I’ve had my work cut out for me lately, we’ve moved and I’ve been flat-out trying to set up our new 40 acre block as a self-sufficient farm. It’s a whole “family community” enterprise and while we’re all excited about the longer term potential, the workload and expense has been astronomical! We’re twelve months into the project and the “to do list” has grown – NOT shrunk. And all the while, inversely, our bank balance has shrunk – NOT grown!
It’s clear that setting up a farm for truly self-sufficient living is downright expensive. Fruit trees for our food forest have been expensive. Fencing materials are expensive, building materials are expensive. Every infrastructure upgrade has gone over budget. And quite frankly the initial workload has been overwhelming.
I took a look at this website’s server log the other day and there were a number of search string queries for the term “self sufficiency lower standard of living”. It got me thinking about my own largely self-sufficient lifestyle and I realized that I had fallen into the trap of doing too much myself – being too self reliant for my own good. Doing too much myself has caused me to neglect my online marketing (which I highly recommend as a complimentary income source because no matter how self-reliant you are you still need money). The point is, you can be too self-reliant for your own good and it can be a form of slavery which does lower your standard of living in terms of leisure time. You do need sensible boundaries and balance.
Now back to the topic… Setting yourself up for self sufficiency is expensive and apparently it always has been that way. When the Roman Empire fell the rich were able to escape the ensuing mayhem – in many ways they caused it…
You see, the empire didn’t fall apart from the top down. Instead, the empire fell apart from the bottom up. People became disaffected because the Roman system had increased the layers of bureaucracy and complexity to a point where the system no longer served its constituents. The benefits of participation were evaporating. The rich, who could afford the luxury of self-sufficiency, simply left! The poor were left behind to pick up the pieces
Self-Sufficiency IS a luxury. Sure it costs to set up but after you’re set up, being self sufficient does not necessarily equate with a lower standard of income.
What do you think? Go ahead and have your say. I’d really appreciate your comments.