Self-Sufficiency in the City

People are filled with excuses with why they can’t be more self-sufficient. I live in the city, I don’t have time. I could come up with a great many excuses of my own. But let’s look at it another way.

Not all can do everything but all can do something.

We live on five acres but it takes 35 to support one cow where we live. So we won’t raise beef anymore but we will finish a beef. ( Feed for a short period of time to put the final weight need on them.)

We may not have 35 acres but we have 5 acres which is better than a little under a half an acre which we had before. It took over 30 years to reach this stage but reach it we did. Those of you conjuring up an image of a farm or those that live off grid — stop! Look at where you are.

Stop thinking of what you don’t have and think of what you do.

 Don’t excuse yourself and quit before you have even begun. What can you do for yourself?

A measure of self-reliance is all any of us will obtain.

So day to day, year to year gather skills, confidence from accomplishment will come. With a measure of independence we become safer because our safety does not completely rely on someone else. We will have increased health, knowledge, and experiences that leads to a greater appreciation and gratitude. It is a rich journey that fills our lives with gifts.

In his book The Resilient Farm and Homestead, Ben Falk says:

“A self-reliant nation is built upon a citizenry living in resource-producing and relatively self-reliant communities. Self-reliant, tenable communities are composed of self-reliant households. And relatively self-reliant households are the basic building block of any culture that is viable over the long term without requiring war (stealing of resources) to sustain itself. No democratic civilization can last long if it is built upon a citizenry that consumes more than they produce; that’s debt and debt is inherently unsustainable and ultimately undemocratic. If our goal is a peaceful, just society, self-reliance at the home and community levels must be a central focus of our lives.”

Think about that. What’s the purpose of going to war if you have everything you need? War is by nature the destruction of things. But if a country is made of households in debt and reliant in bulk upon others, then you can guarantee the country is too. I’m not just talking about money. How independent are you in regards to clothing, food, transportation, and housing? Without others supplying you with these essentials of life would you have them? Or do you like the bulk of us depend on others for most of your care? We do.

What amazes me is that people believe that someone will take care of them. Someone has for their entire life. What they don’t understand is corporations and governments don’t have bowels of compassion. They function on profit margins. There levels of charity go only as far as it suites a government or company financially.  Montana and other areas suffered catastrophic damage from fires and despite repeated pleas, the government ignored them but later that year, California began to burn and money poured in. They have more votes.

After interviewing a FEMA director when a tornado came to our former town, I learned FEMA helps those who have helped themselves with protection like insurance and low debt levels. FEMA does not rebuild lives that were one small step from a disaster to start with. They don’t have the resources.

Farmers and ranchers don’t have a burning desire to feed you. The crowd of people whom they’ve never met. They are just trying to stay afloat just like you and feel blessed to do what they love to do. They are doing it for themselves.

Kirk and I have decided to turn our world upside down, shake it out on the table and look long and hard at – everything. We aren’t getting where we want on the path we are taking.

I suggest you do the same. You live in the city and want to stay there. Good for you but I expect you too to do something. You can have a measure of independence. You can do more than you think.

Starting in January I’m going to devote time each month to those of you who are very limited on what you can do. Places you can start to build knowledge, skills, and gather a few tools so you too can become more independent, more safe, more confident, and gain a greater feeling of gratitude.






Keep in mind that no one is completely self-reliant. Most of us were not born into families that were self-sufficient. I was blessed to have a

This winter she wants to start a few herbs indoors. A grow light above a counter top or a desk would do. She has a back porch that she had some growing before and I have an idea how to convert a spot for just such a thing. Eventually she wants to be in a position to have a small chicken coop with a few hens in the back yard and a small garden plot of her own. Nothing to the level I am doing.


measure of independence, a measure of confidence, a measure of skills, a measure of knowledge. The 4 things that go with you everywhere. And if you gain them in one area, it can’t help but spill over into the rest of your life.

So quit thinking “I can’t” and start thinking “I can”. “I can” gets things done and “I can” is the catalyst for greater discoveries.

So instead of only focusing on 5 acres or more in the country, I’m going back to the beginning, where this all started. When I lived in town and before the livestock. So expect blog posts not only on where I’m at now but focus on where you can start.

Things will be erratic as I continue to struggle through the mess I created of trying to do too much all at once. 2 beef are in the freezer but I still have 23 rabbits to butcher and put in jars, 10 chickens at least to process the same way, and finish canning the apples, along with the rest of the flooring to disassemble. Not much compared to what I have accomplished How could I have managed the project better with less energy in comparison to product?

Kirk and I both have plans for a big change. Better management of our time. Not work harder but smarter, but first we have to catch up. Big messes take time to work through. But we have learned much. It’s okay to because from mistakes we learn the most.

So get started. It does not matter if you do it perfectly right just keep track of what you have learned. Pick yourself up and do it again with what you now know. So let’s get started. How about kimchi. I’ll give you the information the University of Wyoming gave me.

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