I’m not sure when exactly, but in a few years I’m planning on moving to a place and becoming self-sufficient. Now, that’s not something you can do overnight, so I’ve been working on it for some time now.
It’s been on the ‘one day list’ and though I always thought it would take a few decades before that happens, the past 18 months have definitely made me rethink my plans and move it up a bit.
I grew up on a small hill in Bosnia where it was common to grow your vegetables as well as fruits and herbs, fix your own things and cook everything from scratch. It was simple living, but hard work for my parents, as they did all that on top of day jobs. Things have moved on, even the small town I grew up in now has a hypermarket and people only grow tomatoes, onions and garlic. But I still have some nostalgia and I’m craving something similar, but not in the same setting.
I have a long way to go, but I’m taking my first steps and practising and preparing for my homestead adventure in the big city.
Reading – lots of reading about the topic, with The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency: The Classic Guide for Realists and Dreamers by John Seymour being a favourite. I also like reading blogs where people talk about things that went wrong and how I can avoid those.
Learn To Make And Bake The Basics – Bread to white cheese and yoghurt. And thankfully these are very common things my mom used to make growing up. She was happy to pass on her recipes and tricks. Next thing on the list is learning to make butter. I’m not planning on owning cows, but fresh milk will be available nearby.
Come Up With Alternatives For My Current Favourites – I’ve started to make my own oat milk as I’m not sure if there will be Oatly where I go (and if there is it will be expensive). The same goes for wraps, tortillas and taco shells, so I’ve been perfecting my recipe for those. I’m lucky that all types of flour are easily available, so I don’t need to stress about growing that until I need to.
Growing My Own Vegetables – Which is of course a self-sufficiency essential, but due to limited space it’s still very basic. But at least I now know I can grow tomatillos in Europe, so I can continue to make salsa verde. And that I don’t need 8 cucumber plants, unless I’ll be feeding a family of 12 every Summer. I also learned that potatoes will grow anywhere, so that’s a relief.
Preserving – I’m also working on homestead skills such as preserving in all shapes and forms: from sauerkraut to red onions and pickled carrots. It’s mainly leftovers now, but it gives me an idea of the how and what.
(Visible) Mending – Earlier this year, I did a linen mending workshop via Toast. It has been helpful for fixing items, so they don’t have to be thrown away. I’ve since used YouTube to learn more about mending other types of fabrics. Not only does it come in handy in the future, but also in the present.
Guaranteed Income – I won’t be going off grid and there will be bills I need to pay, so having a guaranteed income is essential, and this plan won’t move forward without that being successfully dealt with.
Learning About Healing Herbs – Don’t worry … I still stand with modern medicine, but I also think it’s important to know everything about the healing powers of plants and herbs.
Do you have any plans for self-sufficiency in any of its forms?