1. Able to provide for oneself without the help of others; independent.
To provide and not depend..sounds so ideal doesn't it? While complete self-sufficiency is not where we are as a family, every little bit helps. In the nearly twenty years of our marriage, we have made strides to be less dependent on others...better able to meet our needs without running here and there for this and that.
Early on, gardening was a key to our stepping away from dependence; natural foods grown by our own hands by our own methods. Every year new plots and new crops are added..currently we are growing four difference garden plots on our homestead..providing a large amount of our produce. Berry bushes and a couple of fruit trees were added last year- if they survive the drought, we hope to see them produce.
My flock of hens were the second step...providing tasty fresh eggs and occasional meat. Since that first flock we have progressed to a seasonal meat flock and a batch of turkeys (grown once a year). The freezer full of meat has been a great blessing as well as a precious learning experience for our whole family. From housing, to feeding, to human and appropriate butchering...yearly advances and improvements are added here and there to ensure a better success in the next season.
The most recent additions were a dairy and meat herd. Our silly goats have been a great blessing to our self-sufficient life. Again, learning the ropes for natural production and health have been a challenge and a joy. Seasonal births of precious little ones, bottle feeding, home dairying have led to cheese making. The blessing of meat in the freezer..again..one more step.
While these things are all steps toward independence, other goals are always on the board: maintaining a debt free financial situation, continuing our educations (in classes or independently), as well as personal health care. In a self-sufficient life, education is important ..and on going. Libraries, online and in local colleges a wealth of information is available; why not use it? Let's not for get county extension offices and master gardener programs. They're there to help...learn from them!
In all our endeavors one thing must never be overlooked; our dependence on God. From His hands all things are given; our life, our health, our land and it's produce. In our strive for independence, we never want to lose our dependence on our heavenly Father. Through prayer and seeking our journey continues...the journey of self-sufficiency.