Self-sufficiency list Pindari Herb Farm
A Resource Centre for Self-Responsible and Harmonious Living


Introduction Power generation
Water management Food self-sufficiency
Herbal medicines Personal Preparation
Spiritual preparation Family Preparation
Community Preparation Obtaining a healthy diet
See also:
Clean Burn Wood Fired Water Heating Furnace.
dated 02/04/09

We now have a 50 slide Power Point presentation available on Self-sufficiency as experienced at Pindari. This is available on a DVD along with much other 'self-sufficiency' information for AUD$20 and purchasable by emailing us at Pindari. (See Email address at bottom of this page) 

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Petroleum products provide much of the energy that powers "western civilized" countries. The price of this commodity has recently fluctuated significantly and ahead may rise further. Some experts suggest that demand now exceeds supply. (Refer to the DVD film "Crude Awakening" and to

Climate change with extremes in weather are having a significant effect on the harvest quantities of many staple foods. Major food producing countries are experiencing historic droughts. Already the price of some staple foods has risen more than 50%. Hundreds of millions of more people are now going hungry as they are no longer able to buy enough food. One report suggests that the droughts will reduce global food production by between 20-40% (Catastrophic fall in 2009 Global Food Production:

The current and deepening financial crisis is likely to see more people out of work and many more unable to pay their bills and in poorer countries, buy enough food to satisfy their nutritional needs. Social unrest is on the increase and is being compounded by the spiritually driven escalation in mental and emotional trauma that has the very real potential of inflaming and magnifying social unrest into chaos. (Refer to "The Testament of Truth" document at: ). 

With the increasing cost of two most basic commodities of this civilization, energy and food, and the flow on effects that this will have on the price and even availability of many other products, we suggest that there is now an urgent need to prepare both individually and collectively for the potential times ahead by becoming more self reliant.

When you take steps towards being more self reliant in food, water and electrical power, you create a protective buffer against any future break downs in supply, and at the same time, you can save money. To be fully self-sufficient and live a westernised life style is not possible, however with a substantial change in attitudes to consumption, work ethic and lifestyle and by using of both old and modern technologies you can be comfortably self-reliant. 

We at Pindari started towards self-reliance nearly 17 years ago. This document shares the information gained and the lessons learnt on that journey. It is provided here so others may gain from our experiences.


At Pindari we focus on using as much local resources as possible, creating an infrastructure for a lifestyle that is "practicably" self reliant, and that leaves a small ecological footprint. We use fossil fuels to a minimum and much is recycled. We grow most of our food along with many medicinal herbs which we prepare into products such as mixtures and creams. These we barter and sell to enable us to purchase fuel and other supplies. 

It is a very freeing lifestyle requiring hard work and is one where you very much are living to a different and sometimes opposite set of values to main stream society. 

We make financial and other contributions to support others less fortunate in our community as we are able and inspired. We endeavour to heed our Creator's love one another Command and we understand the absoluteness of His one: As you sow so you reap law. (Refer ). We thus do not participate in, condone, fund or support organisations such as governments and local councils that are controlling and punitive in their actions. 

We believe that making provision for the future security for our children and ourselves is best achieved by us having organic home grown foods, a good supply of clean water, electrical power from our own sources, medicinal herbs in our gardens and an understanding of how best to remain mentally and emotionally steady in times of challenge. (Refer


If intending to become more self reliant, the areas of food production, preparation and storage, along with water supply and management and power generation need to be planned for and carefully budgeted. (Click here to view a Self-sufficiency check list)

There are many degrees of self reliance that can be achieved depending on your wishes, funding and current circumstances. For some, the first step may involve moving to the country in order to obtain the space where food can be grown and where there is a good supply of water. For others living in towns, simply collecting rain water and turning the backyard into a vegetable garden are practical first steps.

The two basic needs in self-sufficiency are water and food. You can live without electrical power although it makes life much easier.  Below is a brief over view of these.

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Power generation for the home.

To be to any degree self reliant in electrical power, there is a need for a completely different mental attitude towards to its consumption. Its not how little you can consume, its how little you have to consume . This is reinforced by the reality that if you do not sufficiently match your generation with your consumption you will "run out" of power and every thing will shut down. 

Power generation is a complex area requiring careful planning and costing. The help of an expert to plan the system you install so that it is well balanced in production, storage, conversion from DC to AC current and usage is advised. A "standby" electrical generating facility is also needed so that you are not "left in the dark" if the electricity power supply fails and so you can recharge the batteries. This generating facility can also be used for running power tools and the washing machine in a small system.

There are now many information sources on alternative power available including government publications and the Internet. A popular Australian publication is "ReNew" magazine.

Further information on "at home" power generation is available at:

And information on wind and solar power generation of electricity at:

For information on a house heating and potential power generating system designed and built in Tasmania go to:
Clean Burn Wood Fired Water Heating Furnace.

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At Pindari because of the long distance that we run our power cables we use a 24 volts system with a bank of 1350 amp/hour deep cycle batteries. Cable sizing is important for low voltage wiring such as with DC house wiring. To calculate cable size.

For power generation we have 6 X 64 watt and 8X80 watt solar panels, a Soma 1000 watt wind generator (view tower), and as a "back up" we have a wood fired steam engine that can generate up to 900 watts per hour. 

In relatively windy weather and with sunny days we are able to generate sufficient electrical power to frugally run the house. We are still connected to the electricity grid because of its obvious convenience but In emergencies when there is no reticulated power we are able to go into a self-reliant mode and successfully run the house on the power available from our system.

For lighting we use 240 volt AC compact fluorescents or 24 volt DC dichroic halogen lamps. We are currently converting many of these lights to the new LED technology now that both white and warm white colours are available. LED lights use roughly one 5th to one 10th of the power of a dichroic globe and can last a "life time". They are voltage sensitive so if you are generating your own power, use LEDs listed as 15 or 30 volt capacity or insert a voltage regulator.

Most "in house" electrical power generating systems require deep cycle battery storage and an inverter to convert the DC battery current to AC 240V for general use.

Points to consider in electrical power planning.

A. Energy saving considerations:

  1. Down-sizing, elimination or conversion of the refrigerator and freezer to a 12 or 24 volt DC compressor or to a highly insulated 240V model.
  2. Replacing electric hot plates and oven with a wood stove and a gas cook top as a back up.
  3. Replace the dish washer, clothes dryer and electric heaters with other means.
  4. Depending on the power available, minimize or cease using the food processor, electric jug, iron, hair dryer, video, television, computer, stereo system and vacuum cleaner.
  5. Light with compact fluorescent, 12 or 24 volt DC dichroic halogen lights or the new LED lighting.
  6. Turn all lights off that are not required.
  7. Turn off electrical appliances at the wall socket that run "phantom loads" such as the TV, DVD player and anything using transformers.

B. Alternative sources of power generation (pros and cons}:

  1. Solar - Low maintenance, long lasting, dependent on sunlight, lower winter output when needs may be higher.
  2. Wind - Need a windy site, use a high tower for best efficiency, noisy, some maintenance required, subject to wind droughts.
  3. Hydro (water) - Needs a constant flow of water with sufficient fall. Generally less expensive per watt produced to establish and is of low maintenance. It is the best alternate supply method.
  4. Generators.
    Diesel and petrol - Noisy, costly to run, dependent on availability of fuel, some maintenance required, a useful and easy to establish backup power source.
    Steam engine - High establishment costs, some maintenance and needs supervision, low fuel costs, uses renewable energy resource.

C. Useful information.

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Water management

Planning for an adequate supply of water is most important. Allow for predicted extremes in weather due to climate change with increased droughts and floods. Pumping of water is very energy consuming. Placing of the house and garden below the water source can save considerable energy with gravity being used to reticulate the water rather than a stop start pressure pump. Pipe sizing is important, use larger diameter piping to reduce friction.

Having sufficient water for the vegetable garden is important, here water quantity is more important than quality along with how the water is distributed, whether by dripping or sprinklers etc. Being able to water the vegetable garden and orchard is a major factor in the successful growing of your own food. Also consider having a sufficient supply of water to flush toilets and at a pressure  for fighting fires.


Sources - For drinking water, always check the quality of the water in regards to the mineral and faecal content and the presence of herbicides and pesticides.

(Click for a description of the Pindari Water Supply).

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Food self-sufficiency

Planning - Self-sufficiency in growing food needs careful planning and requires:

How and what to grow - depends on many factors including:

Which basics food types

Dependent on the climatic zone, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat and fish are usually the easiest to grow, graze and catch in a self sufficient setting. Growing and harvesting of cereals is labour intensive and subject to vermin predation. Commercially, cereals are grown and harvested with agricultural machinery. At Pindari maize, amaranth and quinoa have been grown with considerable effort but little resultant grain.

At this time, cereals can be more easily purchased and stored. Wheat being the longest keeping and best value for price, nutrition and energy. 
(see storage.htm)

(For further details go to Growing food at Pindari)

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Herbal medicines

We have over 100 medicinal herbs within the garden (see herb list) which provides herbal medicines for the treatment of many common disorders. In the potential times ahead, expensive drug medicines may not be affordable nor available. Herbal medicines which have been successfully used for millennia and may be the only means of helping the sick. The growing, harvesting and usage of these herbs is well covered in readily available herbal reference books and refer to Growing your Herbal Medicine Chest.

Personal Preparation

Personal preparation is about being mentally and emotionally prepared for any eventuality. This above all else means being able to clearly think your way and peacefully act through any difficult situation. When food, water and medicine are in short or non-supply, many will be acting irrationally and even violently. Refer to Spiritual Preparation on how you can prepare your mind for this eventuality. 

Other steps can be:

Spiritual preparation

The advice we offer here is based on our understanding:

You may be totally prepared materially for any planetary eventuality but if you are not able to remain rational and sane, loving and compassionate in the midst of it all, little will have been achieved and potentially your spiritual wellbeing lost through un-loving destructive acts.

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Family Preparation

Preparing yourself and your family for possible difficult times ahead is the same as the personal and spiritual preparations above (refer also to Family Security), multiplied by the number in the family and varied according to their individual or idiosyncratic needs. Some material storage provisions could be:

Community Preparation

All in the community will need water, food and shelter. Many will be TOTALLY unprepared physically and mentally and will be in great emotional distress. This is when your steady mind and the sharing of your put away provisions will be necessary. It will also be a time when madness runs through the community with much personal trauma and material destruction. (Refer: A letter to community members, especially to community elders and organisations such as local Councils.)

Obtaining a healthy diet

This is such a complex area but simply put. Prepare your body health wise now by only eating God made foods and not man made foods. i.e. Avoid all processed foods where you cannot recognize the original starting material eg. sugar and white flour. Also:


The above is a brief overview of what is required to become more self-sufficient. An 'honesty' appraisal of the current global situation facing humanity would suggest that much change is afoot and it is accelerating. By acting now and preparing, you are taking out an 'insurance policy' for your family and self. Already in our local area, skilled tradesmen in the technologies around self-sufficiency are in high demand. It does take time to materially prepare.

Spiritual preparation i.e. preparing the mind, as said is of the utmost importance, and that too takes time. 

Ken Atherton
Pindari Herb Farm
200 Norwich Drive LONGFORD Tasmania 7301 Australia
Web page:

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