The Self-Sufficient Lifestyle

It has been a difficult time for many of us, both here in Australia and around the world. Just as things started to get back to normal here in Queensland, the second wave of COVID 19 hit in Victoria and the border between NSW and Victoria closed.  This was followed shortly thereafter with the closure of the QLD border with NSW.

Now is not the time to become complacent. No, I am not talking about protecting yourself against the virus. There are plenty of more qualified people out there than me to do that. What I am talking about is your journey towards better self-sufficiently and reducing the negative impact of this global pandemic on your daily life. If you rely on outside sources for your survival, you could find yourself in trouble. You need to turn your home into a sustainable, self-supporting system that will ensure you don’t just survive, but you thrive.

Our homes need to be our safe haven, an earthship if you like. My home is just that, a sanctuary away from this crazy world we find ourselves living in. My home takes care of me as much as I take care of it. I have solar power that provides all of my energy needs and then some. I have a bore for water, powered by my solar power system. I have gardens full of food and an orchard for fruit.

Homegrown Broccoli

Inside, I have a wood-burning heater to keep me warm and plenty of wood on the land, enough to last my lifetime. I have filled my pantry with jars and jars of homemade jams, pickles and sauces, as well as natural ferments. In the kitchen, I make sourdough bread, bake cakes, biscuits and crackers, and make cheese, yoghurt and kefir.

My home is also full of arts and craft supplies. Everything I need to mend, sew, knit, weave and spin is available. I have an extensive library of how-to books and all the classics of course.   

Ashford Looming

Over time I have collected a good range of tools to take care of my home. My range of DIY books comes in handy here as I tackle jobs around the place and keep it well maintained. When it comes to tools, buy the best you can afford. Cheap tools don’t last and it is a false economy to keep having to replace them. Get good tools and take care of them.

So what is all this called? It is called living a creative, self-sufficient lifestyle. It’s the ability to take care of yourself and others; to make things, fix things, and grow things in good times and bad. So how do you survive this pandemic or whatever is coming next? Well, it’s not by sitting around watching TV. You survive and thrive by having a plan. Get up early and get cracking.

  • Take stock of what you have. Giving your home a good clean out is a great place to start.
  • Look in your pantry. What do you need to get set up with the basics?
  • Do a meal plan for a week. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just great food you love to eat. Family favourites should be on this list.
  • Start a garden. Make sure you grow what you need for that meal plan. It’s no good planting eggplant if you never eat it.
  • Find everything that needs to be fixed and get it fixed (missing bottoms, loose screws)
  • Sort out your tools. Sharpen, oil and maintain them.
  • What do you need to learn? Get reading.
Sourdough Making

This virus will pass, but don’t think that this will all go away and we will not have to worry about such things in the future. Every generation has their crazy. My grandparents lived through WWI and the Spanish Flu. My parents lived through WWII. Now we are living through a global pandemic. The next generation will have its challenges too; we just don’t know what yet.

Our modern way of living, globalization, and the outsourcing of our survival skills is not a formula for success.  We need to become competent, self-supporting, skilled individuals who can thrive no matter what the conditions.  This pandemic has reminded us that we need to focus on what is important. We have seen another way of life. One that revolves around the people we love and the things that we can do and create. It has reminded us that the purpose of life is not to shop but to live, love, make, do and connect.

What will be your first step to self-sufficient and greater ability? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Sour Cream Cheese

Live well and tread lightly upon the earth.


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8 Replies to “The Self-Sufficient Lifestyle”

  1. Loved your story. I live very much this way in Canberra n love it. Always busy n supply lots of homemade goodies for others. Studied permaculture 40 yrs ago to get started. Pandemic closures are no great deal for me as I had lots of stores on hand.

    1. Glen,

      Lovely to hear from a like minded person. I feel the richness of my life every time i go into the garden,bake bread or sit down to a good meal all from my own work. I am so blessed and grateful and I thank you for your words.

  2. Why rely on supermarkets when you can do it yourself. I grow my fruits and vegetables in pots. Make my own passata, pickles and jams. Last year i made my very own sourdough starter. I have also learnt how to ferment. Only this month i made apple/pear butter, spicy pickled garlic, sweet pickled red onions, and onion jam. I have always bought in bulk and now my children no longer tease me. They are very grateful.

  3. Just wondering when you think your bread and cheese making classes will start again, I too would like to be self sufficient, Love to hear from you, I’m at the Gold Coast

    1. Hi Leanne:

      We are doing just a few classes in Brisbane.

      The issue with doing more classes is the social distancing rules. I do have a hands on cheese class in Ipswich 10 October, if you are interested. The cost is $165.00 and it is a 5 hour class. You can call Green Living Australia on 07 3808 2576 and ask for me, Valerie, and they will put you through to my place in Stanthorpe, as I am working from home.

  4. Absolutely love your article, could not have said it better myself. I started my home productions in 2017, ever exploring how to make the next thing. Soon I arrived at a point where I was, and still am, only buying primary ingredients, Supermarket bill is very low, apart from dog food. The rubbish bin is nearly empty when I put it out for collection. The garden smells from all the herbs. Green living Australia has helped with their great products and advice. Loving your blog.
    Juanita, Darwin

    1. Angie,

      Thank you so very much. I wish I could blog more, but running Green Living Australia is a full time job. Then there is the events I do and books to write. Of course there is the gardening, baking, sewing … My life is full and rewarding, as I am sure your is.


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