25 Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner

Sure, it’s only November.  The last growing season has pretty much just finished.  If you remember, we had a huge plan this year.  We planted about an 1/8 – 1/4 of our acre and were growing loads of plants.  I looked back over our gardening posts the other day and saw the build up to the planting, the initial success, and the sheer volume of potential our garden had to offer.  Then we started talking about the deer.  After that, we just stopped talking about it.  I haven’t written about what we actually got out of it – somehow I just can’t bring myself to put it “on paper”.  I don’t want to be reminded of how small the harvest actually was.  I would rather just focus on what an insane success our courtyard was and how beautiful the herbs and flowers were at their peak.  The fruits and vegetables will have to just wait another year.  The good news?  We learned A LOT.  Now, even though the snow is just getting ready to fly here in Ohio, I’m ready to move on to the next planning phase.

Self-sufficiency has a huge draw for Bryan and I.  I would not be surprised if, in our retirement one day, we come to live in a modest home built in the woods in some remote area with a very reduced need of outside resources.  If nothing else, that’s what we’d like to work towards.  I found this book, DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner on Amazon towards the end of the summer.  While we haven’t been able to create anything from the book yet, there are a number of projects that have made our lists, including:

– collecting rainwater
– starting our compost bin
– building a greenhouse or some cold frames
– canning
– starting a root cellar
– building a solar drying rack

These are the simple projects.  One of the main reasons we selected this book, though, was that it tackles some of the more challenging elements of self-sufficiency in simple terms – solar power and electricity being the biggest.  Bryan has been searching for information about DIY solar power.  Not being an engineer, many of the books are too far to the technical end of the spectrum.  This book presented a few sections on solar topics in a way that was easy to understand – from setting a baseline understanding of solar power to steps to install your own supplemental solar heat system.  THIS is what we are really looking forward to implementing at some point because this is where we feel the most return.  It’s wonderfully satisfying to gain any ounce of autonomy back in today’s age.  We’re not really focused on it from a global, environmental perspective either.  It feels a little selfish but I am more interested in the satisfaction of knowing that we have a little less money going out the door and a little more direct impact on our immediate environment than I do today.  The “greenness” of the process is just an added bonus.


About Mama's a Mess

Who am I and what am I doing here? Well, at the end of the day I'm a mother and a wife, a lover of classic monster movies and comic books, of music, TV and movies. I'm a sucker for pop culture. I'm a fangirl. I'm an artist. As my husband always puts it, "Baby, you're a mess!" I have a penchant for creating and collecting. I feed my brain with a mix of anything from hot rods and pin-ups to handmade and natural. I like to dig in the dirt and grow things but sometimes picture myself doing it like Donna Reed. I will always, always choose to wear a dress first. I am head over heels in love with my husband and have a fantastically crazy life with him. Follow all our adventures and musings on our blog at https://blakow.wordpress.com. Twitter: @mamasamess Pinterest & Polyvore: mamasamess
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