I was in chat the other day talking to one of the folks here about what I refer to as self reliance. Its the plan I use for both being prepaired in case things ever go belly up as well as to save money and seperate my self as much as I can from big brother. This basicly means supplying as many of your own needs as possible. Like a garden for veggies, an orchard for fruit, some animals for your meat, some means of power generation and water source so you dont have to rely on others being there to provide it for you and you dont have to pay others for doing so. The member I was talking to mentioned that a lot of folks liveing in the city cant afford to go out and jump into a farm in order to be able to do these things for them selves. So I thought I would post some of the things I mentioned to him and expand on them a bit here. If you live in the city you can still do a lot of this for your self or at the very least be set so you COULD if needed. Even in an apartment, though a LOT more can be done with a house even with a small yard. MEAT; Rabbits can easily be kept in small cages even in an apartment and can also be allowed to run loose and trained to use a litter box if you want though this would make them a bit more of a pet and possibly harder to make use of them or thier offspring. Rabbits have litters of about 5 to 8 bunnies normaly though with good stock 12 to 14 per litter isnt unusual and they can produce a litter every 6 weeks or so. They can be bred at about 4 months old and for 4 or 5 years at least. Decent stock can also be gotten for about $10 per rabbit or less if you look around a bit. So wouldnt be a big deal to keep say 3 does and a buck in cages even in an apartment let alone in hutches in the back yard at a house. You can breed them reagularly if you want or just a couple times a year (they do physicly HAVE to breed from time to time or die) and sell the bunnies at a month to 6 weeks old iether for pets or to snake owners as snake food, even to friends who want them for friers. But if needed you can have 15 to 30 bunnies in about 4 months that are ready to iether eat or breed and another 30 from the original stock every 6 weeks there after. Inbreeding for a generation or 2 especialy with at least one parent different is also no problem with them so you could breed a dozen does at a time 4 or 5 months after you first breed the 3 or 4 you had to start with. Makes for a good ongoing source of meat and while pellets may be better they can make it fine just on grass and weeds. Goats, they come in a lot of different sizes includeing minatures that are about the size of a beagle, even these guys can put out up to 1/2 gallon or a bit more of milk each day. A full sized goat can put out a gallon or a little more each day. They also generaly have twins each year and mature in about 1 year. Goats are pretty quiet and contrary to what a lot think dont smell bad if given a bit of room to move around so they are not in thier own waste all the time. The males do get a bit smelly when in rut but not as bad as most farm animals. They can live off your lawn and save you from mowing or off a bit of hay. They make good meat also, very similar to deer however if you dont want the gamey taste to be as strong it is good to get corn to feed them for about a month before you butcher and also its good to give them a bit of corn when milking them, but they will do fine and can be eaten well or milked with out it, it just wont be quite as high of quality. They can be easily kept in a mid size yard or even samll yard especialy if given some hay or corn and the small one I understand can even be house trained. Its also less messy in the yard than a dog since they poop little beads. There are 2 meat sources and a milk source pretty easy to keep in the city and the rabbits few if any areas have rules about, goats can generaly get around the regulations as they can be had in all sizes. FRUIT AND VEGGIES; First off, the poop pelets from the meat you are raising makes awsome fertilizer for the plants. If you live in an appartment you have to get a bit more creative on this on. Most appartments have a patio, balconey or something. You can grow tomatoes and some other stuff in 5 gallon buckets there and if you have 6 buckets with a tomato plant in each, this can make quite a few tomatoes. If you look around and find them they have new hybrid or whatever fruit trees for kiwi, lemon, orange, and I think apple and some others that were bread to be grown as house plants and still produse fruit. Now another thing you can do for a bigger garden spot if you are in an appartment is called eavsment farming. The power and/or phone companies in mosth areas own a kind of alley between properties where the main lines run and they have to hire people to go through and trim back trees and cut out brush every few years and it costs them a lot of money. I have known a number of folks who have worked it out with the utility companies that they would garden in that 10 to 20 foot wide area a block long or however long and so they have a place to grow a garden and the utility company is thrilled to let them because they have to keep it in plants that only get a few feet tall and dont interfear with thier lines and if in a nice area they dont have to mow it. If you are in a house, even a small garden can be made to produce a considerable amount of food with things like green beans, peas, tomatoes, and cucumbers to name a few items that produce a lot in smaller areas. At my farm we have a 50'X50' garden and without even trying to maximize that space at all we generaly have a lot of stuff to can beyond what we can eat, in most areas a back yard would be at least around that size. WATER; Codes and ordenances may be a bit of an issue here if you dont keep it on the QT but if you choose to you can even just put a couple of large plastic tanks (500 gallon at least) in the basement or a shed out back or beside the house, then run the down spouts from the house to these or at least have the materials to do so if needed and keep them full, you would also want a diverter switch where you could allow the water to runn out to the ground if these are full. You would be surprised how much rain hits your roof. If 1 inch of rain falls and your house is say 50'x50' and you run that into a tank that is 5'x5' square it would raise the level in there by 50", just over 4 foot deep, thats 100 cubic feet of water and IIRC there is something like 4 or 5 gallon of water to a cubic foot, so about maybe 500 gallons of water off the roof of a house with 2500 sq.ft. house with only 1 inch of rain. Thats a helpful amount if the faucet quits working. Beyond that you could look into a driven well if you can locate water shallow under your yard, and put an old fashon type hand pump on it over a flower bed to apear as a decoration. There are more things that can also be done even in the city with limited to no land. I will try to mention more later as I remember them. If you can come up with any ideas please add them, and if you have any questions feel free to ask.