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Sunset-garden (2)At present I live (with a menagerie of animals) in suburban Adelaide (South Australia – in the southern foothills) on a typical ‘quarter acre block’. My house a 50-year-old brick home. It is not spectacular but it is cosy!  I live on the edge of an industrial-zoned area – not idyllic but with my vegetable garden and family of pets I’m happy with what I have.

I have done my best to establish my small piece of land as ‘self-sufficient’ as possible. Over the last 10 years I have enriched the soil with mulch and compost, planted numerous Australian natives, practical herbs and other plants, built a quiet spiritual retreat and fernery in the back corner, installed an all-important rain water tank, added a pergola, established a vegetable garden (of course) and a few fruit trees.

I do not use chemicals in or on the garden and ‘compost, recycle and reuse’ where-ever and when-ever possible. In terms of making and using alternatives: I practise what I can and what best suites my lifestyle and personal needs.  It would be difficult, if not impossible, to put into practice everything that I write and suggest.

Not having the privilege of paid full time work for many years has taught me much about living on a low income – it has been a real struggle at times. As a result I am particularly sympathetic to people in the same situation.  It has to be experienced to be truly understood.

One of the most helpful things along the way has been my involvement in LETS (local exchange trading system). It is a type of bartering system – anything that steps out of the confines of ‘money’ and into ‘alternative trading’ is a good thing in light of the current world financial situation.

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Through LETS I have managed to ‘buy’ many things that I could not afford in a dollar sense. There are LETS systems all over the world – many of which are interconnected. I co-ordinate SISLETS – the Inner Southern Adelaide group.  Every first Saturday morning of the month it holds a market where I run a Cafe offering my homemade food, fresh coffee, tea, etc.

But my happiest moments are those spent quietly in my garden – just absorbing Mother Nature around me and looking after and taking responsibility for the many stray animals that come to stay.   I have allocated one room of the house as ‘the office’ where The Self-Sufficiency Shoppe ideas and publications are created and developed.

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Getting to this point in my journey has been a ‘great adventure’ pursuing a dream of having a ‘Shoppe’ based upon ‘self-sufficiency and back-to-basics for the betterment of the planet’.  I consider that the full potential of what The Shoppe could achieve has not yet been realised. We will just have to see what the future unfolds!

Thank you for your interest in The Self-Sufficiency Shoppe. I hope you have enjoyed these pages and wish you well in your journey through life.

Pam Marshall
The Self-Sufficiency Shoppe
pam@theshoppe.com.au

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