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Self-reliance and Simplicity: Weird or Interesting?

SusyMost of my friends either tell me I’m the weirdest or the most interesting person they know. Why? Because I grow some of my own food, collect rain water, keep bees in my backyard, shop at farmers’ markets, buy raw milk and make everything from scratch (I mean everything, even crackers, oh yeah and maple syrup).

make it at home

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Susy and I’m one of the new writers here at GRIT. I blog about organic gardening, growing food, preserving food, beekeeping, eating locally and other related topics over at ChiotsRun and check out my Flickr photostream for images of my newest escapades.

I live here at Chiot’s Run with; my husband – Mr Chiots, my dog Lucy the garden namesake and our 3 cats that also help make our house a home – Samson, Soafie and Dexter. We live on a small lot (1/4 acre) in a development that’s kind of rural but we still have a HOA.

We’ve been working hard over the past 7 years to improve the soil on our little bit of land in order to grow some fruits and vegetables of our own, but we’re limited by the shadiness of our property since we’re surrounded on 3 sides by very large trees.

We own a business and both work from home and enjoy our simple, yet busy life. We love to try to do as much ourselves as we can, which is what has brought us down the road of simplicity and self-reliance. We don’t really have dreams of being fully self-sufficient, so we have spent the last couple years creating a network of local people to provide us with the things we cannot and don’t really want to do for ourselves, like raw milk, beef, chicken, eggs, etc. We believe in doing our part in building a strong local economy for healthy sustainable foods, and for us that means working hard to earn money to support local farmers.

seasonal food

We also strive to be good stewards of this lovely planet we live on.

While we don’t drive an electric car, ride our bicycles everywhere, or shun modern conveniences (at least not too many of them), we try not to be wasteful of the resources we do use. We collect rain water for our plants, we try to buy things with as little packaging as possible to reduce our waste, and we strive to buy things as locally as possible and not to buy things we don’t need. We also garden organically, and I mean completely organically, we don’t even use “safe” organic pesticides.

So what do you think, weird or interesting?