Sometimes, self-sufficiency isn’t about being completely independent of the supermarket. Sometimes it’s just about making one change so that we don’t depend on the supermarket for one thing.

There are so many wonderful homesteaders and handmakers here on the internet and it can be tempting to look at the vast amounts of food they produce and store and feel pretty inept.

They wouldn’t want that for you.

They know better than anyone how much time and energy is spent on being self-sufficient and they would never want what they share to be the reason someone gave up striving for just that little bit of self-sufficiency.

Sometimes, self-sufficiency isn’t about being completely independent of the supermarket. Sometimes it’s just about making one change so that we don’t depend on the supermarket for THAT thing.

This is how I feel about pasta sauce.

Most years, our tomatoes produce well in excess of what we can get through fresh, so we harvest and turn into pasta sauce for use in lasagne, bolognaise, pizzas, etc year round. Last year, I was able to store enough for 4 months. This year, we’re probably just over half way through the tomato season and I have enough for 6 months. I would love to get that to the full year’s supply, but every bottle is a gift so I’ll be massively grateful with whatever we end up with.

A lot of bad stuff happened in the veggie patch this year – we lost a lot of things to rats and cows – so to have even just a few things that produce well is such an incredible blessing.

If you’re thinking about upping the self-sufficient ante in your home this year, take a look at your garden and see what you can harvest and store today.

Maybe you have enough parsley to sink a ship? Blitz and freeze into ice-cube trays so that you have it to use once the frosts hit and your parsley dies off.
Got more than enough zucchinis to supply your family? Shred them and freeze to pad out your winter stews and bolognaise.

Once you start looking at your garden from the perspective of “what can I store”, rather than “what can I use today”, you’ll really start to see how much it’s producing and how much value is sitting there.

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