Hello from Minnesota!


Power Conserver
Feb 9, 2020
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I've been over on "the easy garden" for a while, but have been checking out the sister sites. I don't consider myself fully self sufficient, but at the same time I am actively practicing a lot of self sufficiency skills. I also do produce and preserve a lot of my own food, which is probably my biggest interest area. Looking at everyone else's threads, I'm in good company. I'm excited to learn more.

1. What state/province/country are you in and what is your climate like?
Minnesota. It's quite cold most of the year, but we get about 4 months of frost-free growing time each summer.

2. Who or what inspired you to become more self sufficient?

My grandparents and parents, I've always been interested in growing what I need as much as possible.

3. In what ways are you self sufficient now and in what ways would you like to learn more?
I grow about 60% of my veggies for the year (looking to increase that this year, as I've moved and have a bigger garden), and raise about 80% of my own meat.

4. Are you interested in stocking up for future needs?
I have three freezers, and an entire room devoted to canning.

5. Do you make crafts or useful items? Would you want to teach others how to do these?
I can sew?

6. Can you legally keep livestock where you are at? Do you have any? What kinds?
Yep. I have about 180 head (dairy) cattle and some years I have chickens. (No chickens at the moment, but I am in the process of building them a new coop since I moved.)

7. Do you like to garden? If so, what do you enjoy growing?
I sure do. I grow many types of plants, usually from seed. I enjoy saving seed from year to year, and that's a skill I'm growing. I grow summer and winter squash, corn, snap and dry beans, tomatoes, peppers, brassicas, greens, garlic, herbs, etc.

8. Do you fish? Bait or explosives?

I like fishing, but don't really have time for it anymore.

9. How much space/land do you have or rent? City? Country?
My garden is about 1/8 acre. My farm is a couple hundred acres.

10. What is your self sufficient specialty? Or what one would you like to learn?
I am especially interested in food preservation. I like learning about it all.

11. Do you do wood work? Framing, finish, cabinet?
I can design and build a structure, but nothing too pretty.

12. Are you interested in herbal medicine?
I have been digging into this more lately. I have been drying herbs and making my own herbal extracts and tinctures for a couple of years.

13. If you could live any place you chose, where would it be?
Right where I'm at, minus a few of the neighbors. I grew up on a farm out west where the nearest neighbor was a mile away. Here there are several houses in a mile radius.

14. Do you use a wood stove for heating or cooking?
The last house I lived in used wood heat, but where I live now everything is electric and gas.

15. Do you like to cook? Are you interested in whole foods and natural foods? Raw milk? Farm fresh eggs?
Yes, I bake and cook a lot. I love to use my homegrown ingredients, and get eggs from the neighbor when I don't have my own chickens.

16. Do you forage or hunt for part of your food needs?
I tend to grow what I want, although there are a few wild plants that I collect from.

17. What skills do you have that help you be more self sufficient?
Growing/raising my own food and being able to preserve it.

18. Do you have solar panels? Plans to use solar energy?
No current plans for large scale solar.

19. Have you ever lived completely off grid? Would you like to?
I lived off grid in a tent one summer (in a remote foreign country, I was working on an archaeology dig site). All my food was cooked over animal manure. Nothing more extensive than that.

20. Do you make things yourself to save money?
Yes, although making things myself doesn't always seem to save money.

21. Has trying to be more self-sufficient changed your attitude or habits about money/spending?
I kind of grew up this way, so I never experienced a large shift in thinking/attitude.
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Sustainability Master
Jul 22, 2011
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Klamath County, OR
how cool that you were on an archaeology dig site! That was something I always wished I could do, but the opportunity never presented itself. Where was it?


Power Conserver
Feb 9, 2020
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Hey, thanks! I was in Mongolia. We were mapping the habitation sites of semi-nomadic Mongolians from the bronze/iron age. So basically just digging a lot of holes looking for slag and pottery remnants. 🙂