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Aussies Living Simply

Random thoughts

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
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  • #257800
    IdunaIduna
    Member

    I really have no clue where to put this so if mods want to shift this feel free.

    I have been having a few thoughts over the last year or so on different things and they don’t always fit into a specific box.

    So hers one of my first random thought and question.

    How much land/space do you think you would need to grow most if not all the veg fruit and nuts for 2 adults, 2 adults 2 children/teens and 4 adults. If you want to change the numbers go ahead just say for how many people and ages?

    I’ll add more questions at later times and anyone else is welcome to add theirs.

    Oh and what fruit/nut trees would you grow as where you live will play a big part in what you grow.

    #532869
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    I read somewhere that on a domestic scale you can feed a family of 4 all the fruit and veg they can eat using 24 square meters if you are really efficient with your planting.

    On a commercial scale its less than that because you gets some efficiencies of scale. I think the figure was 18 or 20 square meters.

    My vege garden is about 18 square meters but probably only produces a quarter of our veg because I’m terribly inefficient and don’t have time to look after it properly.

    Cheers

    Dave

    #532870
    IdunaIduna
    Member

    I know I have read you can feed a family of 4 on 20 to 40 square meters (more space needed if you consume more fruit) but I have also heard you can feed up to 10 people per acre by food forest methods but the way farming is set up now you can only feed up to 5 people. The have worked out a gardener can get more out of a plot than a farmer can because of the time spent on it, a gardener can spend more time vs a farmer. I also wonder if food wastage is worked into it when people are working out how much space is needed. I don’t have much food wastage as the bulk is eaten and the rest (scraps) can be fed to my cats, chickens or composted. But I know others throw away a lot of good food just by cooking too much.

    I’m guessing here as we haven’t finished planting yet but we will have around 150sqm planted with fruit trees, cains and veg for just two of us and it should provide most of our food, but I know it’s not enough. I would need more space for apple and pear trees and nut trees to cover everything. But we eat a lot of fruit.

    So for my family of two I would need at lest 250sqm of plantable space. I don’t have that. I have to take sunlight/shade into account.

    #532871
    BobbeeBobbee
    Member

    I can’t help on the amount of land etc Iduna but I know from experience that an important factor is the continuity of harvest of fruit and veg.

    Finding out how much of each veg to begin with and then when to put in the next batch and so on, to keep as constant a supply as possible.

    With fruit trees and probably nut trees ( I know nothing about growing nuts although I have a couple of trees planted on my patch), it is possible to plant a number of different varieties so as to have continuous picking over the majority of the year.

    To a certain extent this is also possible with cane fruit.

    Mr Bobbs grows carrots and beetroot all year round and of course greens like spinach, silver beet, side-pick lettuce etc grow all year round, they re-seed themselves.

    Interesting question so thanks for asking it, I hope to read some great info on here.

    🙂

    #532872
    IdunaIduna
    Member

    I know people get bores dug on blocks but what about a well and maybe even a hand pump? Can you even get them inside a home?

    #532873
    IdunaIduna
    Member

    http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/blogs/infographic-how-big-a-backyard-would-you-need-to-live-off-

    I think you could cut down the space needed if you used the goats for meat as well as dairy and the chickens for meat and eggs, that way you could cut down how many pigs you would need by at least 1. I think cutting down on the amount of wheat eaten would be good too, or keep the wheat and cut down on the corn. I wonder how much less space you would need for the corn if you let the goats, pigs and chickens rotate among the crops.

    On a side note they are saying a full sized goat only needs 50 square feet.

    #532874
    SnagsSnags
    Member

    Climate, diet and soil is massively important in deciding.

    Corn is a gross feeder that requires good soil and water and heaps of area to produce a few cobs per plant.

    In Melbourne you could grow 1 corn crop a year in Qld you might get 6 or more.

    If you got heaps of protein and carbs of a Madagascar bean that grew in a small vertical footprint, required less land and less good soil and in fact improved your soil rather than degraded it.

    The equation changes massively.

    #532875
    IdunaIduna
    Member

    Well the bulk of that corn looked like it was for animal fodder so what if you changed some of it to something like tree lucerne? Or a legume that both people and animals eat. That plan also didn’t show any space for nuts. The corn could be one that’s more used for grinding and less of the sweet kind we eat. It also doesn’t seem to take multi-leave planting into account. Like growing corn climbing beans and a squash/pumpkin in the same space.

    #532876
    MuklukMukluk
    Participant

    Iduna post=356996 wrote: http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/blogs/infographic-how-big-a-backyard-would-you-need-to-live-off-

    I think you could cut down the space needed if you used the goats for meat as well as dairy and the chickens for meat and eggs, that way you could cut down how many pigs you would need by at least 1. I think cutting down on the amount of wheat eaten would be good too, or keep the wheat and cut down on the corn. I wonder how much less space you would need for the corn if you let the goats, pigs and chickens rotate among the crops.

    On a side note they are saying a full sized goat only needs 50 square feet.

    65 square feet for 13 chickens? That is only 5 square feet each bird. 50 square feet for a goat. 9 square feet per pig or piglet. Sounds like a living nightmare to me!

    That link aside, I agree with snags. Climate and a few other factors alter things dramatically. I think that it is also wise to overestimate required space to help cover you in difficult seasons.

    #532877
    IdunaIduna
    Member

    I thought it was interesting none the less, what was also interesting was the average kwh usage per home in the USA is about 30, where in Australia it’s about 16kwh a day.

    #532878
    Judi BJudi B
    Keymaster

    Iduna post=357003 wrote: I thought it was interesting none the less, what was also interesting was the average kwh usage per home in the USA is about 30, where in Australia it’s about 16kwh a day.

    I always knew we were below average :laugh: we use about 12kwh a day.

    Climate plays a big part on how much you can grow I don’t get to grow some of the vegies that need a long growing season, we can get frost here from April to October but this year has been really good frosts came late.

    #532879
    IdunaIduna
    Member

    We use about 12kwh a day as well, I’m still working on trying to drop the amount but we haven’t been able to drop the amount for the last year. We ether need to look at spending a chunk of change and upgrade the insulation in the roof, add the extra whirly bird and cut in some vents and or wait for the trees we have just started plating to get to a good size for them to shade the house a long with the grape vines.

    I know if we were going to build a place now we would get the highest rating insulation that we could, not just the roof but for the walls and the floor which our place doesn’t have and we can’t install.

    #532880
    IdunaIduna
    Member

    Green waste can be composted, but often you don’t have the right ratio, so what if you had a giant worm farm.

    How many worms would you need to get through a 240lt bin each month/fortnight? I don’t mean how many to start with but a bin in full production, it would still take longer to eat through woody stuff but it could be done.

    #532881
    PinetreePinetree
    Member

    I agree with Snags, soil type and climate and rain fall are the major external factors that govern your returns from the garden, who much you input can affect the return, but the big one is Rain.

    Cheers Pinetree

    #532882
    SnagsSnags
    Member

    Here’s a 2×4 balcony in NZ with fruit, veg, a bee hive and quails

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