Essentially, food comes from two sources - plants or animals. Humans, being omnivores, are capable of utilizing either source as fuel. We can gather or grow our own plants and hunt or raise our own animals. Either system requires plants and some form of planned agriculture. A hunter/gatherer society spends almost as much energy looking for food as it gains from the food it finds, so some form of domesticated planned agriculture is necessary if one plans to do anything more than "keep breathing."
Right here, right now, I'll deal with growing crops intended for the dinner-table and leave crops intended for livestock somewhere else.
One of the prime methods of agriculture available to homesteaders is the "square -foot gardening" method as set forth by Mel Bartholomew in his book of the same name. This is a system of intensive agriculture that is quite suitable for use in urban/suburban areas as well as more rural areas. I should know - we live in a trailer-park and have had a nice garden for four years now by following Mel's program. You owe it to your dinner-table to get yourself a copy of his book and learn his ideas.
For those of you who want to look at it a little more on the web, go to Farmer Brown's Garden Path or to Melissa Silvestre's Square-Foot Gardening site. You should be able to find a copy of the book in your public library if you want to "try before you buy."
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