Sunday, 4 April 2010

self efficiency

Does that make sense? I've been pondering this morning whether my ideal is self sufficiency or independent efficiency. Self sufficiency is to have enough, to have enough in oneself, or by oneself. This is of course the truth, the big picture, we are all of us enough in ourselves, without the need for outer confirmation or reward or justification. At least that's what I feel in my calmest, brightest, shiniest moments. Applying the big picture to my lifestyle 'choices' I find I am deficient, I cannot be totally self sufficient. We have a truck, we use electricity, we buy vegetables that don't grow here, we don't raise our own meat or dairy. I can make as much of our basics as possible: yoghurt, cheese, oil, bread - but none of the ingredients come from our farm.

So instead I'm thinking this morning of second generation homesteading.

Efficiency is another thing - it is more efficient for me to go to the store and buy oil, but that just isn't the same is it? I find myself equating efficiency with simplicity: the simpler I can make my kitchen and my plantings, pickings and workings, the more efficient and streamlined I feel, the smoother my days run. Efficiency only seems to come with experience, simplicity too. The more time and attention I spend in a task the more I see how to simplify it in the future. It's a question of maturity I guess, I'm slowly drifting from the ideal of pure self sufficiency into a more community based thinking: happy to buy from other local farmers that which I can't make or grow myself, it seems more sustainable.

Sustainable - now there's another word.


  1. I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a couple of Mouse and Trowel awards, like "best blog about growing food" Keep up the good work!

  2. Hey Steve,

    thanks so much! Let's keep fingers crossed for both of us! I saw your blog mentioned on a 50 best gardening blogs just this week. Very nice :)


thanks for sharing!