Sara lives in town on whatever small acreage. She has a few chickens now and is looking at maybe going for a goat...because of the nutritional needs of one of her children. The motivation is there, despite the location and circumstances.
Visit any prep list or forum and you find folks living in the city...the city, where they might only have a balcony and nothing of a 'yard', let alone acreage. They pot up a few tomatoes instead of pretty flowers, they grow a few things in window boxes and on window sills, they use a grow light. Maybe a chicken is out of the question, but that's not the end of the world.
You have subdivision folks, with specific covenants for what their yard can look like...they have to mow their grass to a certain length, they have to maintain flower beds, etc. They can't even park an extra car in their drive, let alone pull onto their yard. They can still do several things to prep a bit. Many vegetables look very attractive in flower beds.
What about spouses not being "on-board" with the whole thing? What...your spouse doesn't like to eat? Grow a couple cherry tomatoes and add fresh goodies to your salads. Grow this or that and watch the savings to the grocery bill. Eating fresh is not only healthier, but saves on the grocery budget little by little. You don't have to have an acre of land to do your sustainable bit. Look at the Dervaes....they are on a mere 1/5th of an acre, a mere few miles from the city center of Pasadena. Look at their homestead in the suburbs:
Urban Homestead at a GlanceLocation: Northwest Pasadena, one mile from downtown Pasadena
Property Size: 66’ x 132’ = 8,712 sq.ft. (1/5 acre)
House: Simple, wood frame craftsman bungalow. Circa 1917.
House Size: 1,500 sq. ft.
Garden Size: ~ 1/10 acre (3,900 sq.ft. / ~ 66' x 66')
Garden Diversity: Over 350 different vegetables, herbs, fruits & berries
Productivity: Up to 6,000 lbs harvest annually on 1/10 acre
There are folks in downtown Manhattan stocking up and setting out on a more self-sustaining mode of life. There's no real excuses for not doing it aside from a lack of belief and motivation. Most families wouldn't even look twice at our set-up here...a family of 10, living in 1400 sq. ft...with several acres, yes, but it's mostly brush and over-growth, not sustainable water supply, a run-down barn, and adobe-brick-in-the-making soil. We are beyond rural, and that isn't everyone's cup of tea for sure. There aren't a lot of activities close by, fun and games, attractions, Malls, etc. We have small town, hillbilly Mayberry here....about 13 mi. away.
The same families that turn their noses up at our lifestyle here are swimming in debt because that's the way things are done...you want something, you throw it on the charge card and take it home. They want the large house, the manicured yard, the toys that they believe make life better....a boat, 4 wheelers, cars for every child to do their own thing with, a car for wife and husband, cable or satellite TV, yearly vacations to spend a lot of money on and nothing to show but photo's...and a Blackberry, lest I leave myself out. Sure, if you can afford those things, by all means, knock yourself out, but most of those same folks balk at stocking up and prepping on any level. They want, and think they thrive, in that materialistic world, and anything that speaks differently is instantly dismissed as something akin to lunacy. Vacations are fun, sure, but not my idea of something worth spending money on. You take a countrywide drive, camp here and there and it's fun enough, even educational, but what do you have to show for the gas money, camping expense, etc. when it's all said and done? A nice tan and several photos and a decent memory? That's just not our way of life here, but I know it is for a lot of people. I get looked at sideways because I think Disneyland is nothing more than a money-sucking waste of acreage by the same folks who turn their noses up at providing something tangible and real for their families...like a home-grown tomato or a fresh yard egg.
It's all in where you set your priorities. I'm not necessarily "blessed" to have this land instead of living in town where my hands are tied by restrictions, covenants and ideals. I'm blessed because I have the motivation to seek out ways to do what I can with what I have. Nothing more. We have been out of work for several months, so job has nothing to do with it. Trying to maintain a decent stewardship with whatever income you have is a bigger deal. You can build up a pantry stock on very little money by simply adding a couple extra canned goods each week you go shopping. Another can of tuna here, a bag of sugar or flour there...it adds up over time. Sure, I just packed away our menu x 6 months, but you don't have to do that. We don't have cable or satellite here, no car payment, we are cutting back drastically on our electric and water bills, I don't run around during the week but try to organize and plan a one day trip when needed...and yes, I pay for a Blackberry (which seems to be quite the focus for an awful lot of folks...move along already, ok? consider my blackberry the same waste of money as your satellite television ok?) when I could have a little ol' Tracfone. Sue me. Call me a hypocrite. If you want to debate the merits of this or that, let's make a list of all the trivial things you spend money on while touting a million excuses for not being able to stock or prep. It's all where those priorities are, remember?
I'm just saying, don't give in to labels....city, suburbs, country...they are just labels for location. You are where you are, if you can't leave there, then work with what you have instead of trying to rationalize out excuses for not doing something. Every little step gets you somewhere. Stop talking about the walk and get those legs moving. Add a couple cans of this or that to this week's grocery list. Bring them home, put them in a rubbermaid tub and shove them under a bed, or in a closet. Next week, do the same thing. Got a spouse not on board? Get over it. If you only have a small amount to spend on household things, scrutinize those expenses and see what you CAN do instead of lamenting over what you think you can't. I don't know any husband...or wife...who wouldn't like to see their finances stretch just a bit farther. Start with what you can do and just go from there.
One commenter mentioned having children with special needs as a reason for not being able to take action. I guess, not having any "special needs" children myself, I simply don't understand that connection at all. I know families with children who are severely retarded, have all levels of the Autism spectrum, Downs Syndrome, physically handicapped children...many live in the country areas, with a handful of animals, some garden space, etc. I don't see what a special needs family has to do with not being able to 'homestead' or prep or whatever. Guess I need that one explained to me in simple language.
I don't believe there is some group of people out there forgotten somehow because they don't have the "country" resources others have. I'm not saying jump out and take charge over God and your faith at all...I'm just saying God surely doesn't expect you to sit still in a closet and watch while things happen around you. You can't follow God without taking a few steps on your steam. I don't think God is leaving anyone behind, but you gotta admit, Scriptures show folks gathering up their bedrolls and walking along with him, not waiting for someone to carry them along.