Can I do it? Can I manually grind wheat and make juice? Can I make 5 loaves of bread a week if we have a few more kids? Can I keep up with the chickens, weed the garden, do the wash by hand, and homeschool on top of it all? I could, but it would be all my life. There would be no time for family or friends. If a family were to go all out with this lifestyle they would have to become a team, no questions asked. Everyone would need to do their part to help out the whole family.
At this point with two young ones I have to pick and choose. So far here is what I have done to transition to a more "manual" lifestyle using people energy instead of other energy.
1) No dishwasher - We do all our dishes by hand
2) No more microwave - Not sure how much energy this saves, but it is taking away a conveniece that really isn't all that missed! Supposedly it is healthier too!
3) Manual hand crank Juicer - A step to a healthy lifestyle. Many people don't juice at all so it is somewhat irrelevant to the average family, but we have begun juicing wheatgrass. Check out the awesome benefits of wheatgrass here
4) Manual wheat grinding - My 4 year old is getting in on this one. I hope to have a post on this soon, but I have yet to make a full whole wheat loaf or a loaf of bread without the bread machine. Why
5) Cutting back on the dryer - This is soon to be my next step. Since I do cloth diapers while at home it really is good to do some line drying. While in the mobile home I would like to at least have an accordian drying rack or a ladder used creatively like one of these ideas.
I am doing quite well with this gradual transition. This is a surprise because I am such a black and white all or nothing person. If we were to do it all at once I would certainly give up the first week. Transitioning slowly gives me the opportunity to master different aspects of the lifestyle we would like to achieve. Maybe someday I'll be making my own soap, cloth napkins, and other things.