catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 2, Num 9 :: 2003.04.25 — 2003.05.08


It can still be done

Where did you live and for how long before moving to Northern Wisconsin to live self-sufficiently? When did you begin living self-sufficiently and for how long?

I lived in Manhattan, Illinois for about 8 years, prior to moving to Wisconsin. I began living self-sufficiently in 1988 for approximately 5 years.

How did you educate yourself on necessary topics before you moved?

I attended courses on alternative energy (i.e. solar, wood). I also read every thing I could on self-sufficiency. A great book is Two Acres is Enough. Mother Earth is also a good source of information, plus I enjoy trying out my own ideas.

What personal values led you to consider and pursue a self-sufficient lifestyle?

I had always wondered [if self-sufficiency] could still be done in this day and age.

What features did your home and land have that allowed you to be self-sufficient?

My home in Wisconsin had to have some revisions to be practical to that lifestyle. I built my own wood burning furnace and hot water heater. I was lucky in that my place had three wells for water and one of them was an artesian well, which provided water non stop 24-hours a day. A generator was the electric power source. Food sources came from a 1/2-acre garden, several fruit trees and chickens. I dried the fruit, etc., to last me through the winter.

Did you have any source of income during this time? If so, what did you do for income and what was income needed for?

Income was needed to pay taxes and to purchase items I could not produce. I raised calves, sheep, chickens and ducks. I sold eggs from the chickens and ducks, and sold lambs and calves. I also worked part time at a logging mill when I needed added income [to purchase] major items.

What did you enjoy most about living self-sufficiently?

The things I enjoyed the most about being self-sufficient was the peace of mind and the satisfaction each day brought knowing I could survive on my own land.

What caused you to leave northern Wisconsin to return to "city life?"

I moved to Indiana because my family was in the area; I was alone up in Wisconsin. But I learned that we can survive without all the amenities we all seem to chase after. Even now I still utilize some self-sufficiency methods where I live currently.

What advice would you give to someone who's considering pursuing self-sufficient living?

Read all you can about self-sufficiency, attend seminars, study the Amis—they have been very successful. Find a companion to enjoy this lifestyle with. It is a great way to live. If you love to grow plants, love the outdoors and want to enjoy the simple things in life, being self-sufficient can bring you great joy and satisfaction.

Dan Genovese is currently the maintenance director for the Hammond Housing Authority in Hammond, IN.

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