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Re: Mininum land for vegitarian garden.

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  • Richard Morris
    ... Well this is one of those questions that goes round and round. There was an interesting article in New Scientist a couple of weeks back , advocating a
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 4, 2002
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      bigjohn@... wrote:
      >
      > I am doing research to find what the "minimal" amount of land would be needed
      > to sustain just one (1) person every year.
      >
      > I have been told by one person that she thought it would take 1/4 acre of
      > intensive gardening. This seems to be inadiquate to me.
      >
      > Although I am not a vegetarian, I am researching this subject for a web page
      > I have.
      >
      > I would also like to know the mininmal amount of land need for a non
      > vegetarian. The other person I talked to was a vegetarian and did not
      > elaborate for a non-vegetarian.

      Well this is one of those questions that goes round and
      round. There was an interesting article in New Scientist a couple
      of weeks back , advocating a middle way between organics
      and conventional agriculture. Well worth reading if you like
      a challenge, but it could get the blood boiling.
      One of the bits in the article compared the water use of different
      crops and animals. Rice was high, but cows were off the scale.

      I've passed you question on to the
      PFAF electronic mailing list http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pfaf
      which might get a good discussion going.

      All the best

      Rich
      --
      Plants for a Future: 7000 useful plants
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    • quercusrobur2002
      Here s an article I wrote a little while back on this subject... Land required for Vegan self sufficiency- some questions and food for thought.... How much
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 4, 2002
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        Here's an article I wrote a little while back on this subject...

        Land required for Vegan self sufficiency- some questions and food for
        thought....


        How much land does a vegan require to be self sufficient in food?

        An often quoted figure, attributed to the Vegan Society, is that one
        person on a plant based diet could be self sufficient on one fifth of
        an acre of land.

        However I'm not so sure how helpful such a figure is- it's one of
        those 'how long is a piece of string' type questions-

        There are many variables to take into account, here's a few I can
        think of (which could also act as the start of a useful checklist
        when considering any other self-sufficient food growing/land use
        venture...);

        What is the land quality? What type of soil do you have? What
        condition is it in?
        What's it's aspect? Sun paths at different times of year?
        Are you on a slope? How steep?
        What are your first and last frost dates?
        Do you have an independant water supply? What irrigation techniques
        do you plan to use?
        Is it 'virgin' land that requires clearing and initial cultivating?
        Any pollutants or contamination that need to be dealt with?
        What weather patterns do you encounter?
        Prevailing winds? How exposed are you?
        In what part of the country/world are you intending to grow?
        Do you intend to add season extending structures such as polytunnels &
        greenhouses?
        What do you want to grow? Have you audited/analysed the nutritional
        (eg, protien, carbohydrate, fibre, mineral, vitamins (including
        vitamin B12))contents of your chosen crops? Which are heavy feeders,
        which are light feeders?
        Will you be planting annuals or perennials (including tree crops)?
        What do you want to eat? What do you like?
        Do you have a big appetite?
        Are you a raw food vegan?
        If not, have you factored in the land/energy required to produce the
        fuel to cook your food?
        What's your lifestyle? How much time/energy do you have? Other
        commitments?
        How fit are you?
        Do you enjoy gardening?
        How intensively do you intend to manage the land?
        Are you using machinery/power tools?
        If so have you factored in the land/energy required to
        manufacture/fuel such equipment?
        How experienced/knowledgable are you as regards food growing?
        Are you using permaculture techniques and strategies such as
        increasing edge, stacking, succession, using multifunctional
        plantings, using zonal planning, etc, etc?
        Are you returning your own wastes (ie, humanure) to the soil?
        Are you growing organically?
        If so, are you growing vegan organically? Have you factored in space
        needed for compost crops and green manures?
        Are you growing 'conventional' organically? Have you factored in the
        land required to graze cattle or grow fodder in order to import their
        manure outputs? What about transporting it to your land (dung
        miles???)?
        If neither, have you factored in the 'embodied energy' and land
        needed to produce and transport the various chemicals & pesticides
        you intend to add?

        ---------------------------------------------------------
        One fifth of an acre of prime fertile rich agricultural soil in a
        sheltered river valley with a long growing season, worked by a young,
        strong, fit, experienced person 7 days a week following a well
        integrated and thought out cropping plan, is going to be a very
        different proposition to one fifth of an acre of exposed, thin and
        acidic Welsh hillside being managed by say, a single parent suffering
        from health problems and trying fit growing activities in with things
        like holding down a job, commuting, raising a family, etc, etc!
        Two people managing two fifths of an acre, or five people managing
        one acre are completely different scenarios again, whatever the
        land's condition!
        Then there are all those other human needs that need to be met-
        clothing, shelter, warmth, transport (not to mention emotional needs
        including the company of others!!)

        Sometimes perhaps we need to be a little careful about quoting figures
        without placing them in any sort of context or thining about what they
        imply... Just some food for thought, I would welcome any responses or
        comments...

        Graham Burnett
        www.landandliberty.co.uk

        PS. I've produced a small checklist of issues to think about
        when 'reading
        your
        land' at http://pages.unisonfree.net/gburnett/SEEOG/page13.html

        There's some other possibly useful checklists at
        http://pages.unisonfree.net/gburnett/SEEOG/page4.html


        --- In pfaf@y..., Richard Morris <webmaster@p...> wrote:
        > bigjohn@g... wrote:
        > >
        > > I am doing research to find what the "minimal" amount of land
        would be needed
        > > to sustain just one (1) person every year.
        > >
      • Mr rajesh gupta
        Dear friends, I need very urgentely some important info on the following questions 1. Can two undomesticated wild seedling plants growing in the natural
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 19, 2002
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          Dear friends,
          I need very urgentely some important info
          on the following questions
          1. Can two undomesticated wild seedling plants growing
          in the natural environment (raised from seeds) ever be
          genetically identical (not the similar) in all the
          respects perticularly for molecular biology studies?
          2.Can these two plants mentioned above be used as
          control and treatment for molecular level studies such
          as differential display and cDNA library construction,
          where it is a question of looking for say one or two
          DNA molecular species differeing among the control and
          treatment?
          3. Can these two plants growing in the vicinity of 100
          meter from each other in their natural conditions be
          used as control and treatment to study the effect of
          environmental stresses perticularly low temperature
          stress?

          4. What do you think that in the vicinity of barely
          100 meters there is going to be a drastic change in
          the micro-climate of that area to that extent that one
          plant can act as control at normal temperature while
          other plant can be under freezing stress condition?

          5.In your opinion how much of temperature variation
          can be experienced by a plant growing under the snow
          at a depth of 10-15 centimeters and the other plant
          growing with in a ground distance of 100 meters
          without snow.

          6 Please confirm that can such a drastic variation
          in the micro climate do occur in the nature in a small
          area of 100 meters.

          I'll be greatful if you all could give your
          expert advice and comment on these very basic
          questions.
          Thanking you.
          With heartiest regards and best wishes to all of you
          Rajesh Kr. Gupta



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