Well, nobody ever said that a self-sufficient lifestyle is a piece of cake. You actually spend most of your time on your feet. Caring for animals, producing food, preserving food and all the other chores can be quite exhausting. However, there are really good reasons that all the work is worth it.
1. You know exactly what you get
I reckon most people who are trying to understand ingredient lists on supermarket products will give up rather quickly. Sometimes it is nearly impossible to figure out whats exactly in there just by reading the label and without looking certain ingredients up. In addition to that it is really hard to find out which pesticides were used on plants or what kind of food the animals were fed. Well, as a homesteader or someone who is living self-sufficient you won’t have those problems. Because you’ll know exactly what you’ve fed your animals, because you were feeding them with your own hands day by day. You’ll also know what kind of pesticides were used on your veggies, because you’ve applied them or you didn’t and last but not least you’ll know what kind of preservatives are in your canned goods, because you’ve put them in there yourself.
2. No need for the gym
Believe me as a passionate hunter I know what I’m talking about, when I’m saying, getting your food sometimes burns nearly as much calories as you can get from the food and believe me nothing reminds you how much you are out of shape other than carrying a deer out of the bush.
But even at home chores like chopping wood, processing heavy meat chunks, lifting hay bales or trying to catch some stray sheep all are great high intensity whole-body workouts.
And who needs yoga when you have a veggie garden. 😉
3. Boost for your self-awareness
I think every job is only half as hard when you are able to see what you have achieved. It can be your harvested veggies after all the effort you’ve put into your garden or the filled pantry after a day of canning or the full freezer after a successful hunting trip. Seeing all these things makes you acknowledge that you are able to care for yourself and your family, which gives you peace of mind and also confidence in yourself.
Every time you have archived something, even if it is just one broccoli, you can be proud of yourself!
4. Being independent, self-sufficient and be prepared
Being self-sufficient means also being independent and being independent on a long term also involves preparedness. No, I’m not talking about doomsday prepping. What I’m talking about is the ability to plan ahead and prepare for unforeseen events, such as power outages, droughts or just the harvested food for the coming winter, when the harvest season is over. This preparedness has also positive side effects like we could see right before lockdown, when people stormed the supermarkets and many products were sold out. Prepared homesteaders weren’t forced to go into crowded supermarkets and risking being infected.
Personally, I would recommend everyone to keep at least several weeks’ worth of food at home. However, this food should either be bought in small amounts when supermarkets are well stocked and no one is panic-buying or even better homemade. When it is homemade, make sure it is well preserved like canned, dried or packed in Mylar bags. If everybody would keep at least a week of food at home, panic buying would not be a problem because there would be no reason to panic.
5. Learn what is important in life
I recon I could write a whole book about this topic, but let’s keep it short. Everybody has to decide for themselves, but Personally, I think that excessive consumption makes you unhappy in the long run. Let’s for example take the urge of most people to always have the latest phone, I mean for sure, when getting a new phone, it makes you happy, but only for a short time. It isn’t really a “sustainable” happiness. As I said I’m just talking about my personal view. For me a fulfilled life involves achieving long term goals, a stable social environment and also finding happiness in the small things and moments in life. I found that by trying to be self-sufficient. Believe me when I say it took me quite a long time to understand that.
6. Gaining new skills
Skills are a commodity nobody can take from you. When living independently you will learn heaps of skills by necessity. Let’s tell you a little secret, living self-sufficient wasn’t always my goal. If someone would have told me years ago, that I would one day gut animals I killed myself I would not have believed it. However, times have changed and know I have that skill (although it is by far not my favorite task), and by processing my own meat I also learnt how to make my own sausages and jerky.
What I want to tell you is that often one skill you’ll learn (even though you don’t know yet, that you’ll need it) will lead to other skills. Another great example is gardening. Having the skill of growing your own veggies is awesome. However at some point you’ll end up with more veggies than you can eat straight away. Therefore, you’ll also have to develop the skills of canning and preserving.
All those skills can make a huge difference if things get tough. So, always keep learning new skills.