by Jeanne Hardy
(KwaZulu Natal, South Africa)

Hi, we are a small farm in South Africa, surrounded by large commercial farms. 10 years ago we were viewed with utmost disdain, not anymore. We grow our own vegetables, enough to sell, make our own cheese, butter and yoghurt, smoke our own hams and bacons. We use draught horses and donkeys to do most of the farm work. We tan our own leather and make moccassins, chaps and horse tack. Not quite off grid yet but getting there. Electricity used only for laundry, lights and TV (when we have a few minutes spare!) We grow our own herbs for medicine, cosmetics and household use.

We do not know the price of condiments & spices, jams and preserves, pasta, meat, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, bread, pulses, bird food for our pets, grain for our feathered flock, dry food for our meat rabbits or meat pigeons, cleaning materials, cosmetics and most medicines....and I am still looking for ideas to save money!

Waste disposal is a big problem for us as we are very far from the nearest formal waste management site. (we do generate a very small amount, but still it poses a problem from a disposal point of view). Bottles are stored for re-use or re-cycle when we go to town. Paper is burnt in the wood stove. Plastic is a problem. Any suggestions?

Waste from the garden NEVER go on the compost heap. As a matter of fact we do not have one. It is either fed to the pigs or to the rabbits. These animals turn the waste into food energy and supply us with digested compost which is applied straight onto the garden, so we benefit from the "waste" energy twice.

Heat for home and water on wood stove and solar showers.
Compost toilets work in progress.
Bee hives WIP.
And that is how far we are on the road to self suficiency.


Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 21, 2018
Requirements for joining
by: Gray

I am interested in joining what are the entry requirements and availability

Sep 07, 2018
Peace and love
by: Anonymous

Hi I'm 21, love the idea of self sustainability! Would love to join a community like that.

Jul 25, 2018
Well done
by: Lindo

Hi i am so in love. Been looking for a piece of land. Whereabout do we find safe and secure land to start such an initiative. Short of like minded people to go in with.

May 07, 2018
Want to move into your community
by: Anonymous

I love the idea of living in a community of sharing and caring for others!
I would like to settle down in an environment where there is a modest and natural way of sustaining life with like minded people who enjoy living as a community. I am willing to invest some money in settling down and seeing how money can be productively utilized.

I would like to hear from you if it sounds interesting to you..

We are around 58 years old and quite healthy and have spent a lot of time working in Johannesburg and Dubai as a coroprate executive. Now, I am retired and would like to settle down in a natural way of living in a farm.
I will be tremendously grateful if you could guide me with your wisdom..
My email ID is

Mar 12, 2018

Hi guys. Me and my wife is also looking to move to a piece of land with likeminded people. we really crave to live self sustainable lives. we grow microgreens indoors, which is a super food. i am also a yoga instructer and my wife is an incredible artist. Please if anyone has a way for us please contact me.

Mar 07, 2018
Looking for like minded folk
by: Andre

Hi Sandy,
My wife and I have also been looking to meet people in the Midlands area wanting to set up a more sustainable life. Unfortunately I have no other way of contacting you in reply to your post here below so please get in touch with me at in order to discuss further?
Kind Regards

Feb 20, 2018
Looking for like minded folk
by: Sandy

Hi there,

I am living on a beautiful farm outside Howick.I have been trying to meet people who would like to live a more self sustainable life, I have been getting closer to my goal over the years, but do realize that one cannot do it alone.

There is a vacant cottage with a nice piece of land available for a min rental. It would be great if there was someone really interested in homesteading who would be open to share ideas and maybe join us here.

May 05, 2017
Here"s the thing...
by: Sharon

I will be retiring in a year or so. I will only have my government pension. I am a hippie st heart and would love to live in a place like donkey valley. I am prepared to put my hand to any work. I love children and animals have much love and life experience to share. What is my next move?

Jul 27, 2016
by: Wilton

Im there in life.

Jul 18, 2016
Self Sufficient Farm community in South Africa
by: Paula

If you are reading this, you and I have something in common. I've been searching the net for years hoping to find a Amish-like community in South Africa. I am fascinated by the Amish community's simple way of living. What I have found however is that there are a lot of like minded people in SA. If we cannot join such a community, perhaps we should combine our thoughts, talents, ideas and start our very own 'Amish-like' community. If God, Family and your community is important to you and you long for a simpler way of life and understand the principles of self-sufficient living -

If this is God's Will - I am excited to be part of it!

May 31, 2016
by: nicki

You are an encouragement! I have been slowly workingt owards a simple life. One problem to overcome is getting books about things anq equipment. Do you have suppliers ir sites to recommend?

May 24, 2016
by: Dominic

Well done to you at Donkey valley and all that are self-sustainable.

I am a horticulture student at Unisa in my second year. I'm 21 years old and I've come to the realization that I have to live an off-the-grid, self-sustainable life. I do not have a drivers license, and I don't want to have one. I want to settle somewhere where it will not be necessary to travel to get food, supplies etc. I work at a retail nursery, earn money, I do not want that. I don't want to work for money, I want to work to sustain myself without money. I'm elated to find out that these communities exist in South Africa.

I believe my passion for this way of life, love for nature, and of course my horticultural knowledge and skills will make a suitable candidate to join your community. Please contact me at

I have friend that might be interested in joining as well. He has good horticultural knowledge and excellent cooking skills (He studied at Capsicum culinary school and is currently a sushi sjef at Fushin)

Jan 07, 2016
The Amish Way
by: Ross

I am awaiting a seperation from my wife. It is a sad thing and definately not the Amish way but she is the one leaving.
Being a disciple of Yahushua and forever feeling out of place in this modern world I long for a simple life again. Our last home we had 300m2 veggies and Indian runner ducks for pest control as well as some chooks for eggs. I have been learning permaculture and seed saving, preserving and canning and cook well and quite handy.
Please contact me as I have been all over the web and could not find a contact for you. I love the idea of a community like the Amish and have been fascinated with them for quite some time. It is definately the only way I can see to keep to a faithful and stress free life like Yahushua wants for us. I can be contacted on further details once you make contact.

Oct 12, 2015
Assistance or guidance needed
by: Miki

Hi all. My family and i have been working towards getting out of the city. we have lived withand assisted many people on their own land to get veg gardens producing, assist with getting water and electricity.Waste management etc. we can make a plan out of anything. We are spiritual and have travelled enough to have seen the best and worst and we know what works.However, we cannot find a pce of land to develop and call our own. To cultivate and live off of. We are now at a point where we are ready and need to go. ANYWHERE. can anyone point me in the right direction please?

Oct 09, 2015
by: Anonymous


May 18, 2015
Sef-sustainable communty in Gauteng
by: Mike

Hi there, firstly hats off to you for starting a ssc, I have agricultural land in Gauteng and wuld love to start a community. Any takers or ideas ?

Feb 17, 2015
Great intrest
by: Hylton Turnbull

Good day,
Very interested in this concept I have plans to start a similar operation near Bel-Bela, Pivots and hydrophonics self sustainable power etc
The way to go

Jan 29, 2015
Great concept
by: Willy

It is interesting to read about donkey valley farm. What I like the most is that you people are not using any chemical fertilizers in vegetable farm. So the vegetables will be healthy and good for our health.

Jun 10, 2014
Way to Go!!!!!
by: Angie Bauer

We are 3 girls between 52 – 57 – the kids have left the nests, and we have got it in our heads to storm out there to the Platteland and have a more peaceful and restful living. We have played the corporate game and now want to embark on a different plato of our lives. We are literally sick and tired of the Rat Race, the fancy apartments and the posh restaurants and the fake smiles, and the rat race – yak.
We want to have some laying hens, a goat or two and other various critters that can enrich our lives and also bring us on a path of self-sustainability.
We have been inspired by your Farm and hope to get some guidance, advice and assistance in order to establish our Haven. Maybe we will even be lucky to source a smallholding that would support our needs and an old farm house is on top of our list, provided it has a large stoep!!!!!
Is here anything around your area?

May 28, 2014
One person can make a difference.
by: Trudy Stewart

We have begun on a simular journey and love hearing how far you have come, good luck with all of your new endeavours. Do you have a website or blog, would love to hear more about your progress. We can make this world a better place.

May 12, 2014
Sustainable living
by: Vivienne

Hi, I love the fact that you guys have put your dream if sustainable living into action. It is the way forward...are you open to other families joining your farm, and if so are there requirements? Kindly let me know on

Vivienne zgoldstein

Mar 07, 2014
Joining In
by: Letty Fox


I am a baby boomer, and have done a lot of research on self-sufficiency as a viable alternative to the consumer culture which is leading to our destruction.

I am very keen to join forces and help to develop and expand this way of life. Please let me know if this is an option. I can be contacted on

I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmest regards,
Letty Fox.

Aug 16, 2013
garbage disposal
by: newbie homie

hi there, so refreshing to read your blog. we have recently bought a farm in magoebaskloof and want to turn it into a selfsustainable community farm. we have been living here for 3 months and are still in the process of putting all the basic needs in place and garbage disposal was one of the main problems when we arrived. we built an incinerator with 2 40 gal drums a grid and some welding. it works unbelievably well and all you are left with is some glass and metal bits. it is virtually smoke free and fits into a small space. I could send you a photo if you are interested. Sounds like you guys are really doing a great thing there. would love to visit sometime.

Feb 22, 2011
I had no Idea
by: Younus

I am pleasantly surprised to learn that South Africa has at least one self sufficient farm. I would love to visit your farm,in order to convince my family that it can be done.

I am convinced that changing your lifestyle like this, is actually improving the quality of life, rather than what some people call downgrading.

It would be really interesting for me to visit your farm when we are in KwaZulu-Natal again.

My e-mail is (Swaziland)

I would appreciate it if you could drop us an e-mail.

Thank you in anticipation

Younus and Fatima Ismail

Nov 11, 2010
good for you
by: Hopeful homesteader

Sounds like you are off and running. Why Africa? I would be afraid of the unrest and tribal waring. Ever try to grow potatos out there? Good luck with the bee's, it's something I have been researching but sounds like it's not for everyone.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Farms R Us.