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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking today, how much would it cost to become totally self sufficient? Completely prepared, armed, supplied, and have the ability to continue doing so as indefinitely as possible?

I'll do some calculations tomorrow, but what do you think? Can one family even cover all their bases? How many acres, man hours, dollars, how much knowledge, experience, charisma, what would it take to be completely independent? How many people? How many supplies? I'll sleep on it, and weigh in tomorrow...:sleep:
 

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Not enough time and skills to do everything yourself. Maybe 20 to 30 people. And ideally double that for redundancy. But you'd need outside gene input to ward off inbreeding.
You could buy enough to last a lifetime maybe. And hope you didnt forget anything. That still leaves you with a Security problem though.
 

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Bravo Zulu
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I was thinking today, how much would it cost to become totally self sufficient? Completely prepared, armed, supplied, and have the ability to continue doing so as indefinitely as possible?

I'll do some calculations tomorrow, but what do you think? Can one family even cover all their bases? How many acres, man hours, dollars, how much knowledge, experience, charisma, what would it take to be completely independent? How many people? How many supplies? I'll sleep on it, and weigh in tomorrow...:sleep:
It's impossible to be totally self sufficient. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/histo...ntact-unaware-of-world-war-ii-7354256/?no-ist

These folks managed 40 years before they were discovered. Of course, they had literally one of the last unexplored regions on earth to live off of, and truly lived in nature. By the time they were discovered, WWII had passed without their knowledge. They apparently washed and scrubbed through their pots and pans from using them so long. They had 6 people. It can be done.

To make it simpler, lets say self sufficiency for 1 lifetime.
 

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They thankfully didnt have to worry about zombies, of any kind. Security issues would havr complicated ther lives greatly.
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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There are a lot of variables there.

1. You need year-round water for you, your crops and your livestock.

2. Land:

2.a. For every head of livestock, you need enough land producing feed to carry all of them all year-round.

2.b. You need enough land producing bio-mass, to produce enough energy for you to heat your home, and operate any equipment you may need.

2.c. You need enough land producing food crops to feed yourself.

So far I have discussed water and land, then you need fencing, barns, food processing equipment [like grist mills and cream separators, etc], canning stuff, and a lot more.



Did not say anything about a group of people [who would been a lot more obviously]. We have homesteaded, and we are in the process of building up to a level of food / energy production to one day cover our needs.



You ask about 'cost'?

Set that aside a bit, consider years of experience. Trial and failure. Doing it for a lifestyle, to learn the processes needed. How many years of striving to become self-sufficient does it take to finally get there? That is a better question.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've long been trying to figure how many square feet are needed to provide food per person, and also how many acres of trees to provide firewood/fuel... let alone how many chickens/rabbits/goats/sheep to provide for new generations as well as provide food
 

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You can't be 100% self-sufficient without, basically, having a small country with a national infrastructure and several hundred thousand people.

What can be done is 90% to 95% self-sufficiency.

6,400 acres
25 working adults + dependents
$25,000,000 to $100,000,000 initial investment depending on level of self-sufficiency above 90%, level of lifestyles, level of specialty skills, etc.

Just my opinion.



Just my opinion.
 

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I've long been trying to figure how many square feet are needed to provide food per person, and also how many acres of trees to provide firewood/fuel... let alone how many chickens/rabbits/goats/sheep to provide for new generations as well as provide food
2 acres per person for basic foodstuffs, additional needed for sugars, cooking oils, cotton for clothing, oil for biodiesel, etc.

1 acre of coppicing wood lot per cord of wood needed per year times 20 for 20-year coppicing cycle.

Having enough genetic diversity is a primary limiting factor to get above 95% self-sufficiency, along with medical care. It takes multiple breeding lines to keep stock at high productivity and quality levels, and that usually means outside breeding from time to time.

Just my opinion.
 

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I've long been trying to figure how many square feet are needed to provide food per person, and also how many acres of trees to provide firewood/fuel... let alone how many chickens/rabbits/goats/sheep to provide for new generations as well as provide food
I did the calculations several years ago and came up with very close to what Jerry as well as others came up with. 2.25-2.5 acres per person minimum, twenty plus people, good water supply in a decent growing climate. I would go with goats, rabbits, chickens and hogs, letting some of the hogs go feral if possible. Diverse vegetable garden with potatoes as a main staple. Ten acre woodlot using coppicing for heat and construction of new projects.
 

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A couple of thousand out to do it.
Actually I don't think it is near what some people are estimating, unless you plan on going all high tech with fancy houses with lots of creature comforts. I was thinking a main complex with communal kitchen and dinning hall, individual family homes as sleeping quarters, a barn, smokehouse, and a few shop buildings. Maybe $100,000 tops, should get something pretty well started.
 

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Numquam Succumbe
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We strive for %100 self sufficiency on our little 9 acres, understanding that it'll take multiple generations to even accomplish.

That being said, It's about skill and knowledge more than it is about money. When factoring in cost, you've gotta account for what kind of natural resources you have around you. For example, a Desert is going to offer a lot of things that the Ozarks don't, and vice versa. So, it's really hard to estimate.

So How much rainfall? How much sunshine? How much wood? What kind of soil? What kind of resources can you renewably exploit? Where are you buying land? This kind of stuff dictates which crops you can grow, what animals you can raise, and so on. All these things will influence the amount of money you have to invest in your effort.

That being said, after two years and some change of having a go at %100 self sufficiency, I believe that, if you were willing to move to where land is cheap (like the Ozarks), you would be well on your way to self sufficiency with as little as $20,000. That will cover land, tools, and rudamentary infrastructure, assuming you find the right piece of land.

But, since we're talking true cost here, you've really got to factor in the fact that all these skills take perhaps multiple lifetimes to master, and that nobody can just buy a plot of land and become self sufficient.

That means you have to sustain yourself until you become self sufficient, and that's gonna cost you a lot more money.

At the rate my wife and I are going now, I'd say we could be %90 self sufficient in 30 years. We make and live off about $9600 a year, so there's a little less than $300,000 you can add to the cost estimate. :thumb:
 

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I've long been trying to figure how many square feet are needed to provide food per person, and also how many acres of trees to provide firewood/fuel... let alone how many chickens/rabbits/goats/sheep to provide for new generations as well as provide food
May I ask how you are trying to answer these questions? Is it by intensive internet searching, or by planting a garden, ordering some chicks, and chopping firewood?

I think you know what I'm getting at. No amount of scrolling down your computer screen is going to give you all the answers. You'll answer those questions by doing them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mike, you are absolutely correct. I think I've done about half the research, but now its time to start making efforts to apply what I've learned. I'm in college now, so I'm pretty much just doing a bit of window gardening and that's it, but I have plans for summer, as well as for my first home (hopefully just a wee bit of land to play with)
 

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May I ask how you are trying to answer these questions? Is it by intensive internet searching, or by planting a garden, ordering some chicks, and chopping firewood?

I think you know what I'm getting at. No amount of scrolling down your computer screen is going to give you all the answers. You'll answer those questions by doing them.
Good point Mike, I have been running sustainability tests for over 20 years, planting test crops of various fruits and vegetables for this area. And that is a very important point, it can take years to determine what grows well in your particular area and how to grow it best. Although I do a lot of research on the internet, I have fruit trees, grow a garden, have had chickens for over 20 years, brew beer, bake bread, load ammo, and repair virtually anything that needs done on our property. We have never had anyone come out and fix anything unless it is under warranty. If we can't do it ourselves, it doesn't need done.
 
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