Grow Your Own – The Dream of Self Sufficiency
When that electricity bill lands on your doormat as you’re about to leave for the job you hate do you ever long for The Good Life – growing and rearing your own food for the table and living free from the binds of modern living? Here’s our guide to the ultimate self sufficiency dream.
If you’re based in the UK these are interesting times for those wanted to by land. With a growing housing crisis and a stagnant economy, the coalition Government is temporarily scrapping planning permission laws for house extensions and making some significant noises to suggest a relaxation of planning laws and possible development of green belt land. Buying a plot of land now might prove to be a significant investment if approvals for building become easier to get in the future.
To achieve our self sufficiency dream for a family of four, we reckon we’ll need a couple acres of land.
Ideally you’d want an eco-home – straw built or timber frame perhaps, with low energy requirements. However, most properties with the land you need to go self sufficient are rather run down, draughty farm building, so pack plenty of thick socks and jumpers.
Surely one of your top questions should be, what will we eat and will there be enough? You’re going to need to use you land carefully to ensure you have a food all year round. Vegetable patches will represent the majority of your crop and you will want to rotate crops each year.
It can take a lot of back breaking digging to get the ground ready for your vegetables and will you have the energy for digging on vegetables alone? You could kill two birds with one stone and get a pig. Pigs are nature’s answer to the rotavator, churning up the ground as they snuffle around for food. If you move your pig pen to wherever you need new ground churning up, they’ll do the hard work for you.
Pigs, chicken, vegetables, fruit trees and knowledge of how and where to find wild food are all vital for the self sufficient family
Equally as important as food, the ultimate self sufficiency dreamer dreams of a borehole and a well, living off water pumped from their own land. Another important and free source of water is rain. Catching rain water is the perfect way to get water for crops and washing.
The looming energy crisis is a global concern and responsibility. Renewable energy is the only future and massive and vital investments are being made to in such sectors as offshore wind power. These macro-scale projects trickle down into technological developments on a micro-scale and home wind turbines have become an excellent way of powering your home for free – free from those electricity bills. And with feed-in-tariffs, you might even find you get paid for energy you don’t use.
To keep the romance in the self sufficiency dream, be sure to install a wood burning stove for those chilling winter nights – you can even cook your vegetable and pork casserole on the top!
James Anderson writes freelance articles for the wind power sector.