Dear Friends, We Aren’t Crazy!

Some people think we are as crazy as the Mad Hatter!

Some people think we are as crazy as the Mad Hatter!

Dear family and friends,

Some of you may not understand why we plan to grow our own wheat, or why I developed my 1-2-3 flour instead of just going to the store and buying flour. Others think we are crazy for wanting to raise our own chickens. The idea of aquaponics and growing our own trout may sound like sheer lunacy.  Building a concrete house with “earth tubes” and being “off-grid” seems like a fad to you. Organic gardening and preserving our harvest may be thought of as a waste of time.

broccoli and chicken ravioli

1-2-3 Flour
1 part acorn flour  (we have lots of oaks on our land)
2 parts almond flour (we have planted several nut trees on our land)
3 parts wheat flour (apparently growing wheat isn’t all that hard to do! )

Let me explain ourselves.

We don’t want to hurt the earth anymore. We want our grandchildren and their grandchildren to enjoy nature and good food and excellent health.  We don’t want to worry about chemicals in our vegetables, hormones in our meat, or corn DNA in our blood.

The beautiful spring-fed pond

Raising trout in a small pond is one of our dreams

Our plan to build a concrete house with a metal roof on five acres in the forest comes from our want need to be more self-reliant.  Once the homestead is up and running, we won’t have a mortgage, we won’t be buying electricity and we won’t be purchasing fruits or vegetables, chicken or eggs, honey or wheat.  We will grow/raise our own and preserve our harvest for the winter.  This is our retirement plan.

The last of the beets and carrots

A beautiful bounty from our garden. Next year’s garden will be bigger and better!

With this plan, it will free up our pension money and savings to enjoy our golden years. Without a mortgage or a large utility bill, we should have extra money for entertainment, goods and services. Seeing Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon and the Canadian Rockies is on our bucket list. We enjoy going to the theater (both movies and live plays) and attending  local festivals, such as the garlic festival in Gilroy and the asparagus festival in Stockton.

We don’t count on Social Security to last much longer (do you?) and under-funded pension plans are constantly in the news.  So, by meeting our own basic needs (food, shelter, water, warmth), we won’t be severely inconvenienced if Social Security or our pension system collapses.  You see, we are building our own form of social security!

We will buy or barter for grass fed beef and pork from someone else because raising large livestock is something we don’t chose to do. But, in the same breath, we also eat less beef and pork for our own health and the health of the planet.  And for those nay-sayers who claim that we can never be truly self-sufficient, I say We Agree! Absolute self-sufficiency is not our goal. We certainly don’t want to cobble our own shoes, weave our own fabric or forge metal to make our own car.  Our economy would collapse if there were no consumers of goods and services and that certainly isn’t our intent

We love camping in our travel trailer and can't wait to see Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and the Atlantic Ocean.

We love camping in our travel trailer and can’t wait to see Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and the Atlantic Ocean.

Are we “Preppers”?  Not really.  But we do want to be prepared for an uncertain future.

So, this will be our retirement: gardening, taking care of chickens, trout and bees, camping in Yosemite and Yellowstone, going to the theaters, and of course visiting with friends and family.  Is that so strange?



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23 thoughts on “Dear Friends, We Aren’t Crazy!

    • Good evening, Rachel! I knew flour was made out of acorns because Native Americans used to do it all the time, and Koreans have several ethnic dishes made from acorn flour. It took a bit of experimentation, but I figured out how to leach the nuts first when they were coarsely ground, then after leaching all the tannin I would dry the nuts and then grind them into flour. The acorns flour is still just a bit bitter, but adding almond flour offsets the bitterness with it’s sweetness. Since there is no gluten in nut flours, I still rely on the gluten in wheat flour. With a lot of experimenting, I came up with the 1-2-3 recipe of flour that works very well – especially with quick breads, muffins, pancakes, etc.. Besides, acorns are free, you don’t have to water the trees, and they make wonderful decorations! 😀 Thank you for your kind compliment, Rachel!

  1. I admire your lifestyle choice. I couldn’t afford this on a minimum income, but my parents do some of what you do in their home and strive for an environmentally-friendly home too (though they don’t go as far as you do).

    • Good morning, Astrid. Yes, it is a lifestyle choice, and not for everyone. And yes, it will cost money to build the house and buy the solar panels, etc., but once these are purchased, we won’t have to purchase them again. Except the batteries for the solar system. We have been told many times that all this is easier said than done, but it’s something we are striving toward while we are still young enough to accomplish! Thanks for leaving your opinion – much appreciated!

  2. Hi, Vickie! Well, I finally caught up to your most recent post. You want to know what I think about all of this? YOU ARE AWESOME! My cupboards are very colorful, too, with lots of scrumptious things to eat. I have had a love for canning ever since watching my grandmother as a young child. Yes, it is hard work, and some things I like to can more than others, but when you open a jar and eat good old natural food that you grew on your own land, well, there is nothing like it. We are slowly moving in the direction that you are, although I can’t say that I will get my hubby to go as far as you two are willing, which is sad to me but anywho. This is the first year that all three raspberry bushes produced. You can only imagine how wonderful black, red and golden raspberry jam is. Alas, I have no peaches to can this year due to a very late freeze. I picked the only peach on the tree today that was unfortunately laden with worms, but you can bet I cut off every yummy piece I could scavenge and it was indeed heavenly, regardless. Thank heavens I have about 50 quarts still on the shelves! I love your blog and how creative you are – especially with your 1-2-3 flour. I will be following right along. And thanks for the tomato trick! Ugh! All those years of scalding tomatoes…but that is now a thing of the past. Woohoo!

    • It’s so nice to have you along, Sharon! Our apricot tree didn’t produce this year either, because of a late frost. Isn’t that freezer trick just the coolest thing for tomatoes?! It was actually fun to can the tomatoes in the dead of winter! 😀 The 1-2-3 flour has been a fun experiment. Now I am going to see if I can produce a decent sourdough bread with it. Thanks for your wonderful comments. It sounds like we have a lot in common. I look forward to hearing from you again!

  3. oh sounds perfect! I love this post, you have explained it perfectly, we have similar plans. And I think part of self-sufficiency is building community and bartering networks, you can’t do it all yourself, but you don’t have to buy it all either 🙂

    • Exactly!! In fact, the little town we will be moving to soon has a brand new community center! That’s where we just attended another workshop on beekeeping given by the nicest lady who is a Master Gardener and knows her stuff. I am hoping to help set up either a farmer’s market or a Barter’s market at the new community center next year. Getting involved is the best way to find people who have similar interests, and hopefully we will find some new friends! Thanks, Liz.

  4. I actually don’t find that a bit strange at all. We have dreams of travel and homesteading. I’d love for us to have the ability to mostly sustain ourselves. We’ll be starting small and working our way down that path through life, but it’s definitely something we feel is important. Besides, we love nature and want more of it in our lives, not less. We also love our health and want more of that, too!

    Stopping over from Ducks n a Row

    • Some of our family wonder why we would give up the convenience of living in the city, with fast food restaurants all around, air conditioning at the flick of a button, and uninterruped chlorinated water flowing through our taps. When I ask them what would happen if their Social Security or their Pension ran out, they have no answer! I also point out the consequences of eating said fast food, breathing in moldy and stale air, and drinking chlorine. I know our plan isn’t for everybody. If it was, there wouldn’t be any open land left! But this is the plan my husband and I have been working on for well over ten years now and we know it’s the right thing for us. Thank you for stopping over!

  5. It is a good thing breathing is an involuntary action our bodies do without us because with as much as you put on your daily pate, I do not think you would be able to squeeze in breathing if it was a voluntary action. Who knows, with all you manage to do in your life you just might be able to have the added chore and do it successfully. Have a wonderful day!

    • Whew – you got that right! However, there are days when I just stop doing chores and enjoy life! Thanks for the comment, Lenore.

  6. Sounds good to me! 🙂 We are trying to set ourselves up to have less need on the system too… Social Security won’t be around to help us so I think it is important to plan out a preventative system for ourselves as we age.

    • Thanks. I know it’s important for everyone to plan for the future, and this is our plan (and we’re sticking to it). 🙂