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Micro Farms Create Urban Backyard Sustainability

America was founded upon an agrarian lifestyle, and farmers were the driving force behind America.  Currently, people are trying to find ways to move back to farming in order to grow their own food, to be more self sufficient and less dependent on the government. Back To The Land Movement With the scare of an impending economic collapse, people […]

America was founded upon an agrarian lifestyle, and farmers were the driving force behind America.  Currently, people are trying to find ways to move back to farming in order to grow their own food, to be more self sufficient and less dependent on the government.

Back To The Land Movement

With the scare of an impending economic collapse, people are changing their whole outlook on how they live.  Many people are beginning to research and make plans of cultivating and raising their own foods.  They are turning to the last farming generation and asking questions on soil types, planting seasonal crops and crop rotation.  Many are beginning to prepare micro farms in their backyards to sustain their families in the event of cost inflation or even worse a catabolic collapse of the system.

How Much Food Can Be Grown?

As the cost of fresh produce rises, growing food in a survival garden will be more common.  Many people starting out will not know how much food to grow.  Scott McGuire, an urban micro farmer began his micro farming as an experiment to see how much food could be grown for his family.    He points out that he is growing the seeds “not only valuable for what they can grow, but there may come a time when seeds could be a form of trading exchange or currency exchange.”

People talk about emergency preparedness… If we are in a long term emergency, what will you pack for you emergency? Number one item in my pack is seeds.  Even if you don’t plan on growing them, they can be traded to people that will.

Source – Scott McGuire

He believes having the plant realm, insect realm and human realm co-habitating equally together.  In the long run, this makes all the creatures involved happy and producing the way they are intended to.  As McGuire takes us on a tour of his micro farm, he boasts that this is one season’s worth of vegetation.  McGuire’s garden itself is in the yard of a rental property.  He proves to all of those that doubt that food can be grown in a small space in the city.

Micro Livestock

A thriving micro farm will need to have natural fertilizers that are high in nitrogen such clovers, legumes and manure from preferably livestock.  Finding micro livestock for the micro farm is almost fitting isn’t it?  But in the long run, they will not take up a lot of space, need a lot of area to feed off of, and will still provide food for the family if need be.  There are many different forms of micro livestock.


  • Rabbits
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Pigeons
  • Miniature Pigs
  • Miniature Deer
  • Goats

Farming is not only growing food for you, but growing food for the animals.

 Companion Planting

Companion plants are neighboring crops that are placed next to other crops to because they are beneficial in one form of the other.  Usually companion plants  provide concentrations of certain minerals such as nitrogen, attract friendly insects or will provide shelter or be used as a growing structure.  The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service or ATTRA states that certain herbs, flowers and vegetables can be used in the same garden and provide the garden as a whole with what it needs to thrive.  ATTRA has an extensive list of companion plants as well as relative information on soils and compost, organic gardening, energy alternatives and information on livestock.

As food prices begin to soar more and more, people are taking this into their own hands by growing their own.  People are beginning to see the benefits of not only growing their own food, but acquiring knowledge and skills on how to be more self sustaining.  Scott McGuire is teaching many of us that having a self sustaining lifestyle, does not mean packing everything up and heading the the country.  On the contrary, it can literally begin in the backyard of a home with one seed at a time.

Related Articles:



Micro Livestock E Book

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on December 10th, 2009

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