SELF SUFFICIENCY II is a course that we have designed to teach you about producing more of your own food.

 
You can do this both by growing it, and also through better handling of food (eg. to store and preserve it)
 
Modern society is an extremely complex thing.It relies completely upon a massive network of interrelationships between the individuals and groups which it composed of.Each part of society supports each other part.To live in such a world usually involves finding a niche for yourself, giving your contribution to the whole machine, and in return the machine supports you.
Modern society has its disadvantages though:
 
a) It is impersonal ‑ It only guarantees the material needs of a person.
The impersonal way in which goods and services are provided can increase
the likelihood of emotional problems.
 
b) It does not tolerate anything which does not fit the system.
People who deviate from what is considered the 'norm' are 'labelled'
and rejected by society in the main.
 
c) Everyone is so dependent on everyone else that they are frequently
affected by things they have no control over eg. industrial disputes.
 
d) If the system collapses, everything collapses.
 
People do not have a broad enough range of skills to survive if thrown into a different situation eg. war, economic collapse, natural catastrophe.
 
 
Plan What You Grow
 
With proper planning and variety selection, you can reduce the effort necessary to obtain home grown produce.
What you grow can effect maintenance requirements. There are varieties more disease resistant which means there will be less need to control pests and diseases.
 
The ease with which you grow vegetables, for instance,  will depend largely on the following things:
  • The growing techniques you use
  • Where you grow them
  • Pest, disease and weed management
  • Timing –time of year, time of harvest, time of pest control 
  • What you grow
 
 
Planting Vegetables
 
There are many types of vegetables to choose from, not to mention the range of varieties of each vegetable. The choice will depend on personal taste, season and location.
 
To prevent the situation of your entire vegetable garden being attacked by a particular pest or disease, it is advisable to plant a range of unrelated crops. This means do not plant only brassicas (cauliflowers, broccoli) otherwise the one pest will have a field day. Also as the vegetable patch goes through rotation, try not to use similar plants (i.e. do not plant mustard in a plot which has had cauliflower growing in it).
Rotation of crops is where after one crop has finished, it is ploughed in (to return nutrients to the soil), and another different crop is planted. Occasionally, the plot should be left fallow (i.e. not planted up) to allow it to rest from heavy cropping. In this time planting it with a green manure is very beneficial for the soil especially if a legume crop is used which will put nitrogen back into the soil.
 
 
Most vegetables tend to only grow for a season (part of a year); and need to be regrown each year.
Some (e.g. asparagus and rhubarb) produce plants that can live and keep being harvested for as much as ten years. Other vegetables will self-seed in a garden, re-emerging as a crop of new plants each season; if conditions are right (e.g. Sometimes cherry tomatoes, radish, onions). Some root vegetables including potatoes and sweet potatoes; will grow year after year in the same patch. (Note: while potato plants may grow several seasons; so do the pests that attack the tubers; making them unproductive if left too long in the same ground).
 
 
 
Planting Trees
 
There are literally thousands of different trees that can be planted to provide, food, fuel, building materials or other things. The obvious ones are well known fruit and nut trees; that are suited to the locality where you live; and are readily available in your locality. There are many other species though; which may be grown in similar climates in other parts of the world; that may have very real potential for use in your area. Obviously you can grow more trees on a bigger property, but even a small home garden can grow a few very productive trees, if you choose your varieties well.
 
To plan for a tree plantation or orchard, one of the first considerations are the legumes for nitrogen fixing. Legumes to consider include: white clover, lab-lab, lucerne, wattles, albizia, plus many others. Place them to also function as windbreaks. If planting on a slope, plant along the contours.
 
Always remember that the soil is the most important resource you have. If you condition it the best you can, it will provide you with an abundance of fruit over many years. Conditioning may include opening clay (with products such as gypsum or just relying on plant's roots), or it may involve the addition of organic matter. 
 
 
Planning the Intercrop Species
 
Orchards should be made up of disease resistant crops, possibly windbreaks and a range of complimentary trees to provide pest control or bee attracting. Additionally, the understorey could utilise a green manure crop; nitrogen fixing plants; forage for animals; act as insect repellents; or could be used to grow a vegetable crop.
 
    To reduce pest populations you need to note: 
      Select disease resistant plant material. Attract predatory insects and animals into the property.Interplant with legume trees and small plants.Remove grass and substitute with mulch or similar.Incorporate foraging animals like poultry or pigs to eat fallen fruit and deposit manure.
     

     

    Become increasingly Self Sufficient by studying Self Sufficiency II with ACS (Note: You do not need to do Self Sufficiency I before taking this). Click here for details