Does Self-Reliance Pay Off?

Not long ago, as I was working in the tomato patch, my 8-year-old strolled over and asked, “why bother growing tomatoes? Buying at the store is easier.”

This is a legitimate question, and one many people much older than her have asked. Why should anyone bother growing their own tomatoes, raising their own chickens, mending their own clothes and repairing their own plumbing? Well, one can easily come up with half a dozen ready answers, such as, “it’s fun”, or “I can grow healthier food in my backyard”, or “I like tinkering with my own stuff”, or “I save money that way”, but at the core, this is a conflict between two basic attitudes; one that is for making more money, which can be turned into goods and services, and another, that is for making do with less money, and meeting more of your needs on your own.

Read more on the topic in my latest Mother Earth News post:

“Products and services that are readily available today might not be so in the near future. It is the belief of many wise people that our current economy is not sustainable. I do not have the ability to predict whether we are facing something like the Great Depression in the near future, or simply economical fluctuations, or even nothing at all – but it’s good to be prepared. In case prices go up and store shelves empty, the people who know how to grow their own food, fix their own roof and make a little go a long way will be a lot more comfortable than those who have become used to a lifestyle of frivolous spending.”


Author: Anna

An Orthodox Jewish wife and mother enjoying a simple life with her family and chickens, somewhere in the hills, in Israel.

6 thoughts on “Does Self-Reliance Pay Off?”

  1. I know that it’s not the topic of your post, but I was so surprised that your daughter is already eight! I’ve been following you since she was still so small!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know about grocery store produce in Israel, even now, in the height of the summer, the stores are selling perfectly round, baseballs, which taste of sawdust. Perhaps if you offer your daughter a plate of store-bought vegetables, while you and your husband enjoy nice, juice, *real* tomatoes, she might understand.

    And yes, I know all about the kids growing up so fast. Our youngest – the youngest, mind you! – are fifty-one! I thought it would take longer to get “old”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have some lovely tomatoes in grocery stores around here… but not always. And prices definitely fluctuate! Besides, they don’t have the fancy varieties we are growing.


  3. A tough call… We have a huge garden and I have 60 tomato plants that are ripe all at once. I am living in my kitchen at the moment canning away. I think I am in the middle-I like to have the skills necessary to maintain a somewhat self-sufficient lifestyle, but having the grocery store is sure handy also:) Being 57 -I don’t have the intense energy like I used to , to grow everything, but tomatoes, beans, carrots, beets, okra is fun to can and freeze. Have read your blog for years, even before you married- have enjoyed watching you grow to become a great wife and mother!!
    Take care

    Liked by 1 person

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