It wasn't until he left that I realised! He couldn't see into our yard from where he pulled up. He couldn't see our veggie garden, compost heaps, orchard or the dairy. So what made him ask this question?
That gave me a good giggle! What gave him the clue that we try to do things for ourselves? Was it the chooks, ducks and geese wandering everywhere? Was it the children running feral on a school day and coming to investigate the stranger that had arrived? Maybe it was my attire! A baggy pair of tracky dacks, boots, beanie, scarf and a filthy jacket!! Haha! Perhaps I need to work on the impression we make when people turn up unexpectedly.
|A temporary chook shelter in the garden they're digging over.|
There's another very important element here too. People. If we truly spent every minute trying to provide for ourselves, we would be too busy to connect with others around us. It would be an insular and lonely life.
So when I ponder the question of self-sufficiency I realise, it's not looking after ourselves in isolation that I'm after. I want to connect with those around us and work together to create a better world. I want to swap my goats milk for their pickles that I didn't get around to making for myself. I want to use my friend's lard and repay her with the soap that I create with it. I want to spend time with friends learning (or teaching) new skills. I want to come together with other families so that our children can play. I want to share meals where everyone brings a dish that they have cooked with fresh ingredients from the garden.
So now I need a new term. It's not self-sufficiency. Help me coin a new phrase. Mine don't have a ring to them. Is it 'community-sufficiency'? Is it 'friendship-farming'? Is it 'the-way-life-should-be sufficiency'?