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A Self-Sufficient Lifestyle Is A Viable Alternative To The Current Social Madness

Updated on January 16, 2014

Some Questions for You

Let me ask you if this sounds familiar. You eagerly await the arrival of your income tax refund. Finally the day comes and the automatic transfer is made. You make your calculations and begin paying off some of the debt that has accumulated over the past year. Happy you are and you celebrate by taking the family out to dinner, but within two months the tax refund is gone and the debt begins to once again increase.

Or how about this scenario?

The mid-term elections are upon us once again, and you begin to diligently study the candidates in hopes of finding one who stands for the beliefs you hold…but….there is a nagging notion deep in your brain that it will make no difference who you vote for because all politicians, Democrat, Republican or Independent, seem to be bought and paid for by Big Business and your interests are the furthest thing from their minds.

Or try this one on for size.

You go grocery shopping and spend an inordinate amount of time picking and choosing at the store, not only because every penny counts and you can’t quite make that grocery budget stretch far enough, but also because you worry that the food you are buying is not safe for your family.

Welcome to the madness of 2014.

We have trouble my friends, right here in River City, and River City is any city that you live in, whether it be in jolly old England, or the United States, or Bolivia, Perth or Shanghai. The scales have shifted away from us, and we simply don’t have the tools to alter that shift. We are, in fact, bit players in a much-bigger play. We are the worker bees who will forever service the Queen. We are the little cogs in a massive machine that threatens daily to chew us up and spit us out, just one more casualty on the road to “progress.”

How’s that for some bad news?

Now for some good news: it doesn’t have to be that way. We can simply decide that we are not going to play that game ever again. We can pick up our marbles and declare our independence from the madness that surrounds us.

We can begin to move towards a life of self-sufficiency.

Growing our own vegetables
Growing our own vegetables | Source

What’s This Self-sufficiency Stuff You Are Talking About?

Well I’m glad you asked. Self-sufficiency is moving forward to a better life. Self-sufficiency is a refusal to follow the path of greed and consumerism that has eaten our nations alive. Self-sufficiency is accepting responsibility for what we do and don’t do, rather than being an insignificant statistic tossed about by the vagaries of Madison Avenue. Self-sufficiency is seeking a higher standard of living, adopting a correct attitude about nature, and controlling our own futures.

Self-sufficiency is exactly what it sounds to be, people living better lives, simpler lives and healthier lives.

No, you do not have to own a twenty-acre homestead in the wilds of Alaska to be self-sufficient. Every single time a home owner chooses to grow their own vegetables in the back yard rather than spend money on the latest creation by Monsanto, they are practicing self-sufficiency. Every single time a city-dweller raises chickens for fresh eggs they are practicing self-sufficiency. Every single time a housewife mends her own clothes rather than buy the latest from Sachs, and every single time a man does a DIY car repair they are practicing self-sufficiency.

We begin small and move upward from there.

Raising our own chickens
Raising our own chickens | Source

Why Are Not More People Doing This?

Whatever I suggest here is pure supposition on my part, but I’ll toss out a few ideas just for the fun of it.

Slowly but surely times have changed. As the 20th Century faded from view and the 21st Century became a reality, we have become more and more a convenience society. We have turned away from the “can do” spirit of old and embraced the “let someone else do it” way of life. Mom and dad both have jobs, and there isn’t time to do the little things like repair the washer, so we pay $75 per hour for a repairman to do it. Bone-tired at the end of the work week, nobody feels like building that chicken coop. Changing the oil on the car is a dirty job, and who the hell has the time to can fruits and vegetables in the Fall?

I also suspect that there are millions of people who are sitting on their hands and praying to their gods that somehow the economy will magically improve, all the while knowing in their hearts that there is not a prayer of it happening. They blame the politicians and they blame the corporations, but it never dawns on them to blame themselves, for they are all part of the system and the system is broken.

We have deluded ourselves into believing that the current economic blueprint is the only blueprint for success, quoting a history that has passed us by and believing that old theories are just as valid today as they were thirty years ago when living was so much easier.

When one percent of the populace controls the majority of the wealth, something is wrong.

When prices continue to rise and income stagnates, something is wrong.

When the price of national wealth is the rape and pillage of the earth, something is wrong.

When tens of millions live below the poverty line and millions more are homeless, something is wrong.

When those who control the wealth use that wealth to purchase favorable legislation from those who govern, something is wrong.

When jobs are shipped overseas to increase the profit line, something is wrong, and when countrymen turn on countrymen blaming the miseries on each other, something is wrong.

And when hard-working people devote four decades of their lives to a lifestyle that leaves them broken and hopeless, something is drastically wrong.

If you agree with none of that then continue what you are doing.

If, however, you want….you dream of….you pray for….a better life, then start taking steps towards self-sufficiency.

Making do with what we've got
Making do with what we've got | Source

What Do I Get out of It?

That’s always the bottom line now isn’t it; what is in it for me?

How about the saving of that hard-earned cash of yours? When you grow your own vegetables you are saving money. When you raise chickens and never have to pay for eggs you are saving money. When you do home repairs yourself you are saving money. Need I continue?

How about the feeling of accomplishment you get when you begin to control your own economic system and say goodbye to Wall Street?

How about establishing once again the concept of home and community? There was a time when a housewife was the most creative and inventive person on the planet. There was a time when fathers were handymen who could tackle any problem that came along. Today we have adults who have no clue how to change the tires on their vehicles and who call for assistance when the battery dies.

How about learning to become one with the earth instead of using it for our need and greed? When we learn to recycle and re-use, we are slowing the rate of depletion of natural resources.

How about the knowledge that what you are eating is free of additives, preservatives and dangerous chemicals that will slowly kill you and your family? How about knowing that buying locally is helping the local economy, your friends and neighbors who are part of your “community,” and not some conglomerate that will continue to harm you in the name of profit?

Are you practicing self-sufficiency?

See results

I Am Encouraged By What I See

As a professional writer I have access to thousands of articles that are written daily by my peers, and I am indeed encouraged by the increase in craft articles that I see. More and more people are learning the ways of old. They are quilting, they are crocheting and they are sewing. I see more DIY articles as the reading public seeks old ways to handle new problems. I have had wonderful conversations with people who are interested in the chickens we raise and the process that accompanies that, and I have learned from my neighbors about beekeeping and raising rabbits for meat.

The movement may be slow but it is a movement, and I see increased numbers daily, people who have had enough and are willing to try a new approach to life in the year 2014. I am encouraged by what I see. I am hopeful of what I will see.

If one of the scenarios mentioned earlier applied to you then remember this: you can change your own reality by becoming more self-sufficient. Who knows? You just might like it.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Deb...free time is greatly overrated anyway, right? LOL

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Here, here! Just by cooking a meal NOT out of a box is the old way of doing things. Eating fresh vegetables instead of something canned is better than nothing. Making something out of nothing is even better. The more we do, the easier it gets. Good article, Billy, it will motivate, and before you know it, life will be simpler and cleaner. We won't have as much free time, but it will be QUALITY time.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Patty, for a variety of reasons, that does not surprise me at all. Monsanto at work?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from North America

      Me, too. News reports are that our usual flours in USA are making us sick.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Patty, I agree. I've never done that but would love to give it a go.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jacky, thanks for sharing your experience. I'm happy to hear you might return to that former lifestyle. Best wishes to you.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from North America

      I think that with grinding your own wheat, that bread had to be delicious, Minister Jacky!

    • Minister Jacky profile image

      Jacky Hughes 3 years ago from Yarnton, Oxfordshire

      Thank you, Your article reminded me that I used to be very in to self sufficiency, even while living in the city. I even had a grain mill to grind wheat for bread. I have lost my way on this over the years, but think I am going back to nature a bit now.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Timetraveler, isn't it interesting how that happened. Same with me; I sort of lost my way for a few decades. LOL Thank you for the visit.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 3 years ago from USA

      Remember the Mother Earth News? I was really into all of this stuff back in the day and actually did some of it...but back to my old life I went.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Ann...it really is a very cool idea.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Billybuc, I wish I could take credit for the kid's pool idea, but I was in Wally World one day and saw a man with one and about 6 bags of potting soil - I asked him about it and that's what he said he was doing. I thought it was a really cool idea.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, that is strange. It happened to me months ago and then just as quickly stopped happening. The ghosts of HP strike again.

      I'm already planning the garden for this spring and looking forward to it. I want to have fresh veggies ready for when you visit us.

      Take care buddy and blessings always for your family

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      stuff4kids, that would be quite the contrast to see. Yes, a massive cultural transformation of ideas indeed, but I see it happening slowly but surely here in the U.S....community gardens are popping up all over the place and it is wonderful to see.

      Thank you as always!

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 3 years ago from Missouri

      Well, you know I'm a gardener! We are still living (to some degree) off of some garden items grown last summer. We have @ 40 or 50 jars of pickles, a dozen bags of frozen potatoes, a few jars of salsa and even a jar of blackberry jam. It truly is a joy to watch as these items grow and to know they will be feeding your family. We are already anticipating this year's gardening as the stores have seeds in place now!

      Chickens would be fun but we have a family of fox that live on our property and just don't feel like feeding the fox.

      Take care Sir William. Great job as usual.

      By the by, for some reason I am not receiving notifications when my fellow hubbers are publishing hubs. I had to look on your site to find this one. Strange...

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Ah Bill, I am all for this and often discuss it, as a political principle really, with others.

      For me, as for many urban dwellers, it remains a dream to aspire to. I think that for this to be viable for most folks in the West would require a massive cultural transformation of ideas, desires and expectations on the part of the population.

      I have a tiny terrace (really not much more than a glorified balcony) and I manage to grow some veg and herbs in containers. I've applied for an 'allotment' (a kind of community garden plot here in the UK) but the waiting list is five years! The allotments here are, ironically, right next to the hypermarket. It's a sobering, provocative sight to stand back and see the stressed-out looking people buying their groceries with a credit card through one eye, so to speak, and at the same time, the smiling, relaxed allotment holders harvesting their fresh fruit and vegetables in the sun with the other.

      My eldest son says, "Mum, we don't need more jobs. We need land."

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a great idea, Ann! I have never heard of that approach but the outcome doesn't surprise me. You really can grow a bounty in a small place. Thanks for sharing your idea.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      We live in mobile home park, but last year, we bought a small kid's pool, filled it with dirt and placed it on our patio. My husband planted tomato seeds. Then, he planted some in pots. We had so many tomatoes, we were giving some away. Felt pretty good. We also grew some squash. It's amazing what you can grow in small places (and in pots). Interesting hub and I enjoyed it!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      SpaceShanty, I think the movement has started, but like most major movements it will take time. Thank you for your kind words.

    • SpaceShanty profile image

      SpaceShanty 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Excellent Hub, I agree with you 100% but unfortunatly the world is geared in a way such that it is not always possiable to be self sufficent. Living in a city means land is more valuable to build on than to farm. Hopfully people like you will start to change things for the better.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      rebekahElle, thank you for trying twice to write the comment, and a great comment it is. Yes, we are seeing more and more of this, and I am encouraged by it. I am encouraged by the number of young people I know who are adopting these ideas. It is hard work but it is so worth it. I appreciate you taking the time to fight the system and leave this comment.

    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 3 years ago from Tampa Bay

      I just wrote a nice, long comment and accidentally deleted it. I wish there was a way we could save it if it was done by accident. Anyway, great hub. I enjoyed reading it. I do some of what you have suggested, but not everything. There is a strong 'grow your own' movement in this area with co-ops, workshops and get-togethers. I have also noticed that many of our younger generation who are now raising families are returning to this lifestyle. They yearn for the simplicity of days gone when all that you have listed here was a way of life. My oldest son who now has a home and young family raise chickens, planted a vegetable/herb garden, have orange and avocado trees, make two meals at a time so that they can freeze meals for the busy time ahead when their second child is born. He is a DIY'er and if he doesn't know how to do something, he will figure it out and then write hubs about it, and they are his best earners! I think one of the great joys of self-sufficiency are the lessons that are given to the young ones. They learn a strong work ethic, feel responsible and feel like an important member of the family by their contributions. I hope we continue to see more and more individuals/families move in this direction. We don't have to complain and point fingers, we simply do what we need and want to do. And the food tastes much better when we grow it ourselves! Thanks again for a wonderful, helpful hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Patty, we are seeing quite a few communities take the lead....there seems to be a new movement ahead and I am encouraged by it. Thank you for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Fantastic, Alicia! I wish you well with that garden and thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      tireless, it is a nasty drought for sure. We are having the driest winter on record and the rest of January looks dry. Still, we will have our garden and I'm looking forward to planting. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it Dianna! Good luck with that dream and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Bill, thanks for stopping by. Yes, it is amazing how much you can save by doing those repairs yourself....thousands of dollars per year is my guess. Go Seahawks!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from North America

      A few friends grow vegetables every year and purchase heritage seeds (not made by Monsanto). Our city has opened more community garden plots - right on the County Court House grounds downtown, so that's a possibility for us that have no land to use for gardening. Things may get better!

      I enjoyed this Hub very much and rated Up and many more.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for yet another inspirational hub, Bill. I plan to increase the number of vegetables and fruits that I grow this year. I have so many plans for the spring! One thing that I will never be able to do is to keep animals to be slaughtered for food, though. My family is going to have homegrown vegetable protein!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      The drought we are having had me thinking I wouldn't make a garden this year. This hub has encouraged me. There is still time to get the fava beans and swiss chard in for the winter then on to summer farming. Carefully watering of course.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      You are speaking my language, Bill. My hubby and I are working each day towards our goal of selling this home and getting a place to grow our own food and live a simple lifestyle.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Years ago we always had a garden but somehow it just has not happened the last few years. I am detemined this year to start anew and return to growing my own vegatables. And when it comes to home repairs I almost always tackle them myself. This really saves a lot. It may take me twice as long to fix something as a contractor but it also saves me a bundle. It's amazing how much you learn when you decide to do something yourself. Hope your having a great weekend. I'm rooting for the Seahawks and the Pats :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Robin, thanks for the comment. It's good to know that someone else thinks the collapse is coming. I thought i was the only one who could read the writing on the wall. :)

    • Robin Beck profile image

      Robin 3 years ago from Cape Town South Africa

      Great that you posted this. It has become critically important to be prepared for the coming financial collapse, so being a self-sufficient as you can be is a first step. The second step is to SHARE. Many suburbs in Europe are now not only growing their own, but have set up web sites that tell their community what they can spare to exchange with others.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, you bring up excellent points. This is not an easy thing to do, and in today's modern economic world, often times the decision to simply buy cheap is necessary when time is weighed into the equation. I understand it completely. What I want to do is change the entire economic system. Wish me luck! LOL

      Thank you for your kind words. I wish I could do some speaking engagements....maybe some day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, you just hit the proverbial nail on the head...needs vs wants, and common sense. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It does pay off, DDE, for those who are able to do it. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nellieanna, there is only one thing that can silence my online voice and I hope that one thing doesn't happen soon. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks vkwok; you are appreciated.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      It is doable, Bill. If we concentrate on supplying our needs instead of keeping up with the Joneses, we can do better. Thank you for talking us into common sense. Voted Up!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting hub abut being self-sufficient I know a few people who live on their home grown vegetables, home made olive oil, wine etc it does pay off.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Billy, you are a super motivation- writer, and I believe you are also a motivation-speaker. Your hubs are so inspiring, beaming energy that encourage the reader to follow your advice without delay. May I crown you as Hubville's best motivation- writer.

      I wish I had more time and energy to spend in your corner!

      I am definitely living the “let someone else do it” way since I am compelled to use my talents all hours of the day to earn just enough to make ends meet. In full agreement with your point of view and advice, I must add that the management of time goes hand in hand with the management of our finances. Calculating the time we use to knit a jersey plus the cost of wool, oppose to the selling price of a jersey knitted in China or wherever and the time and cost to buy it, so often brings us to the motto, 'rather pay the one who is doing this/that for a living and save time and money while serving our fellowman'.

      So, to be self-sufficient also demands wisdom and goodwill. Not only goodwill towards other, but also towards oneself.

      Excellent, most inspiring hub. I am going to mend some clothes today, but only to give them away as I no longer feel comfortable in them. Thanks to your power to keep me motivated and eager to be the change I want to see in this world.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      Just don't stop shouting, Bill. You know what they say. Babe Ruth struck out more than he hit home runs. ;-) Besides, the wind isn't always blowing or blowing away your words.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Gotta agree with you there.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      tipoague, thanks for stopping by. I think many of us know most of this stuff, and some of us have lived it....I'm just trying to rekindle the idea and gain some converts along the way. :)

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 3 years ago from USA

      Great article! This is a method I am very familiar with. I grew up with frugal parents that taught us how to be self-sufficient. I am not as self-sufficient as I would like to be, but am slowly working at it as we can. One thing about living this lifestyle is that one is never short on stories. Things happen every day to keep you on your toes. Thanks for sharing this!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Grand old lady, thanks for the comment and the following. We actually are looking at composting toilets for our future farm....but that's about as primitive as I choose to be regarding toilets. :)

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      When I was young I actually interviewed an old man who was living a self sufficient life. I don't remember his name, except that he was a descendant of Jose Rizal. He grew his own vegetables, raised tilapia in a swimming pool, and even made his own Christmas gifts of canned food that came from his garden, using computers (which at that time were so primitive there was no word wide web) to make the labels. He did his own composting and we ate rice cakes made from ingredients in his garden. His dream was to find a way to use battery power so he wouldn't rely on electricity.

      But he used a normal toilet. Frankly, I love to DIY and upcycle. But the toilet -- can't live without mine.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, we name our chickens as well, and when we have more farm animals they will all have names....a sign of respect I think. :) Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vellur; obviously I agree with your points. I hope others will listen.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      bac2basics, obviously by your name you understand the point of this article, and I happen to agree with what you wrote. I have seen it over the course of my lifetime, and that consumerism you speak of started in the 50's and snowballed from there....now we have lost our way and it is vital that we find it again. Thank you for some great thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nellieanna, what a great comment. I don't know that I have anything to add to your beautiful words. As a society we have lost our way. I am convinced that we need to return to the basics and get in touch with who we truly are. Quit looking for the easy way and start becoming independent of the system. Sometimes I feel like I am shouting to the wind and the wind isn't listening. :) Blessings to you and yours.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I grow rutabaga, herbs, and tomatoes for use in recipes (although I hate eating tomatoes raw), and we grow catnip (the cats hink this is being VERY self-sufficient). I sure couldn't keep farm animals for anything other than pets. Once they have a name, they have a safe place in my heart, and I name everything!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Being self-sufficient is the best thing to do and we all can if we try. Growing our own food is helps to avoid all the preservatives added. Recycling helps to save the earth and all it's resources for our future generations, great hub with great suggestions.

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 3 years ago from Spain

      Wow Billy this hub is awesome. You are so right in what you say and it´s true that the skills our fathers and mothers had , the ability to make do and mend out of neccesity have been watered down to most of our generation and are practically non existent in our own children, I wonder who´s fault that is ? My own personal view is that we became too consumerist and wanted to give our children things we thought we had missed out on but the truth is all we really gave them was less of our time and patience in order to provide those things, maybe now it´s time to return to basics and any savings we can make along the way can only be for the good.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      A great article, Bill. Your personal example is ever truly inspiring.

      My great-granddaughter (10) mentioned that their family conserves utilities, as I do. We agreed it saves money for more important things, but when she suggested ‘such as clothes’, I was amazed. When I was growing up, money wasn’t spent for clothes. Mother made them, usually from bargain remnants or made-over things. By the time I was 13, I was making my own! The only time I had ‘ready-made’ clothes was when I was in college and my eldest sister decreed that I needed an upgrade, and then she chose them, so I didn't spend the money.

      At college, though, I studied design and was able to out-do any ready-mades without the dreaded ‘made with loving hands at home’ stigma! Over a long lifetime, I have bought clothes but never with a sense of having no other choice or preference.

      You are so right. The population has become so dependent on ‘convenience’-everything, they’re forgetting how to do the simplest things for themselves. I was appalled to see ‘pre-toasted’ bread on a grocery shelf. Ugh. I’ve made my own bread and can’t imagine anything sadder than having the bread always not only pre-made but already toasted, unless it’s having factory-raised vegetable already cut up into salads and wrapped in plastic. I suppose that’s better for many folks than not eating vegetables, though it seems so basically silly when it’s among the simplest things to prepare a salad!

      I confess that I no longer raise my own vegetables, though for most of my life, we had our own gardens. When I was growing up, we raised almost everything ourselves. But whatever one CAN do to be self-sufficient, is a major step in the right direction. The limitations on that are very often mostly in one’s mind, besides, although we often need to choose trade-offs with other values, but we must never trade-off our independence. We must stay in our own drivers’ seats, even if it’s to intelligently choose between alternatives such as raising a garden or tending to all one’s other needs to stay healthy and independent as one ages, including the mental pursuits.

      The most important self-sufficiency habit one has is thinking fearlessly for oneself. Next is resourcefulness, I think. When one needs something to do a chore, being able to think of what will do it and finding that thing, is priceless. It seldom requires a trip to Home Depot, if one just thinks creatively and resourcefully.

      Helplessness and dependency are the two enemies of self-sufficiency and lack of self-sufficiency condemns a person to more and greater helplessness and dependency in a spiraling vicious circle. I remember years ago thinking that the direction people were going would eventually enslave them to whomever ‘took care of’ them, and that it would be not out of love, but out of control. It’s becoming the tragic reality. Just dangle a flashy bait, and people seem to be willing lemmings heading for self-destruction.

      Again, I have great respect for your lifestyle and for your ability to teach and lead the way, dear Bill! Thank you! Never stop!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      boutiqueshops, say a prayer for both of us. We'll compare notes when we both get our farms.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, I suspect you are right about the stupid part...but don't tell anyone I said so. :) Try to behave this weekend. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, if I could find anyone who would pay money to listen to me I would be there. :) Thank you so much for your friendship, support and encouragement.

      love,

      bill........and have an extraordinary weekend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you as always, Ruby! I appreciate you greatly. Have a wonderful weekend.

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      Sylvia 3 years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas

      My husband and I dream of buying a few acres where we can practice self-sufficiency, with chickens, miniature goats, miniature cows, alpacas and our gardens. *saying another prayer* GREAT info you have here!

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      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      Bill, I thought you would enjoy that one. When I hear comments like that my first thought is they have a weird sense of humor similar to my own. Then I figure out they really are that stupid and believe everything they are telling you.

      Wishing you a great weekend also.

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      Maria Jordan 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      You are able to teach, inspire and raise awareness like no one else.

      I have said it before but you are meant to speak...to crowds. As it is your written words speak volumes.

      Voted UP and UABI. Happy, peaceful Friday. Love, Maria

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      The thought of killing animals for food bothers me. I could not do it, yet i eat meat. I grow a garden every year and freeze peppers and tomatoes. I have a strawberry patch. I am thinking about watermelons, maybe. I commend you for your lifestyle. Thank's again Bill.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Poolman, I'm going to be laughing at that comment all weekend. How could you ever have a conversation with someone like that? Thanks for the laugh and have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      W1totalk, I believe it is too, and I think a great many people will agree with us shortly. Thank you!

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      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      Bill, I recently read a comment from a lady who stated "I buy all of my meat at the supermarket because it is more humane." You think you could convince her to become more self sufficient?

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      W1totalk 3 years ago

      This is just a better way to live. Thank you always billybuc.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I have never heard chickens called chooks before. That is a new one for me. Amazing how our language has taken so many detours since our days in the UK...but we are such mutts; we have several languages as roots in our words. Anyway, I'm sorry you can't have a garden or chickens. You are right about the warm eggs; we love picking them up right after they are laid.

      Have a wonderful weekend and thank you.

      bill

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy,

      Oh for a garden the size of the one you have, the size my parents had when we were growing up. We were truly self sufficient. There is no opportunity for me to do the same in the UK - with property prices so high and English gardens so tiny! At best I can only hope to plant a few tomatoes or veg in pots - surviving on them is not going to happen anytime soon.

      I wish I could have a few chooks - love the sound of a hen laying an egg and picking up that warm egg in my hands. It reminds me of my childhood.

      Did not know you loved the movies - as do I - the foreign ones mostly - the ones with subtitles. You could call me an addict!

      Hope you have a wonderful week-end

      Sally

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I'm all for that....it's called bartering as you well know. Do something for me and I'll do something for you...great economic system if you ask me. :) Thanks as always.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for that, Made. I love using old lumber to make things. They may not look fantastic but I'm proud of them anyway.

      Have a great weekend!

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lea, that could never be a negative. Bev has me take spiders out of the house and put them outside...that is something I admire, and I'm being totally honest. Don't change who you are; I think you are beautiful.

      blessings

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, I love it. I was smiling reading about the Goodwill sheets. You betcha, lady! That's what I call creativity and self-sufficiency. We need about 100 million more people to think like you.

      blessings my friend and thank you!

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, I can only assume you were talking about Detroit when you mentioned the bulldozing of homes. A sad state of affairs for sure, but also an opportunity to plant gardens and find positives from the sadness. There is so much we can do in this country if we are willing. Sure it takes effort and sure it is a major change in thinking, but it can be done....and quite frankly I believe it must be done.

      Thank you for an excellent comment, one I totally agree with.

      blessings always

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it Jackie and it is like an Easter egg hunt every morning. I'm just sorry I waited so many years to raise chickens. I'm having a blast. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the return comment, Lea. I raised rabbits for awhile. Just for the record, I do not like killing animals...but....it's silly of me to eat meat and expect someone else to do the killing for me. :) It's a philosophical point with me. I either have to turn vegetarian, which I won't do, or I have to accept the fact that if I'm eating meat I should also have the courage to do the killing. I doubt I'll ever like it...but....

      blessings my friend

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzanne, I agree with you about the reason many people pay to have jobs done. As for fixing things, with Youtube tutorials available, it's amazing what I can now do that I never dreamed I could do. We have the ability, just as our forefathers did...we just have to have the willingness. Thanks for your comment.

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      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      Some of the things you mentioned as we get other people to do for us I "hire" someone for the convenience, but mostly because I just can't figure out how to do it. I'm lucky though that I have neighbors who will help me with things when they know how to do it and I have them teach me. I think what you discuss is important and I'll try harder to be even more self-sufficient.

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      Madeleine Salin 3 years ago from Finland

      I do some of these things without thinking of doing them. I grow vegetables, I used old material to build the house and cage for my rabbits. I'm not going to eat them!!! We even use old materials when we're building our new house. I like reusing old materials. Great hub as always, Bill. Enjoy your weekend!

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      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      LOL JACKIE! YOU ARE SO RIGHT!

      YES, I KNOW I WOULD GET ATTACHED TO A CHICKEN...I CANNOT EVEN STAND TO LET A PLANT DIE..AND ANY BUGS I FIND IN THE HOUSE I PUT OUTSIDE RATHER THAN KILL THEM.

      I GUESS LIFE MEANS SO VERY MUCH TO ME THAT I DON'T WANT TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEATH OF ANY LIVING THING...

      BILLYBUC: WOULD THE ABOVE PUT ME IN THE CATEGORY OF 5 THINGS I DON'T LIKE ABOUT MYSELF? (IN YOUR HUB USE PAST MEMORIES AS WRITING PROMPTS)...WHERE I AM TOO ATTACHED TO LIFE? :) JUST A THOUGHT. :)

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      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Bill - This is a great hub of course (I loved the videos) and I appreciate the fact that you continue to be a clarion call for those who will here. We can all do something. I am always surprised at people who say, Well I can't keep chickens in my apartment, so....." As if there is nothing else they can do. How silly!

      Some of us (you) will grow all you own vegetables (me, I can manage container peppers and tomatoes), others have chickens, others plant fruit trees, or compost or recycle or insist on paper, not plastic and so forth.

      I laughed at Paula's comment about reusing and repurposing and reusing. I used to tell my three sons that in a 15 year cycle, Good Will sheets make great curtains, which make aprons and shorts for little boys, which make great place-mats, and eventually stuffing for pillows or cleaning and polishing rags. And all this for the cost of two spools of thread. I consider re-purposing the exhilarating challenge of life.

      Great Hub. Theresa

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      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hello Bill.

      You amazes me more everyday and it is very positive amazement because you're not only helping the writers to be best they ( we?) can be, now with this article you are helping every wise , smart-with own head thinking citizen ( not brainwashed above 90% ) to be self-sufficient, self - health improving , self happines creating and fully satisfied. The reward from sowing and reaping is the Universe principle to reach highest potential living worthy to be alive ! You know your worth when your own hands produce food, support your own , and even those who really need, -and in this land everybody willing can do it. Refusing to be bribed by velfare for vote support, everybody can move out into the nature where the freedom rings, and spread prosperity by solving the economic's crises. ..

      Scenario: In one - former greatest city of the US, my first destination,- recently pronounced bankrupt , the blocks of the beautiful homes are being destroyed and the land is plowed down. Imagine every "unimployd" will supply a shovel for family member and those beautiful kids killing each other would be lead by the parents, and " community leaders " to growing their ow gardens becoming proud producers, soon the jail and prisons guard will be not needed , and even they will ceased to callect working people's tax- money checks...

      My friend this is in support of all your suggestion, my involvement in gardening has began at age around five and will probably end the last day of my earthly journey.. . When neighbors see you gardening, they will become curious , and willing to do the same. . . ( Happened to me ) (Well, if you find this not fitting the theme , don't let it be seen publicly, please. )

      Voting for your Hub, up, awesome , beautiful useful and interesting.

      Have a very blessed weekend, my friend.

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      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      All I can say is don't let Sparklea pet your chickens billy...

      Hey I got three eggs this morning and one was pink! They are all three Rhode Island Reds. I am having such fun, it is like an Easter Egg hunt every day. I have to admit though it is going to take a lot of eggs to cover expenses thus far but for the experience...that is priceless! I am making me a compost pile too to have a fantastic garden next summer, or so they claim...I will try!

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      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      billybuc thanks for your lovely response to my comment. For some reason, I think Bev would get so attached to a rabbit that you would not dare kill it :) I purchased a rabbit years ago - named her Rachael...I LOVED that animal...one night I took her out of her box, she was so loving, and by mistake, she slipped out of my arms, fell into her box and immediately broke her neck and died. I was so devastated, and I sobbed the next day when I had to bury her. I've never gotten over it...which would fall under the category of "saddest moments" in your hub titled "use past memories as writing prompts" which i just printed out to study. God bless, Sparklea :)

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      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      To people not used to it, it may seem like a lot of work. I guess you have to weigh up whether your time is worth more than the hired handyman's. In some cases it is, hence people just hire the handyman.

      For any beginners, I'd recommend finding a starting point of something you enjoy doing and practising it until you are able to do it quicker. For example, I learnt sewing when I was younger and can now hem jeans by hand in 20 mins (and it looks very professional). While I never did make it to the grow-your-own-garden stage, there are a multitude of fixit jobs around the house that I can now do to save me money (and help me feel proud of myself). Voted interesting.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Glimmer, how could I not notice. You used to show up on Monday or Sunday and comment on like ten hubs all at once. Yes, I noticed...very well done!

      I guess it depends on the city...here it is common to see veggie gardens in the front yard and I love it.

      Thanks my friend; have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Barbara. Ten years ago it would have been hard to convince anyone that this lifestyle makes sense...but now we are seeing more and more people turn to it out of necessity. I love that you understand. Thank you!

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      Barbara Badder 3 years ago from USA

      This is how I've lived for years, so agree with you 100%. I am a 70's girl at heart. The problem is that I can't convince any younger folks that there is any wisdom in this lifestyle. They don't get my money saving ways either and sometimes tease me about it.

      Someday I'll get some chickens. I haven't had any of those yet, but I am worried how our bird dogs will react to them.

      This is a good article. Have a good day Bill.

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Unfortunately with my house we'd have to chop down a lot of our trees to give us enough sun to grow veggies. I can grow some things on the deck. The other thing is that I imagine some of our neighbors wouldn't be happy with a big veggie garden right on the street. On the other hand, I probably should not worry about that. This is definitely extremely useful Bill and I have been noticing more and more people growing veggies where there were none before. On another note, did you notice that I am trying hard to keep up to date on my commenting. Let's see how long I can keep up with it.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Heidi! Some cities just haven't caught on yet, but they will. We have very few zoning restrictions here and I love it. Many a family now has veggie gardens in their front yards instead of lawns, and I say bravo to them. Good luck with that hydroponic gardening and thank you.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amen indeed, Brian. I don't know how many jobs I have tackled that I learned about on Youtube...what great tutorials available....then all you need is a willingness to get dirty, and I happen to love dirt. LOL Thanks buddy and have a great weekend.

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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello Farmer Billybuc! Growing some food is something I certainly would like to do, but just haven't gotten to it. I want to try some of those hydroponic indoor planters, especially for a climate like here where we have a shorter growing season. Definitely on my To Do list.

      I have a good friend who's a gardening blogger. She's transformed her front yard into an amazing vegetable garden. It's so beautiful that it looks even better than flowers to me. She also shares her bounty with local food pantries. But she's constantly battling local zoning issues on her garden areas. Unbelievable! You're right. The movement is beginning, but has a long way to go.

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      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Bill, I love rolling up my sleeves and doing it myself! From plumbing to auto repair, the internet has taught me plenty. Need to know how to do something? Watch a YouTube video and go get your hands dirty! And by God, you nailed it: quit blaming everyone else for your problems! Hike up your skirt, take a good look in the mirror, and hold yourself accountable. Whew...jeez, you got me all perched up on my chair here lol. Amen!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, I love it...one acre is just about perfect. I hope you are able to find the time necessary. Good luck and thanks for the comment.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith. I am convinced that society must turn in this direction. The economy cannot sustain itself much longer. I hope I'm wrong but I don't think so.

      Have a wonderful weekend and blessings always

      bill

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      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Bill, our home here in the washoe valley came with an acre of viable soil. We are going in the direction of chickens, goats, and gardening. But it is hard to start with three young children and full time jobs. I am hoping this summer we can move more outside and begin the work. Thank you for your inspiring hub. Jamie

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      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Bill, you and Bev are way ahead of the game by growing your own food! Becoming self-sufficient is the way to go for sure! Who knows if there will even be food that is edible in the future or that we can even purchase. Repurpose, recycle and reuse too whenever possible. Up and more and sharing. Have a great weekend, Faith Reaper

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      JustCrafty, I love it and you know I do. Each year we do a little bit more of this and we always feel great about it. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wiccan, I have heard similar stories of people who lived in NYC and Boston and Philly...a lot could be done with very little space in the middle of huge cities. Imagine what I can do with 1/8 of an acre....I've only just begun. :) Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend.