This morning as I was reading through my favorite blogs, I came across one from Rhonda Jean at Down To Earth. She had received a couple of emails from readers concerned that they could not live as she does due to lack of land,etc. Rhonda stressed that no one should try to live as she and her husband do,that each of us should try to live as we see fit,with what we have.There is no right or wrong way to simplify our lives.
This is very true. Our life here at The Little Yellow Farm is different from other places.Like these folks who wrote to Rhonda, I too felt like we had to do specific things to be credible. Now I know that we only need to be credible to ourselves and what we want to accomplish. Our way of life started one step at a time,which led to a natural progression. At first,we wanted a garden. We built raised beds,and used compost from a pile of leaves and grass that have accumulated for seven years. We realized how wonderful compost is and are more actively composting,from the kitchen. We had a fairly dry summer,so we figured we should have rain barrels to help out. Rick's brother Dale gave us two blue juice barrels. We then wanted our own eggs,so we bought chickens,which led to getting turkeys. We are now considering goats. We only have .63 acres,so anything we do has to be well thought out and all things considered,especially since we want to expand our garden next year. From the goats we would want meat for food and dairy for cheese and soap.
I started making my own hand soap a few years ago,which led to laundry soap. I did try my hand at dish soap,but was not pleased with the results,so I started buying Planet,an earth friendly detergent and stopped buying Ajax. I use vinegar and water in place of Windex,and bleach and water in place of Clorox wipes. I make candles. I have started making breads and baked goods. I have begun teaching myself to knit,which I have found takes a good bit of practice! It's also very relaxing. We cut and burn wood.
Folks in my family have asked why we do what we do..."it's a lot of work,you could just buy this" or "do you do this to have something to do?" It is work,but it's more gratifying than working for someone else. We are doing for our family. Working side by side is wonderful,it's such a feeling of accomplishment and pride. It also brings us closer together. We are a team.
Being more self reliant is an individual thing. There's no right or wrong. What works for you may not work for your neighbor,and vice versa. It's all about living your own truth and living on your own terms.