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Self Sufficient Gardening
Wed 3-Feb-10
12:15 pm
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SOL
UK

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What size of parcel of land, do you consider to be optimum?  As in grow nearly all your own veg for a small family or couple, and enough fruit through the summer to not have to buy soft fruit.  And I will be bold and say keep a few hens... (will have to keep trying to touch one...)

not too much and not too small....  Too much land need looking after or renting out.  Neither I would want to do.

So what size is your garden and what output/food production do you get?  Maybe we could all also plot the amout of veg we harvest?  I havent a clue how we would all do this, monthly?  weekly?  Suggestions please

Danny/ FN/ Toffeeapple, please move if you think this needs to be in another area.Magic

Wed 3-Feb-10
4:58 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Seems to be perfectly positioned to me.WellDone

I'll try that again!

Thu 4-Feb-10
12:20 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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I agree,TA. Good topic.

It's a difficult question to answer, S. O.L. How big is a piece of string?

I can only recount my experiences. We have one third of an acre all told, between the front driveway (a bit of a waste as regards growing veg etc, although FN grows tomatoes against the front wall of the house) and the narrow back garden. I guess that we currently grow 40% of our veg but we may increase that to 75% this year. We will never grow 100% because we love things like Bell Pepper, and also simple stuff like carrots that we use all year around and it's just not worth growing.

By contrast, my dad (a primary school teacher) had five acres that fed a family of seven (incl parents). It gave us all our veg, plus all milk and most of our eggs and butter. We bought all our meat from the local butchers. But it was hard work. Fortunately, he loved farming and the land - that was the key thing. He always kept one milking cow and one or two steers to be sold off for extra income / school fees etc.

I have read that a minimum of 40 acres is required to become totally self-sufficient. Again, I would guess that it can be hard work. For me, there is a good balance. Earn some - grow some.

A sort of middle ground is probably best, IMO.

Never knowingly underfed

Thu 4-Feb-10
6:54 am
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JoannaS
Latvia

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0.48 hectares (1.18 acres) per capita in 1959 according to George Borgström (http://diss-epsilon.slu.se:8080/archive/00000843/0.....DPRINT.pdf - for academic purposes this is where I found that figure) ie before they started putting all those chemicals on the land which reduced the amount down to 0.25 ha (not accurate as I can't find the exact figure without searching through all the papers I have but it is around that). Whistle

Well those are the more academic figures, on a practical level we have a garden that is 4m by 150m and we haven't fully utilised it yet but we could probably keep the two of us in vegetables for a whole year on that without potatoes and if you add hens you increase the fertility. Even with potatoes we have not bought vegetables over the summer but supplemented over the winter mainly so that I don't get caught out by some bad weather as I still have veg in the freezer that I could use if I wanted to. We could increase our self-sufficiency by having a greenhouse on the plot but we are limited by a very short but intense growing season here in Latvia. Obviously all that depends on what kind of soil you have too Smile

Wed 24-Feb-10
2:17 pm
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mutley
Didcot/uk

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Does  a Window box count,but i am going to dig some of the back garden up as  it is shared by 4 people and no one uses itm so will do a herb garden plus some veggies..

Wed 24-Feb-10
5:31 pm
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Suz
Los Angeles, California

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Huzzah for starting with a window box - certainly could grow some herbs for your kitchen. If you start 'renovations' in the back garden perhaps some of the others will show some interest....*crosses fingers*

Life is uncertain ………… eat dessert first!

Wed 24-Feb-10
5:44 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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You can grow vegetables in window boxes too, and in tubs.  Good luck with the project Mutley.

I'll try that again!

Wed 24-Feb-10
8:09 pm
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mutley
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Yes. i will do some leeks,beetroot,carrots most things that i can dry first depending on space.Talking of food, mike next door is having a 13in pizza later (pizza hut ) buy 1 get 1 free so he said i could have the other one, cool and watch the film KNOWING.sorted.Cheers

Wed 24-Feb-10
10:04 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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Enjoy Mutley!

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Wed 24-Feb-10
10:12 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Mutley, that is real self-sufficiency. Excellent!

Keep us posted on your window box project. Maybe with photos every month. I would love people with no gardens to copy you.

Never knowingly underfed

Wed 24-Feb-10
11:18 pm
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mutley
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Will do sounds like a good idear have planted some garlick about 20mins ago and have crushed up 7 large bulbes that im drying out will post as i go..Ok

Sat 27-Feb-10
1:41 pm
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mutley
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Here we go we have planted 20 x 6 differant types of herb's, carrots and cat grass for her toy cats and she pinched the two largest pots. will plant some peas tommrow wheather permits. Yesterday some time after 16:00 i planted 60 seeds this morning they are about 2-3mm hight surly not ?. will keep you updated on the progress on the weeds as the veg will surley die soon lol. Pint

Sorry about the link, it feels like im spamming but it is a lot easer this way..

Sat 27-Feb-10
2:36 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Well done Mutley, you have been busy.

I'll try that again!

Sat 27-Feb-10
3:15 pm
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mutley
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I feel younger more and more but the mirrors tell me lies so they may have to go.got some big plans for the garden but will talk to others first but i think they probly join in and make a nice garden.

spelling.

Sat 27-Feb-10
3:45 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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mutley said:

spelling.


Are you aware of the spell checker?  When you type a response, look up to the top right hand corner and you'll see 'ABC', click on that and you'll have help.

I'll try that again!

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