Course CodeASS100
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Convert to a More Sustainable Way of Living

  • Live a healthier and happier life, learn to become more sustainable with food, energy and other daily needs.
  • Or forge a new business or career working in  Self Sufficiency

Whether your aim is to reduce living costs, produce healthier food, or something more dramatic like quitting your job and relocating to acreage; this course is a great foundation for  those scenarios and more




This course covers many aspects of self sufficiency, including the following:

  • how to live with lower income
  • identification of essential and non-essential services offered by society
  • identification of services that one can be self sufficient with
  • identification of self skills that can aid in self sufficiency
  • skills that can be developed to assist in self sufficiency
  • identify needs, wants and likes; and the purpose of prioritising needs
  • identify items one can provide for oneself
  • development of cost efficient meals
  • identify purpose of fitness to self sufficiency
  • plan a food garden
  • identify crops plants most suited to a persons locality that assist in self sufficiency
  • use of bees hives, poultry and other animals for self sufficiency
  • estimating carrying capacity of a piece of land for animal stocking
  • importance of pasture
  • multipurpose animal stocking and their uses
  • energy alternative techniques such as wind, solar, water fire, etc.
  • reducing present energy usage
  • cloth and garment making processes
  • food preservation techniques
  • handicrafts techniques (eg candle making)
  • identifying criteria when planning to set up a self sufficient lifestyle in a new location
  • identifying criteria on how to improve self sufficiency in present location


What is Self Sufficiency?

The concept of self sufficiency is all too often bandied around without people properly understanding what it all means. Consider the following statements:
  • To be self-sufficient, is to produce the things which you need to survive without the assistance of outside people.
  • You can produce some of your needs and be partly self sufficient, produce all of your needs and be completely self sufficient.
  • An individual person can be self sufficient, a small group (eg. a family) can be self sufficient, or a large group can be self sufficient (you might think in terms of a whole society, city or nation).
  • To become self sufficient usually involves making certain compromises or concessions in your lifestyle. You might have to wear different types of clothing, adapt to a different level of mobility or change your diet. The degree to which you can achieve self sufficiency is usually related to the degree to which you are willing to make compromises.
  • Large areas of land are not necessary to become self sufficient. Depending on what you produce and how you produce it, you can become relatively self sufficient on even a standard suburban house block.
  • Bartering or swapping goods and/or services is often adopted by the person interested in pursuing a self sufficient life-style. This is not self sufficiency strictly, but like sufficiency, the barter system offers an escape from a dependence on the monetary system.
  • Along with self-sufficiency comes the idea of a system of living that is self-perpetuating - the basic structure of which works with the cycles of nature. The permaculture concept, companion planting and alternative medicine are all seeking to establish a self supporting system both economically and environmentally.
  • Self sufficiency means different things to different people.
  • The one thing that all fans of self sufficiency share in common is a desire to reduce reliance on goods and services supplied by others.


In reality, we will never be totally independent for one reason: it is in our nature to be social, and we all need to interact with other humans in order to be psychologically fulfilled.
We can however take far more control of our own destiny by doing two simple things:
  1. Increase our capacity to independently provide the goods and services we desire
  2. Change our attitude and lifestyle so as to reduce the demands we place upon ourselves to provide as many goods and services.

Lesson Structure

  1. Introduction- “What can I grow or make myself?”
  2. Health, Nutrition and Clothing- Learn the importance of good nutrition and health
  3. Horticulture ‑Learn about the relevance and application of horticulture to self sufficiency with Fruit and Vegetables
  4. Horticulture ‑ Learn about the cultivation and use of herbs.
  5. Animal Husbandry ‑ Learn about Poultry and Bees
  6. Animal Husbandry ‑ Learn about Grazing Animals and Pigs
  7. Building- Learn about the applications of building self sufficiently
  8. Energy- Learn about the application of alternative energy sources
  9. Craft and Country Skills- Learn about skills to make the most of your new lifestyle
  10. Making Decisions- Decisions that are made in a self sufficient lifestyle are different to those in modern society.


  • Discuss the nature and scope of self sufficiency.
    • Explain the importance of good nutrition and health.
    • Explain the importance of suitable clothing and clothing care.
    • Explain the relevance and application of horticulture to self sufficiency.
    • Explain the cultivation and use of herbs.
    • Explain the main requirements for successfully raising animals.
    • Explain the fundamentals of caring for grazing animals.
    • Explain the available alternatives to eating meat.
    • Discuss various building techniques that can be used to construct buildings.
    • Discuss alternatives to conventional energy sources.
    • Determine and describe accessible craft and country skills that may contribute to self sufficiency.
    • Analyze potential changes in lifestyle to increase a person’s level of self-sufficiency.

How To Convert to Organics
Going organic in your gardening and food isn't as difficult as you might think, if you know what you are doing; and you take a careful and well planned approach to changing your old ways. The eventual reward will be both a healthier environment and a healthier body.
Organic production means more than just avoiding chemical pesticides though. If you do it properly, organic gardening is a way of harnessing nature to work for you.
Organics is not necessarily an all or nothing method either!
You can go partly organic if that is your wish.
Why Do People Go Organic?
  • Health – less toxins in the body (for people, wildlife and pets)
  • Cost – you can grow more for the dollar … because you are recycling and harvesting benefits from nature
  • Environment – a sustainable growing method
  • Better food – many people prefer food grown without pesticides. It can taste better too!
How to do it Organically
  • Use natural pest control methods
  • Control weeds without chemicals (hand weed, cultivate, mulch, burn etc)
  • Mulch (for temperature and moisture control)
  • Use organic fertilisers
  • Recycle – compost kitchen scraps and garden waste
  • Choose plants varieties that are less susceptible to pests, disease etc
  • Choose combinations of plants that work well together.
You don’t need to change the basic structure of the garden to make a start.
Take a systematic approach:
  1. Consider the plants/garden areas that frequently need fertilising, weeding, spraying etc.
  2. Identify and write a list plants that are problems – for example those that get lots of pests or diseases.
  3. Make a list garden of garden areas that are problems, like those that get lots of weeds or need frequent fertilising.
  4. Analyse your lists – and prioritise …you will end up with a list of problems that are normally either ignored or addressed in a non-organic way. You are now ready to deal with these, one by one, in an organic way.
Healthy soil means healthy plants.
An important factor in the success of an organic garden is the condition of the soil. Healthy soil requires less fertiliser and less water. It’s easier to dig and easier to weed. The work you put into the soil will pay off by reducing the workload as the organic system develops.
Any soil can be improved through the addition of organic material:
  • Manure – sheep, cow, horse, poultry
  • Vermicast (earthworm castings)
  • Mushroom compost
  • Composted kitchen scraps
  • Composted leaves, grass clippings and other garden waste
  • Grow cover crops of legumes to build up soil nitrogen
Make your own. Site your compost heap in a location handy to the kitchen and use as much on-site material as possible – autumn leaves, grass clippings, kitchen scraps, even torn up newspaper.
Dig the compost into the soil to improve its fertility and structure, or spread it on the surface as an organic mulch that will naturally break down into the soil.
A lawn occupies a horizontal space. A more productive garden results when trees, shrubs and ground covers fill the vertical space in your design.
Grassy areas also consume a lot of chemical herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers. If your lawn receives more attention than the rest of your garden, you could consider removing it completely.
Pulling up established turf can create its own problems. But if you are thorough, it will reduce the work required later, when your turfed area becomes a beautiful garden.
When redesigning or creating garden beds, use the least amount of edging possible. A circular or curved garden will have fewer problems with weeds than a long, thin rectangular garden.
Selecting the right plant may be the most important factor in the success of any garden. Choose the right plants for your garden style and climate.
Many ornamental plants such as roses have been bred for their appearance and/or smell and are very prone to pests and disease.
Local native plants will grow well without excessive input from you. They prefer local conditions and will not suffer from pests and diseases as readily as non-local natives or exotics. They will also attract native birds that will further reduce pest problems.
Certain plants can be planted as companions, ie. different species are grown together to improve their vigor and to repel pests. Some examples of companion planting are:
  • marigolds planted with tomatoes or roses to deter nematodes
  • garlic planted under peaches to prevent leaf curl 
Many pests can be controlled with natural methods. Here are some examples:
  • Use physical protection such as cages and nets to keep pests from your plants.
  • Slugs and snails can be trapped in saucers of beer
  • Garlic spray or a blast of water from the hose will control aphids
  • Remove the weeds from around plants where caterpillars can hide
  • Lavender bushes will repel moths
  • Insects, such as aphids are attracted to yellow. A piece of yellow card or plastic can be smeared with something sticky (eg. honey) and hung amont plants. Insects that land on it will become stuck there.
By spraying less you will encourage the beneficial animals and insects that control garden pests. Chemical sprays can often kill the good with the bad.



This course may be used by some to kick start a new way of living; more sustainably, with less need to buy in everything you use, and a greater control over the production and characteristics of the food, energy, and other consumables that might be used in day to day living.
You may be moving toward self sufficiency as a matter of necessity; or perhaps out of a sense of need to healthier and more wholesome in your approach to life.

Others may find this course lays a foundation for providing services to others; developing a business that has self sufficiency at it's heart. 


It's Easy to Enrol

Select a Learning Method

I am studying from...

Enable Javascript to automatically update prices.

All prices in Australian Dollars.

Payment plans available.

Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!