I did a little research on that, and it seems that most of the quotes I ended up were about not needing anyone to survive or to be happy. It's contradictory to what I believe, because no matter how financially stable or capable we are, we still need someone, and most importantly, we still need God in our lives.
But here's a definition I find desirable from Merriam-Webster:
: capable of providing for one's own needs
Applying it in our life, self-sufficiency is being able to support myself and our little family in small ways outside consumerism. Get what I mean?
Simply put, I want to plant and grow, instead of buy. I want to make, instead of buy. Not necessarily in everything, but in some ways -- yes.
I've always wanted it that way. We're here in the rural, and what better way to take advantage of this place than to be rural in many ways -- and that's where gardening (or a more technical term is agriculture minus livestock raising) comes in.
Prices of spices and vegetables fluctuate (well, even other commodities).
Remember how spendy was garlic last year? I could almost skip garlic in cooking. So I intentionally planted necessary spices around our house. Not all for now. I'm taking it one step at a time, especially that our soil here is not that rich, and we have to get our compost from the farm. And I also need to put these plants in containers.
The point is would you still buy something that you can find in your own yard?
For now, we have lemon grass, spring onions, tomatoes (mostly) and one pepper plant.
We also have a mango tree, jackfruit tree, mandarin orange (still small though), bananas and lots of pineapple plants. All these fruit trees and plants are due to my parents' efforts. Every now and then or per season, we get to taste these fruits.
As a gardening lover, I found the following benefits of this hobby:
1. Gardening enhances creativity -- In terms of home design or garden design, I am not so well gifted. But I simply love plants. I like planting, and I have always been inspired to see them grow and bloom and brighten the space. When I feel creative, I try to rearrange the plants in our mini garden. Although my style or design is not that excellent, I believe it has exercised my outdoor creativity, and I need that. My brain and my overall well-being need that, and I feel better afterwards.
2. The joy of reaping what you sow, literally -- It's a wonderful experience to reap and taste what you have literally sown. I think, this is the best lesson I've ever learned from my late grandmother. When she and Tatay where still young and able, they took advantage of their wide land by planting as many trees and plants as possible. When we were kids, they have cacao trees and coffee trees all over, but as time passed by, these trees were neglected and became scarce. But still they have others like coconuts, bananas, sineguelas, mandarin orange, lanzones, rambutan, etc., which until now, we (the third generation from them) still enjoy the fruit of their labor. Holding on to Nanay's memories and to this kind of legacy she and Tatay have left is perhaps also one of the reasons why I see the importance of planting and gardening.
3. Science can be taught through your own yard -- Sit down in the garden, and observe the butterflies, dragonflies and other insects fly and hop from every side. This is where Kristoff has seen the "tambalian" (it's a kind of lizard living in trees), and this is where he digs for worms. Yes, he has known insects in the garden that he wasn't able to see in his books. We can introduce science to our preschool kids through gardening.
4. Gardening can be a prenatal exercise -- Pregnant or not, gardening is a way to exercise our body. But one time, I was really so eager to do the garden. I found out that some of the plants that were too exposed to sunlight where not thriving, so I transferred them under the mango tree which requires me to squat, get up and walk. Squatting and walking are prenatal exercises especially done on the third trimester. This, however, must be done per your OB's advice. But well, if there's no contraindication, this is one creative and productive way to do prenatal exercises.
5. Seeing that God's power is amazing -- I find it fantastic to see that after the flower, there's that tiny fruit growing. It's basic science, but it's an amazing wonder of God's work. Gardening is valuing God's creation.
---------------------My goal this year is to keep up with gardening and other ways to self-sufficiency. Have you thought about it too?