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I was just wondering if anyone was feeling the "need" for self-sufficiency these days. I was at the store about a week ago and milk had gone up a dollar. Cheese had gone up a dollar. We don't buy a lot of meat, but it had gone up too. With gas prices going up and up, we are cutting back on things so we can still pay the bills. We raise goats for meat, but may have to get back into dairy goats for milk. We have a garden because it is healthy and nice to eat fresh produce, but it looks like we may have to start gardening year round out of necessity. We have also thought about getting some more chickens and maybe raising rabbits to eat. If anyone else feeling this? Are you changing your routine or ways of life these days to accomodate the riding prices? It kinda makes me want to sell our house, pay all our debt and start over with a smaller house and less possessions and just keep things simpler.
 

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I feel the need more and more each day. Gas is up in my area .10 since the weekend. I want to plant more fruit trees and a few pecan trees (not that I will get much from them but maybe someone will ). Plan on extending the amount of ground in gardens, pinch more pennies.My youngest moved out just after the start of the year and I am feeling some relief but need to prepare more for the unexpected and the EXPECTED unexpected. Got more chickens, thinking about options for other livestock - a bit of a problem since I have my pasture leased out.

The important thing is I know how to cut back because I was raised on a cotton farm during the drought of the 50's and my parents were married and started housekeeping in the depression so I was well taught.

I think we as a people owe it to ourselves to remember the old ways. There are just too many variables in this world. Just as we need to preserve heirloom varieties of plants and animals for there genetic base we need people that know how to do things in the event of catostropic events.

There are far too many things that my parents did as children and young adults that I know nothing about because they saw no need in telling/teaching me about them. Now I spend time looking for the answers and in some cases looking for the questions.
 

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I'm planning on doing alot more this year to help save money and become more self-sufficient. Not just because of the rising prices but I would just feel safer knowing that IF something major happened in the world, my family and I would be okay. I'm not saying I think something major is going to happen or anything. My motto is "hope for the best, prepare for the worst". Milk is $4.65/gallon for whole. We don't eat alot of cheese or butter so I'm not sure how much those items are. Sour cream went up quite a bit too I noticed.
 

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For what it's worth... When I was 12, in 1965; I had a 'preminition" or something... that before my life was over, we would Have to be self sufficient. I certainly hadn't heard of such things at that time.. but... there it is.

I haven't done anywhere NEAR what I should.. but I keep working on it!
 

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We are feeling a need too...canning more this year and stocking up on the extras. I try to have at least one years supply of food and household good at all times and now i am really trying to have a bit of the extra in the dry goods. I figure it will be cheaper now verses later so it wont hurt to have the extra and then we will have it to fall back on in the winter months when work is less available. We are cutting on electric too and watching it more. We burned wood this winter for the first time in several years because it was so much cheaper than gas or electric. I do think it will get worse before it gets better.

Belinda
 

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This year I made a deal with my neighbor, she is going to let me use her small garden, she doesnt have a green thumb, in exchange for some vegetables. The few vegetables she wants, is nothing compared to how much more we will have for winter.

Our fruit trees look like they are going to do great this year so I will be canning alot of pears and peaches.

We are down to going into town shopping like every 2-3 weeks. I would have loved to have gotten chickens this year but couldnt fit it into the buget.

I have a strong gut feeling that this is the year we will get our treasured piece of property out there. I cant explain how or why, I just know.

We are doing our best right now where we are. My dream is go have a garden the size of my current piece of property, 140 x 50 :)

Good luck to all in these now and coming hard times.

JessicaCat
 

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Prices go up and income lags about 6 months to a year. Always has been that way. As I have always leaned toward self reliency by maintaining sufficient stores for a transitional period and considerered actual self suffiency to be too intense, too physicaly tiring and too low grade for even my simple tastes, I do not feel a need for it. Plus if I went totally self sufficient who would my friends and neighbors barter with so I can unload my excess worms :) For the short term I do feel the need to get a few more bucks value from my investment returns. The long term, I will worry about after addressing my short term issues. Of course , some of the investments i choose for long term are in colt, remington, browning and winchester just in case :)
 

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I feel as though the hard times are just begining. I hate to sound dismal. but we have to face facts. The price of fuel astounds me. The price of all groceries is ridiculous. The price of eveything keeps going up. I am a cook at a buffet style resturant. I make a very low wage. Like $7/hour low. I have no benefits whatsover. I usually get my 40 hrs in a week never any more, they won't pay the overtime. My wife works part-time a a waitress at another place. She makes less than i do even with tips. Our meagar earnings do not allow us much room for extras. It's all we can do to pay rent and keep the lights and water on. WE buy all of our clothes at yard sales and goodwill. We buy most anything we need second hand. Or we make it ourselves. Very rarely do we ever buy something brand-spanking new. Heck even the computer i'm typing with was free. I was picking up some other stuff someone was throwing out and i just grabbed just to see if it worked, here i am.

It took alot for us just to be able to get things to where we are now. Ready for the big jump to missouri. I can't wait to get to those hills. My family and i want to be as self-sufficent as possible. I beleive it will all work within a 3 year plan. By then or hopefully sooner i'll be able to stop working for someone else. I hope in the long run that we will need little from the outside world.

I do alot of trading / bartering for goods and services i need. I have become very adept in this art. I also do alot of scrounging and dumpster diving for different stuff. You wouldn't imagine the things people(city folk) throw away.

I am becomming way too old way too soon. Working too hard for so little. Homesteading and all that goes along with it, shows us that we can have alot with a little. That alot of hard work really does pay off. That your dreams can become reality. If your heart desires it,anything is possible. Only you can influnce your path in life, you choose the way. My path has lead me to this cross road. Seems as though my whole life that i have been driving to achieve this goal. I have condintioned myself, and trained myself in skills that seemed utterly useless in this modern age. It all is becomming much clearer to me. I hate to sound dooms-day'ish but i feel that there is a great change, a great event that is going to effect us all. A change that will effect everyone and everything and will change our very civilization. Will it be for the better or the worse i am not sure. I am sure that change must come. Our world cannot keep this pace that it is going. It all must end at some point. I think this time is now, or very soon.

I want to prepare myself as well as my family for whatever lies ahead. The real hard times won't really be hard times to us. It will just be our way of life. The ill prepared will suffer. I pitty those unfortunate millions.


Be good
Jagger
 

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We have our own beefers, pigs, layers, meat birds and turkeys. We have a huge garden which we can and freeze a good portion of to meet our needs ... no where near enough. We have bees so we have honey and we sugar. We do this for many reasons. We like to depend on ourselves. We like the fact that we know where our food comes from. We are more prepared than the average American if something happens. We like the land and would not trade this lifestyle for anything (well maybe more land, a big old farm)
 

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Chickflick, I think your premonition is right. I am 50 and there have been times in my life that I have had unusual dreams that I knew were premonitions and they did come true. This last Sept, I dreamed that our local bank had been turned into a soup kitchen for the many, many people without food due to hard times. The local store was out of most stuff. We had opened up our property to families traveling by foot to try and get to family in other parts of the country/state because they had lost their jobs and homes------everything. Having others around also made it safer for us at night as we asked that they help watch and protect the place from would-be looters. We had shutters on the windows on the ground floor of our house and shop that we closed at night over the windows for safety. This was an eerie dream and as I was waking up, there was this------"you better remember this"

Will it happen? I sure hope not, and alas, it was just a "dream". But something just isn't "right" IMHO. Like a bad smell that you just quite can't locate, but you know that it is there.
 

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I don't trust "feelings" or dreams. However, educated, thoughtful and informed people would be denying reality it they couldn't see things aren't right and haven't been for awhile. I'm doing what I can but its very little. Between our health insurance premiums and my husband's prescriptions we have nothing much left to prepare with. Still I'm planting my garden and will can all possible and buy extras each time I have a few dollars available. I'd be much happier with at least a dozen hens in our backyard but its not allowed in town.
 

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Ann-NWIowa said:
I'd be much happier with at least a dozen hens in our backyard but its not allowed in town.
Don't let THAT stop you!! ;) (Maybe 3 or 4 well hidden hens?) Check the poultry thread for some 'tips' on in town chickens; there's been some talk. :D
 
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Last night on PBS there was a program about the very real threat of cyber-attacks on the electrical/water/utilities grids, and those interviewed were saying how simple it would be to disrupt these systems from outside. I was thinking of the power outage in NYC last year, which lasted for a few hours, when the statement was made by an "expert" in power systems that it would be entirely possible for hackers to disrupt electrical power to a large area/nationally for (get this) 6 MONTHS or more. You'uns better move out here to the country or be nice to them farm relatives just in case. And when you do move, make friends with the neighbors, because trying to farm on your own when you don't know how to provide for yourself and your livestock will not help you much. The friends and neighbors all around you are those who will help, if you get to know them, and if you are the kind who offers to help them out as well. That kind of network is more valuable than gold which perishes, IMHO. Our neighbors have been so kind and have gone out of their way to be good neighbors, and we try to do the same in return. Course, we were raised in the country, where that is just the way everyone does, but they'd be nice to town folks too. We know we could count on them if we needed help, and vice versa. It's a great comfort, and I hope more people will get to enjoy this kind of old-fashioned "neighboring." It is a blessing.
 

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greenacres said:
I was just wondering if anyone was feeling the "need" for self-sufficiency these days. "

Yes, I've been feeling much the same for many years. I love to garden, can, and do many other things of this sort, and it may be more and more necessary and/or economical.

I try to find two or three things more each year in which we can be self-sufficient; last year it was chives (fresh, frozen and dried), canned salmon, and berry jellies, etc. This year I hope to expand the rhubarb, horseradish, and Jerusalem artichoke beds to a size which will provide all we need for a year. I am looking at how many cabbages we need for the non-growing season, both fresh and in sauerkraut, and where will I grow that many? Planning and planting fruit trees, berry bushes, perennial foods and herbs we then can propagate, prepare beds, and increase to amounts that will provide for a whole year.

Thinking through how many canning jars are really needed, and buying them cheaply at garage sales. Consider this: if your family goes through a pint of jelly a week, you need 52 pints! If you eat an average of one quart of canned fruits or vegetables per day, you need 365 quart jars! Plus lids, rings.... That doesn't even count the number for gifts, or to trade someone for things I don't make.

Lastly, I try to give my neighbors and friends starts of bushes, fruits, perennial food plants, and so forth so that they start to have some food infrastructure at their home, too. A network of friends and neighbors who have already started to plant and prepare may be one of the most important things in our lives if times get worse.
 

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We had shutters on the windows on the ground floor of our house and shop that we closed at night over the windows for safety. This was an eerie dream and as I was waking up, there was this------"you better remember this"

I was reading your letter, and then I got to the part quoted above and my eyes bugged out!!! Only a couple of nights ago I had a dream where we had installed really tough shutters on the inside (the outside already had them) of all our windows.

I remember in the last fog of that dream as I woke up muttering "What a pain those were to put on!"

Never thought of it again until I read your letter.

Sheez Louise!

Carolinabound
 

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Count me in on the feeling the need to be self-sufficient, but for me, feeling the need and having the time, expertise, etc., to do it are two different things. My feelings are along the lines of something major happening where we are forced to go back to the "old ways".

Along those lines, I recently spoke to a farmer in our area who told me about his grandfather who was in WW2 I believe. He was a farm boy and met alot of city boys in the war. His grandfather thought he was poor, but after meeting the city boys, he thought differently, since at least he always had meat and potatoes on the table (all home grown) whe he was home, where the city boys sometimes did not have anything or even the means to produce anything.

We are making progress since we moved to a place with almost 2 1/2 acres, a chicken coop, a shed, a fenced garden area, and a pond. It looks like it has plenty of potential and we are making plans to learn the "old ways".
 

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Interesting topic. It's something I think we've all thought about, being self-sufficient and how self-sufficient we could be if necessary.

The Y2K scare turned out to be nothing but I do feel something in the wind. My wife & I have a small farm in IL and we like to think ourselves self-sufficient and we are in most regards. We do rely on town for supplies and have in-town jobs but were the worse to happen or if prices went to the extremes, we have the facilities and know-how to become very self-sufficient.

We have 2 large gardens, fruit trees, small grape arbor (and we'll be putting in berry bushes), poultry of all description, pigs, beef, dairy cow and horse power of the 4-legged variety. We have our own water supply with a hand pump, wood stove for heat and kerosene lanterns abound if we, god forbid, have to go off-grid.

Granted, we could not produce our own small grain crops for feed and would have to rely on outside sources to pay the taxes and other necessary bills but bartering is always an option.

My wife and I have been blessed in the extreme with opportunities and talents and a desire to learn the old ways of our parents and grandparents and have been living this lifestyle by choice but not by necessity. If we had to, we are well prepared to take the final step. The kids would go along, kicking and screaming, :p but they would go along! (Actually our children do enjoy this lifestyle.)

I've often wondered how people who live in big cities would survive, if they could.. They are completely dependant on outside sources for all their needs: income, food, gas, electric, water (but their air - however thick - is still free.)

PLM
 

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I too feel the need to be self sufficient. I"ve had a feeling for a while now that something bad is goinig to be happening soon also. I've been "citified"? for too long now and feel the need to go bad to farm living. That's the main reason for the move to Oregon. Husband has family there and they going to let us use some land for gardening and some farm animals. They already have cattle and my husband is a good hunter so meat will be no problem. I just think it will be too late to plant anything once we get there, around the 26th of this month, they're in zone 8. I just want to be ready for the worse also.
 
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