Do You NEED a Community to Be Self-Sufficient?

When our life situations aren’t feeling ideal, it’s easy to dream of a completely self-sufficient life close to nature and far from fruitless people. To follow through with living alone and providing for all our own needs with no one else is questionably sustainable.

Partaking in a local community is necessary to be self-sufficient from stores that import unsustainable goods. What we are aiming to be self-sufficient from often renders the need for a smaller unit of community.

Being self-sufficient is less about surviving alone without other humans and more about regenerating the basics of our day-to-day living. Ultimately, we all share this earth as a community and this self-sufficient unit requires regeneration to sustain our species’ needs.


Needing no outside help in satisfying one’s basic needs, especially with regard to the production of food.

OXFORD Languages Dictionary

As humans, we require food, water, air, and shelter to survive. Imagine living alone in the wild and sourcing all of those requirements all by yourself.

Is that a sustainable life that you would enjoy physically? Teamwork also leads to a practical quality of life that is psychologically sustainable.

Here are the best tips for building a tight homestead community.

What is a Self-Sufficient Community?

Some deep thought goes into realizing what it means to be self-sufficient. There are many ways we can be “self-sufficient,” but it refers to the basics of life (which is all that essentially exists.) We are all part of this life and nothing between us is a separation.

A self-sufficient community as a whole contains a group of people who sustain each other’s basic needs requiring no outside help. This can pertain to resourceful livelihoods or environmentally sustainable businesses and families.

Having “no outside help” refers to energy beyond the sun and this earth’s finite resources. This is the “outside help” we need to be self-sufficient from. Space; nothingness.

Coming together to eliminate “waste” and rather make good use of what does exist is important so we aren’t left with nothing.

The protection of our resources comes first over financial independence because ultimately we cannot physically eat money to survive.

One day, by definition, all unsustainable current food sources will end. This means new ones must be created or sustainable food sources must be supported. If not, we’ll go hungry.

Making good use of resources includes many smaller units of communities that nurture given environmental circumstances. As far as your body can travel is as far as your needs should be met.

Wood chips inoculated with wine cap mushrooms demonstrate a self-sufficient way of growing food.
These wine cap mushrooms grew because we gave the spores generous straw and woodchips to colonize. Once established, they gave us fruit in abundance! To maintain this food we can continue feeding it mulch, or plant a tree that will drop leaf mulch on autopilot!

Do you Need Land to Be Self-Sufficient?

In reality, the majority of people don’t have access to land and depend on a currency to obtain their needs. If you live in an apartment, condo, townhome, or home with little (if any) backyard space, becoming self-sufficient within your control might seem impossible.

Fortunately, this is not the case!

You can be part of a self-sufficient community even if you have no access to land. Financial self-sufficiency is sustainable if the people who pay you and who you support with what you earn; regenerate their land resources.

Your dollar is your vote!

A popular expression among the sustainability community

Simply supporting your local and new-coming farmers is a great way to be part of a self-sufficient community.

By supporting local sustainable networks now, any collapsing markets of the future will feel less drastic as a whole. In the long run this means the payback of our cost will be lesser lives lost. Ultimately, the true cost is not the number of dollars we have to spend but the number of lives we are capable of sustaining. All lives depend on today’s maintenance of our required resources.

It is important during such transitions, that while it might be more expensive in some areas, we support local regenerative farmers so they can afford to stay in business.

Abundance is not expensive. Fund generosity generously and everyone will thrive.

Rachelle Preston

Can You Be Completely Self-Sufficient With Land?

As a species living on a giant rock, thanks to the sun, we are certainly self-sufficient with land! Now we wonder if it’s possible to be self-sufficient on an individual or family level with the land. The intent of this question also refers to not needing to earn and use a currency for our sustenance.

With land, you can be self-sufficient from general society if you and your community live on a non-taxed property. From there, the way you establish and maintain resources on the land will determine complete self-sufficiency.

When we think about living off the land as an individual, we might imagine living in the forest…

The forest provides me mulch for free to use where I please. I only rake from the road so the remaining forest floor can be replenished after a long spring and summer of providing abundance.

The reason for this is that the forest is a closed-loop system that takes many of the efforts of life off our shoulders. So how can we establish a low-maintenance system with a similar design?

Answers are found through observing naturally occurring forests. Looking for ways to delegate maintenance to a non-human community is the priority of complete individual self-sufficiency.

Teamwork is always the answer!

Today, our challenge is letting go of extreme control while reuniting with diversity from all life forms to become our forefronted community, once again.

This is why food forest gardens are becoming particularly favored! As you might have imagined; what are we going to eat in a forest? I don’t have the knowledge for that!

A food forest garden includes all the familiar fruits we love to eat and is one way to establish a low-maintenance regenerative food system by embracing naturally occurring diversity.

With time your food forest can establish a closed loop system using the same concepts of natural forests.

Related section: How To Become Self-Sufficient Without a Job

What Can Happen if a Community is Not Sustainable?

What drives us to pursue sustainable lifestyles are the dire results of not living to survive. If a community does not live sustainably its current or future generations will suffer inevitable outcomes.

In general, an unsustainable community will cease to afford what they need and their quality of life will collapse. If this happens, their way of living will be forced to change.

If a community does not facilitate resilience to change, they fail to survive when it’s required.

How Can We Make Our Community Self Sufficient

As unsustainable products become unaffordable, fewer people are going to continue wanting them. This means more people will need to adopt lifestyles that put basics first.

Transitioning to a self-sufficient community is initiated by collaboration, resource management, and a sustenance-first approach. The focus of coming together is to ensure everyone’s needs are met and that what they accomplish in a day replenishes all necessary supplies.

Sustenance depends on resource management which depends on collaboration. Resilient individuals can help make up a strong community:

A human development expert, Dr. Ginsburg suggests there are 7 C’s that make up resilience: competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control.

The 7 Cs: The Essential Building Blocks of Resilience |

Everything comes together with time, so the best time to initiate a self-sufficient life is now. Start with community building.

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While Rachelle's hands are clean for the keyboard, she enjoys writing and designing creative content and resources. You will most likely find her outside planting a cabbage, foraging berries for breakfast, and collecting herbs for year-round tea or making food.

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