Friday, August 20, 2010

Ten Reasons to Become Self-Sufficient and Ten Ways to Get There

Michael Edwards and Jeffrey Green
Activist Post

We are now three to five generations removed from the rural backbone that strengthened America.  The world at large has undergone a similar transformation as the promise of easier work has created a migration to big cities.  These mega-cities could be seen as an experiment gone awry, as general well-being has declined, with suicide rates increasing across the world.  Crowded conditions and economic strife have led to rampant crime, pollution, corporate malfeasance, and a dog-eat-dog type of competition that can be described as a temporary insanity.

The economic crisis we are living through has been the final straw for many people, as promises of a better, easier, and more creative life seem to have been sold to us by carnival-style tricksters who are laughing all the way to (their) bank.

Here are the top reasons for becoming self-sufficient; these are based on fundamental, systemic concerns for why undertaking this life change will not be a fly-by-night fad, but rather a long-lasting means for personal independence.

10 Reasons to Become Self-Sufficient

  1. Freedom from market manipulation - The traditional market-driven investment vehicles are more and more obviously controlled by traders and banking institutions.  The debacle of the private Federal Reserve Bank is just the icing on the cake to a previous decade full of Ponzi-type schemes.  Now, the institutionalized looting of retirement money is being planned.

  2. Hedging against inflation - Have you noticed the price of goods lately?  Even Wal-Mart is silently raising its prices.  People might have a choice whether or not to buy stocks, gold, or silver, but people have to eat -- the current increases in basic goods portend hyperinflation, and will not ease anytime soon.  Food shortages could make the problem exponentially worse.

  3. 3. Increasing health and wellness - It has now been revealed that some "organic" items have been falsely labeled.  In addition, a host of "GMO-free" brands have been exposed as deceptive.  GMO food lacks the nutritional value of what can be grown in the average backyard.  GMO mega-corporation, Monsanto, has a sordid history and has continuously trampled on our trust.  It is time that we do the work ourselves.

  4. Building community strength - We constantly hear people say, "I don't even see my neighbors, let alone know anything about them."  Of course not:  80-hour workweeks and grabbing meals-to-go doesn't exactly promote community interaction.  With such little time to interact with our immediate community, it is no wonder why many people report feeling disconnected.   In these trying times, it is a local community that can offer the best support.

  5. Working for yourself - Working hours are increasing, pay is often decreasing, and corporate executives are taking bigger bonuses than ever.  This is leading to a prevailing disgust, as people are being forced to admit that they are living lives of near-indentured servitude.  Even for those not working in corporations, working for someone else is rarely as satisfying as creating and working for something where every minute you spend is yours alone.

  6. Having more free time - We have been taught to believe that life on a farm is arduous sun-up to sun-down drudgery where you collapse at the end of the day.  This is not so much the case anymore.  Sure, the setup of any farm or self-sufficient endeavor is often time-consuming and laborious, but new technologies and new skills of manufacturing food via permaculture and aquaponics are offering low-cost start up and minimal maintenance, as these techniques serve to create symbiotic systems that are remarkably self-governing.

  7. Generating food and energy security - The planet is running out of food and traditional energy.  Climate volatility, market forces, GM foods, and rising costs of harvesting and transporting food are all conspiring to create food shortages even in the First World.  This trend will not reverse.  And our oil-soaked way of life is being threatened by mounting evidence that the oil lifeline could be disconnecting rather soon.  We should be looking to the air, sun, geothermal, and wave power to wean us from the energy grid.

  8. Acquiring an appreciation for life - As one gets closer to life-giving forces, there is a natural appreciation for how things come into being.  When you have created your garden, toiled there, selected the best for harvest, and have prepared that food for your family and community, the significance of what you have taken part in can be transformative.

  9. Restoring balance - Nearly everything in our society is at a peak, or is drastically out of balance.  The systems and governments to which we have looked for balance restoration are missing in action.  We must take it upon ourselves to restore our own financial and environmental balance sheet.  The best way to do that is to reduce our overconsumption.

  10. Becoming a producer, not a consumer - This is the best way to reduce your cost of living and increase your self-sufficiency.  In the U.S. over 70% of the economy is based on people buying things.  This is a clear sign of imbalance and, by extension, it is not sustainable.  Furthermore, we also have seen corporations race to the bottom to find low-cost production on the backs of desperate people.  The exploitation of the Third World to clothe, feed, and entertain the First World is something that most people do not want to think about, but it is abominable.  Again, new technologies are making it easier than ever to produce your own food, and even your own clothes.
As the cliche goes: Freedom is never free.  But it sure beats the alternative.

10 Ways to Get to Self-Sufficiency
The global economic collapse has become an eye-opening experience for many people. The ongoing crisis continues to create more joblessness at a time when the cost of essential items like food and energy continue to rise.

Inflation is only expected to continue due to excessive printing of money to compensate for the bursting economic bubbles, which were arguably created by printing too much money with artificially low interest rates in the first place.

The 2008 price shocks in oil followed by the financial collapse have led many people to begin taking measures to become more self-sufficient.  And recently the ominous signs of food shortages, the weakening dollar, and the rising price of oil all point to a similar atmosphere as 2008.  Some have taken steps to conserve electricity, reduce spending and consumption, while others are planting kitchen gardens and installing solar panels on their homes.  Even living off the grid is becoming a mainstream concept for those seeking independence.

Indeed,  becoming more self-sufficient is proving to make common sense whether one anticipates more hardship to come or not. Sure, many of us would love to live completely off the grid without giving up everyday comforts, but this is not practical for most of us.  However, there are many steps that can be taken to move towards self-sufficiency which can be relatively painless and quite rewarding.

The following are 10 suggestions that can lead to independent living:
  1. Reduce your debt: Especially get your credit card debt under control, since it is entirely corrupt.  Call your credit card companies and ask for a work out plan similar to what they received from the taxpayer bailout.  If they don't cooperate to your satisfaction, there are some reasons not to pay at all.

  2. Reduce your consumption: Evaluate your current budget and determine absolute necessity. Push your comfort level to find areas where you can scale back, and then identify comforts that you’re willing to sacrifice.

  3. Reduce energy use: Change light bulbs, have entertainment systems plugged into a splitter that can be shut off completely to reduce phantom charges, etc.  Carefully plan shopping trips and other transportation needs.

  4. Store energy:  Always have back-up propane storage and a large wood pile for a rainy day. Investing in a generator of some kind (even a solar generator) will be money well spent.

  5. Invest in food storage: With a falling dollar and rising food prices, why not create a food savings account?  Get some good books, dehydrators and vacuum sealers for storage methods. Best storable food items are grains (rice, beans, flour), canned goods, seeds, and some prepackaged items.

  6. Produce your own food: Replace your lawn with a garden, fruit trees, and keep chickens. Go on hunting and gathering adventures for nuts, fish, and wild game.  Store extra garden seeds!

  7. Learn new skills: Surf the Internet, read books, and take courses in practical skills like gardening, cooking with whole foods, composting, carpentry, alternative energy, natural health and wellness etc.

  8. Start a side business: Turn your passion or hobby into a small side business to make some supplemental income.  Who knows, it may become your path to full financial independence.

  9. Install alternative energy: Start with small installations like a solar hot water system, a solar freezer, a solar attic fan, or a wood stove etc. If you have limited funds, tip-toe your way to independence.

  10. Suggest solutions for your community: Start or join a local cooperative for food, products, and services.  Engage your local community in discussions to take steps for self-sufficiency. Share your story and build support.
These steps will save money as we move closer to the ultimate prize of independence.  Each action we take to live more simply frees us from the control systems put in place to make our lives more complicated, more toxic, and less independent.

Related Articles:
Mimicking Nature to Feed the Masses
Dare to Prepare: Collapse of Civilization Now Guaranteed
Using Local Organic Cooperatives to Defeat Globalists
USDA Reports Food Shortages: Wall Street "Caught Off Guard" by Severity
The Government Has a Seed Bank Savings Account, Why Shouldn't You?

This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.


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Rafe said...

I have a vision I want to buy some rural land plant fruit trees, keep goats and chicken. The Goal Feed Los Angeles.

Maybe I can't feed all 10 million people ut I can make a start

the bonocelli said...

sorry Rafe, that will not be permitted without permission from the government, not to mention fees, licenses, audits, taxes, and regulatory inspections.

However, if you feel you can meet the criteria, please initiate a trust fund of $50,000 and then contact us.

Also, the new Food Modernization Act prohibits you from growing any type of food for distribution to others than yourself. Please be cognizant of this LAW.

Also be aware of any new or existing environmental LAWS that may require you to insure that the earth and soil are protected from pollution such as animal droppings, hair, excretion products and the like.

Also, you may have to demonstrate your ability to farm the land. therefore, required education classes conducted by the government will be necessary unless you currently hold a Ph.D. in a agricultural science.

We will be more than happy to help you through this matter. But until then, don't do anything.


Your Fucked- Up and Oppressive Government

Ferenc said...

You Forgot #1 Get out from the big city (no need far just OUT!), because that is one what makes you dependent. Like I did. I got a house in the mountain out but not too far. Installed my own solar (not 100% dependent from Edison yet, but I could live with my solar without it). I did drill my own water well, I have a creek running trough my back (I can fish in) yard for back up. I have 200 gallon propane tank, and wood stove too. I can hunt if need. Vegetables in my backyard (no chickens yet. I try to minimize my meat needs because of the hormone junks in it. Try to eat more vegetables instead):). So that is how you start.

Activist said...

Good point Ferenc-- it could have been stated even more clearly that a return to rural life is essential. Nice job getting yourself set up. -- M.E.

Ferenc said...

90% of the people in LA are just hopeless slaves. Must of them can't escape from the prison of the dependency for many reasons, scared, no common sense, lazy, can't survive without help ect. They will all perish by the end. Only the few with strong surviving instinct and good common sense will remain. So don't waste time on them. Not worth it.

Deb Lagarde said...

I've been doing all of these ten things and preparing for 25 years! Only thing I disagree with is that you say the work has gotten easier...I guess it depends on where your rural remote is. Permaculture (my husband took a course run by Mollinson, the originator of permaculture) is a bit easier but it won't keep grasshoppers out of your garden! Easy? You still have to be vigilant and vigilance is never easy. I got more ideas at:

Deb Lagarde said...

Oh, and, BTW...we built our own house. If you are gonna learn skills, carpentry, plumbing, electric, etc. might be the place to start (mindful, of course, that some rural areas do have building codes!)

Joe said...

WOW! dead on I like that "become a producer not a consumer." I've been doing that for 35 years. Can't wait to get up in the morning and do it all over again. Great post.

Activist said...

Thanks for the great comments and input! -- M.E.

Hróðvitnir said...

You forgot Veganism!

Aunt Sissy said...

I try in my own little way to prepare - however, having been abandoned and divorced having raised and educated my 3 sons on a secretary's salary and now retired, there is no way in the world for me to 'move to the country and become self sufficient as Ferenc has'. I believe it is almost a joke for older people to think that as they struggle just to survive day to day. I too started to keep extra's 25 years ago and they have come in extremely handy when sons have become periodically unemployed. The majority of people in the U.S. are becoming my age (66) - I think we are just up the creek.

Dene said...

Great post- I'm a "prepper" and am working towards self-sufficiency and self-reliance. I appreciate the article and sound advice. Look forward to reading more of your posts.

Activist said...

Thank you for the words, Dene. Great that you are working on your freedom. We believe in exposing the problems, but we are at a stage now when armchair complaining won't suffice. Time to take action. If you have any suggestions or personal stories, don't hesitate to write an article about it; we would love to share the information. -- Michael Edwards.

Jodi said...

wow, wonderful article. I've been learning more and more about how to go about being self sufficient. Thank you. I am so grateful to have been pointed here from FB :)

Activist said...

Thank you, Jodi! Glad you found us. -- Michael Edwards

Attila said...

I agree with Ferenc about moving out of the city but I don't think it is necessary to stay close to the city.

If you are getting "Off the Grid" - then move way out (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho,etc).

Planting seeds is not my thing because I have no time for it and I have deed restrictions.
However, I did find an excellent alternative food source with a 15 year shelf life.

They are giving away free food to try through 10/20/10.
Go to - I joined and already got my free meals and they were surprisingly tasty, Non GMO foods and no trans fats. I am piling up with this stuff JIC (just in case)the food crisis gets to a breaking point.
Remember, the quintessential way for governments to control the masses & populations is through food (or the LACK thereof)!!!

Anonymous said...

These are great ideas - and technology is making it easier and easier to become a producer rather than a consumer. Start some wood or metal projects and do that on weekends instead of sitting behind the "game." You will be amazed at how good regaining your humanity is - you feel 5 feet taller.

Look into CNC machining, shopbots, and personal manufacturing. All things you can afford if you forgo the utterly worthless iPhone/iPad/or plasma screen - or maybe your cable bill for a year, or buy a used car instead of a new hunk of detroit junk.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for all of your wonderful solutions and ideas. I have tried to take in as much as I can in a two hour span. I have been trying to educate folks on morgellons, and now feel it is time to answer the "what next questions" This is truly a run for ones life. Food,fresh water,medicine(baking soda for the poormans protocol) is a tall order now.Is it worth it? Will it all be taken from us with population control? Will we ever be abe to start over again? The skull and bones group are stong, as the other two groups. We are mere ants to their over all plan. How are we really to live this out? All the seeds are GMO with fruit fly DNA, and agrobacterium, how are we to change that. It will be illegal to farm without it. We are already being poisoned with the chemtrails dropping barium-aluminummixed with micoplasma and viruses...folks still won't cover up their heads. No matter they will inject us forcefully. So, that is why I say is it worth it? Half a billion people left, and no quality of life to look forward to. How can the new era survive with depression, for there is nothing worse than death than the end of hope itself. How do you really see it playing out for those that do make it in 6 years..mind controlled slaves?

Anonymous said...

Vision of apocalypse or hope against all hope? bill S-510 catalyst or future..? of what is to come.All the work in building alternatives to corporations monopole is undermined and destroyed, by the fact that Americans are getting more and more poisoned and mind controlled which brings a deep lack of judgment on issues and will to act.Very sorry state of affairs for a nation who prides itself as Home of the Proud and the Free.Another step closer to Nazi state.Gaia

Anonymous said...

I was at a Sierra Club Legislative Action Day and overheard several conversations expressing how terrible housing developments with 1, 2, or 3 acre lots are to the environment. "Its the worst way to develop housing." They said that people should be forced to live in cities, and buildings should all be at least 20 stories high.

For everyone to have chickens and a garden means everyone needs a yard of their own. It doesn't happen that way. You live in a city and try to move, and see how much it costs you - mortgage debt is almost as bad as CC debt.

Anonymous said...

Here is a solution. Get out by any means necessary. Do what you gotta do. Our government is, so are the facist ilite of this country and indeed, throughout the world. Just get out and set up.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm from KY, and I learned a few things from the massive ice storm we had in 2009. I suggest storing candles (unscented), kerosene, and batteries for emergency outages. Canned foods, and foods that don't take much cooking are good too. Also bottled water. God bless!

Anonymous said...

Not everyone can just move out of the city, buy land and start farming. One alternative is "intentional communities", aka communes. These are not the 60's hippy version. People are getting together to form eco-villages, sharing work, food, shelter, and alternative sources of income for the things they can't produce themselves. It benefits all.

Anonymous said...

Just come across your website and it resonates with me so I have subscribed to the newsletter. I live in a country community in Australia,on ten acres unconnected to the utilities. Reading the comments is interesting as I have family in the US.

northface outlet said...

Here is a solution. Get out by any means necessary. Do what you gotta do. Our government is, so are the facist ilite of this country and indeed, throughout the world. Just get out and set up.

Leroy Jabowski said...

I get a kick out of people who say they don't buy meat at the supermarket because it has 'hormones' in it so they turn to store bought vegetables. OMG! Nothing like a solid diet of pesticides and dosages of fertilizers to keep the old system clean. Get a clue. Grow your own.

jules manson said...

I disagree with point 6 because it does take time to cultivate produce even if its only for your own family. But it can be viewed as a hobby. Your article inspires me to grow apricots, strawberries, and tomatoes as a starter. Great post regardless.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with foraging for nuts and hunting. This is the kind of thing that has lead to the massive reduction in wild animals in the first place. What we need to do is raise the animals ourselves and grow their feed too. Let the wild be the wild, we do not need to pilage it to be self sufficient. Mother nature would not approve.

Aussie Ryano said...

Hi ya all,

This ARTICLE is only a start......... get off your ACE and do the rest, or sit back down in front of the TV, and accept your misery.

Anonymous said...

You can find loads of equipment, material and how-to books at for the DIY enthusiast. This is such a great site if you want to read books on becoming self-sufficient! Plans to build boats, planes, car projects and more!

Anonymous said...

Very good post, indeed! We are trying ourselves to move forward to this way becoming self sufficient (self producing bread, yogurt, and other food), lucky enough to own a small garden and get most of the vegetables for ourselves and some friends, PV plant to get as much energy as possible from sun, refuse Shopping mall and buy from farmer or selfproducer what we cannot produce ourselves...we are not there and by the way nobody should feel "there" as this is a life journey, however we love feel so many people thinking and behaving as we do. It make us feeling a bit less lonely in this crazy world;just keep going and doing this way! Let's stay in touch as the world is getting smaller and smaller....see this post how turn to be appreciated also here in Rome, Italy. Thanks for your post and...stay in touch! Lorenzo

Anonymous said...

I live inland from LA & felt the drumbeat several years ago about our food and energy. Having a half acre, I am allowed to keep non-crowing birds (hens) and have kept 5-6 laying hens. I also DO not water anything I can't eat, hence, I tore up roses and frilly front yard plants and flowers and put in equally beautiful plants that give me food---a gazebo with 2 kinds of grapes, more along the fencerow, planters with every kind of pepper possible, Swiss Chard, onions, garlic, big planters of basil. All my hanging plants on the deck are food---more basil, patio tomatoes...and near the chicken house, a small garden of herbs, more tomatoes, Japanese eggplant, more chard, onions, seasonal greens, butternut squash, and so on. I have solar lights and fan in my storage barn and elsewhere....I water by hand or with gray water. I enjoy old recipes that allow me to "put food by" and produce perhaps 1/4 to 1/2 of the food 2 people eat in a year.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to be self sufficient without much work which I think it is easier said than done. I have started buying heirloom seeds. I am also into sustainable living in other areas and trying to reduce the impact of consumptions on our planet, especially clothing. Studying fashion industry at university has opened my eyes. But the most important of course is to be self reliant from the junk food/chemicals/gmo they try so hard to feed us unnoticed. I read and get as much as beneficial seeds as I can and write about it on my blogs to remind myself as well as others.

if you have any ideas about sustainability, please look at my blogs

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