Archive for the ‘Goats’ Category

Sun, Rain, Earth: A Journey In Self-Sufficiency

January 1, 2012 Leave a comment

This blog will document my journey towards self-sufficiency.  I’ve always had an interest in living a more self-sufficent lifestyle and recently arrived at a point in my life where I can finally dedicate some time and the resources to this passion.  I started this pursuit in July 2011 with the goal of removing my dependence on meat from industrial farming due to its negative impact on human and animal health.

This first step lead to the raising of meat rabbits.  By Thanksgiving 2011, I had completely replaced my meat source with meat rabbits that I raised on my own.  Since then, I have only purchased meat from the stores for my dogs’ raw meat diet.

Shortly after I started raising meat rabbits, in Fall of 2011, I started a barter arrangement with two friends who run two different community gardens in nearby neighborhoods.  On a weekly basis, I supply them with the manure from my rabbits and in return they supply me with fresh, organic vegetables grown in their garden.  Soon, I was no longer purchasing my vegetables from the stores.

The beauty of the symbiosis further spurred my interest in self-sufficiency.  No longer purchasing meat and vegetables from stores, I became interested in growing my own fruits, as well.  Since fruit trees require lots of sun and space, I concluded I would need more space than my urban backyard to pursue this successfully and soon I came up with the idea of growing my own orchard on a vacant lot.

At this point, there is still some significant amount of work remaining before I am completely self-sufficient for my food consumption.  Some current and future projects I hope to explore and pursue for this effort are:

  • Convert my yard into an edible garden
  • Setting up rain harvesting to supply water for my edible garden
  • Use rabbit tractors to supply meat rabbits with natural forage
  • Convert a large, empty, 0.75 acre city lot to an orchard/dog park
  • Set up rain harvesting at the orchard as its only water supply
  • Capture and release wild rabbits into my orchard for vegetation control
  • Use friend’s domestic goats for vegetation control at the orchard
  • Establish wildlife food plots at the orchard for wild rabbits and domestic goats
  • Establish a pond in my yard for raising Tilapia
  • Raise worms (vermicomposting)
  • Raise chickens
  • Raise quails

In addition to being self-sufficient for my food supply, I am also very interested in being completely self-sufficient for my water and energy supply.  Some projects I hope to explore and pursue for this effort are:

  • Solar power
  • Rain harvesting for potable water
  • Convert a large, wooded, 2.5 acre urban lot into a totally self-sufficient homestead
  • Compost toilet
  • Tiny house

There’s lots left to be done and I hope others will enjoy sharing in my journey.

Sun, Rain, Earth: A Journey in Self-Sufficiency