Rustic Cyberpunk

Coffee & Cabins

Potatoes, Onions, Eggs, and Pork

3 min read

Sustenance seems to be one of the most frequent topics to come up when discussing living off-grid. A stable source of food is only common sense, but I'd like to avoid going to the store as much as I could. Where I'm planning to build the cabin, there aren't that many grocery stores in the first place. There also seems to be fewer and fewer stores selling fresh produce in rural areas in general, even in New York. This is a problem on its own in addition to the dwindling hardware and convenience stores.

While my own dietary needs are modest, it's dangerous to ignore proper nutrition, especially when I'm living away from most conveniences.

I used to joke that potatoes are better than Bitcoin. They work in any century as a medium of exchange, they inherently show proof of work, and potatoes are delicious and nutritious. Best of all, potatoes are hacker-proof and are offline by default. It's quite possible to survive on just potatoes for months, and farm it multiple times in the same year, but to save my sanity and long-term health, I'd like to add other staples to my diet if I'm doing some farming anyway.

Farming in general is quite involved, and it's still unrealistic to expect most of my diet to come from my own work. At least initially. But I'd like to add onions to the mix. After potatoes, onions have the longest shelf-life of the types of produce I can farm fairly reasonably. Unlike potatoes, I can't harvest onions year-round so I'll need to make sure preservation is in order. If my solar setup can withstand refrigeration, I'd also like to try and keep a few other things long-term too.

I've been unintentionally excluding red meat from my diet for a long time. In the past, I used to take in pork quite regularly. A steak is good once in a while, but I haven't had one in years either. I used to love a nice New York Steak. I have never worked in an animal farm and I have no idea if I have the skills to start. I'd still like to learn if it's possible, although I'm sure I'll be at the apprentice level for quite some time if I start now. Not being a hunter, I don't know if I have what it takes to go through with it.

Farming pigs is the most involved and probably the most unrealistic thing to consider right now, but I don't want to exclude it entirely.

I dislike the idea of being a hypocrite although we all are to some degree. I think, subconsciously, that's probably another reason why I've avoided red meat for a while. Somehow, eating a hamburger without taking the animal's life myself is a bit like outsourcing murder. Likewise, eating bacon strips without doing the slicing myself is a bit of a cop-out. I don't have a problem collecting eggs or going fishing, which is probably why I'm OK with omelets and salmon.

We should probably be more reluctant to take lives, of any sort for any reason, without facing them in-person.

I don't expect to do a lot of fishing, but maybe keeping a few hens for the eggs is a viable option. I'll probably have some leftover material from building the cabin so a small chicken coup might be doable. There are some lovely chicken coup ideas out there which are simple and yet sturdy enough to last through harsh winters.

However things go, I'll need to be extra careful with my budget even before construction starts so that I'll have enough resources left over for several years.