During WWII people were encouraged by the government to grow their own food as this was supposed to make up for the food being sent to the troops. The government  Victory Gardens program used a quarter acre and rotated a winter and summer crop. People at that time were more rural than we are VICTORY GARDENStoday and they in fact had been growing vegetables for generations. They did grow most if not all the vegetable they used and had animals they ate, such as chickens, rabbets and goats. Could a family of four be completely self-sufficient on a quarter acre? I’ll have to check that out. In “One Man’s Meat” by E. B. White,  a journal about his retirement in Maine during WWII, he wrote, the Department of Agriculture had worked out the amount of land one would need to be self-sufficient. As I recall it was more than a quarter acre and in included at least one cow. The amount of land you need to be self-sufficient will vary, you’ll will need more land in the arid west than on the rainy East coast. I wonder if it is possible to be self-sufficient with less than a 1/4 acre using the technics that are touted on the Internet. I would not try keeping a cow on my apartment balcony, so with the exception of milk and cheese how well could you do? This is the standard, using 1/4 acre or less, survive without any outside purchases. That means if you have chickens, rabbits, ducks and/or fish they all have to be fed with what you produce on this property. Maybe this cannot be done, though many preppers have the idea that they will survive by producing their own food. Here I am suggesting that if this is your plan, try the Victory Gardens example and put it into effect before you need to do it for real. Another plan is to be a hunter-gatherer, now I know this will work, as our ancestors have survived for thousands of years doing just that, but not on a 1/4 acre. You will not know what will work for you unless you actually try it. What if you try gardening and you still have to buy outside things, which in fact you always will, I’ll bet you can put a big dent in that grocery bill as they had to during WWII and they used the government’s plan of Victory Gardens.