Skip to main content

Hello! There’s something to be said about that feeling of learning a skill that sets you ahead of your former self. Looking back one week, a day or maybe a year; realising that you have grown and improved. I could not help but think about this again over the last weekend. We had a quiet(er) weekend. The temporary shelter (permanent tent) that you saw in the previous video served us well, especially with the budget ZAR 350 solar-light-kit we installed. Being able to charge phones and have a light overnight is a great bonus. It enabled us to get more done during the daytimes. Let’s discuss the title, Self-Reliance is about ourselves, and not myself.

A budget friendly and reliable solar box, providing lights and USB charging in our tent. The crude mounting style came from having no tools or materials at hand before dark.

While sawing down thorn, gwarrie and other hazardous bushes from our driveway gave us much time to contemplate things. Especially as it’s a 5km section of slow, bumpy and rough two-track road. After several hours of sawing by hand and chopping down overlapping thorn branches with my axe, I could not help but think about chainsaws. The 6 hour, arm scraping, bleeding and painful job would have been reduced to 2 hours had we used a chainsaw. The trees next to the two-track would also not grow again if we poisoned them with Garlon! Yuck, no. Perish the thought.

For one, a sustainable, nay, intensifying ecosystem would never succeed under selfish acts such as using poisons. Apart from the drastic side-effects in microbial life, soil-building losses etc, there is only good to be done by mimicking nature in controlling things. Second, using hand-tools builds muscle, increases our health and makes no noise. Hand-tools won’t blow a piston seal or seize. They do not produce noxious gases from the expensive fuel they burn. Sure, it’s a lot harder (until you become used to it) but it is so much more rewarding.Self reliance is this!

Castiel enjoys the warm fire of burning Vachellia karroo, cut from the twee-spoor driveway. Great, long lasting coals. Remember to handle all fires in arid areas as if they were extremely risky.

Eliminate Dependencies

Learning to use your own resources to lessen and eventually eliminate dependence on things outside of our control. It is the ability to take responsibility for your own mistakes, waste and to revel in your own successes. It is also not just about you, but about your friends, family and neighbours – your community. Self-reliance is putting everyone and everything together, working with your environment and achieving desirable results in life by yourselves. Knowing that you need less of “them” and more of “us”, is a great feeling. We can all do it on any scale, and at any level by anyone, everywhere. As with Permaculture (and all its forms), we rebuild the surrounding environment. Thus, eradicating negativity in all forms and working towards a goal. By building the natural resources, they can build us and improve our lives.

The bonus is that the more independent we become in this venture, the less money we need to live healthier, happier and freer. Never think that self-reliance is about just you or me. Self-Reliance is about ourselves and not myself, unless, of course, you are solo – for which I tip my hat even further!

Thanks for reading. I hope that this reminder of thinking simpler and better will help you make better decisions every day to empower ‘yourself’. Please stay tuned for the next video on the channel, which will be an update on things, as well as a peek at the new farm’s little corners and koppies, internet solutions etc.

If you missed our tent-deck build video, please watch it here!

Goodbye for now.

Marlon van der Linde

Author Marlon van der Linde

A land steward in forever training, figuring out self reliance, subsistence and simplicity in the Karoo wilderness. Searching for balance, abundance and sense in a shrinking world. Marlon is a skilled software developer, electronics enthusiast and enjoys his metal, electronic music and rock. Hailing from the Freestate, now lost in the hills of the arid Karoo, keeping it real (apparently).

More posts by Marlon van der Linde

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.