FARMERS living off-grid have plenty of ideas for people who want to be a little more sustainable.
Dunolly farmer Rosie Panic will be showcasing products at this weekend's Sustainable Living Festival in White Hills.
"I've come from suburban Melbourne where you flick a switch and stuff just works, so I guess I've learnt how to be more conscious of what appliances I use and when I use them," she said.
"And I guess I've learnt a lot about how much energy we actually use in a normal day."
Ms Panic and her partner Drew Black started Squirrel Gully Saffron in 2014 to supply dried saffron to chefs and "adventurous kinds of cooks", Ms Panic said.
"Drew has always had an interest in alternative energy. We wanted a property so we went looking for one that is off-grid," she said.
It is often the little things that make the biggest difference when living off-grid, Ms Panic said.
"I don't have an electric kettle anymore. You can still boil your good, old-fashioned whistler kettles on the stove," she said.
"A toaster can actually draw a lot of power, so I just use the salamander on the oven."
The property relies on solar and wind energy, so Ms Panic only runs appliances like washing machines during the day.
"It's just changing the way you do things. It doesn't mean you have to live like a hermit. I still have a TV, a dishwasher and internet," she said.
Ms Panic's farm grows saffron, a spice that does not require a lot of water over summer or energy to process once harvested.
"I knew I would need something that didn't need to be refrigerated or need a lot of heating," she said.
Ms Panic ended up choosing saffron.
She and Mr Black are about to start harvesting their 2021 crop.
"That will be at the end of this month, and it might only go for eight weeks, so this is the busy time of year when we hardly leave the farm so we can be there when the flowers start," Ms Panic said.
She will reveal two new products at Bendigo's Sustainable Living Festival on Saturday.
"We are really excited about them. One is a saffron-cultured butter kit with instructions," Ms Panic said.
The second product are "seeded cards" that can be given out for birthdays and other special events and which will sprout native Australian plants when buried in the garden.
"We want people to know we are in central Victoria and I feel quite connected to the bush, because we are surrounded on three sides by it," Ms Panic said.
The festival will showcase the best of sustainable living products, programs, goods and services located in central Victoria.
It will run from noon to 5pm on Saturday at the Garden for the Future, Hamelin St, White Hills.
For more on the festival, click here.
For more about Squirrel Gully Saffron, click here.
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