Another blog I follow pointed to yet another great blog that had the following questions on it. I really enjoyed reading the answers other people gave so I thought I'd take a run at them too! Hope you enjoy my answers as much as I've enjoyed others.
If you want to get them for yourself, the One Acre Homestead in Ohio is the original author and has the original versions easy to copy and paste. Let me know if you do so I can read yours! Hey, I'm nosy. ;)
Basic Questions About You
1-What is the biggest goal of your lifestyle?
Improving self-sufficiency and independence, being sustainable in a real way (not the faddish TV way), having clean and healthy food that actually tastes better, being less of a consumer and more of a creator.
2-When did you start this lifestyle?
It grew on me. Since I'm still near the urban center/edge of the suburbs, I'm very limited by local ordnance what I'm allowed to do. I've been increasing my capabilities over the past 2 years conciously and drifting that way for years.
3-What was your main motivation?
If you had to boil it down to one single motivation, I would have to say fear. That is a bit embarrassing, but true. Food contamination, lack of control over prices and availability, utter dependence on our consumer system really sort of freaked me out.
4-Did you have any previous experience in anything you're doing now?
I come from a long line of farmers, but really nothing that I did myself. I never graduated from the "little helper" stage in my Great-Grandma Elma's or my Grandmommy's garden. Even as a teen I was still being directed due to lack of interest. Canning and preserving and hunting and fishing and the cleaning of catches were done under duress. I wish, oh how I wish, I would have been more pro-active. They told me I would regret it....
5-Does your spouse/signifiacant other (if you have one) share the same ideas?
Alas, no spouse ::sigh:: but my family is sort of half and half on it. One sister shares my "green" ideas and also gardens and the like for health but no one else. I really think they think I'm a bit of a nut job.
6-Do your friends and family understand and support these choices? What about your kids?
My best friend is very supportive even though she doesn't share my passion for it. Some family support in the form of not making actual fun at me, most of the time, but no one to really share the journey with or enjoy the accomplishments. The kiddles, my sister's, really have no interest save the youngest who thinks the wonderful rich compost/dirt mix smells and feels nice to play in. (I agree.) She also likes to see things grow. I have hope for her!
7-How happy are you with your achievements so far?
Pretty happy. I wish I could do more. I'm always reaching for the next thing to do or learn. Really can't wait to move into the country!
8-Are you more of a gardener, homesteader, prepper, health concience, "green"' or a combination of several?
I would say all of the above since they all sort of lean on each other or come from or go to another. Being a gardener gives an urban homestead capability that allows prepper-like food independence that is more healthy and certainly more green!
9-Has this change of lifestyle affected your personality?
I'm not objective enough to judge my own personality changes. I'm me every day. BUT, I do think it has changed my views enough so that it must show in my personality. Every single day I get at least one moment of max happiness and that is good for your sunny side. It also means I see more of the "lack" in the world in independence, responsibility and just plain common sense. That, I think, has made me a bit less sympathetic and I'm sure that shows in my personality at times. I'm also less daunted by new things or skills because I have learned new things I never thought I could do. Now, I'm more of a grab a bull by the horns sort of person. (No actual bulls will be grabbed this way!)
10-Has it changed your view of your life before?
Pretty much as in Question 9.
11-What about how you view others that don't understand it or naysay?
Sometimes I feel like I should try to change their minds, mostly if I care for them. Other times I feel like such total idiots should not be reproducing. It varies. Many times, I just feel sorry for their kids, growing up to be just one in the zombie horde, dissolving their brains with TV and junk food.
12-If you could convince someone to live the way you do in ONE sentance, what would you say?
If you've ever actually seen what e-coli or salmonella can do to a kid, you might want to start a bit of a garden.
1-How large is your vegetable garden?
I do Square Foot Gardening with some side beds and herb gardens. I couldn't really give a square footage since I am opportunistic in where I put plants. They are everywhere! And I use dozens of giant to medium sized containers too. Just look at my 2009 garden plan for the plant listing to get an idea, I guess.
2-Do you grow any fruits, and what and how many?
Some blueberries from a couple of bushes and strawberries. I have apple and olive trees but the apples won't produce for a couple more years. Ditto with my newest fruit dwarf trees that I keep in containers.
3-Do you have any animals and what are they? (other than pets)
Nope. City laws allow NO chickens or poultry and no other animals not "commonly" considered pets. Pshaw! I'm working on it!
4-Do you can/dehydrate/freeze/store your own produce?
Yes, Yes, NO and Yes. I don't do very much freezing of excess produce because it is energy dependent. In a major emergency or hurricane, I couldn't keep it frozen. I can or dehydrate or just plain store (root veggies, etc) almost everything.
5-Do you work with mainly power tools or hand tools in your gardens and others? (wood cutting, splitting, tiller vs. broadfork etc...)
Because my home borders the wetlands, I can't do anything with power back there. It completely sucks. You ever tried taking down a 30 foot high wall of invasive japanese honeysuckle, poison ivy and multiflora rose with a pair of hand clippers? Yeah...great....
6-Do you compost?
Yes, but I'm a miserable failure at it to this point. It just won't break down! I'm keeping on trying though. I'm gonna get one of those fancy spinner ones this year.
7-Do you recycle?
Absolutely! However, I never take the labels off the cans because I'm lazy and I don't like touching slimey cat food. (Before anyone says anything, my cat has IBD and has to have a special pre-digested food. I've have him 14 years (as of the 15th of February) and love him so I give it to him.)
8-Do you consider yourself energy consience? (conserving to save $)
To some extent. I've really tried by unplugging things when they aren't needed and replacing all the non-critical lightbulbs with CFLs. Places like the kitchen and bathrooms though, I just can't stand that yellowish light so they have regular bulbs. I have been doing really well keeping the thermostat much lower this winter than in previous years and simply not wearing shorts 365 days a year.
9-Do you make any of your own household cleaners?
I've recently begun doing that again. I used to years ago because I was so poor when I first went out on my own. So far, I'm limited to vinegar for window cleaner (it really does work better than Windex!).
10-Do you make your own bread?
Yes, 100% of it for the last several months. For Christmas my best friend and her dad got me the ultimate in bread machines, the Cuisinart stainless steel rolls royce of bread machines, so that I could do it even when I was simply too busy with gardening after working all day. I gotta say, it really does free me up to do a lot of other things and uses a LOT less energy than firing up the big oven.
11- If in an emergency situation, are you able to not leave home for a week? How about a month? A year??
Yes for a week or a month. No for a year however that is the goal. I think at 3 months I'd be hurting. And milk...I'd probably be sweating bullets for a glass of cold fresh milk by the end of the first week. I would have to have power though to do it at this for anything longer than a week if in winter or full summer.
12-Are you tired of answering questions yet?
Nah..this is fun.
13-If you prep, what do you consider to be your most useful tool/items
Hmm....Propane grill/stove probably, because I can do so much with it from cooking to canning to baking to sterilizing water in a pinch. You'd be amazed what you can do with a good one!
14-Are you able to heat your home without gas or fuel oil?
No, since I live near the wetlands and in a pretty protected area, I'm restricted in what I can do. I built the house to be super energy efficient, meaning all electric also. I've got propane based support to a limited extent.
15-Are you able to cook without gas or electricity?
I can for so long as my propane bottles hold out. I can also use my solar oven for some things if there is sun. If no one is checking, I can also build one heck of a campfire!
16-Again, if in an emercency situation, could you live in the wild or out of a tent? ( camping,hunt/fish, cook,etc.)
That depends. Not here because there isn't enough wildlife to eat nearby without a vehicle to get to them. I could fish in my river, but I'd have to be pretty darn hungry to eat out of it since it runs all through the suburbs and urban environment. I am a pretty good camper in general though.
17-Have you ever practiced your prep skills? (turning off main power for a day or 2) How did you do? (this can include a power outage due to weather as a test)
I have had to practice it when a water main broke for a couple of days and once when the power went off for about 24 hours. Other than that, I've really limited my practice to individual things. For example, trying to figure out how to clean clothes if I had no power or having no power to cook, etc. Given my heavy work schedule I really do have to work around "modern life" at this point.
18-Do you have the knowledge & skills (plus tools) to hunt and fish for food?
Limited at this time. I do have some skills, but I really need to find someone this year who will take me hunting since the last time I did it I was a child. I'm a crack shot (I've got the chest candy to show it) and have some skills with human powered projectile weapons as well.
19-If you don't prep, why not?
NA. I do prep.
20-Do you or can you sew your own clothes and make your own bedding?
Yes! I love to sew and can sew everything from a full authentic Elizabethan gown to modern pajamas and make my own patterns too. I wish I had more time to do it at the moment. I can crochet but what I don't know how to do is knit. That is one of the skills I've got on my list for this year.
21-Can you field dress a deer, drink a coffee, smoke a cigarette, make a cell phone call, light a fire, AND answer all of my annoying questions at the same time? lol thanks for playing!
Ahhh...no! Wish I could do all that and whistle a tune at the same time.