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Joie Balindjo Profile
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Registered: 04-2006
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How much is Enough?


I have been reading until my eyes cross.

There are so many books out there about subsistence and self sufficiency, but I really have one question. I'm not finding the answer, either.

For one person, how much is enough of a garden to grow all your veggies, and say, even your grains? How about we throw a small chicken tractor arrangement into it for eggs now and then?

What do you think? I mean to find out hands on, and prove it to myself, and am thinking that with intensive organic growing, a quarter acre should prove to be plenty, with more than a little to spare for the farmer's market and a couple apple trees as well.

thanks,
Joie
4/14/2006, 1:12 am Link to this post Send Email to Joie Balindjo   Send PM to Joie Balindjo
 
finnabairpendragon Profile
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Registered: 04-2006
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Re: How much is Enough?


If you don't already have a copy of "Square Foot Gardening" that's the one with the answer. emoticon

With a 1/4 acre, you can come close on the veggies, but I don't know about grains at all. They are so labor intensive.

There was one elderly couple here in my little area of S. Texas that was as close to self suffiency as anyone I've ever known. They did buy sugar, coffe, and flour. emoticon
4/14/2006, 11:49 am Link to this post Send Email to finnabairpendragon   Send PM to finnabairpendragon
 
MysticMT Profile
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Re: How much is Enough?


1/4 acre as Finn suggested would be a great starting point, that gives you enough land to experiment with and then grow out from there. When we began yrs ago we started small with gardens and then branched out and tried a lot of different plants and animals. Chicken tractors are really nice and Countryside Magazine has some really good plans for them. Good luck and happy digging/planting! emoticon
4/14/2006, 1:02 pm Link to this post Send Email to MysticMT   Send PM to MysticMT Yahoo Blog
 
playfultree Profile
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Registered: 10-2004
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Re: How much is Enough?


Thinking of my grandfather he had 12 acres of very nice flat land he use to plant about 3 acres in tobacco and about 1/4 acre for a family garden that grew all the vegetables that he and my grandmother could eat. I would think that grain would take about 1/2 acre at the least. The garden if you plan and double plant. Pull beans and replant you might be able to make it smaller.

Chicken tractors are nice but I did manage to kill 1/2 acre field in one year by moving the tractor every other day and having only about 10 chickens and 5 ducks in it.

We plant about 1 acre of vegetables here. It does us well I get enough to can and feed the whole family off of. Hubby likes to plant lima beans and or pole beans in the rows with the sugar corn. He plants turnips and rutabagas in the bed with the cucmbers and squash.

Our friend plants dwarf and patio apple and peach trees they stay smaller and still give fruit.

hope that helps.

Last edited by playfultree, 4/14/2006, 3:37 pm


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tree



May your journey be full of happiness and blessings
4/14/2006, 3:29 pm Link to this post Send Email to playfultree   Send PM to playfultree Yahoo
 
Saijen SilverWolf Profile
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Registered: 10-2004
Location: Upper North East Tennessee
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Re: How much is Enough?


As playfultree said....with your beans, you can easily double plant. When your bean bushes are all picked and look like they just aren't going to bear anymore...pull them, and replant.
About 10-20 good tomato plants will keep you in tomatos all summer. Be sure to stake them....keep them off the ground. Onions....get as many onion sets as you think you'll need/want onions. Once pulled, they don't come back. You can freeze onions, as well...chop them up and put them in freezer bags...use what you need from a bag and put it back in the freezer. My DH and I don't even have a 1/4 acre, I don't think (I'm BAD with measurements of land...lol) and we have stuff in our freezer from 2 years ago. I do a lot of canning and freezing, and we never seem to run out of anything.
Try your 1/4 acre...see if that's enough, or too much. Sometimes your answers come by trial and error, rather than by books or others.
Good luck...happy planting and growing.

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Blessed Be,
~*~ Saijen ~*~

~~*~~ .~~*~~
4/14/2006, 4:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to Saijen SilverWolf   Send PM to Saijen SilverWolf Yahoo
 
RantingHobbit Profile
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Re: How much is Enough?


dont know if it's correct, and obviously would depend on the soil etc, but supposedly it takes 50x50 feet of a wheat field to provide one person's yearly wheat
4/15/2006, 12:39 am Link to this post Send Email to RantingHobbit   Send PM to RantingHobbit
 
lavender wings Profile
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Registered: 03-2005
Location: Washington State
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Re: How much is Enough?


 You never know till you try....go for it at least then you will know how to manage your garden.

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~ *I Believe*~
~@ lavender wings @~
*~*~*~*~*~*
4/16/2006, 4:05 pm Link to this post Send Email to lavender wings   Send PM to lavender wings
 
southernfriedwiccan Profile
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Registered: 09-2005
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Re: How much is Enough?


This is a very tricky question. My wife and I do square foot intensive gardening, and to us it is the only way to go. Alot of people think it is some new method of gardening as opposed to a "traditonal" garden. Which is completely idiotic, as far as I can tell from reading histories of humanity bed gardening is much older....anyway

The reason it is so tricky is alot of it has to do with what you want to eat and hence grow, and what you can eat and can grow. For instance I like bannannas but cannot grow them so they have to be bought. Other things are tricky to grow for a variety of variables current weather trends (too much or too little rain) And also certain types of plants are difficult to grow. I have not been able to start peppermint fromseed successful, while I think you can throw a squash seed down, completely forget it and it will thrive.
Others are hard to harvest. Wheat is not the easiest thinkg to collect and is a drawn out process.

I am in no way trying to tell you to forget it and give it up, on the contrary. We are trying to raise all of our own food as well, but what we have discovered is it is a multiyear project involving a lot of trial and error. We have gotten the hang of growing most of the stuff we want to grow, and we have an idea for us what is worth growing and what is not, right now the big objective is figuring out how much is enough, I am hoping that we can solve it in a year or two. However with a son that will be steadily growing that will probably change ever few years.

Bobby

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Bobby
4/16/2006, 7:11 pm Link to this post Send Email to southernfriedwiccan   Send PM to southernfriedwiccan
 


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