self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

A chance to meet up with friends and have a chat - a general space with the freedom to talk about anything.
paul123456
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 171
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:06 pm
Location: Ost Friesland Germany
Contact:

self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163015Post paul123456
Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:21 pm

Hello everybody,

for the last 10 years we've been trying to be self sufficient, started off in Holland ,soon moved to Ireland ,
and now have landed in Germany .
In Ireland an English neighbour gave us the John Seymour book of self sufficiency , since then we've really seen the light.

Now after nearly 11 years of trying as much as we can ,I came upon the idea of self sufficiency being a hobby for
people with money ,enough money , that is .
Or the other kind of rich people , not in possesion of money ,but the people who have not been addicted by the virus of
having material goods , cars , house , holiday career .I think that people who don't bother about the material part of life are also rich ,
maybe even richer than people with money.

Back in 1999 when we moved to the west of Ireland we had a neighbour , she was around 78 years old , she did not exactly know.Her husband had died years before , now she had a jersey cow and a few hens , no worries , a small cottage and a small
car ,she burnt turf , and had her brother and a neighbour to dinner every Sunday , that was her life , that's rich.

Down the hill lived Matt , 90 years old , small cottage , door always open , had a cart and donkey , an went to town once a week ,
just a transistor radio and a old stanley range ,that was all and he did'nt want more .

These people are / were the truly rich .

So now to be really 100% self sufficient ,to make things easy you need quite a sum of money .

Let me know what you think ,

regards

Paul

User avatar
Flo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1713
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:12 am
Location: Northumberland

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163025Post Flo
Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:16 pm

Paul no one person in history has ever been truly self sufficient. No-one has all the skills needed to build and maintain the house you need, produce all the food you need, provide the heating you need, ensure that you have the water you need, manage to make all your own cleaning materials, grow and make all the materials for the clothes you need and then make the clothes. It takes a village to have enough people with the right skills to be a self sufficient community.

And that is the secret of self sufficiency - being part of a community where everyone can chip in with skills to make the whole group have enough of the essentials of life.

Read your history and you will see that even the rich families in big houses in the old days could produce an immense amount of what they needed from the estates that they owned but not everything. Maybe they did not have the quarries for stone for the house or woods for the timber required. Certainly few enough of them owned mines that produced metals for spades, ploughs, and other tools. Few enough of them owned mines for coal for heating and even fewer generated their own electricity in later days although there is an estate in Northumberland that was the first one to have electricity and it was generated on site. So even the rich are not self sufficient in many things.

You have to decide how far you can go with the means that you have. As a child I lived on a farm and we could produce 95% of the food that we needed and had inherited most of the furniture and household utensils that we needed from previous generations. But we couldn't afford the man power to weave our own cloth or tan our own leather for clothes even though we produced some of the basic raw materials we needed. Neither did we have the wherewithal to run a mill to grind our own flour. There was not the water power on the farm. With disabled parents it would not have been possible to run a completely organic farm although we managed at least 50% of the way.

Don't be put off by the idea that self sufficiency is only for the rich. You need to find that community where you all have some skills that can add to the well being of the whole. Life changes and it may well be that self sufficient communities will become more common again with the changes that are going on in the world. In the mean time, continue to do what you can and achieve what you can.

User avatar
Rosendula
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1743
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:55 pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163029Post Rosendula
Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:10 pm

I think one of the things that stops most of us being as self-sufficient as we think we could be is the lack of money to buy the land, etc. Then, like Flo says, we couldn't be 100% SS, just a lot more SS than we are now.

One of the things that has struck me is how much more I think about things now. For example, a while ago I decided to try my hand at sewing - something I previously used to run away from and leave to others. I made some curtains and seat covers for the kitchen, and did an OK job (I was really proud of myself. They had flaws, buy hey! it was a first attempt). I felt so self-sufficient when I first started the project, but by the end of it I felt so dependent on people I had never met; who made the cloth? Who made the thread? Who grew the cotton and harvested it, and did they use harmful pesticides? Probably. Did they get paid enough? Probably not. The sewing machine was running on electricity that I didn't produce myself. And who made the sewing machine? Where did the raw materials needed to make the sewing machine come from? I suddenly felt very, very small and very, very non-self-sufficient. But I was still proud of the curtains. :thumbright:

I think the best we can do is to see how far up the self-sufficient path we can get whilst appreciating all the people who provide us with the things we can't do for ourselves. Most importantly, enjoy the journey. :sunny:
Rosey xx

lovelygreenleaves
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:40 pm

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163032Post lovelygreenleaves
Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:16 pm

Hi Paul,

I just wanted to clarify to understand properly... did you mean that the neighbours you knew in 1999 were able to be self sufficient, but these days it is harder and more expensive?

Thanks :mrgreen:

User avatar
citizentwiglet
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 848
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:02 pm
Location: Just outside Glasgow

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163039Post citizentwiglet
Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:21 pm

Some brilliant posts there from Flo and Rose........

That's why I love this site - it's 'ish'. It's about starting off doing what you can, because you know you can. Then you read articles here, and chat on the forum, and realise that there are MORE things you can do, you just didn't know how easy they were.

I'm not being funny, Paul, but your neighbours in Ireland....terribly sociable, older generation 'nothing gets me down and I'll admit nothing'. What you SAW might be different to when their doors were closed. Were they cold? Were they hungry? Did they wish they had the means to get in touch with beloved grandchildren / great-grandchildren? They're not likely to admit it - they don't do that, it's not in their nature. They 'get by'. Doesn't mean they are happy. But they would be too polite to 'moan about their lot'.

No man is an island and, in a way, the whole idea of 'self-sufficiency' (with the onus on the word 'self') is an untruth. Unless you are superhuman. Tell me - where did your neighbours get the food for their animals? Their toilet roll? Their lightbulbs/candles? At the end of the day, even the most self-sufficient of folk need others to get by.
I took my dog to play frisbee. She was useless. I think I need a flatter dog.

http://reflectionsinraindrops.wordpress.com - My blog
http://www.bothwellscarecrowfestival.co.uk - Scarecrow Festival
http://bothwellcommunitygarden.wordpress.com - Community Garden

ina
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 7778
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 9:16 pm
Location: Kincardineshire, Scotland

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163062Post ina
Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:07 am

Rosendula wrote:I think one of the things that stops most of us being as self-sufficient as we think we could be is the lack of money to buy the land, etc. Then, like Flo says, we couldn't be 100% SS, just a lot more SS than we are now.
And in that way, yes, I think it is a bit of a hobby for the "rich"... And rich doesn't mean loaded with money, only having the means to buy something, at least! How can you be self sufficient, even with a big ISH at the end, if you have to ask the council for permission every time you want to do something towards it - build your own shed? - cut down a useless tree to make way for fruit bushes? And I'm lucky to have a council property with a garden...

So I think that everybody has to find their own level of being -ish, as circumstances allow.
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

User avatar
old tree man
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1616
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:57 pm
latitude: 54.5619 N
longitude: 0.9874 W
Facebook Name: Don't have one
Location: North yorkshire

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163066Post old tree man
Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:12 am

Being ss in my eyes is doing what you can with what you have got around you , if you can save money buy building it yourself, cooking it yourself, growing it yourself ect ect , that is being ss, not by buying organic vegetables becauce they cost more and it makes you lookk good at the checkout :shock:
we all know that our home grow veg has a far superior taste than the bland rubbish you buy at the shops, and the satisfaction you get buy making or baking something yourself thats being self sufficientish :flower:
i have now caught the cycling bug great ! its healthier for me more fun than being stuck in a metal box in traffic and i am activly helping with the enviroment :cheers: BUT I STILL NEED A CAR, thats life today.
We all need to drink lots of water but did you know the ecolgical damage that prosessing bottled water is ridiculus, mind you tap water these days is safe and depending where you come from not that bad, fortunatley our water comes straight from the hills behind us and it tastes wonderful, so again my point is unless you have your own well you have to use what is around you.
do what you can to enhance your life around you, with what you've got and what you can lay your hands on wether it is free or made buy yourself thats being as ss as you can in this day and age.
:flower: :flower:
Respect to all, be kind to all and you shall reap what you sow.
old tree man,
aka..... Russ

Farmer gra
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:35 am

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163099Post Farmer gra
Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:11 pm

Just to add I sometimes feel self suffiency is a myth, at the end of the rainbow etc. But doing what you can with the time you have to do things your self and be kind to the planet and others is all any of us can do. I've got a couple of pigs I would like to have out foraging but I need fencing and cant afford it so they have two large pens, toys to play with and two meals a day foraged by me! so do what you can, how you can and enjoy.
Farmer gra.

Big Al
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1640
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:28 am
Contact:

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163103Post Big Al
Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:45 pm

For me SS (ish) is a path. A long and winding path. Sometimes it's uphill and a struggle and sometimes it's downhill and a pleasure.
Member of the Ishloss weight group 2013. starting weight 296.00 pounds on 01.01.2013. Now minus 0.20 pounds total THIS WEEK - 0.20 pounds Now over 320 pounds and couldn't give a fig...
Secret Asparagus binger

User avatar
Millymollymandy
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 17637
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 6:09 am
Location: Brittany, France

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163123Post Millymollymandy
Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:47 am

Couldn't agree more, Big Al. :salute:
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Annpan
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5464
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:43 pm
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163137Post Annpan
Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:48 am

For me, and I suspect for most 'stay at home' parents Self-sufficiency is much cheaper than the alternative.

If I worked a full time Job (and I don't have enough experience or qualifications to work in anything other than retail, and at best assistant manager/ floor manager, which is probably max. £16000 but more likely £13000 - before tax)

If I did, we would have to pay for

Full time childcare - I don't know exact figures but somewhere around the £500 a month mark for a pre-schooler wouldn't be a crazy figure.... or I could work shifts, and never see my OH (like many parents)

Meals - If I was working full time and trying to spend time with my child I would have to buy processed foods much more - I just wouldn't have the time to make everything from raw ingredients. Easily another few hundred a month.

Travel costs - We only have one car so either public transport (which would add a few hours to my working day) or buying and running a second car. Again another hundred or so a month spread through the year

Housework and gardening - I would never pay someone else to do these jobs but we would have to bring people in to do a big job (like hedge prunning/ tree surgery or shed building/ maintenance) My next door neighbour pays a well informed gardener a few hundred twice a year to do the big jobs.



Some of these are dependent on where you live but we are definitely better off with one of us staying at home....
So for us growing our own follows on from there, as does keeping animals, and other self-sufficiency related bits and pieces. Most of which take a little time and upkeep every day.
We have a really good sized garden and we hope to eventually reach a really good level of self sufficiency - it isn't costly to us we invest as little as possible (apart from time) and everything has to be worth it/ earn its keep.

But of course we have a mortgage and bills to pay so one of us has to work full time.

oh, and for us it isn't a 'hobby', it is a way of life. :wink:
Ann Pan

"Some days you're the dog,
some days you're the lamp-post"

My blog
My Tea Cosy Shop
Some photos
My eBay

User avatar
Rosendula
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1743
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:55 pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163138Post Rosendula
Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:02 am

I agree Annpan. I once worked out how much better off (financially) we would be if I went back to work, and I think I ended up being better off by a stupid amount - I can't remember exactly, but it was something piffling like £15 a week. And I have a degree and experience in managing a resource centre and much more, so I based that on my previous salary. Previously I worked 30 hours so was paid pro-rata, but my calculations for possibly going back to that job were assuming it would be 40hpw. Not only would I never see my family, but the time I did get at home would be spent trying to catch up on cleaning, laundry, etc. Not only would we be eating crappy food (again), but I would be spending a large proportion of my precious 'free' time in supermarkets. Don't forget the extra fuel involved with going to and from there! So for me, even with qualifications and experience, it's not worth giving up our good health and happiness for such a tiny amount of money. Who, in a country such as this, when they work it out, would work 40 hours per week for £15 and reduced quality of life?
Rosey xx

contadino
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:39 pm
Location: Apulia, Italia

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163140Post contadino
Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:33 am

Annpan wrote:oh, and for us it isn't a 'hobby', it is a way of life. :wink:
Quite. It's 'kin hard work.

To be anything approaching self-sufficient, you need to be free of debt. Most people consider being debt-free to be rich nowadays, but rich to me means having a pile of cash in the bank. We're by no means well off - we don't go out much, we don't have a flamboyant lifestyle, no new cars or expensive clothes, etc.. If we're considered wealthy I'd be very surprised, but we're pretty close to being self-sufficient.

So no, IMO it's certainly not an expensive hobby.

Islay
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:37 am
Location: South East England
Contact:

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163218Post Islay
Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:50 am

I love the current british (western?) attitude to debt. Credit card debt is every day and bog standard, and a mortgage is de rigueur. We totally fell into this trap too (with the credit cards, no mortgage, thankfully!) and it's taken us 14 months of bloody hard graft to get rid of it. Being debt free is definitely an essential part of any level of self sufficiency, so I suppose in that respect you have to be rich, but I'd argue the assumption beyond that.
http://www.islaybower.typepad.com
Finding, making and baking

User avatar
Milims
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 4390
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:06 pm
Location: North East

Re: self sufficient an expensive hobby ?

Post: # 163227Post Milims
Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:43 am

Islay wrote:I love the current british (western?) attitude to debt. Credit card debt is every day and bog standard, and a mortgage is de rigueur. We totally fell into this trap too (with the credit cards, no mortgage, thankfully!) and it's taken us 14 months of bloody hard graft to get rid of it. Being debt free is definitely an essential part of any level of self sufficiency, so I suppose in that respect you have to be rich, but I'd argue the assumption beyond that.
We are by no means self sufficient - but we are making the journey. Quite honestly I don't think that we will ever truly reach self sufficiency station - but we are enjoying travelling! For us it's meant a huge improvement in our lives and our bank balance. Apart from a mortgage we are pretty much debt free and living this way is making that much easier to achieve. I've said before that this life style has made us much more conscious about what we buy and why we buy it and we find that we are buying less and making more of what we have.
Perhaps if we'd jumped head first into complete self sufficiency we'd have had to be rich to do it, but taking it one step at a time is making us richer both financially and spiritually.
Let us be lovely
And let us be kind
Let us be silly and free
It won't make us famous
It won't make us rich
But damn it how happy we'll be!
Edward Monkton


Member of the Ish Weight Loss Club since 10/1/11 Started at 12st 8 and have lost 8lb so far!

Post Reply