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Re: Mininum land for vegitarian garden.

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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 1 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

      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
      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

      Graham Burnett

      PS. I've produced a small checklist of issues to think about
      when 'reading
      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.
      > >
    • 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 2 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
        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
        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
        Thanking you.
        With heartiest regards and best wishes to all of you
        Rajesh Kr. Gupta

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