What is self-sustaining?
Self -sustaining is the ability to be self sufficient, especially in a rural and or isolated circumstance, and this is achieved through a self-sufficient garden. The RCSS believes that we can better address the underlying issues in communities that are struggling, granting that they are situated more than 30 minutes round trip from any food resources such as supermarkets and shops. Some people may feel that Food banks are the solution. However, the RCSS views this very differently. Food banks that receive food and charities that distribute it, is supposed to last only a few days, or at the most five. It is meant to provide an emergency, short-term basis aid. It is never to be considered a long-term solution, especially in areas where communities are established, rural and isolated, the last thing you want is people coming to get short-term emergency food and relying on that every week. The solution is to narrow the root cause of why the food boxes are required.
In order to better support the rural regions in need and find long-term solutions, tackling the root causes of food insecurity like poverty and access to infrastructure are essential. There is a need for a systemic change and better support in assisting long term solutions. There may be a need to continue to provide emergency food but at the same time, we need to consider the root cause of the need,
By creating a self sufficient garden, it not only provides essential food and health to the residents, it also treats the land properly, as the land is our pathway to the future. The sustainable growing method tastes great and provides residents with all the vitamins they need. In addition, the gardens reduce the distribution to landfills and helps the wider country's sustainable goals.
By assessing the cost, how much is relied upon and the types of food that is normally purchased at the supermarkets, and how much goes to waste, this assists people realise how much can be saved as a monetary value by a self-sufficient garden.
The residents can decide what they would like to grow, noting the foods the family prefers and understanding that not every crop will grow in every climate. Changing ones menu to cater for the climate is a way of also complementing the experimental meal preparations. Studying and learning new recipes also gives the residents a new sense of achievement. Learning off neighbours and exploring cooking channels also sets a new concept of self worth and a healthier lifestyle.
What some residents thought was the impossible, can now be great cultivators and horticulturalists. It is important that the residents don’t be afraid to start small and build gradually toward food self-sufficiency. A good starting goal is an early milestone like growing tomatoes, beans, capsicum, herbs, garlic and onions which are all of the ingredients for the spaghetti sauce that can be canned.
Self-sufficient gardens can also incorporate livestock such as chickens, goats, pigs, cows, and many other animals that provide essential food items, for example milk and eggs.
The RCSS have designed the self-sufficient pages to assist all rural communities and any other, to start at the roots of becoming self sufficient, grow and unite as a community in sharing their produce.
For the residents that don't have the capability of producing, for example, people with a disability or the aged, a community garden is a sustainable goal that the RCSS is wanting to achieve in the future.