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what to give up in 2019  RSS feed

 
pioneer
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well...we are well into 2019

back in 2018 i gave up A LOT to get here, and once here i gave up three more things of great significance to me:

i didn't have a breaker for my dryer...so, i just decided to give up the dryer and start hanging clothes out on the line....can't see me ever going back to an electric dryer
the dishwasher that was here was way too old...and way to noisy...so, i commenced to washing dishes by hand...figure...i'll never buy another dishwasher
i went to wood burning stoves in the cabin and in the shop (except in my mother's room...we have an electric fireplace set up in the chimney there for safety reasons, and to give her something pleasing to look at)...gonna stick with that

now i suppose...i should give up 3 more things at least...in my effort to pare down and live more frugally.  problem is i don't know what that might be! it's starting to hurt a little bit :)

perhaps...i could give up rural water and get a well dug..been thinking about that one and maybe stop using pumped water for my garden areas and set up rain water containers?  i have also seriously considered giving up grocery store bought meat and getting my meat from bartering and fishing and hunting...lots to learn there first, i think

i now have had the opportunity to prepare my veggie garden, and herb gardens (medicinal and culinary) so, ill be giving up store bought those...hey...what about giving up my freezer...i use that ALOT...but, i could go to solar methods of preserving my fruits and veggies as well as canning....

i could give up that microwave...that i hate to love

how bout i give up my modern oven and go get that wood burning antique oven that i can't get out of my head!!!

these are just some of my ideas...i am in hopes that i can get some responses on what you have (if anything) given up on your homestead...cause...from here, it is starting to get painful...and i don't want to quit paring down yet...i still have a lot of excess in my life that i really want to cut the strings on...but, a little at a time :)

 
pollinator
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We moved into a Tiny House that was 1/2 the size of our old house, so we gave up a lot of space.

It was hard because our old house was one I built from scratch, not just in being the general contractor, but in felling the trees, sawing the wood on the sawmill, and even splitting the slate out back to make the flooring for the foyer...that kind of building from scratch. But I also learned that it does not matter where a person lives, it is family that counts. This house I am in now (just across the road, and my Late-Grandmother's home), needs a lot of work still, but it will be really nice when we are done.
 
master pollinator
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I don't like the idea of "giving up" things, so I'm thinking of it as "freeing" myself from things I no longer need or want.  My big goal this year is to clear out a lot of stuff I had hoarded, and give it to people who can use it. My craft room/guest room is so jammed with stuff I can't even use it to craft in and if we needed to put up a guest it would be hopeless!
 
pollinator
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This year i committed to making bread vs buying bread. Its been easier than i thought it would be. Like a 5 min a day thing.
 
pollinator
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Teri, we “gave up” an old dishwasher that was here when we bought the place. My DH is the dishwasher in our family. I make the messes in cooking, so he cleans up. He was fond of the electric dishwasher, as a result, and was pleased that the house came with one, and he was sad when it died. I viewed its demise as a blessing. Shhhh. Don’t tell him! 😸

What I want is to pull out that dishwasher and install shelving for storage. This small house lacks storage. Right now, I store some large pots inside the dead dishwasher. But that space would be more efficient without the dead dishwasher.

Tyler, I agree. We are freeing ourselves, not giving things up. Most of the time, I think DH would agree with that. At first, he wanted to buy a new dishwasher. We even shopped for one. But now, he seems to agree that shelving might be a better use of that space. By “losing” the dishwasher we use less electricity, and we gain storage space.

And the more electric use we give up, the less it will cost if we install solar, which is the goal. DH started out wanting a solar array that could supply our usage at the original level, which would require that we win a lottery. 👀 We’re not rich. So slowly I have been working to first cut our electric use. We have replaced old the old refrigerator with an EnergyStar model. We hang clothes to dry. The old chest freezer died. I now can and dehydrate what we used to freeze. My dehydrator is electric; I need to build a solar dehydrator. I have a solar oven to cut energy usage on sunny days. Slow but sure, we’re getting there, and our electric bill is dropping. As we give up, we gain. Electric bills drop, we get closer to that goal, so we gain, not lose.
 
teri morgan
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wayne fajkus wrote:This year i committed to making bread vs buying bread. Its been easier than i thought it would be. Like a 5 min a day thing.



now THAT i can do!!!...actually, we were just discussing how good homemade bread would be!!!....kkkk...wanna share a recipe or two :)
 
teri morgan
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I don't like the idea of "giving up" things, so I'm thinking of it as "freeing" myself from things I no longer need or want.  My big goal this year is to clear out a lot of stuff I had hoarded, and give it to people who can use it. My craft room/guest room is so jammed with stuff I can't even use it to craft in and if we needed to put up a guest it would be hopeless!



thank you
 
wayne fajkus
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Mine is here, along with others. I've been making it in a bread pan for slicing as well as rustic round

https://permies.com/wiki/102815/PEP-BB-food-sand-bread#848278
20190210_110714_1549938278973.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190210_110714_1549938278973.jpg]
 
gardener
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I prefer to think of most of my changes as switching. And that usually means switching to something that is more convenient or economically efficient. I've  carried that much further than most people, in that I don't pay for anywhere to live,  but choose to live in a vehicle at my job sites. This means no home heating no electrical bill Etc. It also means saving a huge percentage of my income.

Here are some things I have switched to, to make my life more efficient and more pleasant.
.....
A wide array of battery-powered tools, helps me work more efficiently, without chasing down electricity.

Almost all cooking is done in an electric kettle or electric frying pan, because these things can be easily run off of the temporary power pole when that's the only option.

Refrigeration for me is mostly about making use of the large diurnal range that I often experience. Ice or cold water are gathered at dawn and placed into my cooler. That's it.

Almost all of my clothing and a good portion of my tools were purchased second hand, for very little money.

I generally drive less than 5 miles in a day. Living at work makes this pretty simple to accomplish.
......................
That's how it is for me right now. I hope to live mostly in the Philippines within the next year, and then there will be other changes.

When you live on a small island, nothing is very far. Almost everyone there travels on motorbikes which are very fuel-efficient. I'm buying a 155 Yamaha that is great for two people. Much more powerful than what most people are riding.

I expect to generate my own electricity and to use it to power all of my cordless stuff.

I will neither heat nor cool my home. Well-designed homes with a big overhang to keep the sun off the walls, can be managed at quite comfortable levels year round.

The 12-month harvest should make it pretty easy to supply most of our food. Fish are usually about $1 a pound, so I will probably just buy them from neighbors who are fishermen.

Super efficient small washing machines and line drying are the standard there. I didn't see a dishwasher during two months there. So it looks like they will be washed by hand. I manufacture the soap that is used for washing people clothing and dishes. Coconut and palm oil are very inexpensive and 50 lb of lye cost less than it would hear in Canada. I still have about 45 lbs left, so it's going to last a while.

I plan to operate a farm with a small motel, so a more comfortable way to continue living at work.

I anticipate living within five kilometers of town and the beach. Even those with motorbikes can often manage to drive less than 10 km a day. Many people use only a bicycle or their feet.

Heavy work on the farm will most likely be powered by a carabao, which is a water buffalo. I probably won't learn to manage a buffalo, since every community has many of these animals and they can be hired with their owner for about $8 a day.

My primary building material will be concrete hollow blocks manufactured on site by my future brother-in-law.

I don't see any of these changes as sacrifices. Just choosing whatever makes the most sense for the situation.
 
teri morgan
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dale hodgins

YOU ARE MY NEW HERO!!! :)  HOW COOL IS ALL OF THAT...

my cowboy lived like you are living...and every time it gets hot in the kitchen around here...he takes to the mountains afoot...LOL...that is why we built him a cowboy cave...so he would stop running away from me...LOL....LOVE MY COWBOY!!! :)
 
teri morgan
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really REALLY LOVE ALL YALL...YA MAKE ME SMILE...EVERY DAY!!! feel so blessed this sunday morn!!! :)
 
pollinator
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wayne fajkus wrote:This year i committed to making bread vs buying bread. Its been easier than i thought it would be. Like a 5 min a day thing.




Kool,   I have been doing this and I am making organic bread now for $1.50  a loaf  using the sun or a rocket oven to do it.

I have also been making my own bread mixes,  it is so much easier for me to make bread when I don't have to think about measurements, so I make up 12 batches of bread mix at a time, which can be used for loaf bread or pizza.

I did sour dough bread for a time but I am too lazy to keep feeding the yeast so I have given that up and just buy yeast.
 
Dale Hodgins
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teri morgan wrote:dale hodgins

YOU ARE MY NEW HERO!!! :)  HOW COOL IS ALL OF THAT...

my cowboy lived like you are living...and every time it gets hot in the kitchen around here...he takes to the mountains afoot...LOL...that is why we built him a cowboy cave...so he would stop running away from me...LOL....LOVE MY COWBOY!!! :)



Thank you, Teri.  Cool is a good word for some of it, especially this time of year. My drinking water froze in the car a few days ago. My children and my fiance have been embarrassed by my style of living occasionally, but are please that I will be giving up Automotive living in the near future.

We have discussed the idea of living in a rented apartment, during visits to Canada, where we will both work to top up the bank account. But I may just build a small house on wheels, which will make my job site living and traveling, a lot more comfortable. For most of my fiance's life she has lived in situations that are very close to camping, although always done inside some sort of building made of bamboo or other materials. Hand water pumping, no electricity or washing machine and no motor vehicle. So my lifestyle which is primitive by North American Standards contains many modern elements, not available to millions of people where I'm going.

They are accustomed to seeing people of European descent, living quite lavishly. Several times I went outside to shower under the downspout during heavy rain. This was considered very strange and not something most would do because the water was only about 85 degrees and considered too cold for such foolishness. :-)
 
Myrth Gardener
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Sourdough saves having to buy yeast. I do buy organic bread flour and salt, though, so it isn’t free.

My sourdough starter resides in a jar on the kitchen counter. Every one, two or three days (depending on my baking needs) I add one cup of bread flour and one cup of filtered water, shake, and let it sit. Besides bread, I use the starter to add “bounce” to pancakes, muffins, and I use a variant of my bread recipe for pizza, etc. I have adapted most of my recipes that call for flour to use the starter, usually a cup, but a few recipes (like pancakes) use 2 cups of starter. Basically, every time that I use some starter, I feed it.

My bread is simple, low work (I don’t have time to fuss with it). The evening before I will bake bread, I mix up the dough. I like to use 1 cup of starter, 3 cups organic bread flour, 1 Tbsp salt, and enough additional water to make a very wet dough. I stir it up well, cover with a clean dish towel, and leave it until morning. In the morning, I stir it down, folding it onto itself. It is essentially kneeding by spoon - it’s just too sticky to mess with hand-kneeding. I don’t do it long - just a bit to develop the gluten. Then I oil my small cast iron Dutch oven, dump my dough into that, put the lid on, and leave it to rise.

In the late afternoon, I preheat the oven to about 400*F (my solar oven doesn’t usually get that hot, even with several hours of pre-heating, so I end up having a longer bake when I use it). I pop the Dutch oven, lid on, into the oven for 20 minutes. Then I take the lid off and let it finish baking for about 40 more minutes (again, depending upon which oven I use). Remove when the crust is golden.

I let the baked loaf sit in the Dutch oven while I make dinner, so that it has had a chance to rest before cutting. I cut with a serrated bread knife, serve with butter and a homemade apple butter or jam (strawberry, elderberry, etc.).

The bread turns out to have a good chewy crust and lovely holes through the bread. The flavor is excellent, with the sour and sweet playing off each other nicely. We really enjoy it. I prefer this to the yeast I used to buy.
 
teri morgan
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hey myrth...how do you start that starter?
 
Myrth Gardener
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Teri,

I started mine by accident. I set out to make pizza dough using yeast. But then life happened. The pizza didn’t get made. I think it was 3 days later life settled back down.

I am frugal by nature. I was not about to just feed it to the chickens. I sniffed the dough. It was SOUR. I knew it had been overtaken by native yeasts.

I have long been interested in sourdough. I had read about it, bought a book about it, and it was on my ToDo (SOMEDAY) list. But honestly I was intimidated by it. Everyone made it sound so damned complicated. So it stayed WAY DOWN my list. Until that day when I had that very, very soured dough.

I went ahead and baked it as bread. I reserved a bit of the dough, put it in a jar, added equal parts flour and water (by volume), shook it vigorously, and kept feeding it, every day, at first. I was terrified it might die if not fed every single day, like the books suggested. I did put it in the refrigerator for a week when we were traveling. Now, I feed it AT LEAST every third day and it does just fine.

That first loaf was majorly sour, and not particularly the best. I made it in a regular bread pan. But it began my adventure. I kept baking, feeding the starter, and trying different techniques. Many people who suggest using a Dutch oven say to preheat the Dutch oven and then transfer the dough into the blazing hot cast iron oven. I am a clutz. I would end up with severe burns if I attempted that. Instead, I let the dough rise in the Dutch oven and let the cast iron and dough heat up together. Is it the *perfect* artisan loaf? No, I suppose not. But it is mighty tasty nonetheless, with less muss and fuss.

There is a limit to how much time and effort I have to spend on bread, so most of the “artisan” bread baking foodie advice I read is largely discarded. I don’t have the time to fuss with it to that extent. What I am doing now gives us good bread without too much fuss.

My advice if you want to develop a starter using your own native yeasts is to just start to make bread and then don’t for a few days.
 
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This one could be hard or easy to give up. It depends on the person. Television. I've found it to be an excellent indicator of commitment. How serious is this person about being off grid?

Chickens are pretty easy to raise. What's not to like about almost free high quality eggs & meat? I find them much more entertaining than tv too.

Clothes dryers are a very good choice to eliminate or at least minimize. They use huge amounts of energy. An especially good choice for anyone trying to generate their own electricity.

Minimize or eliminate artificial lighting. It's a fairly simple adjustment (for some situations anyway) once you adjust your circadian rhythms to the sun.  I use only a flashlight & laptop computer screen if I need extra light at night.

Plastic water bottles & plastic bags. Those are 2 huge polluters. Avoiding plastic in general is a great way to minimize garbage collection costs as well as help protect the environment. If one avoids synthetic clothing they don't need anti-static dryer sheets either. What the heck is up with those???

Rain water collection is an excellent option. There is a huge amount of waste embodied in the processing of public water & waste water.

The lawn. Makes more sense to me to grow more food for animals & people.

Cell phones & microwave oven.

Spray cans.

Anything with ingredients you can't pronounce or don't know what they are.

Solar ovens & air & hot water heaters are quite effective & easy enough to build. Heck, start simple ... throw some soup into a mason jar or cast iron & leave in the car on a sunny day. The sun provides mega gazillions of watts/btu's/joules of free safe energy every day. Might as well use it.

Freezers are not terrible consumers of electricity if they are installed & used properly. They can pay for themselves in food cost savings. Not a necessity though.

In my educated electrogeeky opinion the first thing on the agenda to eliminating household electric costs is to minimize waste. That means weatherproofing & insulating the house. Getting rid of electric devices you don't use or need. Paying close attention to how & when you do use electric. LED lighting is very energy efficient. (not to make but to use) Adjust your usage to the most cost effective times ... almost always night time. Our electric grid & costs are geared toward big industry. The cheapest time for the average grid connected home consumer to use the excess generation capacities available is at night.

Eliminate guest bedroom that rarely gets used. Easy enough to gradually turn that puppy into a warehouse of food & supplies.

Once I reached age 45 or 50 I started giving away large items like furniture & fish tanks to friends & relatives. Partly to help them & partly because I don't need any of it. Don't miss any of it. Don't want any of it.

There are two donkeys in my life. They both guard cows & one is too old to be a pack animal. One of these days though .... going to get one to haul things & carry my old bones around. There's off grid & there's waaaay off grid. Let's go visit Sasquatch!!!
 
teri morgan
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Mike Barkley wrote:

There are two donkeys in my life. They both guard cows & one is too old to be a pack animal. One of these days though .... going to get one to haul things & carry my old bones around. There's off grid & there's waaaay off grid. Let's go visit Sasquatch!!!



LOVE THIS MIKE BARKLEY :)

i already have some bread making...and i have given up....OOOPPPSSS....FREED MYSELF FROM....many of the things already on your list...tv...dryer...and a few others...i too removed, gave up, freed myself from, many of my large furniture pieces when i moved here...i didn't bring my chickens here either...i do want them again someday...just not right now...

artificial light...i think might be easy enough...cause we pretty much do that any way...that might be a possibility...now that gives me two...store bought bread and artificial lighting...have already changed to led...hmmmm...we have a lot of lanterns...that could be done :)
 
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Mike Barkley wrote:Freezers are not terrible consumers of electricity if they are installed & used properly. They can pay for themselves in food cost savings. Not a necessity though.



Even though I am the original king of salvage, rummage, used, junk, and upcycling, I want to chime in here to point out that "old" freezers are the one thing that never makes sense.  Energy efficiency improvements have been pretty much continuous for many years (mandated by EPA "moving target" standards, just like with automotive fuel efficiency standards).  So that old freezer that you have, or that your uncle will give you, or that you buy on Craig's List for forty bucks? It's a negative value.  It's a false economy.  It's an energy consumption anchor.  

You're much better off to shop wisely for a brand new freezer (with the best energy efficiency rating you can find).  The energy savings in operation will more than make up for the difference in acquisition cost, sooner than you would imagine.
 
Myrth Gardener
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You’re right, Dan. Those old freezers are energy hogs. Mine was from the 1980’s! It gobbled energy.

I haven’t ruled out owning another (much more efficient) deep freezer someday, but for now I am in no rush to own one. Canning and dehydrating work well - use energy once and done.

Old refrigerators and freezers are energy hogs.
 
pollinator
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I wouldn't say that I've been giving up things, rather I see it as changing to a more simplified, pleasing, self reliant lifestyle. Some of the steps along the way people might say are big ones......going off-grid... catching rainwater as my primary water source...using a wood burning stove. But over the past 20 years I've made lots of little "give ups".
... No paper towels, napkins, paper plates and cups, etc. Instead of paper towels, I use washable rags made from discarded clothing I get for free.
... No plastic wrap. I use very few plastic baggies. No plastic trash bags.
... Seldom use the microwave for anything but storage. Might use it once a month.
... Have dramatically cut back on using the propane range and oven. I tend to use my sun oven, rocket stove, or wood BBQ for cooking.
... Gave away the bread machine, waffle iron, food processor, vacuum sealer, electric popcorn maker, kitchen blender, electric fry pan, Foreman grill, toaster oven, electric can opener, electric coffeemaker, electric rice cooker, and just about every other "modern" kitchen gadget that runs on electricity.
... Never bothered to buy a TV when I moved to my present location.
... Never installed a dishwasher.
... Line dry my laundry, so I seldom use a clothes dryer. Maybe one or two days a month if the weather has been wet.
... Gave up over 90% of commercially made foods. I still like Ben & Jerrys cherry ice cream, Brown Cow yogurt, and a weekly cherry soda. And if I'm not in the mood or health to make my own, I'll buy a bit of cheese, mayonnaise, or whatever.
... Gave up 90% of new clothing. Most clothing comes from our local thrift store or church rummage sales. I do, though, buy my shoes new.
... Gave up hairdresser and nail salon.
... Gave up make up and perfume.
... Gave up jewelry though I kept what I already had. I just don't add more.
... Gave up buying fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and other noxious garden chemicals.
... Gave up most household cleaning chemicals. I'm down to just basics.
... Gave up "keeping up with the Joneses".
... Gave up being judgmental of others. This excludes complaining about the government officials.

I didn't have to give up cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs. I never started those health damaging habits.
 
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In 2019 I’ve made a concerted effort to reduce my carbon footprint by:

a. Driving a diesel work vehicle more often so the maintenance and emissions don’t ‘belong’ to me.
b. Driving my manual Subaru solo and non-stop on long trips, fully loaded with camping and fishing gear. This ensures no unnecessary start/stops thus reducing engine wear, increases fuel economy, and maximises vehicle to load weight ratio e.g. no passengers needing bothersome bathroom or meal breaks, side trip requests, etc.
c. Driving my V8, 67 Mustang only a few times a month, WITHOUT the air-conditioning on. Driving WITH the aircon on involves hauling a refuelling tanker - so, there’s a measurable saving straight away! (Gotta love those Yanks, raw power supplants economy every time, no oil crisis in the 1960’s.)
d. Keeping my bicycle, which is hanging on the garage wall, fully maintained – shiny and with fully inflated tyres, so people think I use it - silly people. Regardless, it’s there as a back-up just in case Australia runs out of fuel or I need to ‘Get Out Of Dodge’ – still thinking ‘green’.
e. Teaching my young Grand-Nieces to say swear words, retrieve beers from the refrigerator, then placing the empties in the recycle bin for me – another measurable reduction in waste and unnecessary CO2 production. The swear words provide entertainment, increasing endorphin, dopamine and serotonin levels = wellbeing and happiness.

Yes, I’m a bastard. Life is full of bastards!
 
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I think I've gone about this in reverse

In '73 I walked away from 'everything' that didn't fit in my back pack.
I do like the phrase 'freed myself from'.

So for us, for the most part, there has been nothing to give up, only gradually accumulating things and surroundings  that made our life better in our eyes.

As far as 'addictions' go, quitting smoking was a big one and I always feel better without wheat and sugar...

We did give up living totally off grid and gave up our sawdust toilet and wood stove when we moved to town.      

 
pollinator
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Definite "YES" to the water-harvesting idea for your garden, Teri - you'd making use of a free, God-given resource, and lower your water bill; win-win!

As for what I've not regretted giving up - we're just at the start of our journey, but I was thrilled to give up Netflix, Hulu, and wifi(we never had/wanted cable TV either) - so much time freed up to do good stuff!

Working now on giving up paper towels/napkins(going for rags/cloth napkins) and on optimizing dish use so there is less to wash after dinners(we both hate doing dishes and it's a time waster).
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I have been living in a transient manner for a long time, recycling buildings. I'm getting out of that gradually, so my negative environmental footprint may swing toward the positive for a while. So, for me it is about switching and making good choices in what I switch to.

I will be living mostly in the southern Philippines, so the agrarian nature of the place means that it's pretty easy to access food directly from those who produce it. I expect to grow most things myself . Production is mostly human powered with a few animals included.

Most things that are needed for the house, can be manufactured by local artisans, if you provide them with the raw materials and sometimes the tools.

I expect to be the chief provider of tools in a very localized area around the community I choose to call home. Many people do things in highly inefficient ways, because they don't have access to power tools. So there will be no need for each neighbor to purchase these things for themselves. I expect to access almost everything that is needed, from labor to building materials, within a couple kilometers of home. The only thing that must come from far away, are my customers to stay in a motel. Locals don't need to stay in motels. So I guess I'm going to access everything except for money in my local area.

I'm hoping to watch a lot more television and a lot more movies and to listen to a lot more music. But my solar panels will provide electricity. I am willing to give up American News, which I seldom watch anyway.
 
I'm gonna teach you a lesson! Start by looking at this tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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