New Member Introductions - Questions

Columella

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1. What state/province/country are you in and what is your climate like?

Bihar, North India near Nepal border. Subtropical monsoon, cool and relatively dry winters, hot and dry summers and hot and wet rainy season also known as monsoon season.

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

No one, it's just our traditional way of life.

3. In what ways are you self sufficient now and in what ways would you like to learn more?

We produce and often sell milk, egg, meat, rice, wheat, corn, oat, millet oilseeds, some spices and fodder for livestock. We also produce some fruits like mangoes, guavas, jackfruit, litchi and strangler fig.

4. Are you interested in stocking up for future needs?

We stock rice, wheat and coarse grains for our livestock. We also pickle some fruits and vegetables.

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

No, but I would love to learn some.

6. Can you legally keep livestock where you are at? Do you have any? What kinds?

Yes, we can and we do. I have all kinds of poultry and buffaloes.

7. Do you like to garden? If so, what do you enjoy growing?


Never got around gardening, but I do grow some vegetables like ocra and French beans etc.

8. Do you fish? Bait or explosives?

We do fish, we are collecting fish now too. We bait and also fish with nets.

9. How much space/land do you have or rent? City? Country?

We have ten hectares of farmland of our own, we also have a big pond in which our share is on 1 hectare we share it with our extended family on my father's side. Country!!!

10. What is your self sufficient specialty? Or what one would you like to learn?

We don't do anything out of ordinary or 'special', we do what most other people do. We grow our own rice, wheat, pulses, eggs, meat, milk, fish. We are not completely self sufficient in fruits and vegetables and spices though.


11. Do you do wood work? Framing, finish, cabinet?

No, we have a caste that works with wood. They have a virtual monopoly on wood work.

12. Are you interested in herbal medicine?

Yes, very much. But we have to learn a lot.

13. If you could live any place you chose, where would it be?

We live in a very fine place. It's close to a natural forest which is a wildlife sanctuary and tiger reserve so there's a lot of land for grazing livestock. Himalayas are also not very far. Some times I wish we had snow, if I had to choose where I could live, I would have chosen Amish County, Ohio.

14. Do you use a wood stove for heating or cooking?

For cooking, we also use dung cakes as fuel. I know it sounds strange.

15. Do you like to cook? Are you interested in whole foods and natural foods? Raw milk? Farm fresh eggs?

No, I only like to eat. I am not interested in whole foods, but I do like natural food. Drinking raw milk is a taboo unless you drink it very fresh, within 10-15 minutes after milking. Farm fresh eggs always.

16. Do you forage or hunt for part of your food needs?

Yes, when we take our buffaloes to the forest we often gather herbs, berries, fruits, roots, mushrooms and also hare, crabs, prawn and fish.

17. What skills do you have that help you be more self sufficient?

Well I can caponize cockerels, castrate goats, butcher small animals and birds and fish if that makes a difference.

18. Do you have solar panels? Plans to use solar energy?

No and no. I like keep stuff less complicated. When there's no electricity, I use oil lamps.

19. Have you ever lived completely off grid? Would you like to?

No, we can't afford to turn into complete hermits.

20. Do you make things yourself to save money?

Moonshine counts?

21. Has trying to be more self-sufficient changed your attitude or habits about money/spending?

We are frugal, but no penny pinchers.
 
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Mini Horses

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Welcome Columella -- from Virginia here in USA.

Interesting to hear the differences in lifestyle, livestock and habits in different countries! Near a Tiger reserve?? That sounds different. Here they are in containment, zoos & wildlife parks. Are those fenced in any way?

Raw milk -- you say taboo.....why? I assume you pasteurize yours? I have dairy goats and do drink my milk raw. Chilled fast but, raw.

How many buffalo do you keep? Do you work them or have mechanical units for your farm work? In pioneer days of our country, bison dung cakes were used to burn for heat. Something not normally in use now.
 

Columella

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Welcome Columella -- from Virginia here in USA.

Interesting to hear the differences in lifestyle, livestock and habits in different countries! Near a Tiger reserve?? That sounds different. Here they are in containment, zoos & wildlife parks. Are those fenced in any way?

Raw milk -- you say taboo.....why? I assume you pasteurize yours? I have dairy goats and do drink my milk raw. Chilled fast but, raw.

How many buffalo do you keep? Do you work them or have mechanical units for your farm work? In pioneer days of our country, bison dung cakes were used to burn for heat. Something not normally in use now.


Hey there @Mini Horses good morning. Yes, this difference is what makes this world intresting. Valmiki wildlife sanctuary and tiger reserve is the virgin forest of the Terai region. In ancient times these forests covered much of Indo-Gangetic plains, from Pakistan to Assam, but since these lands were settled very early on (early Bronze Age), these forests are mostly gone with just bits and pieces remaining. One of that is Valmiki wildlife sanctuary and tiger reserve. State of Bihar along with other States was affected by left-wing insurgencies and right wing counter insurgencies and struggle between castes and classes was constant with each side committing atrocities on the other. They were not only fighting eachother but there was also a lot of infighting within their own fractions and they were also fighting the State in the same time. There was a lot of crime specially kidnapping for ransom, in our area cattle raiding between Indian and Nepali cattle raiders was very prevalent. I lost a buffalo in a raid in 2015. So long story short this sanctuary never got the popularity it deserved.

Here's the list of massacres that happened in Bihar in past few decades.
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Columella

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Welcome Columella -- from Virginia here in USA.

Interesting to hear the differences in lifestyle, livestock and habits in different countries! Near a Tiger reserve?? That sounds different. Here they are in containment, zoos & wildlife parks. Are those fenced in any way?

Raw milk -- you say taboo.....why? I assume you pasteurize yours? I have dairy goats and do drink my milk raw. Chilled fast but, raw.

How many buffalo do you keep? Do you work them or have mechanical units for your farm work? In pioneer days of our country, bison dung cakes were used to burn for heat. Something not normally in use now.

We are allowed to graze our animals in the park for a limited period. We can also collect firewood, medicinal plants, wild honey, fish, crabs, hare and other small critters, but we cannot sell them.

I currently have 10 buffaloes, including two calves, only 4 are lactating. No I don't keep males. Very few people now use buffaloes for work, though there are still few people who plough fields with buffaloes and use them to pull buffalo carts. I keep my buffaloes exclusively for milk
 

Mabsimmo

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1. What state/province/country are you in and what is your climate like? U.S.A, Indiana. All 4 seasons, sometimes in the same day! :)
2. Who or what inspired you to become more self sufficient?
I want to make a living for myself and family with a much that we can produce on our own. I want my children to learn these skills as well.
3. In what ways are you self sufficient now and in what ways would you like to learn more?
I hunt and process my own game, and we grow a garden and can our extra. We also raise layer hens and keep enough for ourselves and sell the rest.
4. Are you interested in stocking up for future needs?
Yes
5. Do you make crafts or useful items? Would you want to teach others how to do these?
I'm always looking to learn new skills and pass on what I know. I brew beer and I'm generally handy with home repairs.
6. Can you legally keep livestock where you are at? Do you have any? What kinds?
Yes. Currently, we only have chickens, but have contemplated milk goats.
7. Do you like to garden? If so, what do you enjoy growing?
Yes. Corn, peppers (hot & sweet), tomatoes, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers.
8. Do you fish? Bait or explosives?
Yes. Bait, mainly catfish.
9. How much space/land do you have or rent? City? Country?
3.5 acres, country
10. What is your self sufficient specialty? Or what one would you like to learn?
I'm open to learning anything and everything.
11. Do you do wood work? Framing, finish, cabinet?
No, but I'd like to learn.
12. Are you interested in herbal medicine?
Yes
13. If you could live any place you chose, where would it be?
I generally like where we live, but I would like to live in North Carolina between the mountains and the coast.
14. Do you use a wood stove for heating or cooking?
Yes
15. Do you like to cook? Are you interested in whole foods and natural foods? Raw milk? Farm fresh eggs?
Yes!
16. Do you forage or hunt for part of your food needs?
Yes! We live mainly on venison and as much of what we can grow on our land as possible.
17. What skills do you have that help you be more self sufficient?
Hunting, electrical work, plumbing, mechanical aptitude, gardening & canning.
18. Do you have solar panels? Plans to use solar energy?
Not currently, but looking at options.
19. Have you ever lived completely off grid? Would you like to?
No, but I'm not opposed to it.
20. Do you make things yourself to save money?
Whenever I can.
21. Has trying to be more self-sufficient changed your attitude or habits about money/spending?
I would rather spend money on ways to be more self sufficient than just buying things.
 
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