Grounded in Simplicity

Is Self Sufficiency a Myth? | Ep. 2

March 10, 2020 Bonnie Von Dohre, Danielle McCoy Season 1 Episode 2
Grounded in Simplicity
Is Self Sufficiency a Myth? | Ep. 2
Show Notes Transcript

Self Sufficiency means different things to a lot of different people, but is it a myth? Can we ever achieve true self sufficiency?

Today we're talking about why community is such an important part of this journey and how we can sustainably learn to live without feeling the pressure to do everything ourselves. In this controversial episode, we take a look at how people survived historically and what lessons we can learn and incorporate in our modern homesteads.

Links mentioned in this episode:
The Self Sufficient Life (Danielle's Facebook group):
Not So Modern Living (Bonnie's Facebook group):
Alafia River Rendezvous:

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Bonnie:   0:00
Starting a homestead, and leading a self sufficient life is overwhelming. Where do you start? Can you even consider yourself a homesteader?

Danielle:   0:06
We're here to pull back the curtain on self sufficient living and talk about what it really takes to live this life. The good, the bad and the crazy.

Bonnie:   0:15
I'm Bonnie, a k a. The not so modern housewife, wife, mother and coffee addict who enjoys teaching others where their food comes from and enabling them to live more sustainably.

Danielle:   0:26
I'm Danielle from the rustic elk. Wife, mom to three farm girls, and passionate about helping other ditch the consumer mindset and learn to become more self sufficient through foraging, hunting, growing and preserving their own food. 

Bonnie:   0:37
Join us as we put the simple back into old fashioned living and inspire you to produce organic food in your backyard no matter where you live.

Danielle:   0:56
Welcome back to beyond the homestead podcast. Today, where we're talking about the myth of self sufficient living and why we need to leave those myths behind us. I always tell people that it doesn't matter where they're at in life or how much land they have or don't have, and they can always become more self sufficient, but that never means that they can become 100% self sufficient. 

Bonnie:   1:17
Community has always been a requirement. There've always been things that an individual can't produce themselves, and so they've always leaned on their communities to help them fill those gaps. I think one case in point is a lot of the tools that we use or need for doing what we do to be self sufficient.  

Bonnie:   1:36
We generally don't produce them ourselves. There are a select few who maybe have blacksmith skills or welding skills, things like that where they can build some of those tools themselves. Um, but the reality is, most of us don't possess those skills. Granted, we could learn them, but it's very labor intensive. It's very time and money intensive cause you still have. I mean, we're not mining the steel and ore and things ourselves, So you're still gonna have to buy raw materials. Um, so I really think at a certain degree you have to decide what is a reality for you. What works for you. Um And, you know, what you can realistically do for yourself now.

Danielle:   2:25
And some people, you know, like us. I can't grow meat. We can go hunt for meat. But I can't have a cow. I don't have space for pigs. So what little bit of meat we could grow would be like chickens or ducks. And I don't want to eat chicken every day. So, you know, we have to look into our community to find resources of sustainable meat instead of going to the grocery store, which makes us community dependent, but not self sufficient.

Bonnie:   2:55
Right. And like I, we could have a dairy cow, but I'm not sure that I want to. We do have our dairy goats, but I really don't like using the goat milk for cooking because once you heat that goat milk, it starts to get that gamey flavor. And I just I don't know when I'm making macaroni and cheese. I don't really want gamey goat milk flavor in it. Um, but if we had a cow, we're talking about at least a gallon to two gallons of milk per day, and we there's just no way that we could drink that much milk in a day. And I mean, even if I'm using it for making other things, I would still end up with so much extra milk. And I really don't want to have to get into, like, selling raw milk to folks. That's just not, you know, one of my goals. But I have local producers near me who do sell raw milk, and so, really, for me, it's much more feasible for me to go and buy my raw milk from them, then to have my own cow.

Danielle:   4:03
Right. I think you just have to, you know, find out what you can realistically, do. And you take your time figuring out how to do it. You know, you have to start where you are if you can't (excuse me) if you can't grow organically If you don't know how, obviously you can, then you know, find a mentor and learn how to do it. But in the meantime, just grow things the way you know how to, or think you know how to and go to your local like farmers markets and such. Ours is really small, but, um, those people can be your mentors. You know, they love to talk about that kind of stuff, but I think that we have to realize that you can't just ditch the entire idea of not depending on others to either help you achieve your goals or help feed you. Or like you said, like provide tools. Or, you know, other resources like clothing that you need in order to survive.

Bonnie:   5:05
Exactly and, you know, talking about gardening. I see a lot of folks that they they want to start growing their own food. But when they start to look at how much space they need to grow everything to feed their family for a year and preserve enough food to last through the winter and on and on and on, it becomes so overwhelming. And I see a lot of people that just they quit before they even start because they just don't see how they could feasibly grow that much food. Or they start out trying to go very, very big, and they get overwhelmed with it. They get, you know, overridden with pests or weeds, or you know any other problem and because they don't understand how to deal with it.  They just label themselves as having a black thumb, and they don't try again. And so I think that, you know, especially if you're just starting out. It's important to start small and really understand what you're doing before you try to expand and go bigger. And you know you may only grow tomatoes this year. You may only grow peppers or whatever, and it's OK to still go and find you know, another local market local producer that you can buy the rest of your vegetables from, and you can talk to them and find out what works for them to grow those things. I tell a lot of folks that you know, they're just starting out and, you know, focus on what you like to eat and just learn how to grow that. And then you can, you know, start experimenting with some other things. I mean, even, you know, I have a really bad habit of trying to grow all the things, and I've learned that, um, especially trying to grow things in Florida. There's certain varieties that don't do really well here. And then there's certain things that you know the pest really go after, and so I need to get better on top of how to maintain those crops, to keep the pests off of them so that I can harvest them. And so I need to go a little bit smaller with those things for that first year while I'm experimenting and seeing what works before, I then grow an entire bed of it, because then I might risk losing the entire bed of it. And so I've lost a lot more money and time and effort than if I would have just tried with a couple small plants first.

Danielle:   7:39
Right. And you know, you don't have to be afraid of failure. Failure teaches us. You know, we had a year where we had tomatoes and we had so many horn worms. It was disgusting, and they basically destroyed, like all of my tomato plants. It was terrible, and you know that I learned from that experience. So you know, you have to get a hold of them, whether you have to look for them and realize that they're there and try to get handle on them way before they get to the point where (we went on vacation but that's beside the point) where they get to the point where you know, they pretty much just destroyed your entire crop and you can't do anything with it, and then you have to learn. Okay, Well, if I do this after I pull up all these plants, I need to make sure that I do it a certain way so that the horn worms don't take over again next year because they will.

Bonnie:   8:36
Oh, yeah. And horn worms are so hard because they camouflage into everything.

Danielle:   8:40
Yes, they do. But we went on vacation and we came home to (and we weren't even gone that long) we came home and all of our tomatoes were like, covered in horn worms. I have never seen so many horn worms in my entire life. You don't have to be afraid of failure. You know.

Bonnie:   8:59
I had the same problem with stink bugs last year. I was going out probably twice a day in hand, picking the stink bugs off of my tomato plants and throwing him in a bucket of water or soapy water. And I left for a week, and I My mom was watering my garden, and I also told her, you know, I need her to pick the stink bugs off. She wasn't picking the stink bugs off, And so I and when I left, I had vines of giant green gorgeous Cherokee purple tomatoes. And I came home to vines of ripe purple rotting Cherokee purple tomatoes.

Danielle:   9:40
Yeah, that sounds about right.

Bonnie:   9:42
I was I was really bummed. 

Danielle:   9:46
Well, yeah, it's depressing because, you know, you put all that time and effort and work, and it the feeling that you get when you get to harvest some things that you grew yourself and feed your family is indescribable. But at the same time, you know, you have to take the wins with failures. Because if you don't, then you're just gonna give up and call yourself like you said a black thumb and say, Well, I can't grow anything. I can't grow house plants.     

Bonnie:   0:00
I can't either.

Danielle:   10:11
Yeah, somebody told me the other day Well, if you could teach me how to grow house plants. I'm  like, um, you find somebody else because I can't grow house plants, but I can grow things in my garden. And I didn't grow up this way. You know, I I had no idea that people even grew food. I knew that somebody did in the field for the farm. But, you know, I didn't know that people did this in their backyards when I was younger.  It was like a n epiphany. Oh, well, I could do this myself and stop being so dependent on corporations. But our first attempt at a garden was actually really successful, which is great, because then you're all hyped up. But then our second attempt wasn't so great. So and here, our soil was terrible clay. And you know all these things that you have to learn. If you take your time instead of trying to do everything, then you're not gonna fail as much and the failures that you do have. You're gonna be able to take in stride and learn from and improve on next year.

Bonnie:   11:16
Yeah, that's like I had, um, a lot of plant failures this fall because I decided to switch up my soil mix and I completely botched it. Um, which is really, really hard when you're running a plant nursery and you're relying on being able to sell seedlings and you can't get any seeds to sprout. Um, but, you know, I tell folks all the time I have killed more plants than I have grown to harvest, and it's, you know, it does not mean that you don't keep trying, you know, it's It just is what it is. That's why you, you know, plant twice as much as you think you need, because something's going to happen. It's going to die because what's the What's the saying? You plant plant in threes one for yourself, one for nature and one for bad luck or something like that?

Danielle:   12:07
Yeah, I can't remember what that saying is. I know what you're talking about I remember the one for nature part.   

Bonnie:   12:16
One for Murphy's law. Yeah, um,  

Danielle:   12:19
Definitely.  And, you know, and you need to have a fallback, too. You know, like, if you fail, then my fallback is to go to the farmer's market and try to get what I need in order. And you can preserve that the same way that you can preserve. And sometimes it's better if you preserve the stuff that you bought at the farmer's market because somebody already grew it, and you don't have to mess with that part, and you can take it and bring it home. And if, if you're preserving project is an epic failure, it's okay because you didn't have. I mean, yes, you spent money, but you didn't have all that time invested. And it didn't turn into a total botched failure of Oh, I grew this and then I ruined it. 

Bonnie:   13:08
Yeah, well, and plus if you're if you're canning and preserving, you usually need a large volume, and it's really hard to do on your own because you everything has to ripen at the same time. And you know you need to have enough of it, which is hard to do yourself unless you really have a system in place and you have a large garden and you're able to produce that much. Um, but I mean, even when I had a large garden and I was preserving everything that I was growing, there were a lot of There were a lot of batches of just plain  tomatoes because I didn't have enough that I could cook down into salsa. There were a lot of rotten cucumbers because some of them came ripe before the rest of them came ripe, and by the time the rest, by the time I had enough to make pickles, some of them had gone rotten. But if you've got another local resource that you go and purchase that from to get enough to do a whole batch. Then you're gonna be able to get more that you can preserve and do a full batch of time and, um, and actually be able to put away enough food for your family. I mean, it's I think that we should take advantage of the local resources we have be glad that we're not completely reliant on doing everything ourselves. Um, you know, we're not an island and so rely on the rest of your community to help you. You get what you need to be successful doesn't mean, you know, just cause you want to be self sufficient doesn't mean you have to accept suffering

Danielle:   14:51
or do try to do everything yourself. And when you can't just, you know, I guess shrivel up because you don't want to depend on somebody else to do it. But I think the key to me to self sufficiency it is more not being so dependent on these large corporations for everything from feeding to, you know, even tools and stuff. There are lots of more local even here, which is weird, like blacksmiths and stuff buy some of those tools from a local blacksmith. You know, search them out. Try your farmer's market or you know your local craft fair or wherever you can find what you need. And maybe you can even, you know, find mentors in those areas and learn some of the skills that you like to learn and make a long list of, you know, I would love to learn how to do these things and just tick them off one at a time. As slow as you need to Don't try to jump all in feet first and well, I'm gonna learn how to do blacksmithing and how to build a house and all of these things at one time, you know, Just take your time and as far as tomatoes are  concerned Don't forget that there are determinant versus indeterminant varieties. 

Bonnie:   16:07
Well, this is true. For some reason, I tend to gravitate towards the in determinants. And I just had this conversation with somebody in my group about how all of my plants end up being like six or seven feet tall because they just never stop growing. Um...

Danielle:   16:22
We don't have that problem here. 

Bonnie:   16:24
I have to... Well, okay. This is true. Well, no, they do stop in the summer. Um but yeah, I guess if you're starting tomatoes in the fall and you're keeping them alive all winter and you're going clear through till May, Yeah, they don't stop growing. 

Bonnie:   16:40
Um, now I take that back. When I was in Ohio, I also had to top plants because they were growing so fast in the summer. And so I would have to top them too, because once they got past the stake, the top of the steak, um, there was nothing to support them anymore. But....

Danielle:   16:57
I've never had that problem. Maybe I'm not as good of a tomato grower as you are.

Bonnie:   17:04
You know what? No. I'll tell you my secret. This is gonna be really bad. Um, my garden was over top of my parents leech field in Ohio.

Danielle:   17:11
Oh,  well... yeah. That's, that's bad. Um, ours is leaking so I probably shouldn't put my garden there. 

Bonnie:   17:37
Great fertilizer. 

Danielle:   17:48
Yeah, grass definitely grows a lot better in that area of our yard. 

Bonnie:   17:48
Oh, you live and learn. Um, I had a great garden when I was in Ohio.

Danielle:   17:53
I bet. 

Bonnie:   17:58
So, something, something I was just thinking about, um So I'm in Florida. And every year we have this large, what's called a rendezvous and the idea what the rendezvous is They, um, are recreating. I wanna say it's 1880s, 1850s anyway late 18 00s Um, now that I'm thinking about, I can't remember if it was supposed to be before or after the Civil War. I'm guessing after, um anyway, but old fur camps completely primitive. And the way that the one here does it, it's called the Alefia River Rendezvous. And they do a completely closed camp for one week and then for the last couple of days of camp, actually open it up to the public. So they have a schoolhouse on site. So all of the kids that are camping there with their families can still go to school. And, um, you have all of the different trades people and okay, granted, yes, this is modern folks simulating their interpretation of what the fur camps were. But a lot of them are really very knowledgeable historians. So I do trust their interpretations of things. No plastic is allowed within the campsite. I mean, everything needs to be done as historically accurate as possible. So you have folks that are either camping in Teepees or camping in linen tents. Um, they're bringing all of their own hand carved furniture that they are using to eat on sleep on everything. Um, but you go through the camp and every everyone is still specialized. You have the primitive archers that they specialize just in making those wood bows. And you have the weavers and spinners that they just specialize in spinning wool. And you can actually buy your yarn and things there. And so but it's it's a camp. And so everyone is trading with each other, relying on each other. And no one there is doing everything 100% themselves. They have a skill set. They've specialized in that skill set. They've become experts in that skill set. And then they use that skill set to trade for the things they need from other people who have become specialists. And

Danielle:   20:22
We have some of those

Bonnie:   20:24
yeah, yeah, I know. They're all over the country. Um, I had not actually heard of them until I moved down here, but, um one. If you have a rendezvous near you and you want to get some primitive materials it is a great place to find it. Um, I've been able to buy some, like,  antique cast iron there. Um, I've been able to I didn't get it there specifically, but someone I met through there, I was able to get some like wrought iron campfire cooking equipment on. And so, yeah, there's, You know, if you're interested in that type of stuff, um, it's a great way to meet people and learn about how things were done traditionally and all of that. But, you know, I think that that's an important thing that we can learn from those types of communities is that no one was ever meant to do everything themselves. You know, it was always part of a community. Even if they only got together once a year, once a month, anything like that. They were still relying on other folks to get some of their materials.

Danielle:   21:34
Yeah, we went a ours are... I don't know if we have any rendevous, but we have a lot of reenactments up here, and, uh, we went to Mississenewa 1812. It was the first time we gone to it. It's not very far from us. And, uh, it... talk to those people. They're full of knowledge, and they love telling you about it. I mean, they will tell you all about anything you ask them if it's in their skill set. We met one guy talking about cast iron. He said he had over 3000 pieces of antique cast iron.  

Bonnie:   22:08
Oh, wow.

Danielle:   22:10
 Yeah. And that, you know, they were making ah, soup out of, um, Pumpkins. I'm

Bonnie:   22:15
I've seen that. Yeah, I went to a reenactment. Somebody was doing that. I tried to recreate it myself and the pumpkin fell a part. So I need some more practice in that area.

Danielle:   22:24
But, you know, as we asked the woman about it, and she told us why they do it and how they do it. And, you know, it's all fascinating. And there's blacksmiths. And frr bearers and all kinds things and that, you know, you can learn skills from these people. They're more than willing to talk to you. And, you know, it's like you said, You get an idea of what the community actually looked like. And it was a community. It wasn't just one person doing everything all by themselves.

Bonnie:   22:57
Yeah, we have a place near us that is similar. It's Ah, the Dade battlefield site. Um, and they do. Well, one their Big reenactment is actually, um, from this the kick off the second Seminole War, which was the massacre of General Dade and and all of his men. But they have other events throughout the year. Um, where even like home school groups can come and learn about, Ah, how they cooked. Um, just different aspects of primitive Florida life weaving using sawgrass, things like that. But one, one of the I can't talk. Ah, one year we went to the Dade battle reenactment. Um, well, it actually it's it's every year, but they have different folks. You can meet that talk about different aspects. So you have the folks that have just all of the different cookware, and they talk about you know how they would have prepared meals. You have a blacksmith that has all of the primitive tools and talks about it. Ah, we had actually some folks that had the antique surveying equipment and talked about how they actually used the survey equipment to design maps and things, and they talked about the the food and salt rations that would have been available to the soldiers during the Seminole Wars. Um, but one person in particular was actually making their own lye from Ash and then was making soap with that lye. So I thought that was really cool, because I see, I see that topic come up a lot. You know, folks that want to start making their own soap. And, of course, when you start getting into learning about self sufficient living and learning about making stuff yourself, you want to figure out how to source, like, all of your ingredients, without having to buy anything. So, um, it was neat to get to see, like, how lye was actually made. I think I'm still gonna be buying my lye. I don't think I want to go through that process.

Danielle:   25:05
Yeah, yeah. But, you know, if you had to  

Bonnie:   25:10

Danielle:   25:11
I look at it that way too, you know, like you could build skills that you aren't necessarily aren't going to use. But if you needed to, like in a survival type of situation, you would have, you know, at least some of the knowledge to get you where you needed to go. But there's a big difference between survival and living.

Bonnie:   25:30

Danielle:   25:31
And I think people try to combine the two. And you know, I think that's where we get to the whole Well, I have to do all those things all by myself. But, you know, we're not here to just survive and get through it. We're here to live, and you need other people to help you achieve that goal and actually live not just exist, right? 

Bonnie:   25:53
Right. And I mean you know, I know, folks, I know you know folks too that are doing it, you know, 100. Well, I mean, maybe not 100% but they are producing all of their own food. They are cooking all of her own food from scratch. You know, they're a lot further along on this path, than  I am, and it's, you know, congratulations. I mean, I I sincerely look up to them and admire them for being able to do that. But I'm not in a season of my life where I'm able to do it myself. Um, it's just it's not practical for me right now. And the thing is, you know, I see so many folks that want to get into this lifestyle and they think that it has to be all or nothing. And they think that if they can't do it 100% themselves then they're a failure, and so they shouldn't even try. And that's absolutely not the case. And that's one thing that I really want people to understand. You need to start where you are with what you have and go from there. And you you may never get to 100%. And that's And I think that's one thing that we're, you know, trying to show here is one hundred, one hunred percent really shouldn't be our goal.

Bonnie:   27:07
Um, you know, I mean, I think that is, that is the myth, myth right there is that, you know? No, it's not all or nothing. No one can realistically be all or nothing because you need to have a community, Um, if for no other reason than the mental health aspect of it all, because, you know there are times where it's just hard, and if you don't feel like you have any kind of a support system and then I mean, it's it's just gonna be so hard. Um, and you're worth more than that. You know, you shouldn't have to feel all of this anxiety and fear and flat out depression in some cases because you couldn't live up this this perfect ideal that you think is expected of you.

Danielle:   28:05
 Yeah. And I think, you know, even people. And I do know some people that produce, you know, 100% of their food. Most of the time, everybody has things that happen, but they're still not self sufficient by the definition of they don't rely on someone else somewhere, even if they save their own seeds and they bread their own livestock. You know, first off it all came from somewhere, and it probably didn't come from their land and second off. You know, I'm pretty sure that they didn't produce all the fiber for all their fabrics. And they probably more than likely didn't put windows in their house without finding somewhere else to buy the windows, you know? So if you want to look at it from a 100% no one is, we all depend on someone somewhere for something. Even if we produce all our own food and we're nowhere near that we don't have the land for it. Or the  patience.

Bonnie:   29:04
I mean, I don't have the sunlight for it. I live in the woods, so, you know, there's only so much you can do when you have, like, one patch of sunlight in your front yard where you can put a garden bed. Um, but, you know, we try, and I think, you know, I think what what really more people should focus on is sustainability. What. What is sustainable for you? If you know, if one of if, like, say, your husband and wife team. Um, and one of you is working outside of the home, and one of you is staying at home. There's only so much one person can do in a day, especially when you're trying to keep three kids alive. But that's another story. Um, and you know, and so you have to look at what can you reasonably manage? What can you actually reasonably maintain? Because that's the other thing that I think becomes important is yeah, you can have all of this stuff, but if you're not adequately adequately maintaining it, you're gonna lose money, Um, and probably lose your crops. in your food along the way. Um, but then also, I don't know. 

Bonnie:   30:16
You just have to figure out what's reasonable for you, for instance, for us, like we we started out just buying a pig every year, and we would raise it up and fill the freezer. We decided that it was more sustainable for us to start breeding pigs because we're having such a hard time finding decent quality piglets for us to raise. And so I wanted to start breeding so that I could guarantee that I was breeding a good quality pig every year so that we weren't spending all of this time on a pig litter. That's not gonna grow correctly, is gonna end up being too much lard, you know, whatever. And the only thing is, um, pigs or not a sustainable project for most folks. They're hard on fences. Um, they're, if you're keeping some for breeding, they're, get expensive to feed. And of course, you know, if you don't have your pens adequately set up, they stink. And even when you have your pins adequately set up, sometimes you get these periods where it rains for a week and there's no way for the ground to dry out and your Pigpen is gonna stink. It doesn't matter how big it is. If the ground can't dry out, you're gonna have smell, period. Um, so it's not, you know, it's not realistic for most people. And so for those people, we can bread the piglets, we can sell them a pig and they can raise one for the year. And I'm still supplying the local area with good quality piglets so that other. People can produce their own food, but they don't need to be breeding it themselves. Um and so, yeah, it's just those those types of things.

Danielle:   32:06
Right. And you have to .And you have to think about but you not only what you can realistically do, but what you actually enjoy doing. If you're doing something and you absolutely loathe it then, drop it and find some local resource to provide you and your family with that instead of doing something that you can't stand or maybe you can. But you're just not knowledgeable enough, in it? So drop it for a while until you gain some more skills and find a resource that can provide you with it, along with skills that you need in order to improve so that you can actually do it,  and not loathe doing it every day. But I think you know as long as we're not so dependent on corporations. And we're trying to find local resources and sustainably farmed resources. You know, like grass. We have grass fed beef available. It's expensive, but food is expensive. Real food is expensive, and I think that's another thing. People have to realize that if you're not doing it yourself and you try to find it local and you're trying to find sustainable organic resources for those things, it's gonna cost a lot more than the junk at the supermarket. It just is.

Bonnie:   33:25
Mhmm. Well. And also I don't think that doing it yourself is gonna make it cheaper.

Danielle:   33:31
No definitely not. That's why it's so expensive. Because it's so expensive to do it that way. Which is unfortunate. But...

Bonnie:   33:40
Yeah, one your time is worth something. Um, but also, you know, there's there's gonna be money invested into buying the animals, especially if you're looking to buy breeding stock. Expect to pay money because you get what you pay for. And then, you know, you gotta feed em. You gotta, Do you know regular vet care. I I know there's controversy around this, but I do believe that you need to vaccinate them.  Occasionally, you'll probably have to de worm them. Um, especially cows. Oh, good grief. I don't think people realize how quickly a cow can go down if they get a parasite infestation.  

Danielle:   34:23
So can goats.

Bonnie:   34:23
Oh, yeah, Well, yeah, goats too. um but goats are cheaper to replace. I mean, that's I know. That's, um callous. I I know. I know, I know. Ah, I I love my goats. And I will bend over backwards to take care of them. Um, well, and you know what? Speaking of goats, like annual blood testing. Uh, and, you know, and then, of course, like I need to go and buy a disbudder like a, you know, a horn iron so that I can, disbud babies now, but, um, yeah, I mean, it's just it's gonna cost you money. And that's why the local food costs more because, you know, they're not being subsidized. Subsidized by the government, they don't have the economy of scale that a lot of these large producers have, and they're not raising them in feedlots. Which means they don't need to give them all of the extra supplements and antibiotics to keep them healthy. Um, but  I don't It's just, um you know, Yeah, it's it's gonna cost you more, but one You probably don't need to be eating as much meat as you are. Um, but also, you know, you're supporting the local economy, you're getting better food, and you're gonna find that you're gonna be a lot healthier because you're putting better food into your body. Um, I mean, I know I've had this argument with folks before about, like, raw milk and stuff and how much fat is in it. I lose weight when I'm on raw milk. Um, I mean, we're...

Danielle:   36:10
We don't do the whole skim milk thing. It's just water. If you want skim milk than just add water .

Bonnie:   36:18
Oh, it's gross. I can't. I can't drink skim milk. I mean, if if we can't afford raw milk, which around here is between 8 to $10 a gallon, then we then we're buying the organic whole milk. But, uh, my husband is, like, mildly lactose intolerant, and he definitely does better on the raw milk. Um, And then, like I said, I I tend to lose weight on raw milk. We our our guts or healthier on the raw milk. We have fewer, like digestive issues and stuff. When we're drinking it, it tastes better. Um, and you know, really, if I wanted to, I could make your own butter with it.  

Danielle:   36:56
Yeah, I can't drink milk. 

Bonnie:   0:00
  Just regular milk? No. 

Danielle:   36:57
Conventional milk. I can't drink it. I can drink like a glass when it's first opened, and then I can't drink it. It's it just It smells and tastes rancid to me. 

Bonnie:   37:09
That's that's interesting. Yeah, I do think the raw milk is a little bit sweeter.

Danielle:   37:22
Yeah. And it's not homogenized so there's actually cream at the top. 

Bonnie:   37:23
Right. Yeah, but, um, yeah. And, you know, we hear a lot of folks that, getting back to the whole self sufficiency thing.  Um, we hear a lot of folks talk about you know how basically, self sufficiency is a myth, so we shouldn't even try it. And, you know, it's again. That's it's going to the all or none all or nothing thinking. But it's just the opposite end of the spectrum because Even if you're not gonna be 100% self sufficient, you know, why not try to do it to, to a degree? You're gonna be healthier for it. Our bodies weren't designs for all of this convenience. You know, our our our bodies were designed to be active. You look at....

Danielle:   38:11
I read this thing about how many calories people back then ate, versus now. And I'm like, Oh, my goodness, it was like 10,000 calories a day or some obscenity. Wow. And it's because we were so active right now we're not. Yeah, I definitely don't think that it has to be an all or nothing. It shouldn't be. And it shouldn't mean that, you know, hey, we can't be 100%. So let's not even attempt it, Even if it's just, you know, a tomato plant on your patio, go for it. Better than nothing. 

Bonnie:   38:49
The thing is we can't allow ourselves to become so dependent on a failing system. And if you are bringing your reliance back on the local level and local producers, then it's it's not a failing system, because that's still sustainable. Um,

Danielle:   39:11
Right, it's global systems were not sustainable. the next day delivery. You know, just in time that it's not gonna work in the long term. It's going to eventually fail, and it helps you build skills and a community so that you can get those resources when it does fail because inevitably, that is what will happen. But that's another story.

Bonnie:   39:35
Right? Yeah. I mean, you look at a lot of these economies of scale you look at, like the big box stores and stuff like that, and a lot of them are starting to fail and having to downsize some of them even declaring bankruptcy. Some of them declaring bankruptcy multiple times because they just they can't. They can't make a profit with it long term. And then the problem is, is you know, in the meantime, they've put all of these locally owned businesses all these mom and pop shops out of business so that when they fail, the community's left with nothing, and you end up having to rebuild that whole local system all over again.

Danielle:   40:19
But I think it's important that we, you know, we put our, you know, stretch our arms out there and find out there are people even here and we don't have a lot of people are into this way of life. But even here, there are people on resource is and men for words that are available anywhere, even in urban areas. You know, they're gonna be people somewhere they can help you, you know, be more dependent on a local level as opposed to a global level, and learn some skills so that you can remind some of the stuff yourself and have local resource is for the rest of it.

Bonnie:   40:56
Exactly Well and then, yeah, figuring out what you can d'oh. And it's probably gonna mean pushing your limits to some degree. And that's not a bad thing. I think all of us need to kind of get out of our comfort zones a little bit because that's where you grow. But, you know, stop thinking that it's unreasonable. Two have a little less convenience and have to work a little bit harder, because again you become reliant on that. And then if it's not there anymore, you you don't know how to function because you've come to, you know, depend on that for so long. You don't know what any other way you don't know how likes to provide it now,

Danielle:   41:43
Yeah, I think you know that. That's definitely the key there that you have toe. I realize that you can realistically, D'oh! But you also have to, you know, drop the convenience mentality and the just in time delivery mentality and realize that, you know, it might be a little uncomfortable or might be totally out of your element. But even if you fail the first time, it's worth the effort because eventually you're gonna build those skills and you're gonna feel better when you build those skills instead of feeling like an epic failure. But we have to do we have to push ourselves past her limits and out of our comfort zones in order to do anything. If we all just stay comfortable, Zionists, no one's gonna get anywhere.

Bonnie:   42:29
Yeah, it's, you know, and unfortunately, you know, I don't want to get to conspiracy theory, but, you know, there there are powers that be that they just want us to be comfortable. You know, we've been conditioned to think that this is Thea American way. And if you really look back at the history of our country, this is only a concept that came about with the Industrial Revolution. You know, before that it was expected that you came to America to work hard. Because here your hard work meant success. There were I know a lot of failing systems in the old world that your your hard work didn't get you anywhere but here it could actually mean, you know, a good life for your family in a good future for your family. And it's almost like we're getting back to that. Well, no, um, that class system where the class that you're born into is the class that you're doomed Thio for the rest of your life. And there's no way out of it. And so you shouldn't even try

Danielle:   43:43
And the whole dependence mentality, You know that we're stuck where we are. We can't get any better. We're all dependent upon, you know, whatever. We've been conditioned to be dependent upon, right? Like he said another story for another day. I know we could go on and on about, Uh, yes. Yes, we could. All right. We've been conditioned another conversation for another day. All right,

Bonnie:   44:09
but to that degree, um, I know. I mean, I know you. You see a lot too. We talk about, um, our local communities. There isn't a lot of support on the local level for this way of life anymore. Um, you know, it could be difficult to find a farmer's market. It could be difficult to find other people that have this this frame of mind. I know I have a pretty good community where I live now. But growing up in Ohio, where there was so much conventional farming, this this idea was completely foreign. Unless you actually talked to a generation, um, that, you know, grew up during the great Depression and stuff and realized Ah, you know how much this was necessary. But a lot of it's been lost. Uh huh. On the baby boomer generation. Um, I do think a lot of younger folks are starting to recognize this again. But you have such a great divide. You have the folks that air, you know, very, very set on modern society and modern expectations. And then you have the ones that realized the system is broken and we need to make changes.

Danielle:   45:27
Yeah, definitely. I know we have a lot of trouble. Appear. Are farmers market. A lot of times consists of farmhouse signs that were card out of pieces of pine, that they bought out lows. So, you know, but are what we do have available. It does have to be organic, and a lot of I noticed a lot of the people that sell at the farmer's market are the older generation that probably grew up either during the Depression. I mean, we're getting up in your syrup during the Depression or or the Second World War, and I think you know, the Victory Gardens and all that stuff. You know, those people still realize how important self sufficiency and a local economy is versus the baby boomer generation where people are more into the modern way of life. Well,

Bonnie:   46:19
it's tough because for a lot of folks from that generation, um, you know, there's so few of them that are physically able to keep a garden anymore, and then they don't have anyone from the younger generations that are willing to take over their gardens and still provide them with those benefits of the garden. Um, like I think about my grandma had an amazing garden growing up, and even the last time I visited her. She had, you know, a couple of tomato plants just in her flower garden, like along the side of her sidewalk. But, you know, she's had some health issues and stuff the last few years. My grandpa passed away. I seriously doubt that she's growing anything right now. Um and you know, if for nothing else I think that she enjoyed seeing that, like, I think that's why it waas along her her sidewalk. So every time she came home and walked by it, she saw it, and it was almost like nostalgia for her. But no one else is providing that for her anymore. Um, right now it was almost like it was just a silly dream. And now we don't have to. Now we don't have to indulge that dream anymore.

Danielle:   47:34
I agree. You know, the older generation is getting much fuller, and there are a lot of them are unable to do the things that they grew up doing and says there are even their adulthood tried to raise their kids, learning how to dio. A lot of their kids are interested in it, which I think is part of the reason that small farms were dying, but like we have Ah, he's in his eighties that lives across the way. And hey, still gets out there and scoots around and does things the way he's always done. Um and I mean, I find that impressive. But, you know, we talked to those people. They're around, Even if you live in the city. You know, there are people around that would love to learn or love to teach, rather, You know what they what they learned when they were Children,

Bonnie:   48:21
right? Okay, okay. So if we don't have, um if we don't have local resource is Tau tau find mentors to find folks that we can learn from or even who could inspire us? I think one thing that we could definitely benefit from with modern homesteading is, um, the fact that we have social media, we have thes online groups that we can go to and rely on and learn from. And then also we could just get support. We can find other folks that have, you know, a like mind that are you're aiming for the same goals that we are, and they can let us know that we're not alone. because this way of life can definitely be isolating. And I'm gonna lead. You need other folks to talk to.

Danielle:   49:07
Yeah, I think, um, looking online is definitely a great resource. I know. I probably would have quit enjoyed myself completely crazy by now because no one around here really is into this way of life. Everybody thinks we're insane, so no, I didn't. Even

Bonnie:   49:24
the local folks that I've met have been through Facebook groups.

Danielle:   49:29
Yeah, we we met, um, a local guy. They're completely off the grid, and they raise all They're almost all their own. Who? They're almost 100% self sufficient. But we met him through Facebook, him and his wife simply because he was selling halls on the hook for butcher. And we wanted a hog on hooks. And, um so he's been, you know, a fairly knowledgeable resource or different ways of living the sliced style. He's a bit of conspiracy theorists, but that's okay. So those are alive and

Bonnie:   50:09
well in my area

Danielle:   50:09
to Yeah. Yeah, nothing wrong with it. Now they make for interesting conversations. Yeah, and it's not broken, you know, like saying sometimes I think they're probably right. Yeah, Yes. I

Bonnie:   50:24
mean, uh, I think that more often than not, they're probably not too far from the truth. At the very least, Yeah, it's definitely thought provoking. Yes. And hopefully the things that they think you're gonna happen never come to pass. But if they dio, you know it's better to be prepared than

Danielle:   50:43
not. So All right, so learn those self sufficiency skills and, you know, kind skill sent, even if even if its online, you know, Bonnie and I both have websites that you know, help provide you with those skills. And we both also have basic groups that you conjoined, which we will mention in a woman. Yes. And, um, you know, use those online Resource is even if it's, you know, just a simple block post or a YouTube video that shows you exactly how to do something. You can't find somebody. Locals. There's somebody online that it can show you how to do it.

Bonnie:   51:17
Uh huh. Yeah. And and like I said, there's so many local resource is that could be found online. You know, there's like these these classes that I find, like learning finer living skills or just kind of any type of self sufficiency skills. I've learned about them online because it's so hard, you know, like I could look in my local paper. It's only going to tell me what's in my town specifically, it's not gonna tell me you know what's in the next town over. And there's a lot of things that I would miss out on if I, you know, if I didn't have this, they're the algorithm. Could be helpful in some ways. Um, but yeah, I don't have those online resource is to help me find

Danielle:   52:01
them, right? And, you know, look up reenactments or rendezvous, Zor, You know, whatever is available, look it up in your general area or even in your entire state, because everywhere has them and those people could be a valuable resource. And it helps show you that it really did take a whole village. You make things work

Bonnie:   52:26
exactly, and you'll find that a lot of those folks that are doing those reenactments one, um, they're usually pretty passionate about history, which I really enjoy. But also, if we're not knowledgeable about our history, then we're doomed to repeat the past. Um, but also a lot of them are also of this mindset. They're you know, they're living this in their day to day lives. I mean, they're obviously not living primitively intense every day, but they're usually trying to do things that are more more economical, more self sufficient, more sustainable. Maur ico friendly You know, whatever your motivation is ah, lot of them are of the same mind,

Danielle:   53:12
right? And like I mentioned, we both have basement groups want their website and some will link him in the show notes Mine. It is called the self sufficient life.

Bonnie:   53:24
And mine is not so modern living So both of those on Facebook way

Danielle:   53:29
will link them in the show notes way will talk to you next time.