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By April 22, 2012 Read More →

The Importance of Self-Reliance

With all the talk of pantry stocking and prepping, I often wonder if many are missing a crucial part of being prepared:  working towards self-reliance for the long term.  Now, don’t get me wrong, pantry stocking is great.  Storing supplies are necessary, but if it all comes crashing down, there needs to be a plan in place for when the food runs out.

In this writers opinion, the best way to achieve as much self-reliance as possible is to have a few of acres and lots of grit and guts!  I realize not everyone can rush right out and purchase acreage, but if you are one of the lucky ones that already have a couple of acres, now is the time to begin planning for your future.  As I said, pantry stocking is a good thing, but even if you have 6 months to 1 year of food stored and there is an extended time of trouble (job loss, illness or other teotwawki situation) that food will eventually be gone and then you are left figuring out what to do next.  If you plan well, your pantry will sustain you while you are setting up your self-reliant homestead.

One of the easiest things to begin with are chickens.  Chickens are great foragers and garbage disposals so feeding them is relatively cheap.  They reproduce fairly rapidly so you can keep a fairly decent sized flock going.  You will need more than just a couple of birds to get started and maintain a good amount for eggs and meat.  Here we keep all hens hatched for eggs and butcher all the roosters.  Sometimes we use the hens for bartering purposes.  We bartered 3 hens for our duroc pig.

Rabbits are also a wonderful asset to the self-reliant homestead.  They are great for meat, fertilizer and reproduce very quickly.  A few females and a couple of males will allow you to fill a freezer in no time and keep you in meat indefinitely.

Dairy goats are also a great addition for a smallish homestead that does not have room for a dairy cow.  Saanen and Nubian dairy goats are great milk producers and can keep your family in milk for around 9 months out of they year.  Staggering breeding can keep you in milk year round.  Goats milk can be used for such things as cheese making, ice cream, soap making and just everyday drinking.  Meat goat breeds can help fill the freezer.  Their manure as I mentioned in another article is great fertilizer.

Of course a garden is very important in attaining self reliance.  Having a garden gives you the ability to not rely on the grocery stores for many fresh and canned vegetables.  Learning to home can is one skill a prepper cannot be without.  Same with having a few fruit trees.

It is my opinion that self-reliance is the key to surviving any long term situation.  Having  replenishable food sources, such as meat, eggs, milk, vegetables, fruits and grains is vital. Skills are also a huge part in becoming self-reliant.  Without skills, all else is futile.  You must have some basic gardening, building, repair skills and some basic knowledge of first aid for humans and animals alike.  There may not always be someone at your disposal to do those things for you.  Getting to the point of being fairly self-reliant is hard.  It  is not for the faint at heart.  It takes hard work, determination and a lot of sacrifice.  But, by beginning your self-reliant journey today, you could very well save your family tomorrow.



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9 Comments on "The Importance of Self-Reliance"

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  1. Kris Watson says:

    What a wonderful article! You hit the nail squarely on the head !!!

  2. Simplewoman says:

    Thanks Kris!

  3. CherB says:

    I am interested in getting back ito self reliant gardening once again. My land is soon to be lost to a bank sale due my husband getting cancer and passing away. We tried selling and finally got an agent who is interested and specializes in short sale process. In the mean time, I will be working my way to Florida to be with my daughter. I am staying in PA with my son for now till I can coordinate my move there. I already have a moving company for the last week in September. If for some reason I do not check in before and after my move, then I hope someone will be concerned enough to wonder where I went.
    I really miss not being more involved in prepping and home gardening. I need a support network so that I feel safer and can share like experiences.

  4. Chris Watson says:

    Good article.We are starting a rabbitry and I am trying to figure how to work chickens and bees into my townhome small yard lifestyle.

  5. CherB says:

    After reading the articles from the eceti website and IMVA medical advice about radiation poisoning from Japan and other health issues. (I guess a congress person from the US finally went to Japan to see an OMG scenerio.  I don’t know where anyone would go and be relatively safe.)  I thought I was doing pretty well keeping my partner and I afloat and security went out the window when he fell ill.  So many times we bounced back and started anew.  I almost got him to get a place further in the country, but he was a city boy through and through.  Picking a few bramble berries and eating them  once a season satisfied his curiosity about fresh and home grown.  I sometimes wish I was like many and just lived my life “happy-go-lucky” and not really worry about things till tomorrow sometime or even later.  Then when something happens its a shock but you didn’t have to worry about it happening.  Right now i feel like a bunny in headlilghts. I sure would not mind working off some of these energies in a home garden or picking greens and just cooking something real.  Its hard feeling like a fish out of water…Its hard to explain.  Very lost feeling.  

  6. Sharlene says:

    This was THE best article on self-reliance that I think I’ve ever read.  You absolutely hit every point, spot on.  We have 5 acres and are working our way towards this very thing.  YEARS ago I had a larger farm but a deadbeat spouse.  Needless to say HE is gone and so is THAT farm.  But now I have a good husband and my SON is my biggest asset.  He is young and strong and he lives with us and he builds what needs built and lugs heavy things around.  I’m getting older and with the economy like it is, he and his brother (both grown and work in town) both live with us and pay us rent.  And they are a total asset to what we are trying to do here….They are a blessing and I’m SO thankful to be ABLE to do this.  Things are scary out there now more than ever and it’s PAST time to start getting ready for harder times….

    • Sharlene says:

      I meant to say that we have 5 acres now but it’s in a subdivision….BUT we have some neighbors who have animals, too.  We have rabbits, chickens, ducks & turkeys right now….Soon to have a mega garden and fruit trees…

  7. Simplewoman says:

    Thanks for the replies. I appreciate them all! :o)

  8. bchpreper says:

    Absolutely great info- use to live on an acre plus- now taking care of my Dad- waaaay toooo close to city line- miss my house very much- in spite of all- am putting in green house- and going to check on chicken situation. Not sure if we can have them here.



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