I've been really trying to get friends, family and others to understand that being flexible particularly in, during and after an economic challenge is THE KEY to maintaining not only your life style but also your sanity. If you can grow some of your own food, have two possibilities for income (trade/skill and a 'profession') you can do more than merely survive - you can thrive.
I would encourage you to really think about this, not as a what-if-doomsday concept but really how you can better control some or many aspects of your daily lives. In other words how can "you control" your resources.
As an intellectual exercise consider what you would not only need in a crisis, but also what resources (product or talent) would be needed by others. Want some ideas? Look at craigs list to see what people are selling or looking for.
Here is a nice list of 10 reasons for being self-sufficient, plus the link to the original article -- Please share this with everyone. You do not have to get property in the boonies to be self-sufficient and you do not have to do it all. Even some aspects can dramatically improve your lives.
- 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.
- 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 or gold, 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. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I hope you find this helpful and encouraging - it is about the positive impact, not the negative.
-- Catherine, The Herb Lady