Self-sufficiency: the challenge

 

I’m attempting to do something radical. Something elusive. Something we all talk about nowadays, but rarely pull off. 

I’m trying to simplify my life.

I want to wean myself off the supermarket, and to produce some of the food that I eat. I want to learn to make things myself, and be able to repair things instead of having to throw things away and buy new again when they break after 12 months. I also believe that simplifying is one of the most radical responses I can make to the current world order, a powerful way of saying  ‘no, I don’t believe in this’.  Especially as there are more and more of us doing the same.

I know that complete self-sufficiency is probably impossible for most of us. But we could all benefit from becoming more connected to our services, goods and food. Not only will we feel a bit less impotent as individuals, we’ll feel healthier and become more connected with the many other people around us on the same path. And I’m fed up with waiting for government to make a stand.

Combined with collective and political action, maybe we can change the current self-destructive economic paradigm (global freemarket capitalism,endless growth at the expense of species, natural resources and local economies). It’s certainly worth a try.

I’m an urban, procrastinating, unfit female trying to become more self-sufficient, and less distracted by the great flood of choice, information and advertising.

I’m not a hippy and I don’t live in a rural idyll – my home is inner-city London. And I’m not a practical outdoor type either, more a sort of Bridget Jones-meets-Kropotkin.  But I’m learning all the time, and my blog comes with me all the way. Foraging, bushcraft, guerilla gardening, knitting, bread making – if I can do it, so can anyone!

Even if I’m not actively involved in producing the bread I eat, or the vegetables on the table, for me the gift of being simple is about appreciating and being present to those gifts. Having the space in my mind to take in their taste, texture, their meaning, and the space, therefore, to be grateful. Without being sanctimonious, of course:  just reclaiming the kind of things which many, simpler cultures around the world do naturally – and which keeps them sane.

I’m guided by permaculture principles and an awareness that the planet and humanity is in dire straits. Another world is possible, but how do we get from here to there?

We’ll need to learn from each other, and that’s what this blog is about.

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