Re: Mininum land for vegitarian garden.
- Here's an article I wrote a little while back on this subject...
Land required for Vegan self sufficiency- some questions and food for
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
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 &
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
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
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
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
PS. I've produced a small checklist of issues to think about
land' at http://pages.unisonfree.net/gburnett/SEEOG/page13.html
There's some other possibly useful checklists at
--- 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.
- 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
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
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
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
With heartiest regards and best wishes to all of you
Rajesh Kr. Gupta
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