Three Acre Paradise is not a gardening blog. To date it may seem that way but the real goal is to document the creation of a self sufficient lifestyle which enables me to be prepared for the good times and bad. When things go bad, I don’t like life interrupted any more than necessary. For example, if there is a hurricane that takes out local services for several weeks (Puerto Rico for a more extreme example) I don’t want to be sweating at night and eating cold soup from a can. I’d rather be enjoying air conditioning, hot showers, and fresh cooked food. I’ve been without power for weeks a few times in the past and while not horrible I’d rather not deal with it at all.
There are a couple of other things that go hand in hand with self sufficiency, these are prepping (being prepared) and homesteading.
I define self sufficiency as not having to rely on others for basic needs. In today’s world that is difficult to achieve 100% but we can get close, especially for a short term. Most people can go a day or two without leaving the house, how about extending that to a couple of weeks? Now, what if you can also do without public utilities such as power and water? My goal is to be able to get by a few months in this situation, not that I expect any outages to last that long. These are accomplished through the homestead and prepping.
A homestead by definition is a principal residence including the land and structures. Years ago homesteads provided a lot more than they do now, a lot of homes today are just a place to sleep. To me, a homestead should give back, not just consume. If you make most of your meals at home then the home is providing an output, more than a place to sleep and waste time. If the home has a garden, even better. If you run a business from home that’s another plus, solar power would be another example. A home can be so much more than just a building and yard that has to be maintained, I want Three Acre Paradise to provide most of what I need for daily living. We have solar power, well water, and a septic system so there isn’t complete reliance on utilities (in Florida you can’t legally go off grid for power). There are gardens, fruit trees, a pond stocked with fish, and a chicken coop with a lot more to come.
Prepping is a fun subject. In the prepping world they often talk of bugging in or bugging out (leaving) depending on the situation. Personally I’d rather stay put if possible on my homestead but there may be times when bugging out is the correct choice due to things like fire or industrial accident (I live near a water plant).Almost everyone is a prepper at some level, I’d rate the average working person around four on a scale from 1 to 10.
Anything you put on the internet will offend someone but I needed an examples for this one. The stoner in this example is living in someone else’s house (parents, friends) and is just getting high all day. They live for the moment and the most prepping they do is to grab a bag of chips to munch on for the next hour. On the other end of the scale are the zombie preppers who refer to Walking Dead as a documentary and have primarily focused on guns, ammunition, and MRE’s. My example of the average working person at the level of four has a job, bought a home, has a 401k and health insurance, and a few days worth of food in the kitchen. They probably also have some basic first aid supplies on hand.
I’d rate myself around a seven on the scale. I prep as much as possible for the inevitable such as hurricanes, power outages, and job loss. I’m ready to evacuate for a fire but also have fire extinguishers on hand and a plan to protect the house in case of nearby forest fire, which happened last week and damaged two neighbors homes (picture is of actual fire).
Being prepared brings a feeling of security. Last year was the first time I completely stocked up at the beginning of hurricane season, when we got news that we were in the path of a storm I had a checklist of things to do but didn’t have to go fight the crowds at the stores for fuel or supplies. Instead, it took just a little time to get the house ready and I had more time to help family and friends get ready.
Being self sufficient and prepared brings real peace of mind. I’m not completely there yet but have a defined path to get there. I’ll go through some of the things I’ve done and future plans in a post later this week. There’s also a lot of fun smaller projects coming up and I’ll list a few of those. Until then, keep on prepping!