(Article from my Dutch blog Toverlevenaar.cultu.be)

We can’t go on that way.

Something has to change. Or: something is going to happen.

I hear it more and more often. Just on the streets. Or from people I did not expect it.

And sometimes you think: we should be able to start all over again, from scratch.

Unfortunately, that is not possible. Or just for a small part. And then on condition that you know how.

I grew up in a time when children were allowed to roam through forests, streets and fields for whole days. By default, we were not yet mesmerized by screens from GSM, smartphone, TV, PC, iPad, etc.

And we had to help in the post-war survival of the parents to provide everything needed for survival: slaughtering, making firewood, preserving, weeding, etc.

I never had a problem with that, on the contrary. I also always had the idea that I could take care of myself. But it is probably completely different for the generation that only takes milk from boxes, and orders meat in cellophane, and clothes - even for a dog - with a mouse click.

It would be a disaster, a shame if the knowledge about everything you need to live and to make everything yourself would be lost. Often it is not even that difficult. Our ancestors have been successful for thousands of years. They knew, they could. I hope to be able to contribute something by gathering that knowledge and making it available.

A lot of information can be found on the internet. Perhaps more than 80% of all that knowledge. But very scattered and fragmented. Often too complicated. Or too naive. Or not practical. I was happy to write several hundred pages, also about the missing 20%. And yet it will not be complete. Ever.

There are well-intentioned attempts. For example, window farming is fun. A finger exercise that teaches you about plant growth, sowing, water management, healthy food ... But if you think you can survive on it, then you are a naïve romantic. You will die of starvation. To live on, you need a bit more arable soil.

Even when I lived for a (little) time in a (little) city I went to my parents several times a week to bake bread and garden. And around me, I see that everyone has a garden around. Sometimes an ornamental garden. Or lawn. I also see the residents getting older. Gardening is at a low level. I suspect that many would be happy if someone would work on their soil. In exchange for a part of the proceeds. Perhaps a good opportunity for city dwellers to go the right way in cooperation with the outdoorsmen to the advantage of both? A social survey says that everyone is connected to everyone by a maximum of 6 or 7 people. If you leave from your own circle of acquaintances and switch on the right channels, you can have contact with the President of the US after 7 intermediaries. Or Tina Turner ... Facebook claims that all her users can be connected to a maximum of 3 to 4 intermediaries. So what prevents you, as a city man, from making an agreement with an outdoor gardener?

Small, local networks can solve many problems. In the past, every street and neighborhood was a close community. We did slaughter together. Everyone half a pig. Logically, if a whole pig is too much and you cannot breed half a pig? Everyone helped each other to hay. Because everyone would have liked to receive it dry. Building did not happen on your own, but with a beer and the neighborhood. It's a shame that it went down. We have to put our chairs on the sidewalk on summer evenings, instead of in front of the TV. And have a drink together with New Year, instead of booking a pricey restaurant.

What I want to say is that self-sufficiency is something you cannot or have not to do on your own. You need the knowledge and skills of several people, from a small community. Without their specialization it does not work (well), and they also need your help and insight.

I have tried to go to the lowest possible basic level with the collected information. When it comes to bread baking, we also look at grain seeds, harvesting and grinding. With manual tools. In building for yourself is briefly described how you can mason with mortar and stones. But also how you make and bake bricks. And how cement can be made. And a chisel to cut stone. And steel to make a chisel, etc.

You can also follow us in the facebook group Survlivel.

I hope that many people have a lot of fun and benefit from it. And maybe also forward additional information and stuff to complete everything.

Sustainable self-sufficiency with respect for people and the environment seems to me the only way to survive together on our planet. Maybe my website helps to stimulate this. And I have also done something useful for mother earth and my fellow human beings. Wish you success with it