Grow Your Own, The Green Life

Self-Sufficiency in the city – How to achieve it

Self-sufficiency in the city is possible, even if you do need to be a little more inventive about how you go about it. Living in the 21st century means that even living in the countryside you will never be able to be completely self-sufficient. We will need to earn money, will need to buy food, and need to use some public services. However, we can still reduce our reliance on other people and services, even living in the middle of a city. I know this is true because I have done it. I live in a very urban setting, within a mile of the city centre.

How you can achieve self-sufficiency in the city

  • Grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs – You really do not need a lot of space to grow your own food. My garden isn’t big and it has no soil at all but I have managed to grow my own foods in there. I build several raised beds out of reclaimed bricks and filled them with cheap compost. I also brought some large plant pots from Facebook marketplace and put dwarf fruit trees and fruit bushes in them. You could even grow chillis and herbs on a windowsill.  Prior to getting my allotment, I managed to grow the following things:
    • Strawberries
    • Sweetcorn
    • Peas
    • French beans
    • Tomatoes
    • Potatoes
    • Blueberries
    • Apples
    • Lettuce
    • Radishes
    • Cabbage
    • Cauliflower
    • Broccoli
    • Courgette
    • Cucumber
    • Pepper
    • Chilli
  • Keep chickens – These are actually pretty easy to keep in an urban garden. They need less space than you expect will eat all the pests you get like caterpillars and slugs. They are pretty easy to keep as well, and there is something fascinating about watching chickens. They don’t make much noise either, or create a smell if you look after them well. Plus you have the advantage of getting fresh eggs every day. If you are considering getting chickens then look into rescuing some ex-battery hens. They are no longer considered commercially viable but will still provide eggs and you get to feel good knowing you are giving them a happy end to their life. They don’t get the greatest start.
  • Get solar panels
  • Make your own clothes
  • Mend rather than replace
  • Keep bees
  • Make your own cheeses, condiments and preserves