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Old 12-09-2010, 11:39 AM
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Default How many acres would it take to sustain one adult for 1 year?



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Have you purchased enough land to make it in the post SHTF world?

Water, Food, Shelter, Some tree hugger estimates put this number at 24 acres per person....? what?

I have seen numbers at .2 acres just for food. and this is at a 3000 calorie diet. I would think that a min of 5 acres would be fine.

It sounds like the environmentalists are either fudging the numbers or there are preppers out there that are setting themselves up to starve to death?

So based on your experience / knowledge how much land do you think is necessary to sustain one adult for one year of living "off the grid"?
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saint View Post
Have you purchased enough land to make it in the post SHTF world?

Water, Food, Shelter, Some tree hugger estimates put this number at 24 acres per person....? what?

I have seen numbers at .2 acres just for food. and this is at a 3000 calorie diet. I would think that a min of 5 acres would be fine.

It sounds like the environmentalists are either fudging the numbers or there are preppers out there that are setting themselves up to starve to death?

So based on your experience / knowledge how much land do you think is necessary to sustain one adult for one year of living "off the grid"?
I don't know if this is the answer but it should help to come up with one.

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Old 12-09-2010, 11:45 AM
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I'm betting my life on 2.5 acres of tillable land for a family of four.
Old 12-09-2010, 11:47 AM
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it can be done on less than an acre but it really depends on what you are growing/ raising if you want meat and cheese more than an acre for sure
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:47 AM
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I'm betting my life on 2.5 acres of tillable land for a family of four.
I can see that being enough, and Im basing that number, oddly enough, to my grandparents small farm of 3 acres, which fed a family of 5.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:48 AM
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See the book called "Backyard Homestead" it is a great book, one of my favorites that I own. I have not yet the means of implementing all if its methods, but the author advocates that a family can be well provided for on about half an acre.

This is all dont through intensive gardening techniques, making apropriate use of all space available. And selecting the apropriate breeds of any livestock to meet your conditions and needs.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:50 AM
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it can be done on less than an acre but it really depends on what you are growing/ raising if you want meat and cheese more than an acre for sure
sure, and thats a number thats available depending on what livestock you are growing.

I didnt include any hunting lands either.
Old 12-09-2010, 11:50 AM
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Think room for a greenhouse as well...
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:52 AM
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See the book called "Backyard Homestead" it is a great book, one of my favorites that I own. I have not yet the means of implementing all if its methods, but the author advocates that a family can be well provided for on about half an acre.

This is all dont through intensive gardening techniques, making apropriate use of all space available. And selecting the apropriate breeds of any livestock to meet your conditions and needs.
It is a good book. the other consideration is growing region, for instance you probably have enough time where your at for two growing rounds, we have one here in MI and sometimes two if we hit it lucky with the snow.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:53 AM
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I've heard all sorts of numbers. But it depends on what you grow and how intensively. The more intensively you grow, the more inputs the soil is going to need in the way of fertility, energy spent weeding, etc. Growing organically and sustainably, you won't get as much food per acre as with chemical farming using hybrid seeds. Add in meat animals and the number increases further.

I remember reading years back a relatively well presented estimate showing different food crops and animals feeds. If I remember right, they estimated about 4 acres per person to supply 100% of their needs. This included organically grown grains with a lower yield per acre than the common farming estimates, plus animal feed. So that's where a lot of the acreage came in.

It's hard to be 100% self sufficient without enough room to do so.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:55 AM
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I guess it mostly depends on what you grow. It's possible, given the right climate, to grow much of what one needs to survive on very little land. Some of the intensive gardening techniques show some folks doing it on less then one acre. From what I've seen of those places, they're in places like CA where the temperature is moderate year round. Their biggest problem is that they lack water and have to buy it. If that ever becomes a problem it would all die very quickly.

Around here it is possible to get three seasons worth of food from a vegetable garden, winter being to cold for but some grains. We also average enough rainfall to keep most things growing without much supplemental water. My problem is it's the burbs and many things are illegal, like farm animals, so no chickens (eggs), goats or any way to grow meat. I can certainly grow enough of some foods on very little land to have to can some but I can't use the whole property for that.

Family on the wife's side still have farm land so if it gets bad we'll go there. They certainly have enough land, owning several farms.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:56 AM
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I'm going with rabbits and chickens for meat and eggs. Lots of corn for meal and chicken feed. Beans,tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, onions, etc., in proper preportions.

eta if you want beef and cows milk, look into Dexter breed cattle. Small; but not embarrassingly so, and compact cattle from Ireland. Decent milk and meat producers.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:59 AM
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my grandparents raised 2 sons on 4 acres thru the depression#1. but it has water and a large river300 ft below it full of fish. deer rabits etc thick there. starting to look like my turns next. i own it now and live close to it
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:02 PM
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I like to look at history for questions like this.

With the introduction of potatoes. The Irish in the 1800's were able to feed a family of 6 with a single acre of potatoes and a milk cow grazed on the commons.

The American Indian's "Three Sisters" planting system has been proven to produce enough calories for 5 adults a year.

Both of these systems did not require extensive modern tech like chemicals.

But they were both labor intensive.

Family farms in the US were bigger, but monoculture. And these farms sold the surplus to provide everything else, (tools, clothing etc)
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:02 PM
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my grandparents raised 2 sons on 4 acres thru the depression#1. but it has water and a large river300 ft below it full of fish. deer rabits etc thick there. starting to look like my turns next. i own it now and live close to it
I wish you the best. My main worry is being over run by "the needy". I aint wasting my firewood supply on funeral pyres. They can rot where they fall.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
I've heard all sorts of numbers. But it depends on what you grow and how intensively. The more intensively you grow, the more inputs the soil is going to need in the way of fertility, energy spent weeding, etc. Growing organically and sustainably, you won't get as much food per acre as with chemical farming using hybrid seeds. Add in meat animals and the number increases further.

I remember reading years back a relatively well presented estimate showing different food crops and animals feeds. If I remember right, they estimated about 4 acres per person to supply 100% of their needs. This included organically grown grains with a lower yield per acre than the common farming estimates, plus animal feed. So that's where a lot of the acreage came in.

It's hard to be 100% self sufficient without enough room to do so.
This is a serious point. thanks for bringing it up, so do you stock hybrid seeds knowing that they will not be self sustaining but guaranteed to give you a better crop or heirloom seeds which cost more up front but are certainly self sustaining?

http://www.lifeunplugged.net/gardenp...den-seeds.aspx
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
I've heard all sorts of numbers. But it depends on what you grow and how intensively. The more intensively you grow, the more inputs the soil is going to need in the way of fertility, energy spent weeding, etc. Growing organically and sustainably, you won't get as much food per acre as with chemical farming using hybrid seeds. Add in meat animals and the number increases further.

I remember reading years back a relatively well presented estimate showing different food crops and animals feeds. If I remember right, they estimated about 4 acres per person to supply 100% of their needs. This included organically grown grains with a lower yield per acre than the common farming estimates, plus animal feed. So that's where a lot of the acreage came in.

It's hard to be 100% self sufficient without enough room to do so.
4 acres is not a lot of space. It's very small actually. Factor in the house, growing spaces, barn or rather shed for animals for 4 acres, grazing land, retention pond, etc and it takes up space. Then you have to worry about growing enough crops to be nutritionally sound. Then if you have the space, how are you going to do everything for yourself? Gardening, hunting, prepping, security, maintenance... and on and on and on. Cows themselves eat alot, more than one person. They drink up to of 50 gallons of water a day and eat up to 5 % of their body weight. That's a lot. Most breeds other than Dexters (longhorn/herefords also adapt) won't survive out here in Colorado without supplemental feed. So you grow it or you buy it. It's daunting when you consider things which is why I do not want a breakdown of civilization. i don't care where you are, life is no longer going to be about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It's going to be about death, order and the pursuit of sustainability.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurvivalMike View Post
See the book called "Backyard Homestead" it is a great book, one of my favorites that I own. I have not yet the means of implementing all if its methods, but the author advocates that a family can be well provided for on about half an acre.

This is all dont through intensive gardening techniques, making apropriate use of all space available. And selecting the apropriate breeds of any livestock to meet your conditions and needs.
I refer back to this book constantly. It is right next to Backwoods Home Magazine's Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide, which I also refer to a lot.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:15 PM
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It's not only about food, sure, especially in some climates you can grow things a smart way and get away with little land. But you also have to realize you also have an output. If you have an outhouse, do you take care of that waste? Do you have plumbing? Where does that go? Do you produce garbage that has to be stored or recycled? Or do you mostly use things you put on your compost or burn? How do you count in the atmosphere? Do you also produce your own firewood for heating and cooking? How long does it take to regrow? You will end up with another number if you count in output and firewood.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:17 PM
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How much would you allow for a woodlot? You would need a sustainable source of firewood.
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