Native bees on bok choy flowers close yellow

Keeping native bees might be trendy but soon it may become necessary! 

  1.   6 Comment
  2.   26249 Views
  Mark Valencia — I'd be happy to help as best I can - what would you like to know?...
  Fr. Victor — My uncle and I are seriously interested in native beekeeping but we have no clue on where to start. Can you steer us in the right direction? Please, please, pretty please? With native honey on top?...
  Mark Valencia — Hi Greg, sorry mate but I edited your post above as you should not disclose personal details for public viewing over the web such as addresses etc. An alternative would be to join our forum and use our internal private conversation messaging system to ask about purchasing native bee hives. http://ww......

self sufficient house

The post answers the question: Where can I find a good place to be self-sufficient? 

How to easily make your own home-made stock cubes from cooking stock!

  1.   1 Comment
  2.   11388 Views
  Mark — Magic! Just what I needed thanks ...

Using bio detergent in your septic isn't necessary.

Preserved mango in zip bag dehydrated (dried)

How to preserve mango through dehydration and easily make one of the best snack foods ever.

  1.   4 Comment
  2.   20374 Views
  Mark Valencia — Hi Manny, just a quick dip is fine and no you don't need to rinse them off. But remember, you really don't have to use citric acid at all as they will dehydrate well without it but maybe a little less vibrant in colour....
  Manny — Hi Mark, Do you need to soak the sliced mangoes in the solution (citric acid or lemon) for a certain time before you put in the dehydrator? If you use citric acid do you need to rinse first the mango slices before dehydrating? Thank you very much. Manny...
  Mark Valencia — Hi Kate and thanks for your observations! Sometimes mango may discolour slightly but citric acid or lemon juice is probably not necessary for most. Cheers ...

Compost bays made from recycled pallets

This is a cheap and easy way to make a serious compost heap/bay system out of recycled/used pallets to support the biggest of gardens.

  1.   2 Comment
  2.   8107 Views
  Mark Valencia — Hi Peter, thanks for taking the time to say hello your comments are much appreciated! Cheers, Mark...
  Peter — hi I really like your homestead and really appreciate what you do and the effort you put into your farm. I love your quail. cheers Peter...

Rooster soup with kidney beans spinach and rice in bowl

Make your New Year's resolution to become more self-sufficient and I can make the best rooster soup ever!

Now that solar feed-in tariffs and rebate schemes have dropped should you forget about getting solar? I say no way!

For Xmas or that special occasion consider a self-sufficiency present it’s the best gift anyone can receive… Read more and find out why? 

"To me, living in a capital city is like waking up with a pillow over your face and finding it difficult to breathe."

ways to save money through self sufficiency

Here are 12 self-sufficient ways I have found to save me money. It has worked for me and there is no reason why these measures won't work for you also. Saving money doesn't have to mean doing without; in fact, it can mean doing more and having a healthier, happier, life. 

Leave struggling solar families alone newman

The Premier of Queensland Campbell Newman wants to single out pensioners, self-funded retirees, and struggling families as the cause for rising electricity costs in the State just because they had a solar PV system installed.

  1.   4 Comment
  2.   2789 Views
  Mark Valencia — Hi Jackobob, and thanks mate for your opinion from an insiders perspective you'd know a lot more about it than most of us! The average cost of power for households really does worry me greatly and I'm hoping for a day in the not too distant future when power storage becomes cheap and viable (to run ......
  Jackobob — My background is power stations & electrical engineering as a result I can confirm that almost everything the power industry says about solar is a lie. The solar generation is saving the power companies a fortune by reducing their requirement to build extra power stations and larger transmission......
  Mark Valencia — Wow you definitely are very handy Tim! I'd love to disconnect totally from the grid and that time will come one day I do believe but for now my solar system is connected - at least it's generating some savings though... I reckon I need to do a bit (a LOT) of research and prac before I can start buil......
pickle on fork vegetable garden in background good 620

From pickles on a McDonalds burger to eating them straight from the jar, pickled cucumbers are famous the world over and there are many different ways to make them.

  1.   2 Comment
  2.   20055 Views
  Mark Valencia — Hi Don, thanks mate - I missed your comment initially and only just saw it now... I appreciate you taking the time to let us know about your pickles. Cheers ...
  Don — I've made the "Sliced Dill Pickles No Sugar McDonalds Style" twice now and love, love, love the recipe! The first time I got into a jar after only a few days and thought it was awful. The flavor had not developed that quickly. You need to wait a least 1 week before eating. By the time I was eating t......
doomsday nuclear bomb

The main threat to humanity may not necessarily be from a conventional disaster with population growth, corporate greed, farmland shortages, and financial markets under stress will you be able to afford to buy your food in the future...?

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  Mark Valencia — Hi Mouseinthehouse Thanks for your comment. Aquaponics is an interesting venture for self-sufficiency good luck with that - I would love to have a go at it myself one day. I can vouch for preserving (bottling and other ways) don't know what we'd do without it now. Cheers ......
  mouseinthehouse — Good article. We have been thinking about all these issues much more lately. In the coming year we are going to put in place systems to ensure we have water security (without relying on the grid for pumping) on our property. We are also going to get an aquaponics set up running, bees started and exp......
My solar 5kW system on shed roof
After writing about solar energy and PV systems for the best part of two years now and wanting a system for at least 5 years, I can finally say I own a 5 kW PV system. However, for so long owning my own solar system seemed like an unattainable dream beyond my financial reach.

  1.   2 Comment
  2.   3301 Views
  Mark Valencia — Hi Graham,I only had the system installed on 6th Dec 12 (and it went live a few weeks later as I needed to wait for Energex to update my box) therefore, I am yet to receive my first power bill since the install. Due to fluctuating weather conditions and the seasons etc it's best to give the system 1......
  Graham — Hi Mark, Good read as always, now that you have had it for awhile (Solar ) would like to know your figures ie money saved,amount of power generated back to grid,money lost if any (cloudy days )also if I buy one now how long to pay it off, my bill will never be cost neutral as power bill is large alw......

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