I grew up raising chickens and rabbits, tending large vegetable patches and living in homes built by my father. Neither frugality nor the pursuit of self-sufficiency motivated my parents: they did what they did because they had a bit of land, my father was a builder and we lived in a small town. Ours was not a “back-to-the-land” household of people who wanted to cut ties with the establishment and live independent of the system.
For many people, that household is the household that comes to mind, of course, when talk comes ’round to self-sufficient living: rural acreage, hand-hewn homes, Mason jars of sprouting seeds, home-schooled kids, maybe a clunker of a vehicle on its last wheels.
But what really is self-sufficiency in the 21st century? And what does it mean when half the world’s population now lives in cities?
In the recently released The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Self-Sufficient Living, author Jerome Belanger argues that while complete self-sufficiency is impossible on a personal level, it is a planetary imperative.
He says that, “the basic concept of self-sufficiency is simple enough: it means providing for your own needs. The main drawback is that it’s impossible. Nobody can be truly self-sufficient and live anything remotely resembling a civilized life.”
- Spectacular self-sufficient water houses offer green lifestyle (greendiary.com)
- Striving for self-sufficiency (mysanantonio.com)
- Home Enterprise (magdalenaperks.wordpress.com)