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Old 12-09-2010, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Pangea View Post
I burn about 6 cords of wood each year to heat my house. If I were cooking with wood I might need to add another 3-4 cords. That's a lot of slow growth timber. Lots of acreage would be needed to supply all of that wood.

A family home heating and cooking with wood only I believe 3 acres is lots remember as you cut the prime wood the smaller stuff is growing.

As for how much land you need 4 or 5 acres with 3 of it bush would be lots you could easily raise chickens and rabbits a couple of goats and 2 cows on that easy. You may need to scrounge around for more feed though for the bigger livestock if you aren't supplemented by a feed store
Old 12-09-2010, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by can see it happen View Post
A family home heating and cooking with wood only I believe 3 acres is lots remember as you cut the prime wood the smaller stuff is growing.

As for how much land you need 4 or 5 acres with 3 of it bush would be lots you could easily raise chickens and rabbits a couple of goats and 2 cows on that easy. You may need to scrounge around for more feed though for the bigger livestock if you aren't supplemented by a feed store
Hardwoods average yield, depending on your region, is 1/3 a cord per acre per year. A family burning 5 cords a year would require 15 acres of hardwood stand to use it perpetually. Of course, would can be gained from other sources. But that is the ratio, anyway.
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:16 PM
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Eight. It was the standard a century ago, it is the standard today in India by folks who really need it.

Variables: Climate, hand tools or mechanical tools, seed source (modern or heirloom?) quality of the soil, experience of the gardener (a lot of folks who can't keep a houseplant alive think they will immediately grow an excellent garden. It is a skill that takes years.) If you add animals (like bovins) you will need about 120 acres worked by a family of four if the animals are also living off the land (grass and winter hay and or grain.)

Essentially the question you are asking was the way of life for many up to around 1930. When I was young a neighbor with a tractor raise all of their staples for a year on sixteen plus acres in Maine. Tending to it, even with a tractor, was a full time job. And she spent most of her time canning, drying et cetera.

If you lived in south Florida you might cut that to 8 acres as they could be farmed year round. But of course you will be battling constantly with fugus and insects.

When folks project their garden they do not take into account bad weather, fugus or insects. That is why you really need to garden for about five to ten years so you can have a realistic idea of what can be produce where you live.

And that's just food. If you need wood for heat or building, and plants for cordage et cetera you need even more. Old working farms were always 100 acres plus.
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chin View Post
Hardwoods average yield, depending on your region, is 1/3 a cord per acre per year. A family burning 5 cords a year would require 15 acres of hardwood stand to use it perpetually. Of course, would can be gained from other sources. But that is the ratio, anyway.
Ok thats something. The farm up the road has @ houses on it and cuts out of 6 acres for the last 25 yrs the old guy told me and that is in ontario canada where the woodstove is on 6 months a year.
Yes hard wood is prefered but hardly necessary in northern Canada there is very little hardwood and hundreds of communities where 75 % of the homes burn wood use PINE they just dry it good
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by No Kin Jones View Post
How much would you allow for a woodlot? You would need a sustainable source of firewood.
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Originally Posted by speedofl33t View Post
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.


rule of thumb for you on firewood....a health forest produces a cord of firewood per acre per year.

but also dont forget what yall in some of europe do..coppice the forest.
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:38 PM
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if you want to learn more about living a traditional woods life....read books by Ben Law....he has several books out.the main one is called woodland way
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:56 PM
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We raised enough for 6 people this year on about 1/2 an acre...... So if you want to rotate crops I would say 1/4 acre per person.... remember that goats, cows, etc... can free range... If you want to keep them in your area then I would add at least 1/2 an acre per cow goats can survive on less.... As far as fire wood remember if it gets really bad there will be lots of land with no owners and lots of old houses and barns for fire wood.....
Old 12-09-2010, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by can see it happen View Post
Ok thats something. The farm up the road has @ houses on it and cuts out of 6 acres for the last 25 yrs the old guy told me and that is in ontario canada where the woodstove is on 6 months a year.
Yes hard wood is prefered but hardly necessary in northern Canada there is very little hardwood and hundreds of communities where 75 % of the homes burn wood use PINE they just dry it good
Guess it depends on what you are burning and how many square feet you need to heat for how many months. Here in western Maryland, it takes 5 cords to heat 3500 sqft from Sept. to March. And we yield about 1/3 a cord per acre to sustain a hardwood stand (24" @ 16ft). But we do have dry summers.
Old 12-09-2010, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Chin View Post
Hardwoods average yield, depending on your region, is 1/3 a cord per acre per year. A family burning 5 cords a year would require 15 acres of hardwood stand to use it perpetually. Of course, would can be gained from other sources. But that is the ratio, anyway.
Really you do not seem to know much about wood... I got over 2 cords from one tree and it was not a big tree........... Of course we really would not need that much in our area as it is cold 3 or so months out of the year and come SHTF we will be heating a smaller area and use even less wood... You can also burn dung from the livestock..
Old 12-09-2010, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by robkenpo View Post
Really you do not seem to know much about wood... I got over 2 cords from one tree and it was not a big tree........... Of course we really would not need that much in our area as it is cold 3 or so months out of the year and come SHTF we will be heating a smaller area and use even less wood... You can also burn dung from the livestock..
MMMMkay!

1/3 a cord, per acre, per year is the NEW GROWTH RATE, divided by all the trees on that acre. It is not the YIELD RATE for any individual tree. If you fell a good tree (24X16) off an acre of tree stand and YIELD 2 cords, you will eventually deplete that acre of stand. As you are harvesting 1.66 cords in EXCESS of the growth rate for that acre. While this growth rate will vary per region, it is the sustainability number you need to calculate in order to determine how many acres of standing timber you require for your needs. It is available at your local extension office. In western Maryland, that number is as stated above.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:11 PM
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The number of acres needed varies tremendously. Long growing season vs short, quality of soil, how high or low on the food chain you choose to live, how skilled you are at what you are doing, availability of reliable water, etc, etc.

The only way to know for sure is to try it yourself. I'll bet almost everyone will stock a whole lot more food once they realize it isn't that easy. Sure it can be done, but can you do it and keep your full-time job? Farming is a full-time job, and a hard one at that. Unless the mortgage is paid, you will almost assuredly need to keep your job, because few things pay less than farming. You'll still need to pay taxes. It can all be done, but only by trying will you know if you can do it or not. It sure isn't a matter of reading some issues of Backwoods Home or Mother Earth News and rocking on.

The more efficient your house, the easier it will be to heat and the less wood you will need. Remember that one of the reasons european governments were interested in colonizing America was for the wood. They had used up most of the big timber in their own countries. The discovery of coal helped mitigate the need for wood for heating. We have a lot more people now than then. If everyone started using wood for heating the houses most Americans currently live in, it wouldn't last long.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:12 PM
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In medival time and to early 1900s they had a expression " an ox a per acre " Thats the calculated productivity if you use a ox

But roughly you would propobly need around a acre per person depending on what you will grow/plant

If you are going to have todays level of meateating you can 3-4 times of that

The number if you have animals depends on what animal ( different animals have different needs )

3-4 acres would not cope long if you have cows

Last edited by Tankspridd; 12-09-2010 at 05:24 PM.. Reason: done some calculations
Old 12-09-2010, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chin View Post
MMMMkay!

1/3 a cord, per acre, per year is the NEW GROWTH RATE, divided by all the trees on that acre. It is not the YIELD RATE for any individual tree. If you fell a good tree (24X16) off an acre of tree stand and YIELD 2 cords, you will eventually deplete that acre of stand. As you are harvesting 1.66 cords in EXCESS of the growth rate for that acre. While this growth rate will vary per region, it is the sustainability number you need to calculate in order to determine how many acres of standing timber you require for your needs. It is available at your local extension office. In western Maryland, that number is as stated above.
This is why fossil fuels were such a valuable discovery. Millions of years of energy accumulation that we can use in a few hundred years. They let us live for a short time way beyond what is sustainable in the long run.

That 2 cord tree represents decades of growth. Decades of solar energy that gets burned up in a few months.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bert the turtle View Post
The number of acres needed varies tremendously. Long growing season vs short, quality of soil, how high or low on the food chain you choose to live, how skilled you are at what you are doing, availability of reliable water, etc, etc.

The only way to know for sure is to try it yourself. I'll bet almost everyone will stock a whole lot more food once they realize it isn't that easy. Sure it can be done, but can you do it and keep your full-time job? Farming is a full-time job, and a hard one at that. Unless the mortgage is paid, you will almost assuredly need to keep your job, because few things pay less than farming. You'll still need to pay taxes. It can all be done, but only by trying will you know if you can do it or not. It sure isn't a matter of reading some issues of Backwoods Home or Mother Earth News and rocking on.

The more efficient your house, the easier it will be to heat and the less wood you will need. Remember that one of the reasons european governments were interested in colonizing America was for the wood. They had used up most of the big timber in their own countries. The discovery of coal helped mitigate the need for wood for heating. We have a lot more people now than then. If everyone started using wood for heating the houses most Americans currently live in, it wouldn't last long.
+1 to this. Buy land. Build equity in your home. Then sell and build a SMALL, efficient place on said land. Start gardening NOW. It ain't as easy as you think.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bert the turtle View Post
This is why fossil fuels were such a valuable discovery. Millions of years of energy accumulation that we can use in a few hundred years. They let us live for a short time way beyond what is sustainable in the long run.

That 2 cord tree represents decades of growth. Decades of solar energy that gets burned up in a few months.
Nah! Don't listen to me. I don't know much about wood.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by robkenpo View Post
Really you do not seem to know much about wood... I got over 2 cords from one tree and it was not a big tree........... Of course we really would not need that much in our area as it is cold 3 or so months out of the year and come SHTF we will be heating a smaller area and use even less wood... You can also burn dung from the livestock..
PS- It takes 6-8 trees at 24-27 DBH to yield a full cord of wood (8X4X4), not "1 not very big tree".
Old 12-09-2010, 05:32 PM
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I found this on the web...and for those unaware. a cord of wood is 4x4x8 - 128 cubic feet

Quote:
One Cord of Wood Yields ....

7,500 toothpicks; or,

1,000 to 2,000 pounds of paper (depending on the process); or,

942 one-pound books; or,

61,370 No. 10 envelopes (standard size); or,

4,384,000 commemorative-size postage stamps; or,

460,000 personal checks; or,

89,870 sheets of letterhead bond paper(81/2X11); or

1,200 copies of the National Geographic; or,

30 Boston rockers; or,

12 dining room tables (each table seats eight)


A cord of air dried, dense hardwood (oak, hickory, etc.) weighs about 2 tons (4,000 pounds) of which 15 to 20 percent is water, and which has the heating value of a ton of coal or 200 gallons of fuel oil.


How Many Trees To Make A Cord?

D.B.H. (inches) Number of Trees

2 170
4 50
6 38
8 27
10 15
12 3.3
14 3
16 2.2
18 1.9
20 1.6
22 1.3


Enough firewood is used each year in the United States to build a 100 foot tall wall of wood that could stretch from New York City to San Francisco.

Selected Wood Energy Conversion Factors

1 cord of wood (128 cubic feet stacked volume) = 1 dry ton

1 dry ton of wood (0% moisture) = 18 million BTU
1 green ton of wood (50% moisture) = 8 million BTU
1 solid cubic foot of wood = 34 dry pounds

1 ton of wood yields 70 to 120 gallons of ethanol
1 gallon of ethanol = 16,200 to 84,300 BTU
1 ton of wood yields 120 gallons of methanol
1 gallon of methanol = 55,700 to 63,500 BTU
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:43 PM
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Yeah!

Like I said. Your link says 8 trees @ 27 DBH. For those that don't know, DBH is Diameter at Breast Height (It's how you measure a tree). Those that are talking about 2 cords from 1 tree are probably counting face cords (8X4X2) and using buck wood to complete the face. Buck wood is not cord wood and a face cord is not a cord.

Sure, in SHTF, wood is wood. But it does nobody any good to operate on false assumptions.

A cord of firewood (read seasoned hardwood, not pine) is 8X4x4. It's not a face cord or a 'pick up load'. Hardwood grows at 1/3 per acre per year (YMMV, call the extension office).

I stand by my original post. At 5 cords per year, you need 15 acres a wood lot. Otherwise, you will eventually deforest your lot. Eventually maybe 20 years, but it will happen.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:20 PM
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On a related note, these guys harvest 6,000 lbs of produce on about a tenth of an acre:
http://urbanhomestead.org/
Old 12-09-2010, 06:23 PM
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without really thinking about all one would need I would say at least 10 acres, would prefer 20acres. I would like to keep at least 1 or 2 acres out of production or grazing for a year at a time just to rest and replinish itself with nutrients.
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