We live in an interdependent world. Although at one time all of humankind lived independently and self-sufficiently, group cooperation allowed for more efficient use of resources when hunting and gathering, raising young, making clothing and tools, and building shelters. Banding together ensured our long-term survival; dividing labor into specialized tasks has helped sculpt today’s modern, globalized society.

Because of specialization, we enjoy a high quality of life. Yet being a small cog in the greater machine means we are often disconnected from – and unaware of – the processes that go into fulfilling our most basic needs.

Becoming more self-sufficient means you’ll develop practical skills that will surely serve you well throughout your lifetime. When you learn how to do things yourself, you’ll outsource less which will save you money. You’ll also be better equipped to handle life’s emergencies. And, above all else, self-reliance is empowering and personally rewarding.

Grow Your Own Food

50 Resources To Help You Become More Self-Sufficient

Fruit & Vegetable Gardening – Green thumbs are made, not born, and anyone can learn how to grow a backyard cornucopia of fresh, organic produce.

Indoor Growing – Not having access to an outdoor space doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a homegrown supply of fruits and vegetables – even in the midst of winter.

Kitchen Herb Garden – Easy and incredibly low-maintenance, herbs can be grown year-round indoors with as little as four hours of sunlight per day.

Permaculture Techniques

50 Resources To Help You Become More Self-Sufficient

Seed Saving – Harvesting and storing seeds from your existing plants is a fundamental step toward cultivating a self-sustaining garden.

Composting 101 – You’ll need a steady supply of fertile soil with all this growing going on and the best way to produce life-giving humus (and recycle food and yard waste at the same time) is to start composting.

Make Mulch – Adding a layer of organic mulch around your garden beds helps the soil retain moisture, prevents weeds from growing, adds nutrients to the earth, and regulates ground temperature. Make your own mulch by collecting leaves, grass clippings, straw, wood chips, bark, and pine needles.

Animal Husbandry & Beekeeping

50 Resources To Help You Become More Self-Sufficient

Raising Chickens – A six-part guide on the basics of chicken rearing for egg production, from building a backyard coop, choosing breeds, and daily hen care and site upkeep.

Raising Goats – Curious and intelligent, goats make great companions and are less expensive to farm than larger cattle. Dairy goats are a source of nutritious milk, which can be used to make goat cheese and yogurt. Angora and Cashmere goats can be sheared once or twice per year for their soft and warm fleece fibers.

Raising Sheep – Like goats, sheep can be raised for milk, wool, or meat.

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