Are you ever tempted to swap your daily grind for a simple life, fewer responsibilities, and a rustic cabin in the woods? You’re not the only one. While that’s an extreme way to get back to basics, there are plenty of small changes that can help you achieve a less stressful, more self-sufficient lifestyle.
Whether you dream of getting completely off-grid, owning a few chickens, or growing your own hearty, organic food, here are some great blogs to get you started.
Don’t let an urban environment stop your journey towards self-sufficiency. Emma of Misfit Gardening shows you what to grow and how to do it, even if you live in a city. Worried about pollutants? Save money and the environment by making your own cleaning products and toiletries from scratch.
If you outgrow your windowsill garden, Emma will have you donning a bee-keeping suit or tending quail in no time. Simple step-by-step video guides show you how to grow your own food and ditch the supermarket trolley for good. What are you waiting for?
Make no mistake – self-sufficiency isn’t all about making sacrifices! Jim and Sonja of the Reasonably Good Life have a soft spot for a sundowner at the end of a long day in the garden. Try their homemade wine recipes and you’ll be smugly sipping your homebrew in no time.
Not sure where to start with your new veg plot? This duo’s excellent advice on the best spot to choose and how much to grow will help you avoid costly mistakes. But how do you know when you’ve got it right? We reckon this list of all the things they no longer need to need to buy at the supermarket is a pretty good indicator! Check out how much you could save by following their example.
Why buy costly fruit and veg when you can enjoy nipping outside to pick fresh produce as you need it? Jane at Shoestring Cottage will help you live your best life for less. She doesn’t have time to grow everything she’d like on a large scale, so she concentrates on more expensive food that she can grow at a fraction of the price.
Not sure how to deal with the inevitable courgette glut? Try Jane’s delicious recipe for courgettes stuffed with feta cheese. And to make home-grown produce go even further, check out this shoestring meal plan for a no-shopping week. Clever, practical tips that are so simple to incorporate into busy, everyday life.
If your dream is to up sticks and escape to a farm in the country, you’re not alone. That’s exactly what Catherine of London to Land Girl did when she and her husband bought a three acre plot to share with their two children, and a menagerie of lambs, chickens, cats, and cheeky golden retriever pup.
With delightful honesty, Catherine shares the highs and lows as they work towards creating a self-sufficient smallholding. And there’s so much to learn. For instance, do you know how long it takes to process sheep? Or the best companion plants to deter pests from decimating your carrots? With animals, vegetables and a 30 tree orchard, there’s plenty here to inspire anyone who dreams of living the good life.
Make self-sufficiency a group effort like The Newhouse Family who show how easy it is to grow your own food in an urban garden. For mum-of-four Hazel, growing her own vegetables isn’t just about cost. It’s about teaching her kids to be healthy and enjoying their willingness to eat the foods they have lovingly helped to grow. Her post on the benefits of homegrown superfoods is inspiring.
Join Hazel’s family on their journey to self sufficiency as they plan an urban mini-farm and try to grow enough fresh produce to feed themselves daily. Her delicious recipe for rhubarb jam will fill a shelf in the larder for the winter season too. And if you’re on a tight budget, find out how Hazel uses her freezer to feed a family for just £10 per week. Genius!
There’s nothing quite like a barbecue on a summer evening. The sizzling burgers, caramelised sweetcorn and crispy… seaweed? Annie of Thyme and Tides proves self-sufficiency isn’t all about the vegetable patch. Take a look at her foray into coastal foraging for all sorts of unusual goodies like rock samphire, sea kale and Gracilaria.
Got a soft spot for exotic foods? Back at the allotment Annie’s tips on growing and cooking unusual veg like celtuce are still pretty unconventional. Check out her Youtube channel for handy video guides to allotmenteering, complete with even more grow-your-own tips like how to plant savoy cabbages.
Living off-grid has proven to be a bigger deal than Tina and her family imagined when they fell in love with their remote cottage. In her blog, Giving Up the Good Life, she explains what it’s really like to live in a battery-powered house heated by an Aga, fed by natural spring water and serviced by a septic tank.
With a glut of soft fruit, dehydrating strawberries is just one of the clever tricks she included in her kitchen garden experiments. And take a leaf from Tina’s book by learning to forage for the spoils in your local area. She collects sloe berries, mushrooms, and rosehips for delicious, free treats. Her fruit roll-up recipe is a clever addition to kids’ lunch boxes.
Don’t you wish your summer holiday could last forever? Claire and James made their dream a reality by starting a self-sufficient campsite in Suffolk, documented on their Smallholding Dreams blog. How do they keep their poultry safe from foxes? Alpacas are the secret weapon in this family’s security system!
Even if you don’t live in a dreamy holiday location, re-live the taste of summer with Claire’s ‘extreme ice cream’ recipes. Weird and wonderful flavours like gooseberry and elderflower ripple and mulberry and meringue are truly inspired. And for the colder months of the year, entertaining enthusiast Claire shares ideas for winter vegetable feasts to feed your friends. Christmas dinner pizza, though? Intriguing!
So what’s stopping you? It’s time to muck in! And if you’ve already started the journey toward self-sufficiency, give us a shout on our Facebook page. We always love to hear from you.
Lead image: Shutterstock