This woman takes care of herself: five tips on how we can do the same

Book a “self-care”
This woman takes care of herself: five tips on how we can do the same

Marie Diedrich grows almost everything she eats herself.  She is self sufficient.

Marie Diedrich grows almost everything she eats herself. She is self sufficient.

© Janice Jane Stewie

Taking care of yourself isn’t just a corny hippie dream: Marie Diedrich dared to do it and was self-sufficient for nearly three years. I wrote a book about her course and the best way to deal with it.

Marie Diedrich is very self-sufficient, and in a way we all do it by going to the supermarket and buying groceries and making them at home. We also harvest the leaves from the pot of basil we bought at the garden center. We recycle bottles and take out cartons. We may also be proud that in the big city we order a box of fruits and vegetables from the farms in the surrounding area, which are then brought to us by car and placed in front of the door. But Diederich does not live like this. Live independently.

She and her family grow almost all the fruits and vegetables themselves. They eat only eggs from their hens, bake bread themselves, and get milk from their animals whenever possible, as well as cream cheese, feta, camembert, yogurt, ice cream, sausages, and meats. Anyone who now thinks this is the life of dropouts, the eco-friendly muesli-eating folks who haven’t washed their hair for a long time, is wrong: Diederich is self-sufficient, but also works full-time in the office. On her blog “Wurzelwerk” she gives tips and tricks for self-raising, cuts videos for courses, writes instructions or books and helps answer questions about gardening or chickens. After a long day at the office, Diedrich longs for the rhythmic “Zsch Zsch” when you’re milking goats or cruising around the garden with the harvest basket and contemplating what to cook for the evening.

What sounds romantic and poetic is hard work. For three years, Diedrich and her family worked to achieve this level of self-sufficiency. Meanwhile, about ten hours of work in the zoo, animals and food processing are required per week. So enough time for other things. Being self-sufficient is not about making everything perfect, it’s about finding your own path. These ideas and many more tips can be found in Diederich’s brochure “Self-Sufficiency”: so if you just want to grow tomatoes, you can do it. Anyone who wants to transplant an entire plant patch at once can do the same. Diederich’s advice is simply to have the courage and engage in the topic of self-sufficiency without prejudice.

Five tips on how to achieve self-sufficiency

1. Make your own vegetable patch

Marie Diedrich promises you can quickly apply a veggie patch. But if you want to supply yourself with fruits and vegetables for the long term, you should think about fruits first. It takes many years to bear fruit. Diederich believes that it is realistic to store vegetables for two years – at least in the summer.

2. Chicken and rabbit entry animals

Chickens and rabbits require little maintenance and space. You can also enable them to lead a happy and free life. However, Diederich recommends that anyone who travels a lot should organize a reliable holiday alternative. Every animal comes with a responsibility.

3. Boil fruits and vegetables

You can learn more about taking care of yourself here:

You can learn more about self-sufficiency here: “Self-Sufficiency” by Marie Diederich. Löwenzahn-Verlag. 312 pages. 29.90 euros.

If you want to eat a variety of foods from the garden in winter and spring, then you already have to keep a part of the summer harvest: preserve tomatoes, for example. Tomatoes from the supermarket in winter are just a copy of those in summer. With the sauce you can bring back summer in a matter of seconds.

4. Bake your own bread

The Corona crisis has shown that there is nothing more comforting than homemade bread. The smell that emanates from the apartment or house afterwards is incomparably good. Marie Diedrich has been baking her own bread for eight years using sourdough. For each loaf of bread, you take a portion of the yeast and feed it more. Diederich takes care of sourdough like a pet. And best of all, you don’t even need a garden.

5. Have a good plan

Before embarking on a self-sufficient adventure, you should imagine exactly what you intend to do. What does the garden you want to plant look like? What do you like the most? What can you do right away? What do you want to achieve next year, and what in three years? Diederich’s tip: Write down all of your goals, which can change at any time.

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