I’m going to live off of that which I can produce on our small “micro-farm” north of Denver, Colorado – for an entire year. It seems like such a bizarre thing to type it out loud, but here we are. Wondering about the rules of this crazy year? Here they are.
By “live” I mean “eat,” I can still leave, I’m not becoming a hermit. In fact, much of this social experiment will consist of trying to figure out exactly how close I can get to living my normal life while relying entirely on the food I produce here. This doesn’t extend to clothing or personal care products – depending on how this goes I might need all the comfort I can get. Because I’m going to eat off what I produce. Every day. Literally, every day – for an entire year. You may wonder “why” and I try to answer that, here.
Ever since moving to our urban micro-farm we have been adding plants, animals, and employing strategies to produce our own food on site. This has included a small herd of goats, chickens, ducks, guinea fowl, quail, and an aggressive garden strategy. We have also planted fruit trees and have learned to milk the goats (seriously). We make our own cheese, yogurt, gather eggs in the morning – and yes, I have even slaughtered my own animals (only birds, so far) for meat. I’m not a vegan so I’m going to have to figure that out, too.
So, that’s the plan – become self-producing of my own food for an entire year. This challenge feels like a hard – but doable – goal that will allow me to take all these new-found hobbies and point them in a specific direction.
Once my friends get over the initial shock as I announce my intention to live like this for a whole year, the questions start:
What will you do about those things you can’t produce? Barter. My friend Emily, whose crazy idea this was, has formed the “rules committee” of this year to help me navigate what I can and can’t do. Obviously, there are things I’ll need to procure that aren’t here. According to the rules committee I need to find the people who make them and barter
I will only be able to use those foodstuffs I produce here to barter with other sources – so no, if you go buy a Big Mac I won’t be able to trade for that with some goat cheese. That said, this isn’t constrained by geography – so if you grow or produce something (especially wine, avocados, wheat or sugar beets or cane) email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in a barter. I think this will be both a study in self-production and in how difficult it is to live without the support of a societal network.
What are you going to do about coffee? (I’m a serious coffee addict.) Unclear, as of right now. I guess I need to find a coffee grower or consider giving it up? The logistics of an international barter could be challenging though. This could be an opportunity to try to dial down my coffee addition, which is something I’ve needed a push toward for years.
What about wine? Also, barter. The Husband also wants to start – literally, this is how he said it – “shining.” Oh man, I hope I don’t end up blind.
Speaking of Husband and kids, are they doing this with you? No, our kids are basically made entirely out of mac and cheese. A
When does this year start? The working date as of right now is August 1st. There’s a lot of prep work that has to go into getting this place ready to sustain an entire person.
How can I follow along with this epic disaster? I’ll be posting here, on RealBestLife as we prepare and get underway. We started a youtube channel for videos (make sure to subscribe), I post all the time on RealBestLife Instagram, especially the stories, and on Facebook. More ways to connect will come, but I will also be sending out an update newsletter (working title: I didn’t starve to death, yet) so sign up for that, too.
The thought of really digging in on the small-farm, homesteader life is both scary and so exciting. Thanks for joining me on this journey.