Self-Sufficiency: is it possible?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

If we mean with self-sufficiency total self-sufficiency of a household or a homestead then the answer is and must be for reasons of honesty a definite NO!

We had farming communities in the days of old and big farming estates in Europe that were, largely, self-sufficient, but to a degree only for still there were things that could not be made by the craftsmen on the estate and which, therefore, had to come in from the outside, so to speak.

The iron and steel the village blacksmith used for knives, sickles, scythes, plowshares, horseshoes, and other ironwork, did not come out of the village or from the estate; it came as bar stock or such from the steel mills and before that from the smelters. So, therefore, total self-sufficiency is an unattainable goal.

Self-reliance, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish, as they would say, and can be achieved. Though, yet again, total and utter self-reliance also might be a different and difficult story as it too may not be completely achievable.

However, it is possible, by various means, to become as self-reliant, bordering on self-sufficient, as possible, while being prepared to always acknowledge that there are and always will be things that we, you and I, just cannot do ourselves or make for ourselves, at least not entirely from scratch.

So, like in the title of the book “The Self-Sufficientish Bible” we may just be able to become self-reliantish. But that is better than not being and trying to strive for more.

© 2009