RE: [pfaf] Re: Mininum land for vegetarian garden.
- I have not seen the study you refer to but I should think it would be
very difficult to be self-sufficient on such a small piece of land with
only vegetable input and output. Apart from dealing with the problem of
months of plenty against months of little as you mentioned, there is
also the problem of nutrient loss. Without using animal waste, the
amount of vegetable matter required for composting would be large (even
with a system for using human waste) and the space to produce this
material would not be there, as it would be necessary to grow food crops
on most of the available land quite intensively I would have thought.
I also don't think that using animals necessarily uses large amounts of
space. Obviously keeping cows or pigs uses a lot of land, but what about
chickens, rabbits or pigeons? All tasty and nutritious and can create
perfect compost from vegetable matter in about 12 hours. It would be
quite possible to keep either or all of these creatures in free range
conditions without great demands on space. Eating them during the lean
winter times could make self sufficiency far easier.
From: Ken Fern [mailto:ken.fern@...]
Sent: 06 June 2002 11:54
Subject: Re: [pfaf] Re: Mininum land for vegetarian garden.
Long time no see. I hope everything is well with you.
I read your comments on minimum land use with some interest. I think you
will find that the one fifth of an acre for a vegan figure came
from a scientist called Kenneth Mellanby. He was commissioned by the
government of the day (back in the 70's if my memory serves me well) to
if it was possible to grow all the food needs of Britain in Britain
of importing so much food. His findings were eventually published in a
called, I believe 'Can Britain Feed Itself'.
Amongst his many findings were that a meat eater needed up to 10 acres
provide their annual food needs (depending on the types of meat they
vegetarian up to 2 and a half acres (depending on the amount of dairy
produce they consumed) and a vegan one fifth of an acre. These findings
average figures based on the population as a whole. They were also based
average conventional (not organic) agricultural yields.
Whilst these figures, used as a comparison, work well to show how much
easier it would be to feed a vegan world, as you point out they can be
confusing for individuals with their own small plots of land.
I think it would be very difficult for one individual, even if they were
very healthy, to grow all their food needs on one fifth of an acre, even
it was prime agricultural land. There would be bound to be times of glut
times of shortage. However, if a group of, say, five people shared an
of land then it would be easier to smooth out the gluts and there would
be more space for growing the larger crops such as nut trees.
As regards comparing yields from conventional agriculture with those
obtained from a perennial gardening system, particularly using woodland
gardening, there are no figures yet published (as far as I know) to show
productive a perennial system can be so no comparison is possible. It is
to all of us to start getting our acts together and recording what we
doing and how much food we are obtaining from our land - when we do this
then we might start influencing mainstream agriculture.
Look after yourself
Love and Peace
- Thanks for your reply ken, this makes alot of sense, and puts this
oft- quoted figure into a more meaningful context! I'm also pleased
for the more substantial reference than an old vegan society leaflet!
--- In pfaf@y..., "Ken Fern" <ken.fern@l...> wrote:
> Dear Graham
> Long time no see. I hope everything is well with you.
> I read your comments on minimum land use with some interest. I
> will find that the one fifth of an acre for a vegan figure came
> from a scientist called Kenneth Mellanby. He was commissioned by