Published on December 11th, 2015
Take self-sufficiency to the next level on your hobby farm
There are a lot of reasons why someone might want to move to a hobby farm, but few are as compelling as the idea of increasing your self-sufficiency. A large section of Australian income is spent each week on essentials like food and electricity – in fact, an average family with teenage children will spend almost $50 a week on fuel and power, and over $300 on food and drink. It's easy to see why getting out of the regular consumption cycle might be appealing.
That's where owning a lifestyle property outside of the city comes in. While there are certainly things city dwellers can do to reduce their reliance on conventional food and power networks, the excess space offered by a hobby farm is the perfect starting point for developing your own little independent, self-sufficient fiefdom.
It's easy to see why getting out of the regular consumption cycle might be appealing.
Charge up your hobby farm
The 2014 Clean Energy Australia Report from the Clean Energy Council found that 13.47 per cent of the country's energy generation came from renewable sources, with more than 15,000 businesses saving a total of $64 million thanks to solar power systems. Escaping from the clutches of the big power companies is gradually becoming more and more realistic for those who have bought a hobby farm.
By generating your own power with solar panels, you're also eligible for financial incentives under the federal government's Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. Whether you're powering your entire property, or just individual parts like your water heater, you could be eligible for rebates in the form of small-scale technology certificates, that can be bought, traded and sold to cover the cost of installation.
Water, water everywhere
Speaking of your water heater, it's also possible to fill it up by detaching yourself from conventional water infrastructure and harvesting rainfall on your property. Although predicting when and where rain will strike is notoriously difficult in Australia, placing one or more collection tanks around your hobby farm can supply you with some or all of your water needs.
If you're going all out and growing your own produce on your lifestyle property, you'll obviously need a large amount of water for your livestock or irrigation, but every little bit you can collect will help.
There you have it – two important steps towards achieving self-sufficiency on your hobby farm. If you're fed up with paying water and energy suppliers who seem to be constantly bumping up their prices, perhaps now is the time to speak to your real estate agent about lifestyle property for sale.