Homesteading, a self sufficient lifestyle, sustainable living… it goes by many different names, but it all boils down to the same thing: providing the resources you and your family need to survive on your own land.
If you’ve read any blog posts, watched any YouTube videos or listened to any podcasts about homesteading and self sufficient living (a few of my favorites in no particular order are: Melissa K Norris, Roots and Refuge, and The Justin Rhodes Show) you’ll know that the title of this blog seems silly. It’s downright impossible to go to bed one night and just “start” being completely self sufficient the next day.
The Time to learn. How to garden, how to care for livestock, and how best to utilize space. To work your land, improving year after year to increase efficiency and production. To watch and observe what your family needs and what you can do to provide.
The Space to grow. There are many different ways to garden in small spaces, but animals can’t be grown vertically. To be truly self sufficient, you do need space. For animals, for vegetables, for fruit trees, etc. Also, the Space to increase as your knowledge and abilities grow.
The Money to invest in your family’s health and wellbeing. There are budget friendly ways to do everything, no doubt, but some things are an investment worth making: a good calf, a good canner, and a good piece of land just to name a few.
Let’s get real. While we all would love that sprawling farm with 30 acres of land to just do whatever we want with (or at least I’d love that…), it’s just not possible for some of us. Maybe you don’t have the time, the money, or the space right now, but you want to start somewhere. Or maybe you love ordering UberEats and getting your Instacart deliveries and think self sufficiency is a bunch of hogwash.
Whichever camp you’re in, I firmly believe it is vitally important that you start learning to live a more self sufficient lifestyle RIGHT NOW. And I’ve got 10 reasons to prove my point.
1. Self sufficiency is empowering.
There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, more exciting than when you see something you have worked for and created come to life. Whether it’s a piece of art, buying or building a house, raising children, or watching your first little seedling sprout from the ground (here are some tips for growing your best garden!). Being able to have that type of ownership and pride over your entire way of living is the ultimate exercise in taking control of your life! You know where your food is coming from, who is growing it, and what type of life it’s had.
2. The only person you can truly rely on is yourself.
I know “it takes a village.” But when it comes down to it, if SHTF, you’re it. You and your immediate family. So making moves now to ensure you are taken care of in one way or another is reassuring. Sure you might not be able to provide ALL your own food, or ALL your own solar power, but the principle is that you have security in some way, so you’re not completely reliant on others.
3. You can fix a lot of your health problems (within reason).
I’m not a doctor, so take this one with a grain of salt, but I know MANY people who have healed a lot of health issues through food.
Eating locally sourced meats, fruits and vegetables that are growing IN SEASON, and making sourdough breads and ferments can help heal gut problems, weight problems, and skin problems, just to name a few.
It might take a little more money on your grocery bill, or a little more time in the garden, but what you spend money on now making these lifestyle changes will save loads of money on medical bills later on down the road.
4. You need to change your world before you can change the world.
Small changes snowball into bigger changes. It’s that simple. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The self sufficient lifestyle follows suit. It’s not just about growing your own food, or being able to survive an end-of-world scenario, it’s about making changes now that will keep those things from happening.
If every person/ family unit tended to their land and their lives with as much care as they tended to their social media feed, we would have a lot more food, thriving local economies, and a lot less problems.
So, mothers, raise your children. Be involved. Fathers, provide for your families. Children, PLAY, HAVE FUN, AND LEARN OUTSIDE. Focus on being grateful for what God gave you, and how you can use it for good.
5. It’s eco-friendly and sustainable.
I could write a whole essay on this one, but I’ll keep it short and you can do your own research or ask me any questions.
- Monoculture farming causes desertification and kills entire ecosystems with over-tilling, big machinery, and pesticides.
- Transporting food uses more gas and creates more pollution. Also, food waste is increased since things spoil in the process.
- Being “on the grid” is expensive, again can increase pollution, and is not sustainable. Garbage production alone is a huge problem.
- Permaculture encourages biodiversity and soil rejuvenation, uses little to no chemicals, and allows animals to help in the growth process through tilling and fertilization.
- Localized food production minimizes pollution and food waste. It doesn’t have to travel as far, so less spoils.
- Permaculture and self sufficient living is sustainable. Composting, using solar power, geo-thermal heating, and wood burning stoves are just a few of the ways to live more sustainably.
6. It’s humane.
Growing your own livestock, or having a relationship with a small farmer who does, is the best way to fight factory farming. These animals were made to feed humans, but they deserve to have a good life while they are here. Livestock that lives on pasture is happy livestock. Happy animals make better quality meat. Plus they can help till and fertilize your land while growing!
7. You can adapt to unforeseen challenges easier.
Kind of like Reason #2, a self sufficient lifestyle allows you to adapt easier. Since you are forced to think about how you will provide power if you have to, fuel if you have to, food if you have to, and heat if you have to, you are automatically prepared if something such as a gas shortage (sound familiar?) or food shortage happens.
8. You can support your local community and economy.
Wait, didn’t I say you can only rely on yourself?? Yes, but… while that is true, the great thing about self sufficiency is that it creates community. You have extra eggs, so you ask your neighbor if they want some. They trade you eggs for milk. Or, you sell your extras at the local farmer’s market. Thereby starting a business and bringing income into your family. OR, you purchase your meat from the farmer down the road, therefore helping his business to grow. Working within the community helps your local economy to thrive. (You can help my small business by visiting my shop!)
9. You learn skills and gain assets you can pass down.
Not only is homesteading great for the here and now, it’s a GREAT way to pass on a legacy for future generations. Teach your children and grandchildren how to sew, how to can and make jams, how to garden; these are skills that will help them thrive as they grow older! Practical skillsets are so so so underrated nowadays, but their value never diminishes.
Also, land is one of the most valuable resources and assets you can own.
Having land to pass down from generation to generation is priceless. Cultivated land that can feed generations and raise a family? Even more so.
10. Mindful living creates peace and fulfillment.
I’m just going to come right out and say it: people are anxious today. There is more anxiety and nervousness than ever, and it’s because people are used to getting everything in the blink of an eye. When a web page doesn’t load in a millionth of a second, we get frustrated. When our Amazon package takes more than two days, we are in a tizzy.
We need to take a step back, and cherish the time and effort it takes to create value.
Whether it’s growing your own vegetables, knitting a sweater, or baking a pie, these things take time. And effort. And mindful choices to help foster growth, creativity, and quality. Delayed gratification. Enjoyment of the process, as well as the product.
Taking time to do it yourself and get invested in the quality of your life will pay in dividends. Spending time in the garden can be meditative; so can knitting or crochet, or cooking. Reaping the rewards of that hard work will make everything you grow and cook taste better, and everything you make that much more worth it.
I hope these 10 reasons to live a self sufficient lifestyle inspired you to take at least one step toward self sufficiency today. Even if it’s just cooking your own breakfast instead of eating McDonald’s.
While this way of living might not always be the easiest, or most efficient, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about taking the time to enjoy hard work. About living simply and mindfully, respecting where your food comes from (both plant and animal), and being grateful for the God-given resources we have to survive and thrive.
Please comment below which reason you resonate with most! What makes you want to be self sufficient? What value do you see here? I would LOVE to know 🙂