It always has amazed me what my mom did when we were little. She lived on one acre and bought very few things at the store. We had goats for milk and cheese (although we still enjoyed Tillamok Cheddar just like my kids), we had chickens for eggs, we had two huge apple trees, a hazelnut tree, a HUGE garden, a potato patch, blackberry bushes along the back property line, a huge patch of fall raspberries, and dogs for protection. All 5 to 6 (my brother came every few weekends) of us lived in a 24X24 ft house in the middle of all of this. And this was in the MIDDLE of Olympia, WA. Just off the freeway, across the street and down the drive way from two different car dealerships.
We never bought much. My parents were dedicated to living off as little as possible. That partnership in living on less than the mean of the world income is the only thing I envy about their relationship. I think there was less than a year out of the 25 they were together that they were happy. But to me, growing up on that little goat farm, watching my mom can, and cook, and pay us a dime a day to go out and feed chickens and collect eggs... well, it was my heaven. I think that was a lot of why I wanted to have that for my kids. City or not. Because I had seen it done. It wasn't a magical existence. There was always yelling, always discord.... but there was also lots of hard work. Neither my mom or dad are put off from doing something because it will be a hard job. They produced 90% of what we used as a family. My mom made our clothes, most of our food, and some of our furniture.
Here is my big brother and I harvesting the winters potatoes.