I have decided that self sufficiency is the wrong term entirely.
I have watched as family and friends rally around us to make so many things possible and it has left me humbled and grateful. To be honest, I have always struggled with the term; I find it sounds arrogant, lonely and not at all what we’re trying to do. I am not saying everyone who uses that term is arrogant and lonely, but it isn’t for us and to imply we are doing this alone or that we want to do this alone is inaccurate.
We are about community and connection; gratitude and pared down beauty. We are not lone soldiers.
I don’t know that we will ever be self sufficient and I don’t know that I want to be. I also don’t know that full self sufficiency is even possible for most people. What is more important to me is making wise consumer decisions. I want to support local organic farmers and producers and grow and produce what we can from our own land and hands. I think it important to create a good strong web of people based on different strengths and talents. We are social creatures and to live as one nuclear family living and working alone feels unnatural and unnecessary to me.
Even those who appear to be doing it alone are backed by someone whether it is from ancient knowledge and tools passed down from generation to generation or from endless research, reading and stories. We learn best from shared knowledge and heavy work is made lighter with many hands. It isn’t just shared work, but shared joy as well.
We recently were looking at the map of the Croatian town my great grandparents lived in. Everyone had their own few livestock and each morning or season, men would walk down the road and gather everyone’s individual animals and herd them out to a communal pasture. Work was shared, there were building bees and support for the families facing hardships. It was a community in the truest sense and definition of the word.
Do we want to reduce our need for grocery shopping? Yes.
Do we want to learn lost arts and skills? Yes.
Do we want our children to understand where their food comes from? Yes.
Do we want them to learn at their own pace and be inspired by what intrigues them? Yes.
Do we want to feel a deeper connection with the earth and all of it’s creatures? Yes.
Do we want to make, can, grow and produce as much as we are able to ourselves? Yes.
Do we want to or are we capable of doing it alone? Absolutely not.
Ultimately, we want to live according to what makes us feel good and right. We protect what we love.
Will we ever grow our own wheat and grind it into flour? I don’t know, I’d like to try grinding it ourselves, but I prefer the idea of building a relationship with a farmer already doing just that, learn from them and support them. Do I really want to raise our own meat? To be honest, not really (though Mike has a different answer to that question).
I appreciate our web of support and hope it continues to grow and flourish as we continue walking with and learning from those who are a part of it.
They say it takes a village to raise a child; but what does it take to raise ourselves?
go gently + be wonderful