The Self-Contained Home | Joel Salatin (Part 1/2)


Self-Sufficiency expert Joel Salatin – author, speaker and full-time farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, enlightens us on the Self Contained Home – what …


  1. It’s nice to see people thinking self sufficient and locally. Great
    interview. My HOA went nuts when they saw my cistern delivered to my home
    when I was building it. That was 14 years ago, and they probably wouldn’t
    allow it now. Further evidence of the decline of the brainwashed state of
    the baby boomer generation. The first generation in American History that
    cared more about themselves than their Grandkids, not individually but
    certainly as a group. Get that hip replacement that the ‘government’ is
    going to pay for, who cares that it indebts my future kids.

  2. Food can easily be raised in any suburban neighborhood – simply discover
    the edible plants among those commonly used in landscaping, and have a
    ‘normal’ pretty yard that still provides food! Redbud Cercis canadensis
    yeilds edible flowers, edible young leaves, and edible pods – 3 crops from
    one beautiful tree! The leaves of many hostas are edible before they
    unfurl, and are used as ‘wraps’ in Japan. The fruit of Kousa dogwoods
    (Cornus kousa) is edible. Quality varies greatly from tree to tree, but
    before giving up, try remineralizing the soil around your tree and see if
    that helps improve the quality of the fruit. The seeds and leaves of all
    maples are reportedly edible (some maple seeds are quite plump while others
    are almost paper thin, depending on the species), and all can be tapped for
    sap, as can birches. The buds, flowers, and other parts of the common
    daylily are edible. The buds taste a lot like green beans!
    Snow-on-the-mountain Aegopodium podagraria) is an attractive groundcover
    that is also an edible potherb. The solid green variety of ground elder
    is reportedly even more tapid growing and prone to spread – which is an
    advantage when you want to keep it looking good in the yard and have some
    to eat, too! As ever, everyone needs to do their own due diligence, but
    this should spark some ideas!

  3. Rabbits and earthworms are two useful kinds of animals more practical for
    the average urban or suburban dweller. Guinea pigs have been kept in homes
    in South America for who knows how many thousands of years to eat kitchen
    scraps and in turn provide food. It seems a shame that we have gotten so
    disconnected from nature and the cycles of life that this is a difficult
    thing for us to do, with rabbits or guinea pigs, even though most of us
    have ancestors just a few generations back that are rabbit as frequently as
    we eat chicken. Now that childrens’ television shows are
    anthropomorphising vegetables, future generations may not be able to eat
    their friends the talking cabbage, either. :)

  4. Better yet, use that petroleum, or renewable energy, to make glass to make
    a solarium. Plastic is just such a burden on the planet, from sourcing the
    petroleum, transporting it, manufacturing the plastics, through use, and
    disposal. Glass, on the other hand, is a natural material made from sand,
    (mimicing beach glass when lightning strikes a beach, or other heat events
    interacting with certain minerals) – and when broken or discarded, it is
    essentially inert, and when crushed it returns to sand. Solariums are
    a great idea – properly sited on the south side of homes (in the northern
    hemisphere) with solid roofs (to minimize heat loss in winter, and unwanted
    solar heat gain in summer).

  5. Love Joel Salatin, but unfortunately it’s not true that every house in
    Australia has a ‘cistern’ (we generally just call them water tanks). Yes
    lots do, but no means All, especially in the cities, where I doubt the
    figure would even be over 50% yet.

  6. Spot on…..I love Mother Earth News….so much content in this
    interview…this was truly encouraging. 

  7. Pot gardens! lol. I love this guy. Hilarious…but i think with the house
    chickens he may be heading into nudist-buddist territory lol.. just a
    little ;)