Monday, 3 September 2012

The Longings of a Self Sufficient Lifestyle

I know that a lot of the time I struggle to think of things to blog or write about but there is one subject that I am desperate to dive into and share with people. That subject is self sufficiency. Now when I say that I don't mean the office/everyday definition of being self sufficient, you know, cleaning up after yourself, replacing something when its empty and all that kind of nonsense. Although I cannot deny that those sort of things are good practice and really should just be called common sense, I have something a little different in mind. An entirely self sufficient lifestyle, a lifestyle where your back yard is your supermarket, a lifestyle in which there are no (or very little) bills at the end of each month, an honest lifestyle, one of which many humans (especially in first world countries) seem to have forgotten was possible or even existed.

Im not entirely sure where this "need" came from, probably the fact that I grew up spending lots of times on farms and in gardens, around animals and playing outside. My grandfather owned a small farm just south of Edinburgh, which he and my grandmother sold when I was around 7. The memories I have of being there were some of the best and most vivid. Getting to ride on my grandfathers old style tractors, feeding horses, helping out in the garden, exploring the farmyard. When I look back on it, I begin to feel sorry for all the children of today who have never, or may never experience anything similar.

And then there are my other grandparents, who I'm not too close to anymore but they are probably a big part of where I get the idea from. I spent quite a few summer at their cottage just north of the border. I would spend most of my time there outside helping my grandfather in the garden or across the road at my friends farm, digging through dirt, clearing woodland, hunting rabbits and driving quadbikes.

Now I'm not saying I want to own a farm, thats just not me, too much work for too little gain and its not personal enough. So enough about me, lets get back to topic. Having a self sufficient lifestyle can range from having a few chickens and a compost bin in the back garden to a full out river cottage style project, that of which was a brilliant TV show which followed the life change of celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, a man who, being a chef myself, I have a great amount of respect and admiration for. Of course that goes for other great chefs like Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, Tom Kitchin and Marco Pierre White but I think I'll have to cover my love for cooking on another post as that list may go on for days.

I can imagine that its rather hard to progress with or adopt such a lifestyle when you live in a flat located in the middle of a city. I'm not saying its completely impossible but its very hard to imagine a complete transition. I mean its not like you could breed rabbits, raise chickens or grow your own vegetable patch in a ground floor, one bedroom flat without a garden... but you get the idea. I hope this gives you something to think about and hopefully I'll post something more on this subject later. But until next time, Ciao!

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