Tools & Technologies for Sustainability & Self Sufficiency in an Urban Permaculture System – A Research Project

Researched and Compiled by: Eric Smith


The purpose of this research project is to investigate the ability to achieve food independence on an average size urban block. By the end of this document (or series of articles if viewing online) we will know what foods we can grow (type) and the capacity to create this as a sustainable, seasonal supply. We will also look at food preservation options and ways to enhance nutrition from food and associated health benefits.

We will take an holistic look at the tools and technologies that go towards the successful establishment of a sustainable Urban Permaculture System with emphasis on the question:

Can an Urban Permaculture Property provide continual supply of seasonal food (Fruit, Vegetables and Meat) and on a sustainable basis (based on 1/3 acre or less)?

We will look at some of the key elements of an Urban Permaculture System and the technology that allows it to function.

We will consider individual self sufficiency and community sustainability and look at how both could create positive outcomes.

What is Self Sufficiency?

It is often assumed that Self Sufficiency is an exact science meaning to be totally self contained without need or want from any external activity. And while this is and would be the ultimate goal, I don’t personally see it as an accurate representation. It is in reality impossible to not be dependent on external influences on a daily basis.

The use of the internet is an appropriate example. Using the internet to connect to the Web, Email or Facebook is being reliant on something or someone else. Capturing rainwater from the road and diverting on your property is being reliant on built infrastructure that you have no ownership in.

Self sufficiency is more accurately a collective autonomy. A child who is home schooled might have autonomy from the School system but still reliant on a Governing home schooling body and receive support from other home schooled families in their area.

In food production a small family might easily become self sufficient in growing potatoes using various designs and technologies but may never be able to produce enough wheat to provide a yearly supply of flour.

Using good design, appropriate methods and technology with Permaculture principles it is however, possible to achieve autonomy with most fresh food… (Click Next to view each page)

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