Last week I was reading a Mother Earth News article about self-sufficiency with advice from homesteaders, and one of the quotes that really struck me was, “to produce more than [you] consume.” It’s a simple concept, with obvious examples given in the article, but it’s one of those lessons I didn’t think much about until someone said it clearly and concisely. I’ve written before about the allure of a minimalist existence, and I think in a way this idea goes along with that.
So I thought about it, and surprisingly came up with some ways I’m already producing (but could do better) and a couple of ways I’d love to do even more.
Knitting. / I don’t know if I knit as much as I could, but I still knit a whole lot. I ended up making a good number of Christmas presents for people instead of buying them, and my goal is to make even more next year. One problem I have, though, is that it seems every time I knit something, I want to keep it for myself! Things always end up being so cute and cozy, and I feel so proud, that I almost can’t bear to part with them. It’s worth it, though.
Writing. / I’d say this is a pretty obvious one. I write, a lot, and in various ways and places. Coming up with blogging content is a good chunk of my production time lately, and when I’m not doing that, I’m working on other writing, like zines or poetry. One new writing goal is to do a poem a day and eventually publish a collection (most likely self-published). Plus I want to put out another issue of my zine sometime around my birthday next month. This one’s almost too easy for me to find examples.
Gardening + Homesteading. / This is more future than current, but it’s something I’ve been throwing myself into researching lately. I’ve been going through the few gardening books I have and making notes of what to plant, where to plant it, when to start indoors–you name it. I also ordered a copy of The Backyard Homestead from Amazon last week and am waiting for that to arrive, not to mention browsing Pinterest pretty consistently for my new gardening and homesteading board.
Cooking. / I’m not even going to try to be humble about how good I am at baking and cooking: I’m damn good. But I don’t do either enough. I should actually be working more on straight cooking than on baking, because I often end up with too many left over baked goods for just Dan and myself to eat, so there’s more waste than I like. Shame, shame. And lately we’ve been eating out a lot just about anywhere. So starting this week my plan is to cook something every day, big or small, for a meal.
These are some ideas I’m really passionate about, but do you have any other ways you or I could produce more than consume? I almost feel like these ones are too obvious for me, and I’d like to hear what anyone else does at home.