Self Sufficiency. We have a two year old. As parents know, kids go through a stage where they want to do EVERYTHING by themselves. Ok … several stages! Sometimes it’s nice when people step in and help, but sometimes it just feels good to conquer a new skill yourself, to work hard and see it pay off, and to try new things!
Spring of 2014 we decided to take on a new adventure. We (ok, mostly Darren) built a chicken coop after buying 6 beautiful fluffy little chicks from Tractor Supply Co. We spent time holding those chicks and getting them used to humans touching them, feeding them, watching them grow, and finally, laying eggs! It was a spur of the moment idea to go to the store so the girls could see the baby chicks that turned into a very fun surprise, and we have LOVED having them!
We’ve watched idioms come to life as they “flew the coop”, were “cooped up”, created a “pecking order”, and so on. As Darren proclaimed, he is a crazy researcher, so we went to work learning about our 3 breeds of chickens. We joined a chicken Facebook page, and have learned so much. We learned how they help our environment and our yard by eating bad bugs and fertilizing our grass We learned how absolutely easy it is to keep them, and they give us straight organic, free range, grass fed eggs that put the grocery store eggs to shame! We bought a compost bin so we could use some of their droppings in our garden. Yep, we built an organic raised garden bed patio and bought our fresh organic plants from a local certified organic gardener.
These experiences solidified our desire to learn how to be more self-sufficient. As we planted produce we like to eat, herbs, including lavender, that meet our needs, and harvested fruit from our apple and cherry trees, and raspberry and blueberry bushes, we began to realized how do-able it is to learn how to tend the land for our needs. No, it is not yet the main source of our produce, but it has turned a spark into a flame, which we’d love to grow into more! What if we could use less, be more intentional, and eventually buy our own land in which we could grow our own food and livestock? What if we made our own soap and candles? What if we could hunt on our own land and eat fish from a natural source that is not farm raised?
Self-sufficiency may not be less work, but we would get to choose where our food comes from, whether it is covered in pesticides or not, and how fresh it really is. We would get to teach our children how to grow food, raise livestock, and all of the many character building skills that come with it. We would not have to be told what we can and cannot do on our small little city property, or what kind of water would be tapped into our sink, and saturate our skin in the shower. Sounds a little like Little House on the Prairie, doesn’t it?! For us, self-sufficiency is more like a step in the direction of self-care that we want to incorporate into our lives, and the lives of our children. It is a step of taking ownership in our part of living a very intentional life-style, and all the fun of learning how our ancestors lived, except that we have the advantage of information at our fingertips! A skill Darren is a master at!
We have a new, yet old, American dream. i.e Freedom to choose where our food comes from, how it is handled, and raise our kids to live and think differently than society at large. We dream of doing things a little differently than we grew up in, and getting back to that less is more concept! i.e. Less time playing video games/watching movies, more time working and playing together. Less time being spent alone, more time looking at one another in the eye having meaningful conversation.
I, Melody Mike, am definitely an idealist, but I have just one chance to live this life. I want to live it in an intentional and meaningful way, without regret, and I want to pour into the lives of others in a way that matters. I want to love others deeply. I want to choose my time wisely. I want to make a difference in the lives around me, and be in a place mentally and spiritually that I can grow and produce life through music and writing. I have one chance to do this life, and I don’t want to end it wishing I could do it over through regret. If you could do anything, and know without a doubt that you would not fail, what would YOU do? Please comment below!
Melody is a full time mother, CEO of the Mike household, NASM certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Beach Body Coach, Norwex Representative, Singer/Songwriter, Organizer, Jesus Lover, Wife, and well, you get the idea, a woman of many hats. Adventurous and creative, she loves spending time outdoors and encouraging others to be Lean, Clean, & Green.