What sustainability means to me

I heard that self-reliance is the way forward and decided to jump on that train!  There is no question that there is an entire boatload of ways that my family can continue to move towards independence.

I want to become self-reliant in the garden:

We have already started vegetable gardening.  We grow from seed, garden as organically as we can (more learning to do there!) and the food we harvest is either eaten fresh, canned or dehydrated.  Our goal is to grow enough food to not only satisfy our needs during the growing season but also to sustain us through the winter and early spring months (until we educate ourselves onwinter gardening).

I want to become self-reliant in the kitchen:

I bake my own bread (from fresh ground wheat) and make my own yogurt.  The dehydrator has become my snack making buddy.  I meet most of our baking needs without hitting the bakery department at the grocery store.  We no longer purchase cereals and instead, I make our own granola.  I am teaching myself to work with sprouted grains and loving the outcome. I see tons of room for improvement in our kitchen habits and I love that I will always be learning how to manage not only our consumption habits but also how to go back to traditional ways of managing our requirements.  (It’s possible that I believe that homesteading is the path to enlightenment…I’ll let you know when I figure that out).

I want to help my community be more self-reliant:

Whenever we can, we buy local.  We use local services and endeavour to keep our hard-earned money close to home.

I want to be prepared:

Food storage is important to us.  We have already established a small emergency food supply.  I need to learn how to rotate and use what we already have (I really don’t want to be stuck in an emergency situation having no idea how to handle grains, legumes and powdered milk).  I believe the recent publication of the CVRD Emergency Preparedness Plan is a great tool to help us continue to become prepared and we can use it to develop our plan beyond just the food storage (which we can’t seem to get past!).  We are ready to take the challenge!

That is what sustainability means to me.

These are some of the tangible ways I see us reaching our sustainability goals and I know they are attainable.  I know that my husband and I have a lot of preparation work ahead of us, it might not be an easy endeavour but we are motivated by the love of the family that we have been given the privilege to support.

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