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problemchild
11-10-2011, 6:02 PM
http://1bog.org/files/2011/01/backyard_farm.jpg

ExAcHog
11-10-2011, 7:33 PM
That is an awesome piece of useful knowledge!

MrsFS
11-10-2011, 7:39 PM
Love your post. The graphic totally gives perspective. We are continually thinking of ways to slowly incorporate this into our backyard. It is currently a blank canvas aside from the 8 hens we have. Starting to plan for the fruit trees I want to plant. I was thinking apple, avocado, orange, and lemon so far. Any thought on the most nutrient rich fruit trees?

damon1272
11-10-2011, 7:52 PM
Thanks PC. Well done.

thenodnarb
11-10-2011, 8:17 PM
If you live in a hunting/fishing friendly place like Oregon, you can easily add the meat to the diet. I use the word "easily" loosely. I figure its easier to shoot some dove on the weekends, or fish for some trout, bass or salmon, than it is to raise animals for meat. Even though animals are pretty easy to keep, the constant vigilance of keeping predators away is trying, and I personally am getting tired of it. Of course I'll still have chickens and I may try my hand at goats if I can build a fence high enough to keep at least the coyotes out.

nick
11-10-2011, 8:25 PM
Of course, this is the bare minimum. You have to pad your estimates to account for things not going as well as you'd hope, pests, your goats escaping and eating your vegetables, etc. And that's not mentioning bartering with others, if needed, and the amount of time it takes to take care of all of this. Just a thought :)

Whiterabbit
11-10-2011, 8:55 PM
bogus. Anyone who is really serious about feeding their family off the land doesn't need near this much.

This bogus document assumes:
1. You won't do your part to conserve your resources, such as electricity.

2. density. you can intensively garden and maximize yield beyond factory farming methods. Well enough to quantities sufficient to feed a family of two with extra vegetables in <200 square feet.

3. density again. Your chickens aren't in a dedicated space. They live on the lawn, they live over the other crap you need them to clean up for you. The same goes for other livestock, bees, etc.

4. Barter. Even the poorest village of indigenous peoples barter gathered goods for hunted goods. Ranchers in Montana know you trade your lamb for the neighbors beef. Why doesn't this doc assume what we've known for thousands of years?

wheat and large livestock is the only thing that a suburban gardener can't easily feed the beast with. Beyond that, you can eat tomatoes year round, keep your eggs, have honey, rabbit, vegetables, your solar power, and more. On less than a quarter acre. easy.

11HE9
11-10-2011, 9:02 PM
Great post PC, really gives me a perspective on what I have to work with.


I am on 11 acres shared with the inlaws. We currently have eight chickens, and we're in the process of rebuilding their yard to accomodate a few more. We also have a small heard of goats, mainly used for weed control at this time.

Things I'd like to get started on this fall/spring...

1. Till, fence, vermin proof (the best I can) the garden area..

2. Plant veggie garden (bigger than I've ever done before)

3. Plant fruit trees ( Apple, lemon, orange, ???)

4. Start gathering materials for a modest green house (Mom-in-law likes this idea and has stated she will help out $$ ;))

5. We've thought about getting a cow or two. If SHTF... our neighbors have cattle, so we can always barter :)

Some of my nosey neighbors :p
122139

KevinB
11-10-2011, 9:06 PM
A very skilled gardener would be hard pressed to keep their family of 4 fed and healthy on 2 acres.

Personally, I would not bother with pigs and cows, goats will thrive where cows and pigs won't survive.

Food preservation is going to be a huge issue.

Land without water is just dirt.

seanbo
11-10-2011, 9:26 PM
Good job PC! One thing I would add is Rabbits. They take up little space and produce more meat per year than any other livestock.

11HE9
11-10-2011, 9:31 PM
Land without water is just dirt.

Very true...

This is the #1 reason I want to sink a second well as soon as we can. I want well #2 to be "off the grid" using solar as the primary power source, and a generator for emergencies

Ripon83
11-10-2011, 9:36 PM
I read a while back a garden of 8,000 or 9,000 sq feet was needed per person. 90k for a family of 4 seems like a bunch....

Nice art work.....

ElvenSoul
11-10-2011, 9:39 PM
Where are those hi tech California Hydroponic Farmers when ya need them. I know we gotta have a few Calgunners into Hydro on here. How much food could you grow in your closet?

11HE9
11-10-2011, 9:44 PM
One thing I would add is Rabbits.

Just a field note...

We have a vibrant bunny population around our place. We harvested a few for dinner not long ago. Wild rabbits are very lean, almost no fat and not a whole lot of meat on'em. If SHTF, I think I'd trap a few in order to fatten them up before they hit the stew pot.

Just my .02 ;)

DirtyDave
11-10-2011, 10:07 PM
Just a field note...

We have a vibrant bunny population around our place. We harvested a few for dinner not long ago. Wild rabbits are very lean, almost no fat and not a whole lot of meat on'em. If SHTF, I think I'd trap a few in order to fatten them up before they hit the stew pot.

Just my .02 ;)

He is talking about Domestic Rabbits. They produce more lbs of meat than a cow due to high rate of reproduction (they screw like rabbits)

Taidaisher
11-11-2011, 6:54 AM
Awesome post.
Informative and colorful.
That is going to be saved on my hard drive, printed in both color and black and white, with at least 1 of each being laminated for protection from the elements and thrown in my BOB, and other preps.

GrizzlyGuy
11-11-2011, 7:46 AM
Their estimate of solar panel square footage is overly optimistic for most folks. They are assuming an average of 7 sun-hours/day, and as you can see in this map from NREL (http://www.nrel.gov/gis/solar.html), only the folks way down in the southwest get that much:

http://www.nrel.gov/gis/images/map_pv_us_annual10km_dec2008.jpg

Ripon83
11-11-2011, 8:11 AM
And practically no power when the suns not out.

CAL.BAR
11-11-2011, 8:14 AM
In short... there isn't enough land in the entire US to house it's population in self-sufficient fashion. (I think we already knew this) The days of rugged independence and freedom are over.

gatesbox
11-11-2011, 8:31 AM
In my mind there are only two scenarios where this graph would be helpful..

1. Choosing to live off grid. The issue with feeding the entire population is not a concern because the percentage of people who choose to live off the grid will remain low. I have seen fairly significant coops that seem to feed more than one family with the suggested land area, although I think I'd want at least five acres if I was trying to live via subsistence. My families ranch sat on five acres personally owned in the Willamette Valley, and additional land leased. We were very comfortable eating mostly off gid via cattle, chickens, a hog or two, and usually some bees. I'm sure it would have been sufficient.

2. The beleaguered SHTF scenario. If this is a long term issue where subsistance is required it seems likely that there would be a devastating reduction in population. Additionally there would be a need to maximize and make do, in the unlikely event that folks were choosing to remain in an urban or suburban location one could maximize growing area with vertical growing and alternative means of food production, smaller livestock....probably still unlikely to subside for more than a year, although public land could be collectively used for food production.

CAL.BAR
11-11-2011, 9:00 AM
[QUOTE=gatesbox;7480359]In my mind there are only two scenarios where this graph would be helpful..

1. Choosing to live off grid. The issue with feeding the entire population is not a concern because the percentage of people who choose to live off the grid will remain low. I have seen fairly significant coops that seem to feed more than one family with the suggested land area, although I think I'd want at least five acres if I was trying to live via subsistence. My families ranch sat on five acres personally owned in the Willamette Valley, and additional land leased. We were very comfortable eating mostly off gid via cattle, chickens, a hog or two, and usually some bees. I'm sure it would have been sufficient.

Self sufficient? Did you grow your own cotton, weave your own cloth, generate all your own electricity? Use a car/vehicle? refine your own gasoline? Make your own toothpaste, deodorant, medicine, medical care? Please - self sufficiency is a figment of history. Anything close to modern living requires a great deal more societal cooperation than anyone ever imagines. And that societal cooperation requires even more land and resources.

ExAcHog
11-11-2011, 9:12 AM
I love how people just feel the need to totally pick things apart.
Great post PC.

redrex
11-11-2011, 10:03 AM
Did someone say Hydroponic? Dude, that is so 70's :)

Seriously though, Aquaponics is the solution that you are looking for. This is hydroponics but with the addition of fish to the growing cycle which allows you to stop using all of those chemicals for added nutrition.

You get a small pond, tubs, above ground pools, I've seen it all. You raise fish like tilapia in it. And unlike an aquarium there is no filter. You pump the water with fish waste into the plants. The plants eat the waste and clean water flows back to the fish.

The cycle goes like this.

1. Compost grows black soldier fly larvae
2. Chickens eat larvae
3. Put chicken coop with wire floor over fish pond
4. Fish eat chicken wast and Duck Grass
5. Water pumped from pond to garden.
6. Water from garden goes to "Still tank" where you grow Duck Grass
7. Very clean water now goes back to fish.

You eat:
Chicken, eggs, fish and vegetables. Heck you can even eat the Duck Grass if you needed to.

Plus Duck Grass is turning out to be quite the plant. It grows super fast, its good for you and it has sugars in it that make it a better alcohol producer then corn!

Check out this guy who turned his backyard in ground pool into something that can feed his whole family. They added a couple of goats for milk. It's freaking amazing :)

http://gardenpool.org/

glockman19
11-11-2011, 10:15 AM
The world is overpopulated...There are not enough natural resources to feed the entire planet of 7 billion people.

What we really need is a Good old pandemic or World War...to thin out the population. :rolleyes::eek:;):)

Benster
11-11-2011, 10:24 AM
i guess i need to trade my horses in for some cattle.

llamatrnr
11-11-2011, 10:31 AM
Did someone say Hydroponic? Dude, that is so 70's :)

Seriously though, Aquaponics is the solution that you are looking for. This is hydroponics but with the addition of fish to the growing cycle which allows you to stop using all of those chemicals for added nutrition.

You get a small pond, tubs, above ground pools, I've seen it all. You raise fish like tilapia in it. And unlike an aquarium there is no filter. You pump the water with fish waste into the plants. The plants eat the waste and clean water flows back to the fish.

The cycle goes like this.

1. Compost grows black soldier fly larvae
2. Chickens eat larvae
3. Put chicken coop with wire floor over fish pond
4. Fish eat chicken wast and Duck Grass
5. Water pumped from pond to garden.
6. Water from garden goes to "Still tank" where you grow Duck Grass
7. Very clean water now goes back to fish.

You eat:
Chicken, eggs, fish and vegetables. Heck you can even eat the Duck Grass if you needed to.

Plus Duck Grass is turning out to be quite the plant. It grows super fast, its good for you and it has sugars in it that make it a better alcohol producer then corn!

Check out this guy who turned his backyard in ground pool into something that can feed his whole family. They added a couple of goats for milk. It's freaking amazing :)

http://gardenpool.org/

This, + don't forget worms for your fish, chickens and garden . . .

k1dude
11-11-2011, 10:32 AM
Will Malthusian Theory be put to test in our lifetimes? What exactly IS the carrying capacity of the world? We're at 7 billion and arable land is decreasing.

seanbo
11-11-2011, 11:39 AM
In short... there isn't enough land in the entire US to house it's population in self-sufficient fashion. (I think we already knew this) The days of rugged independence and freedom are over.

WRONG!!!!!

U.S.A. — area is 3, 718, 695 square miles which is 2, 379, 964, 800 acres.

Divide by 2 and =1,189,982,400 2 acre lots.

Full Clip
11-11-2011, 11:46 AM
Land without water is just dirt.

This.
Would be interesting to see their guesstimate on water use to sustain all of this. If SHTF, the tap is gonna run dry at some point... and we folk down in So Cal gonna run outta cement pond water right quick.

WRONG!!!!!
U.S.A. — area is 3, 718, 695 square miles which is 2, 379, 964, 800 acres.
Divide by 2 and =1,189,982,400 2 acre lots.

Uh, have you actually seen what much of the U.S. consists of? Ever been to states like Nevada? It's not farmable without major resources and equipment, so your simplistic math is a wee bit of a fallacy.

problemchild
11-11-2011, 11:51 AM
I love how people just feel the need to totally pick things apart.
Great post PC.

I'm guilty of that too. I mean I tore that 15 dollar chinese grain grinder apart that was posted a week ago. Ive looked at grinders for a while now and pretty much know what works and doesn't. I shouldn't have been so hard on the guy. I really do not care what people say. Im not keeping track and I consider everyone here a friend.

Sanderhawk
11-11-2011, 11:55 AM
Well i`m guessing that my 100 sq. ft. concrete back yard isn`t going to be enough even if I build some shelves. :rofl2:

llamatrnr
11-11-2011, 12:09 PM
Well i`m guessing that my 100 sq. ft. concrete back yard isn`t going to be enough even if I build some shelves. :rofl2:

That's more than enough for an aquaponics setup . . .:thumbsup:

mindwip
11-11-2011, 12:15 PM
Well with 16sq ft you can have one meal a day out of it using intensive gardening. Not to mention vertical gardens where you grow food up walls. So 100sq ft could provide you with 1 plus meal a day, Now if you used grow lights and Aquaponics (with just fish) you could grow all year around at high yields. Now lets add a solar panel to this for the lights and bumps and you are off the grid!


There are some really good videos on youtube showing gardening in your cement backyard. I started to this year and have had some nice, mint, sweet bell pepers, pink lemon dwarf tree, radish, bean, cherry tomato, carrots. Missed the growing season and will start next year off right. Also a lot of my plants are in there first year and are not making much fruit this year.


llamatrnr, beat me too it.

Ripon83
11-11-2011, 12:47 PM
To some extent there are areas of Nevada's desert that can't be farmed, but actually most can. In the northern area there is abundance of creeks and springs that provide ample water supply to quite arable dirt \ soil capable of substantial gardening.

In large farming operations you are right about the equipment and effort, but look at Google Maps Satellite view and notice the little green circles through out the region - all man made farms right out of the desert. All very productive and with ample water supplies. Only about 600 acres each. And I dare say there are thousands of them. NO I haven't counted....there are a lot. I rent 3 out to a farmer who's enjoyed it a decade already.


This.
Would be interesting to see their guesstimate on water use to sustain all of this. If SHTF, the tap is gonna run dry at some point... and we folk down in So Cal gonna run outta cement pond water right quick.



Uh, have you actually seen what much of the U.S. consists of? Ever been to states like Nevada? It's not farmable without major resources and equipment, so your simplistic math is a wee bit of a fallacy.

seanbo
11-11-2011, 12:50 PM
Uh, have you actually seen what much of the U.S. consists of? Ever been to states like Nevada? It's not farmable without major resources and equipment, so your simplistic math is a wee bit of a fallacy.

Given the us pop at about 300 mill divided by 4 gives us 75 mill. That divided by 1189982400 gives us 15 two acer lots for every 4 people to pick from. It's a given that some parts of the US would not be good land, but not over 90%. So you are telling me that we don't have enough land.

Ripon83
11-11-2011, 12:53 PM
We have enough land,

We don't have the bureaucrats to do the environmental reports on the land use applications :)


Given the us pop at about 300 mill divided by 4 gives us 75 mill. That divided by 1189982400 gives us 15 two acer lots for every 4 people to pick from. It's a given that some parts of the US would not be good land, but not over 90%. So you are telling me that we don't have enough land.

CAL.BAR
11-11-2011, 12:53 PM
WRONG!!!!!

U.S.A. area is 3, 718, 695 square miles which is 2, 379, 964, 800 acres.

Divide by 2 and =1,189,982,400 2 acre lots.

Are you counting the vast acres of desert and nearly vertical mountain ranges in that? (yes) So which part of the Mojave will you take to try and live on?

BTW - WATER is much more scarce than land. Where are you going to get the WATER to live on?

thenodnarb
11-11-2011, 1:02 PM
The world is overpopulated...There are not enough natural resources to feed the entire planet of 7 billion people.

What we really need is a Good old pandemic or World War...to thin out the population. :rolleyes::eek:;):)

I don't know if you're joking or if you're serious, but it doesn't matter because there are plenty of people who think like you. This is typical liberal, anti-human thinking. I won't get into the details,but we are capable of being far more efficient when it comes to food production. The way we produce food now is highly inefficient when it comes to land resources. It may be efficient financially, but not resource wise.
When this post was first made, I immediately thought of these folks:
http://urbanhomestead.org/urban-homestead

They grew 6000 lbs of food in 1 year on 1/10th acre. They have chickens, goats and tons of plants(literally!) While this type of farming is high density and probably too optimistic for most of us, they did this on a tiny plot of land.

All that said, the number of farmers in this country is reportedly decreasing, and with boneheaded moves like our legislature not providing water to farms in central California because of a sucker fish, we are not producing the food we once were. IMO it will all be sorted out when the problem becomes worse. Food will get more expensive, and it will be more profitable to produce food yourself or as a business(and produce local food rather than ship stuff from across the world like from Chile or China).

The biggest problem we have is actually people like you who think we need to kill off people. There are people in governments(including ours) who believe this and are taking steps to accomplish this. They're called humanists, and they want the population of the earth to be reduced 95% from current levels. In other words, they want 6.5 billion people killed off.

However its totally unnecessary to reduce the population of the world, we just need more efficiency with our resources. And it will happen naturally, so not to worry. The biggest problem isn't population growth, but regional disasters that severely affect a particular crop in a given season.

thenodnarb
11-11-2011, 1:16 PM
Are you counting the vast acres of desert and nearly vertical mountain ranges in that? (yes) So which part of the Mojave will you take to try and live on?

BTW - WATER is much more scarce than land. Where are you going to get the WATER to live on?

It may not grow the stuff you're used to, but there is a TON of stuff to grow and live on in the desert. I've often said to friends that there is more food in the desert than there is in the mountains, and I'd rather have to survive in the desert than the mountains. Now it takes a lot more land to support that food but there is lots of it. Deer, coyotes, rabbits, rodents, and tons of wild edibles. The layman drives through the desert and sees a barren wasteland. I see opportunity. This is probably because I spend so much time hunting in the desert that I am keenly aware of the things that grow and live there. Even in Kingman AZ people have drilled wells(like 2k ft deep) and got water from the water table. People seem to forget that there is water under the ground. It may not be EASY water in the difficult places like the desert, but its water none-the-less. Big farmers prefer to be near flowing surface water for their irrigation because they use so much that pumping it is an expensive thing to do. And think about this: all the water they use(well 95% anyway) just flows right back into the very river they got it from. They're just borrowing it for a few days to grow their plants.
Now, can people live as densely in the desert as they can in a more fertile climate? well, no. You probably need 20-100 times the land to support yourself in the desert, but its possible. And besides, the whole country doesn't need to produce food in order to survive, we need other stuff too. so not everyone has to be a farmer. Just make sure you are producing something tangible so that it has value. Even your sweat-equity is tangible to someone if you are skilled at something valuable. Let those who have farm land do the farming, those who have timber do the milling, and those who have skills build the houses, or the furniture, or the tools that the rest of us need.

scarville
11-11-2011, 1:46 PM
The world is overpopulated...There are not enough natural resources to feed the entire planet of 7 billion people.

What we really need is a Good old pandemic or World War...to thin out the population. :rolleyes::eek:;):)
Actually, the planet could probably support close to a 50 billion people -- maybe 100 billion. You might not like that world but I think it could be done.

OHOD
11-11-2011, 3:27 PM
No problem, I got a full acre in Florida that I can grow anything on. Next door to a wildlife management area that is chock full of pigs, deer, turkey, blue gill, crappe and snakes.

SHTF....Florida here I come.
Set up a perimeter and BAM! I'm good to go.

Got Stuff?
11-11-2011, 3:37 PM
I can only imagine how quickly 1/10 acre would become infertile when used for farming :(

glockman19
11-11-2011, 3:41 PM
I don't know if you're joking or if you're serious, but it doesn't matter because there are plenty of people who think like you. This is typical liberal, anti-human thinking. I won't get into the details,but we are capable of being far more efficient when it comes to food production. The way we produce food now is highly inefficient when it comes to land resources. It may be efficient financially, but not resource wise.
When this post was first made, I immediately thought of these folks:
http://urbanhomestead.org/urban-homestead

They grew 6000 lbs of food in 1 year on 1/10th acre. They have chickens, goats and tons of plants(literally!) While this type of farming is high density and probably too optimistic for most of us, they did this on a tiny plot of land.

All that said, the number of farmers in this country is reportedly decreasing, and with boneheaded moves like our legislature not providing water to farms in central California because of a sucker fish, we are not producing the food we once were. IMO it will all be sorted out when the problem becomes worse. Food will get more expensive, and it will be more profitable to produce food yourself or as a business(and produce local food rather than ship stuff from across the world like from Chile or China).

The biggest problem we have is actually people like you who think we need to kill off people. There are people in governments(including ours) who believe this and are taking steps to accomplish this. They're called humanists, and they want the population of the earth to be reduced 95% from current levels. In other words, they want 6.5 billion people killed off.

However its totally unnecessary to reduce the population of the world, we just need more efficiency with our resources. And it will happen naturally, so not to worry. The biggest problem isn't population growth, but regional disasters that severely affect a particular crop in a given season.

Actually, the planet could probably support close to a 50 billion people -- maybe 100 billion. You might not like that world but I think it could be done.

Actually the planet can support approx. 4-5 Billion people and be sustainable...so...thenodnarb, we only need to get rid of 2-3 billion people not 6.5.;)

dneFzINvSI8

Dr. Bartlett has other great video's on youtube...you should watch his video's on "Arithmetic, Population and Energy"
Here is part 1-8

9znsuCphHUU

Full Clip
11-11-2011, 4:14 PM
So you are telling me that we don't have enough land.

No, what I'm saying is there are too many people unless we DO have the equipment and support that's necessary to farm otherwise dead land.
Look at what is perhaps the most fertile land in CA, the San Joaquin Valley — it's a desert without the massive irrigation infrastructure that's in place, and which will eventually cease to function after SHTF, either through equipment failure or sabotage...

Sleighter
11-11-2011, 4:19 PM
Thanks OP for ending a months long debate in my family with 1 comprehensive post. Thanks!

thenodnarb
11-11-2011, 4:25 PM
I can only imagine how quickly 1/10 acre would become infertile when used for farming :(

This also shows a lack of knowledge. When properly rotating crops, land can be used indefinitely. Remember everything is a cycle. While it may be true that planting corn in the same field year after year without fertalizing will deplete the soil, simply rotating the types of crops grown will replenish the soil.

thenodnarb
11-11-2011, 4:28 PM
Actually the planet can support approx. 4-5 Billion people and be sustainable...so...thenodnarb, we only need to get rid of 2-3 billion people not 6.5.;)


then I guess we should all be dead by now :rolleyes:
Actually, the planet could probably support close to a 50 billion people -- maybe 100 billion. You might not like that world but I think it could be done.

this