The Shibaguyz asked for more details on this Patio Farm challenge that I've been handed. So, here are the parameters.
The patio is located in a Midwestern city, borderline between zones 5 and 6. It is a second floor balcony. Dimensions are 8' x 14' (bigger than I first thought.) It faces southeast. It is a concrete floor with a 42" steel rail on two sides. It is accessed by a 5 foot sliding glass door in the north wall. The north and west walls are about 10 feet high. There is nothing overhanging the space.
For the time being we will ignore any structural (weight bearing) and zoning limitations.
My friends, well call them Dick and Jane, have basic gardening skills, and about an hour a day each to devote to maintaining this system. They would like to produce as much of their food as possible from this space. They are NOT vegetarian, and hope for some kind of animal protein from their farm. They would like it to produce year round.
For this to be a meaningful example of a sustainable way forward it would have to produce most of its own water, energy, fertility, and seeds going into the future.
Can It be done?