Producing things for consumption at home is contrary to the American way of life. the us economy depends on consumer spending for at least 70% of all consumption. That’s outrageous and horrible. Americans have become dependent on too many complex systems just to get by for an ordinary day. Starbucks coffee in the morning, Chipotle in the afternoon and pizza delivery for dinner just name a few. For me I realized I needed to stop that several years when I was researching peak oil and the housing crisis. It’s not natural to be so dependent on complex systems and it’s expensive and ruins lives for safe retirement. The first link I provide in today’s show notes at todolisthome.com is a paper by the Richmond Virginia Federal Reserve Bank that studies the incentives and constraints of home production and its role in the market place. The next link is to a University of Chicago research paper on the effects of home production during the Russian transition from Collectivism and communism to free market. They are both quite interesting and warn that the drive for free time has diminished home production capacity and desire. That sure is something to think about. all of the things I describe in this episode do take quite a bit of time and energy but for me that’s a fair sacrifice instead of sitting in front of the TV or on a bar stool.
I have a 4 part plan to retire early and this plan is set out as follows. Save more and improve home production Assess and cut budget Develop income generating streams and assets Plan for future living This episode is a tag to episode 41 – Early Retirement System – Step 1. Save More Money. The four part plan to early retirement for me consists of
- Save more and improve home production
- Assess and cut budget
- Develop income generating streams and assets
- Plan for future living
In episode 41 I discussed the importance of saving more in order to become less dependent on outside sources for a wage and the livelihood of my family. I also went into detail about the 6 Question Pre Purchase program
- Do I need it?
- Does anything I have fill the role now?
- How long will it last?
- What will it do for me and my family?
- How long must I work to pay for it?
- If I don’t buy it what difference will it really make?
This episode is step 2 of part 1 – Improve home production system
Home production is simply producing things at home that you might otherwise be purchasing in a store or online. The things that we produce at home pale in comparison to what we have to purchase to get by. My children eat and eat as do the grownups the supply chain of food from wherever to our table is complex, expensive and vulnerable. Thus, I attempt to provide some of our food from our home and yard. First there’s sprouts that are usually growing in the kitchen. We prefer Alfalfa and a lite goes a long way and lot even further. We generally have sprouts growing from October to April. We stop once the garden veggies and especially the garden greens start coming in.
This is our fourth growing season and we have expanded our expectations based on the knowledge gained over the previous three seasons. A lot remains to be seen as to whether or not good bounties will be achieved but over the next several months will be hoping to harvest salad greens, peas, carrots, onion, garlic, tomatoes, hot peppers, asparagus, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, elderberries, okra, yellow squash, cucumbers, eggplant, beans and edamame. In addition to that we grow a lot of flowers to attract pollinators and add beauty.
At the height of the harvesting we may be able to get about 30-40 % or our veggie and fruit needs and that percentage has been steadily increasing over the years. In order to fulfill the sense of our home being a producer we also like to store what we grow so we can enjoy it in the cold winter and we do that via freezing, dehydrating and canning. I discuss some of those methods a little more in detail in the previous episode – Get More Food Now With Your Own Food Bank Systems. As you can tell we are pretty big on trying to produce our own food. There’s lots of reasons for and I covered them in several episodes already but the main point is that once you relinquish your responsibility to feed yourself to others you don’t you jeopardize your freedom.
Beyond Food there is much more that can be produced at home. People have all kinds of businesses creating things like furniture, art, food, music. Then there’s all the content producers for the Internet. This podcast and the todolisthome.com website represent my way of paying back for all the awesome content I have made use of over the years. Moreover Todolisthome is a business and will be producing more over time with books, videos, podcasts, membership services, and consulting services
In addition, to food we are ardent advocate of proliferating life around our property. Sure we have too many animals we don’t like such as foxes, rabbits, deer and squirrels but we have taken steps to introduce more forms of life to the home and yard that we do benefit from and that do produce things themselves for our consumption, use or benefit
First there’s the honeybees and beyond any possibility of harvesting honey is the chance to help grow colonies from small size that traveled via the postal system to my home to a hive of strength of 40,000 honey bees or more. If they swarm they’ve done what nature demands of them. If they stay and make honey I can harvest then I have managed them well. We’ll see. Either way there’s more coming this week.
Last year my kids and I made several toad castles in damp places around our property and we have to see if there are inhabitants I know there’s lots of toads in the yard but never enough to keep up with the slugs and mosquitoes.
We have lots of bats flying around all the time and although I haven’t thought about it in a while it’s time to reconsider making some bat boxes. A single bat can eat 10,000 mosquitoes in an evening.
We have made several mason bee homes and its fun to see the holes get filled in then opened as young bees hatch and pollinate our gardens.
In the near future I wish to be a producer of more our food but animal based. I want to raise fish and plants with aquaponics and possibly move towards raising rabbits.
All of these fun ways to produce animals and raise for harvest or mutually beneficial purposes will become more important as the future becomes more expensive. I provide a number of links to ways in which you can be a producer of these animals at Todolisthome.com
In addition to what has been mentioned so far there is still plenty of room for more things we can produce on own. Candy, ice cream, tea and laundry detergent are some things that come to mind and they should not be overlooked. More importantly as home production becomes more of a lifestyle the knowledge and skills learned should be shared with friends, family and neighbors often. There are some extra links to these ideas and more but the simplest way to get involved with good home production would be to start with something you consume regularly. For me it’s honey bees, sprouts and tomatoes. Plus much more to come. That’s it for today now go and produce something useful
Produce More At Home To Retire Early
- Episode-41- Early Retirement System – Step 1 Save More Money
- Episode-16- Retire Early, Regain the Freedom of Financial Independence
- Federal Reserve Paper on Home Production
- University of Chicago research paper on the effects of home production during the Russian transition
Gardening – Gardens – Sprouts
Animal Life Production
- Russian Honey Bees
- Build Toad Castles Video
- Build Bee Homes
- Manual of On-Farm Vermicomposting and Vermiculture: Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada
- Bat Box Designs
- Ten Commandments For Raising Healthy Rabbits
- DIY Aquaponics
Other Ways To Turn A Home Into A Producer