Self-Reliance. It’s a revolutionary word these days and I thought it deserved a manifesto.

Manifesto: noun man·i·fes·to \ˌma-nə-ˈfes-(ˌ)tō\

A declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer.


Have you happened to notice that our society is out of balance?

The consumers outnumber the producers at such a rapid clip that we can’t possibly continue like this. But who has time to produce when they are indebted and working overtime to finance their current lifestyles in the hopes that they will finally be able to buy “enough” to be happy, fulfilled, and loved?

We live in a society made up mostly of rabid consumers. As soon as the advertising pros on Madison Avenue point them in a given direction, people flock to it like the zombies on The Walking Dead lurch toward a fresh human, completely oblivious to everything else. They yearn for these things that are produced across the world and then delivered at a cheap price. They fill up on cheap food that has been government subsidized, making it unrealistically inexpensive. They are enslaved as they work to pay for it, or in some cases, accept a handout to pay for it. More people are deeply in debt than ever, living a fancy First World Lifestyle that would crumble with one missed paycheck. They are slaves and they don’t even know it.

They don’t care that the newest clothing and gadgets were produced in sweatshops across the world. They don’t care that some items are produced by slave labor. They don’t care about the processed offerings at the grocery store., the pesticide-laden produce raised by corporations instead of farmers, or even the feedlots that are the scenes of the worst animal abuse in the country, completely free from prosecution. They don’t care that subsidized corporate agriculture puts real farmers out of business while it destroys our health and our environment.

They just care about their illusions of prosperity. They care that the products are cheap and make them feel good for a moment.

And “illusion” is the perfect word for it because we live in a society where many people consume but very few people produce. A society like that could not stand on its own if isolated from the rest of the world or if the corporate food companies and manufacturing plants shut down. The majority of the country has become completely dependent on things that are produced in factories.

Simple math tells us that this system can’t last forever. We can’t all be consumers if there are no producers.

These days, self-reliance is actually a revolutionary act.

That quality is the difference between someone who merely accepts what is doled out to meet the needs of their family and someone with the power to fulfill those needs themselves.

Regardless of where you live, whether it is at the top of the highest high-rise, in the suburbs, in the desert, or on a few acres in the lush countryside, you can still be more self-sufficient. You can learn to meet your own needs by acquiring the skills to produce. Every single thing that you can produce on your own is a personal declaration of your own independence, whether it is food, clothing, shelter, or something else to meet the needs of your family. In today’s society, freedom like that is a radical thing, completely against the grain, and it’s much more gratifying than anything you could ever purchase.

This list is full of insurrections, both small and large. No matter who you are or where you live, you can pick something from the list and learn to do it. That brings you one step closer to the real freedom of self-sufficiency. If you live in an urban environment or one not conducive to 30 chickens and a flock of goats, you can learn to preserve food in delicious ways or make your own clothing, or cook from scratch. You can grow some veggies or herbs in your windowsill. You can go on a foraging hike nearby.

You can do something. You are a free human being and you deserve better than to simply line up at the store and exchange dollars you spent many hours earning for rations of processed, food-like substances and electronic gadgets. You deserve the feeling that comes from creating and producing. There is absolutely nothing like it on this earth.

This is a collection of more than 300 resources to inspire you and teach you to be more self-reliant.You’ll see that there are numerous articles on some topics, and that is because they are all written from a different perspective. Some bloggers and authors live in the ‘burbs, some live in big cities, and some live off-grid in the boondocks, but they all have lessons to teach you. I hope that you will discover some new experts and mentors along the way.

So, no excuses. I’m not an expert. I wasn’t brought up in an agrarian lifestyle. I’m learning, just like you are, and after a lot of trial and error, I’m just now starting to put meat on the table that I raised myself. I’m a former city girl, a single mom, and a newbie at a lot of this stuff, and if I can become more self-reliant, so can you! Every day, I learn something new that puts me one step closer to the personal liberty I crave. I have personally read the work of every single author and blogger on this list, and I am positive that every person who reads this post can find something to learn that will put them on the path toward real freedom.

Getting Started
Become More Self-Reliant – Start Here
The Encyclopedia of Country Living
Finding the Perfect Land for Your Homestead
Start Homesteading Today with Little or No Money with These Hacks
The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It
Off-grid Living, Homesteading, Preparedness, Survival – It’s Our Lifestyle!
5 Reasons You Need a Homesteading Mentor
You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise
How to Finance a Homestead
Secrets to Building a Debt-Free Homestead
Where to Find Free Land for Homesteading
Ten Acres Enough: The Classic 1864 Guide to Independent Farming
Lessons in Farming with Limited Space
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Garden Rebels: 10 Ways to Sow Revolution in Your Backyard
General Homesteading Information
A Guide to Homestead Predator Control
Setting Up a Low-Budget Water Catchment System
Which Type of Hay Bale Should You Choose?
Feeding from a Round Hay Bale
The Encyclopedia of Country Living
Essential Homesteading Tools From Kitchen To Field
25 PVC Pipe Projects for the Homestead
The Backyard Homestead
The Woodland Homestead
Build a Sturdy Free-standing House with Sandbags
Injury Prevention on the Homestead
Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering
Chicken Terms for Beginners
15 Chicken-Keeping Mistakes
Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock: How to Raise Homestead Chickens For Meat And Eggs
Chickens from Scratch: Raising Your Own Chickens from Hatch to Egg Laying and Beyond
How Much Do Chickens Cost to Keep?
DIY Poultry Electrolytes
Chicken Coop Necessities
How to Build an Inexpensive Chicken Tractor
Trimming Flight Feathers
8 Ways to Save Mega Bucks on Chicken Feed
Bird Flu Busters – 5 Strategies for a Healthier Flock
10 Abnormal Chicken Eggs and What You Need to Know About Them
Chicken Hot Topics: Controversial Husbandry Practices
Are My Chickens Molting?
How to Butcher a Chicken
Ducks, Geese, Quail, and Turkeys
Guide to a Mixed Flock
Why Ducks May Not Be For You
Best Tips for Raising Ducks
How to Raise Baby Ducklings
How to Raise Ducks for Eggs
Best Tips for Raising Ducks
Your Guide to Duck Molting
Raising Quail is for Every Homestead
How to Build a Quail Hutch for Little or No Money
How to Raise Coturnix Quail
How to Butcher Turkeys
Homestead Geese – Easy to Care for Barnyard Protectors and Weed Eaters
The Top 10 Meat Rabbit Breeds
Homestead Rabbits – Getting Started and Finding the Right Breed
What breed of Angora rabbit is right for you?
How much does it cost to raise Angora rabbits?
Small Scale Rabbit Keeping
The Complete Guide to Raising Rabbits
Colony-Raising Rabbits 101
Choosing Good Breeding Stock for Meat Rabbits
Breeding Meat Rabbits 101
Expert Advice for Breeding Rabbits
Raising Kits to Harvest
How to Resuscitate Baby Bunnies
Growing a Rabbit Garden
12 Tips for Raising Pigs for Meat
7 Tips for the Novice Pig Farmer
How to Butcher a Pig at Home
Getting Started with Homestead Goats
The Ultimate Guide to Goat Breeds
5 Best Dairy Goat Breeds for the Small Farm
Goats for Sale – 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Goats
Buying Your First Nigerian Dwarf Goat
Nigerian Dwarf Goats 101: Background & Basics – What To Know & Understand Before Committing To Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Keeping Homestead Dairy Goats
Goat Starter List
Goat Care and Maintenance
The Pros and Cons of Owning Goat Herdsires
Goat Herd Hierarchy: The Herd Queen
All You Need to Know about Breeding Goats
Goat Pregnancy Care
Goat Kidding Supply List
Basic Goat Care After Kidding
How to Bottle Feed a Goat
Homemade Udder Balm
How to Hand Milk a Cow or Goat
Pros and Cons of Disbudding Your Goat
5 Deadly Diseases That Can Infect Goats
Goat Health Record Forms (Free Download)
The Pros and Cons of Raising Grass-Fed Beef
8 Things To Have Before You Get A Milk Cow
The Best Time to Buy and Sell Cows
3 Simple Rules for Raising Healthy Bottle Calves
Tips For Halter Breaking Calves
Once-a-Day Milking
3 Ways to Prevent Mastitis in Cows
How to Naturally Treat Mastitis in the Family Milk Cow
Winter Care for the Family Milk Cow
7 Important Questions to Ask Before You Get Bees
Getting Started Beekeeping
Beginning Beekeeping: Getting Started with Equipment
Beekeeping on a Budget
Blooms for Bees
Hiving a Honey Bee Swarm
Beekeeping 101: Hive Inspection
Winter Beekeeping: Maintenance for Healthy Hives
New to Gardening – Start Here – 10 Tips for Beginning Gardeners
Vegetable Gardening 101
Beginners Guide to Square Foot Gardening
11 Reasons Why You Should Grow a Container Garden
How to Create a New Garden Bed
Create an Instant Garden with Sheet Mulching (Lasagna Gardening)
Raised Bed Gardening 101
How to Build Raised Beds from Cedar Fencing
Vertical Vegetable Gardening
Getting Started Herb Gardening
Planning and Planting a Medicinal Herb Garden
11 Useful Herbs You Can Grow in Containers
How to Grow a Survival Garden (and what to do if it dies)
15 Fruits and Vegetables You Can Grow in Buckets
9 Crops to Grow for Food Storage
Crisis Gardening: 30 Veggies You Can Grow in 52 Days or Less
13 Quick and Hardy Plants for Your Spring Garden
How to Make Homemade Paper Pots
Seed Starting Simplified
5 Tips for Dealing with Volunteer Plants
Replace Your Lawn with Food Production
Gardening Like a Ninja: A Guide to Sneaking Delicious Edibles into Your Landscape
Four Permaculture Principles Every Gardener Should Embrace
15 Fruits and Veggies You Can Regrow from Scraps
DIY Seed Vault: Save Seeds for 10 Years
How to Save Garden Seed
Why Saving Seeds Makes Cents
How to Save and Store Heirloom Garden Seeds
Seed Saving 101
Saving Tomato Seeds
The Seed Revolution: How to Save Seeds
Free or Cheap Ways to Get Seeds
Soil Building and Composting
How to Test for Healthy Soil
The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil
Using Mulch in the Garden
Amending Your Soil Naturally
7 Ways to Improve Soil Quality
How to Soften Soil Compaction
How to Compost
80+ Items You Can Compost
Black Gold: Creating Perfect Compost with Kitchen, Yard and Garden Scraps
Getting Started Vermicomposting – Raising Worms
DIY Vermicomposting
The Humanure Handbook
Selecting Fruit Trees for your Homestead
Fruit And Nut Tree Consideration For Beginners
Planting an Orchard with Dwarf Fruit Trees
Planting fruit trees
Setting Down Roots: How to Plant Apple Trees
How to Grow Fruit Trees
Preparing A Young Orchard For Winter
Introduction to Aquaponics
Aquaponics: Growing Food with Fish
Old-Fashioned Skills
A Mind To Homestead – Old-Time Skills & Knowledge For A New Generation
How to Make a Rag Quilt
Basic Hand Stitches
Treadle Sewing Machine Advice
A Garden to Dye For: How to Use Plants from the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics & Fibers
How to Dye Yarn with Goldenrod
How to Sharpen Razor Blades
A Glorified Shaving Horse: How to Build a Paring Ladder in the Woods
How to Build a Carving Bench from a Log (Rope Vise Plans Included)
No Mess No Fuss DIY Laundry Detergent
The Cheapskate’s Guide to Making Cleaning Products That Won’t Kill You
How to Hand Mill Soap
Make your own soap! Cold process soap making
How to Make Soap from Pantry Staples
Making Homemade Soap from Ashes
Pure Soapmaking
Homemade Beauty Essentials
101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home: A Nerdy Farm Wife’s All-Natural DIY Projects Using Commonly Found Herbs, Flowers & Other Plants
DIY: Make Your Own Biodiesel Fuel
Common Sense Home Remedies Book #1: Skin Troubles
Common Sense Home Remedies Book #2: Tummy Troubles
Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies
DIY Simple Salve Ointment
Make All-Natural Lotions and Salves
Herbal Drawing Oil Recipe
Homemade Bug Repellent Balm
How to Make Your Own Candle Molds
Rendering Beeswax
5 Ways to Make Candles from Household Items
How to Make Mead
How to Make Hard Cider
How to Build a Mousetrap with a 5-gallon bucket
DIY Mosquito Trap
Off-Grid Living
Creating Your Off-Grid Homestead: Radical Inspiration and Practical Advice
Why We Chose to Live Off-Grid
Grid Down? It’s the Reality at Our House
3 Ways to Start Your Off-Grid Transition
6 Ways to Get Ready for Going Off-Grid
Living Off-Grid with Solar Electricity
Selecting a Solar Electric System for our Homestead
Setting Up a Simple Solar Panel Kit
What Solar Can Do on Your Homestead
Go Solar with 4 Simple Homesteading Projects
How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries
How to Stay Warm with Less Heat
10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Getting Started with Wood Heat – 5 Things You Should Know
How to Heat Your Home with a Wood Furnace
DIY Biomass Fire Logs
Build your own DIY 5-gallon bucket no-ice evap air conditioner
The Heat is On: How to Stay Cool without Air Conditioning
How to do Your Laundry by Hand
Drying Clothes on a Rack
8 Hacks for Cleaning without Running Water
DIY Composting Toilet
How to Build a Burn Barrel – Burn Trash Safely
50 Ways to Reuse Your Trash
Scratch Cooking
The Lost Art of Scratch Cooking
Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living
A Cabin Full of Food
The Made-from-Scratch Life
5 Scratch Cooking Shortcuts for a Better Diet in Less Time
25 Pantry Essentials for Scratch Cooking
Cooking With Cast Iron—How And Why To Get Started
How to Season Cast Iron Cookware
How to Restore Old or Damaged Cast Iron
How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread
How to Make Sourdough Starter
How to Make Your Own Yeast
How to Make Butter in a Jar
Online Cheesemaking Workshop
How to Make Homemade Soda
How to Make Cottage Cheese from Pasteurized Milk
How to Make Cottage Cheese and Sour Cream from Raw Milk
Off-Grid Kitchen
11 Ways to Cook Off-Grid
7 Ways to Cook without Power
Off-Grid Cooking Methods
4 Ways You Can Cook Food Indoors without Power
Build a DIY Rocket Stove
The 7 Greatest Off-Grid Stoves
Outdoor Cooking and Fire Safety
Getting Started with Solar Cooking
Cooking with Help from the Sun
How to Bake without an Oven
How to Build an Outdoor Mud Oven
15 Kitchen Gadgets That Work Without Power
Fridge-Free Living
Living without Refrigeration
How to Still Be Chill Without a Refrigerator
14 Foods You Can Stop Refrigerating
Food Preservation
Getting Started with Home Food Drying
Drying and Dehydrating Food
Dehydrating Food without Electricity
How to Dehydrate Fruit
How to Create a Root Cellar for Food Storage
Root Cellars 101
Building and Using a Window Well Root Cellar
10 Tips for Storing Vegetables without a Root Cellar
A Simple Way to Store Garlic
How to Store Potatoes for the Winter
The Organic Canner: A Guide to Preserving Real Food
How to Pressure Can Food
How to Can Food in a Boiling Water Bath
The Canning Manifesto
How to Make Jam Without Added Pectin
Universal Jam Recipe for Whatever Fruit You Have On Hand
How to Safely Can Your Own Recipes
A Primer on Pickling
Smoked Meats and Cheeses
Freezing Milk for Longterm Storage
How I Preserve Food: Modern Mountain Man MREs
How to Preserve Eggs with Water Glass
4 Time-Tested Methods for Preserving Eggs
Online Fermentation Workshop
How to Make Jun Kombucha
Homemade Fermented Sauerkraut
A Primer on Lacto-Fermentation
Wild Free Food
Foraging Dos and Dont’s
10 Tips for Wildcrafting Herbs
Is Harvesting Roadkill Legal in Your State?
Foraging Feral Food and Medicinal Plants
List of Foraging Articles with Photos for Identification
What is Gleaning and How to Do It
Backyard Foraging
19 Wild Edibles You Can Find in the City
Passing on Self-Reliance Lessons to Kids
Involving Young Children in Homesteading
Sometimes You Have to Let Kids Struggle with Tasks
Letting Go of Perfectionism So Your Kids Can Help Out on the Homestead
Gardening with Children
Beekeeping with Children
Potty-Training with an Outhouse
Foraging with Children
Foraging for Wild Edibles with Kids
25 Things We Did as Kids That Would Get Someone Arrested Today
Create. Produce. Rebel.
The biggest insurrection in our society is to be self-sufficient. Make the way you live your life a revolutionary act by producing some of the things that you need.

Let me know in the comments how you will rebel against the status quo. What skills and projects you will undertake this year? I want to hear about your self-reliance goals!

Shout-out to the incredible community at the Homestead Bloggers Network!

I asked and you came through to help me create this guide.

Article reposted with permission from The Organic Prepper.

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The Self-Reliance Manifesto: More Than 300 Resources to Guide You on the Path to Radical Freedom

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