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Thread: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

  1. #1

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    Default Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    I'm going to try starting to move away from relying so much on supermarkets, support local farmers, rely less on cheap clothes using bad practices and try make my own clothes sort of lifestyle

    less crap more quality
    Healthier
    Cheaper
    Etc..

    But ! I live in a small unit with a tiny yard

    So far I am growing broccoli, carrot, sweet peas, cherry tomatoes , couliflower, blueberries( they will be a while yet), zucchini

    I'm not sure I'll be able to produce enough to live off so I'm planning to somehow find local producers to buy off

    I've started trying to make my own yoghurt although still a bit runny

    I'm not sure what to do to get meat??

    What do you do with clothes?

    Anyone already live this way?



    I've looked for a few fb pages and joined couldn't find any web page groups

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    Regarding buying fabric to makes clothes, that's not necessarily a more ethical option either. The fabric is still manufactured under the same conditions as the clothes are. The only benefit would be that you are making something of a higher quality (if you are good at sewing). The better option might be to buy quality pieces from op shops because sewing also takes up a lot of time as well.

    Food- you should be able to find someone at the farmers markets who is selling their own meat. I know at the bus depot markets in Canberra there is always a butcher there who sells their own meat. Otherwise find a local farmer who may be willing to sell you a 'killer' (animal designated for home butchering) and find someone who can kill and butcher it for you. For everything else, farmers markets are still going to be your best option, or maybe even going for a drive to find local producers and roadside stalls. I live in the Riverina and there are always people in Griffith that sell their own seasonal produce. Learn how to make preserves so you can buy in bulk and preserve for later/out of season times. Or even just buy meat from a butcher and not the supermarket, same for fruit and vege.

    And you should probably prioritise what's important to you because it's near impossible to do it all because there will always be some element of conflict. Making clothes is great, but do you have the time to spend hours on the sewing machine etc. Is it more important that you grow most of your own food or would you be happy to just support local independent businesses instead of supermarket chains?

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    Good point re clothes I already do a lot of op shopping and kids mostly have hand me downs from friends

    I'll have to find a farmers market problem is usually I'm working on the weekend when they are running maybe I'll try butcher is say probably food it the option I'd rather lean towards although since setting up the garden and the initial hard work it's fairly low maintenance now and doing it all by itself

    I made 2 dresses for dd yesterday that can be altered different sizes so it can be used for more than one year and season

    I might go for a drive and see if there's any veggie stalls nearby

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    We attempt to be as self sufficent as possible. We do own our own small acerage.

    I try and grow as much as I can but its not always that successful after 2 particularly bad seasons. We also have chooks that supply us most of the year with eggs. My husbands father is a butcher although my husband kills and prepares a lot of our meat. We can't handle cattle as we don't have a cool room so only do sheep at the moment and the local mobile butcher just happens to be the brother of my ex who we don't get along with so his not an option.

    We have solar power although its not enough to run our property so have normal electricity. It cuts our bills down but only by half.

    I have started growing an orchured but have only planted orange, lemon and mandarene trees. My Olive died. I was very keen to make Olive oil in a few years (time consuming) but have not had any luck with that.

    As for clothing we do buy new, lots of hand me downs as I have 3 girls and also love op shopping. I'd love to make goats milk soap and have more vegies growing. Pumpkins and corn are especially good as we usually get a large harvest or with corn can have them going at different stages so can usually get most of the way through the year with the previous season as they last a long time. Our spinich is also somehting that produces all year round.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    Could you get involved with a local community garden?
    Having grown up on acerage my brother joined one in Brisbane and found it fantastic.
    He had a plot but the sharing went beyond what he grew and they rarely bought veges.
    My parents did the total (nearly) self sufficiency thing for a couple of years when I was growing up.
    We lived on quite a big property so cows, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry were all possible.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    We're not very self sufficient, but for a long time we have tried to follow less-consumerist ways. There's a lot you can do with op-shopped , second hand & recycled goods, especially clothes & home furnishing things. Especially if you're handy & can take things in/out (clothes), cut them up & rearrange (eg patchwork, rag rugs), etc. I find a lot of good wool & beads in op shops so if you weave, crochet or knit there are lots of options (hats, scarves, slippers, bags etc). But you probably need a bit of a "vision" and a system for storing your to-be-recycled items, because you might need to collect materials over a period of time before you have enough bits that match to make a whole thing. (Don't try this if you have hoardy tendencies)!

    When you do resort to buying things from retailers, you can minimise the impact by buying the best quality item so that it will last longer.

    Food wise, you can grow potatoes in upright tubes, and there are several varieties of pumpkins & melons that grow in a compact fashion that are good if you don't mind having some greenery trailing around. Potatoes & pumpkins store well, so also think about how you can store your own or local seasonal produce for longer periods.

    Citrus trees bear well in winter, grow well in tubs, and the fruit stored well over a few months so that might be worth a shot too.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    Mudgereeba and Nerang have good farmers markets with some local produce.
    Also the show grounds on mt tamborine has a locally grown produce shed that runs every Sunday.
    Maybe look into producing 1 or 2 types of vege and using them to barter for the rest? That way you can concentrate on getting the best yields.
    Organic Australian grown garlics/ginger always sell well.
    Worm farms are also great, I bleddy paid $50 for 1000 worms at bunnings last week, selling/swapping those
    Lil beggars could work for you

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    Follow the peaceful hippie on Facebook, she's an Aussie who's working towards living off the grid.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    I work on Sundays and Saturday I wonder if Carrara markets will be ok

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    Just wanted to let you know that butchers will do a home kill for you. I don't shop meat at supermarkets, but I use butchers. I would use farmers markets if I had the option too.

    But I'm not trying to live off the grid. Just doing my best to support Aussies

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    Quote Originally Posted by jellybean88 View Post
    I work on Sundays and Saturday I wonder if Carrara markets will be ok
    Haven't been to those for years, you could try.
    Don't forget that there are lots of organic/local co-ops around, you know the pay your $40 and get a box of produce type ones.
    Our local IGA also buys local fruits from specialty growers, ie Dragon fruits from the farm here in Canungra.
    I think the first step us to start questioning your store managers where their stuff comes from.
    Buying ethically isn't always as tricky as you think.
    Eating local and seasonal can be pretty restrictive though.
    Having said that, growing veges is great fun and if you have the room for two small chooks or even a couple of quail. It's surprising what you can do yourself.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    I believe Silky chooks can be kept near a vege garden as the pure ones don't scratch up your garden. Not sure if this is gospel but worth considering if the chooks can help keep bugs off veges.
    Some other things to consider are using a bike for transport. One of those bike trailers can be bought 2nd hand and can fit 2 kids and some groceries.
    Cleaning products are also a very overrated supermarket item. Soap is quite easy to make if you want to use it.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    Quote Originally Posted by ~clover~ View Post
    Just wanted to let you know that butchers will do a home kill for you. I don't shop meat at supermarkets, but I use butchers. I would use farmers markets if I had the option too.

    But I'm not trying to live off the grid. Just doing my best to support Aussies
    That's not correct. Retail Butchers can't slaughter the animal. They can butcher it, but they can't slaughter it. If you got a mobile butcher to come to your home they could do it, but legally a retail butcher can't do it. You can arrange for a retail butcher to cut up the animal once it has been slaughtered and processed at an abattoir though.

    And you will need to check with your shire council about keeping chooks in urban areas. Some councils don't allow it.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    We live in a no pets allowed rental unfortunately and our yard is tiny so were quite restricted in that respect

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    our local FB groups have a barter group. I traded a few hours tutoring for half a (prebutchered) sheep.

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    There are meat co-ops in the area, they all seem to come from just south of the border. I'm vegan, so never pay attention to them, but I know they exist. On the other hand, meat is a very energy intensive way to eat, so perhaps you could consider more plant based meals?

  17. #17

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    Default Off grid, living off the land, relying less on supermarkets etc..

    I do want to tone down the meat more too and eat more veggies

    I'm starting to change the way we buy our animal products too we've always bought free range although if prefer to rescue a few battery hens and give them a loving home and live off what they give us it won't happen while were living in a unit,
    As for meat I could never do away with it completely but yes aiming to time it down and buy locally my parents just moved to a farm 3 hrs away so will raise their own animals for eating so I think we will keep a few of our own on their land at least the get a nice life before eating and well make sure they get killed better than the commercial way

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