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#9 Self-sufficiency experiments: doable?

So far, with Green&Hungry we have tried out 9 self-sufficiency experiments already. We’ve left our comfort zone and digged in trash and petted worms, we’ve made dreams come true with making kimchi and getting chickens, we’ve impressed our friends with crazy menus and had funny moments with complete strangers. But which of the experiment are actually doable in everyday life? Which ones would we recommend you try out yourself?

 

Self-sufficiency experiments we’d recommend:

  • Planting your own garden. This is something you can definitely fit into your day to day life. Whether you grow everything from scratch (meaning: from seed) or you buy seedlings – you save money and reconnect to your food in a new way. You can have the plants on your window sill, on your balcony or if you have a garden, keep them outside. 10/10 would recommend.

 

  • Picking wild plants and herbs. It’s easy af, doesn’t cost you any money at all, is a lot of fun, a very sensual experience and a creative challenge in the kitchen. Ramps, nettles, dandelion and primroses are the plants we’d recommend the most. Horsefoot… not so much. The only downside? Having to clean everything thorougly, but you should do that with all of your vegetables anyway.

 

  • Avoiding food waste. Obviously, right? It’s so easy, it’s not even a real self-sufficiency experiment. Use up food in a creative way before it spoils. Share food with your neighbours, friends or make use of public fridges. This „experiment“ is not just doable, it should be mandatory for everyone. But: We, Green&Hungry have a long way to go as well.

 

  • Building a worm farm and a raised bed. The worm farm may gross you out at first, but rest assured: You won’t deal with worms anymore, once the compost bin is set up. One thing we’d recommend you do differently than us, is to get more worms. We only got about 50 worms, we’d recommend you at least double that amount. And the raised bed? It’s a no-brainer, looks fancy, helps your back and uses up old materials.

 

Self-sufficiency experiments we’d wouldn’t not recommend, but well… :

  • Building a hen house and owning chickens. It’s a lot of fun building a hen house, owning chickens isn’t too much work and the rewards are plenty: Eggs, compost, a bug-free garden and love. But if you live in the city and don’t have a backyard, this is not an experiment for you. Chickens don’t thrive on a balcony or rooftop, unless you can provide the same environment as in a regular garden. Also, you have to be home every evening to lock up the hen house. And you have to get up before 7am every morning to let the chickens out. Cool project, but not doable for everyone.

 

  • Dumpster diving. There’s no reason against going dumpster diving regularly, it’s just not the coolest way to spend every evening. You won’t find a lot of basic foods, such as flour, salt, sugar or rice. We’d recommend you go dumpster diving once a week with friends, but it’s definitely not something we see ourselves doing more often. But it can be a fun way to spice up your self-sufficient pantry.

 

  • Fermenting and pickling. This self-sufficiency experiment almost made it on the „doable list“, but has one flaw: sauerkraut. Seriously, making sauerkraut is a b*tch. Pickling onions? Anytime. Making kimchi? Worth every ounce of sweat. But sauerkraut. Stahp.

 

Self-sufficiency experiment we wouldn’t recommend but are worth a try:

  • Living with a food budget of 2$ a day. It sucks soooo much and you probably won’t make it longer than 3 days, but it’s still worth trying. Why? It helps you appreciate food and your priviledged lifestyle soooo much. It’s probably been the experiment that left the longest-lasting impression on us.

Your opinion

Which experiments have you tried yet? Which ones would you recommend and which ones are just not doable?

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