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Living Sustainably

Re: Living Sustainably
May 19, 2009, 11:31:34 PM
Can a man with a job have enough time in the day to maintain a field of plants, of all different varieties, not to mention a small quantity of livestock?

A couple can do it, no problem, I've seen it. Depends on the job too, of course. For one man alone it's probably difficult.

Re: Living Sustainably
May 20, 2009, 01:37:47 PM
I see we're all about speaking in absolutes here.
If this is the case, and I must dilute my message in order for it to be palatable and soft, and stand upon a soapbox in front of all the world, then I ask a simple question:
Can a man with a job have enough time in the day to maintain a field of plants, of all different varieties, not to mention a small quantity of livestock?

Plants actually should require little maintenance. The reason plants need constant fertilizing or whatnot is that non-native species have been brought in and forced to grow in places where they should not grow. If you grow local plant varieties, there shouldn't be much of a problem; however, this limits the places where you can live because you may not be able to get food year round from plants. I live in Florida, and semi-self-sufficiency is not uncommon. My cousin lives alone on an acre of land. She built her own house, grows her own food, and works. She breeds rabbits and grows decorative plants to sell as well. Sometimes the family helps out, especially on the occasional big project she does. She used to raise animals like geese, goats, and pigs; but I guess that was too much work. May I add she's about 5 feet tall and is able to do all this. I have other family, about 12 people, that live near each other. Though they live in two separate houses, one of the houses has 2 acres of land and had over 100 animals on it, mostly ducks. They're supported mostly by 3 family members who are truckers. However, a trailer park was built next to their house and most of the animals were stolen. Another uncle raises chickens for food, one cousin hunts and deep sea fishes for food, and almost everyone down here grows at least some plant for food. All I'm saying is that what you propose is a very reasonable proposition. Just make sure that where ever you decide to relocate to has no empty space where trailer parks can be built.

Re: Living Sustainably
May 20, 2009, 02:50:46 PM

But... there's a problem: There are thousands just like you. They'll all move "out there" (into the "wilds") too. Most of them have more money than you. Oh, and that's just now... In five years from now, more people will develop the same disgust and desire to "get away from it all". What ends up happening? Instead of YOU living out in the "wild", the "wild" becomes the Next Big Thing (for those who can afford it), and before you know it, you're living in a huge amusement park (illusion land, suburbia, they're all synomonous). You went in a circle, because you ran away.

I wonder what the consensus is on the Amish here. Most of the Amish in the US are self-sufficient. They make their own furniture, grow their own food, sew their own clothes, etc.. But the Amish towns in the US are also massively populated. There are varying degrees of "Amish People" meaning some are completely self-sufficient, while others are not. And many of the towns use the tourist industry as a way of spreading their "doctrine." (But they do not charge for tours or build gift shops with toy wagons for the kiddies). They simply live, and adapt to incorporate those that do not live their lifestyles.

Re: Living Sustainably
May 25, 2009, 03:52:52 PM
Well, this is where I live:

I rent the middle cabin in the first couple pictures.  I'm located in the Knik River Valley in Southcentral Alaska, about 50 miles northeast of Anchorage, and 20 miles southeast of Palmer, the closest actual town.  There are a couple hundred people back here, most on 5-20 acres of land.  Up until now, I've commuted into Palmer every day - it's on well maintained roads the whole way and is a relatively quick 25 minute drive.  I'm very satisfied with my decision to move here (I'm from the Seattle suburbs originally).  As the pictures show, the location is incredible; a wide valley with craggy 6-8,000 foot mountains on both sides, with a massive glacier only about 6 miles away, and 10-13,000 foot peaks behind that.  It's not just about the scenery though.  I'm walking distance from the river and a large creek with excellent fishing, the area is full of moose, and with grizzly bears and wolves lurking around rarely in sight.  Most years, the northern lights are a frequent occurrance through fall, winter, and early spring, though this past year was really crappy.  If you've never seen snowy mountains lit up by a full moon, you simply must.  And it's quiet - so quiet that you can hear the hum of the transformer on the nearby power pole...  The winters are long and cold, but the overall climate is mild by Alaska standards, with lots of clear days, pleasant summer temps, and very little precipitation because the mountains form a rain shadow.  One mild problem is that there is almost no soil here, so growing food is pretty much out of the question.  Palmer is an agricultural community however, and it would be relatively easy to obtain nearly all food from fishing, hunting, and local farmer's markets.  I haven't gotten that far yet and I still shop at Fred Meyer...

Oh and here's the best part...  Both cabins next to mine are either up for rent or will be soon.  So if anybody needs a change, and doesn't have much keeping them where they're at, here's a way out:

And check this one out, almost too good to be true for the price.  I might call them up myself...

Re: Living Sustainably
May 25, 2009, 05:45:52 PM
@meganerd: What is your job and is the pay good?