10 ways to become more self-sufficient right now! Start small but start today. These 10 steps to becoming more self-sufficient are things that you can easily start implementing in your life right now. Build layers of knowledge and experience to create a life that is not only more self-sufficient, but is also sustainable. Slow and steady solutions are what will make this lifestyle change last long term. I know, it is so exciting! and we want to do all the things, but, get the basics right from the start and it will flow and be easy.
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1. Grow your own food
Growing your own food is a great step towards living a more self-sufficient lifestyle and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start small but start today. Whether that means, converting part of your garden to edibles, planting a herb garden, starting a veggie patch, or planting a fruit tree.
Herbs are a great place to start for beginners because they are easy to grow and incorporate into your daily meals. Herbs are also quite pest-resistant and can tolerate a range of growing conditions. Herbs can be grown in pots and even indoors on a sunny windowsill.
You don’t need to be self-sufficient in everything but you can be self-sufficient in something. Take a look at what you buy regularly eg: salad mixes and plant that. Each season you can continue to expand and work your way up to providing more and more of your household’s fruit and vegetables.
Planting a fruit tree is also a great step towards self-sufficiency. Even if you have a small space or you are in a rental, you can still plant a fruit tree in a pot. That way when it does come time for you to move to a bigger location, you can take your established fruit tree with you. Fruit trees can take a while to start producing, so establishing trees in pots can allow you to get abundant harvest without waiting until you have more space.
So grab some seeds, get them in the soil and start growing your own food on your journey to become more self-sufficient.
2. Compost Scraps
Composting turns your scraps into organic, nutrient-rich soil that is going to help you grow a lot more plants. As well as reducing waste, composting will save you buying lots more soil and compost, because you will be able to produce your own soil at home using what you already have.
Composting your waste helps close the loop and make your gardening more sustainable.
You can purchase compost bins or tumblers at most of your local garden or hardware stores. You may even be able to pick one up cheap or free on marketplace or local buy and sell pages.
3. Learn to Cook Garden to Plate
This is another important one, and I think second to growing food, it is so important to learn how to cook. Even if you are a great cook, it is very different cooking from your garden. You need to get creative and come up with new ways to use and maximize the veggies you grow. Most cooks will be used to incorporating a lot of packaged products into their cooking and to be more self-reliant, you need to get creative.
Whether you use Zucchini as pasta, or Rainbow Chard as wraps, or Cauliflower as a pizza base, there are so many ways to get the most out of everything that you grow. That way, you can create more meals from the garden, and rely less on the shops! Saving you a lot of money. Because, we all know that when you pop to the shops for a couple of things… you end up with 3 bags full.
It takes lots of practice and is a skill to continually work on. Learning to cook with vegetables in lots of interesting ways will help you to become more self-reliant and build up your self-sufficiency. Having lots of recipes and ideas will help you to create exciting and wholesome meals so that you can sustain the lifestyle long term.
Garden to plate cooking is something I am incredibly passionate about, and the main reason I started my online membership. This is where I share my recipes with creative ways to use your harvest from root to shoot! I try to keep them simple, easy and of course delicious! If that is something you’re interested in Click Here to find out more.
4. Preserve Extra Food
Make hay while the sun shines as my dad always used to say! When you grow an abundance of produce in the garden, learn ways to preserve that to use throughout the year. That way you can still create balanced and wholesome meals all year round.
You don’t need a big garden to start doing this. People are often giving away lemons or extra fruit they can’t eat. So utilize this and learn how to preserve them. You can always trade a big bag of fruit for a finished jar of jam, chutney, dehydrated fruit or sauce. Utilize what’s in season. If you see in-season fruit and vegetables that are really cheap or have bulk buying options, buy them and test out some ways to preserve them. That way, you will be building knowledge and experience for when you are growing your own! Plus your pantry will be full for the rest of the year.
5. Learn to Take Cuttings
Growing food from cuttings will boost your garden’s level of sustainability. This is the best way to level up and grow more food for less. You can make an endless amount of trees and plants when you learn how to take cuttings. I have an ebook on cuttings if you want to learn the basics and I go through the easiest plants to grow from cuttings. This guide will show you some easy and quick ways to grow a tonne of food. You’ll be eyeing off your friends’ gardens in no time.
6. Save Seeds
Saving seeds can go a long way towards creating a sustainable lifestyle. Seeds have the power to grow an endless supply of food if they are continuously saved. Saving your own seeds will not only provide you with a sustainable food source but it will also save you money in replenishing your seeds each year.
Each vegetable you grow has the potential to grow an endless amount if you learn how to save seeds. Save seeds from heirloom or open-pollinated varieties to ensure the next generation will be “true to type”.
You can even try saving seeds from vegetables you have purchased. Pumpkins and squash are the easiest ones to try! Clean off the flesh and let them dry out on a plate. then keep them in a brown paper bag or somewhere cool, dark, and dry, and then pop them in the soil in spring. You can try this with others such as Passionfruit, capsicum or tomatoes. It is best to choose organic heirloom varieties from your local farmers markets as many store bought vegetables are hybrids. Both can work for a bit of fun a bit of fun.
Saving your seeds is a great step towards self-sufficiency and when a world crisis happens, (hello 2020) the seed shelves are empty. People became more aware that they are relying on others to provide for them. Having your own seeds will mean you will have more resilience and can be more self-reliant.
7. Swap and Trade
Get into a habit of swapping and trading items rather than purchasing new. Use your new found skills of propagating and saving seeds to trade with others for more plants. Or if you have extra produce, try hosting a swap meet and encourage your friends or local community to get involved. This can be a great way to recycle your unwanted items and get useful items in return. Swap meets can be great for extra seeds, produce, cuttings, houseplants, books, furniture or clothing.
8. Learn about Edible plants
There are so many edible plants around you every day and you may not even know it. Learning to identify plants and what parts are edible will hugely increase your food sources and self-sufficiency. This means you will be able to get the most out of everything growing in your garden! There are so many native plants and even weeds that are edible. Continue to build knowledge by learning to identify plants.
9. Harness Natural Resources
Everyday nature is providing us with so much energy that is often ignored. Harness the sun, rain and wind to use to your advantage.
- Dry your washing
- Capture water for your gardens
- Dehydrate herbs, flowers, and food using the sun
- Create power with solar panels
- You can even make solar ovens
- Put your pot plants outside when it rains
10. Up-cycle and Re-use
Use what you have. Get creative. Train your mind to come up with new ways, rather than slipping into the consumer mindset. Try to forage sticks for Tomato stakes and make your own trellis or up-cycle cups and crates for pots. Whatever it is you need, think about other ways that you could achieve the same outcome.
It can seem hard at first, but over time, you will start switching your mindset to up-cycle rather than consume and it will become so much easier. This will save you a lot of money and reduce the amount of things you have lying around that get used on rare occasions.
I hope you found some inspiration and tip to get stuck in and started today. Let me know in the comments what you are going to start with to become more Self-sufficient right now!
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