Being Self-Sufficient: What would you do?

The other night, ABC’s Nightline aired a story about “Survivalist Training.” It was about exactly what you think: training people on everything from how to free yourself if you are ever tied up and/or stuffed in a trunk (seriously!) to preparing for ‘doomsday.’

I’m not by nature an alarmist and think a lot of this type of stuff is…well…silliness. However after reading tweets this morning about the ‘aftershock’ in Japan and the earthquake in Mexico, it kind of makes you think.

I don’t think I would go so far as to take a course that teaches me how to escape from the trunk of a car, but one of the guys they interviewed was talking about how to be more self-sufficient. Essentially, he grew his own food. He had a garden as well as goats (for milk, primarily) and chickens (for eggs and dinner). That just seems more practice – and economical – to me.

Now, I don’t ever see myself with any type of livestock for a lot of reasons. But a garden I could do. Admittedly I have never grown a veggie or fruit; as I’ve mentioned before, I’m more of a flower girl. I’m more inclined to stop by the local farm market and consume the delicious works (not to mention variety) of their labor. So what would I include if I were to grow my own? Definitely bush beans. That includes your green and yellow/wax beans. My sister tells me they are pretty easy to grow plus they are a favorite of my family. Another bean I would consider would be dry beans, which include kidney, black and pinto beans. Besides being able to make a ton of different things with them, dry beans are an excellent source of protein, a key building block in a healthy diet. In fact, they are often suggested as a low-fat alternative to meat and poultry.  Plus beans grow well in Michigan; did you know that Michigan is a major commercial producer of dry beans?

Other fruits and veggies I would consider: strawberries (yummm!), peppers, zucchini and summer squash, tomatoes (did you know you can freeze whole tomatoes and use them later for cooking?), carrots (my daughter tells me she’d eat the fresh ones if we grow them; she’s 3 so we’ll see) and possibly some type of squash or sweet potato.

My goal this summer is to try growing veggies of my own to see how it goes and whether I have the time and patience for it.  Don’t worry, I’ll start small; I wouldn’t want to bite off more than I could chew.

Until next week, enjoy the warm weather and, if necessary, go play in the rain.


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