substitute for self-sufficiency? Both contain saponins (lat. Sapo = soap), these washing-active substances cleanse the laundry.
Although ivy contains less saponins than chestnuts, it is found all year round in nature, in contrast to the autumn fruit chestnut. If you want to try another recipe, you can make laundry soap and soda yourself. You will need core soap, gall soap, soda ash, citric acid, essential oil and water. Detailed instructions have been compiled in the book “The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning“.
6. Save public fruit
Also a possibility of self-sufficiency: Use the public fruit trees in your area and pick the apples, pears or cherries for the next cake. Thus, you not only save valuable fruit from rotting, but you provide for yourself.
There are organizations worldwide that take care of fruit trees and are also planting new ones everywhere they can, their vision: more edible urban landscapes from people for the people. In addition, they organizes harvesting, planting and care campaigns and offers guided discovery tours for self-catering. Check on the web to find an organisation near you.
7. Integrate self-sufficiency into your everyday life
You see, self-sufficiency does not mean that you live in the countryside and only spend time with gardeners. With many small steps you can integrate self-sufficiency into your everyday life. Think about shopping: Do I really need this or can I do it myself? You do not have to buy cress any more, for example, and you can make delicious vegan spreads from home-made pumpkins and zucchini.
Read on: The subject of self-sufficiency is so diverse, on the book market you will find plenty of reading material on Amazon. Matching books such as the guide “Self Sufficient Living – A Beginners Guide To Self Sufficient Living and Homesteading” (by Louise Harvey) are available from the bookseller of your choice or online for example on Amazon.
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