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sustainable food - people per acre of food

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Sign up for my daily-ish email, or my devious plots for world domination: http://richsoil.com/email.jsp http://permies.com http://farmerscrub.blogspot.com http://veganicpermaculture.com How many acres does it take to sustainably feed one person when there are no other inputs. No manure, no compost, no animal feed, no fertilizers .... Helen Atthowe shares her experiences of growing enough food to cover 75% of her own food needs plus enough to sell at the farmers market. Based on years of experience, she attempts to estimate how many acres she would need to feed herself if she has to grow her own fertilizers. Helen's perspective is dominantly rural. Norris Thomlinson and Tulsey Latoski have carefully measured the production of food from their urban lot. They have optimized the food production a lot, and have some ideas on how to optimize it more. The also compare their initial expectations to the results they experienced. Relevant threads at permies: http://www.permies.com/t/12422/intentional-community-city-repair-ecovillage/Amount-land-per-person http://www.permies.com/t/2230/permaculture/Helen-Atthowe-goddess-soil http://www.permies.com/t/11778/permaculture/Feasibility-food-self-reliance http://www.permies.com/t/5785/permaculture/Complete-Diet-Garden-Farm music by Jimmy Pardo
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Text Comments (148)
Roger Plessen (10 months ago)
The key is succession planting and. use of high production plants. If you plant in beds, 200 feet of very fertile 2 ft deep beds 5ft wide and 4 ft walkways every 2 beds plus 50 5 gal tubs for positive potato production etc and water and 2 to 3 successions per year and heavy fertilization with compost and manures you can get about 10 lb of produce per foot per planting. Key plants: potatoes and sweet potatoes, beets or mangels, turnips and cabbage and other brassicas, banana and other squashes, bush beans succession grown, corn, carrots, onions, tomatoes, and a wide variety of vegies. Bring in manure lots of it from egg farm and dairy farm and from compost or sawmill or wherever. Plant dwarf and regular apple pear peach fig citrus cherry semidwarf avocado plum and blackberry strawberries maybe filbert and almond and small olive and a persimmon and 2 insulated hives of bees and a pigeon roost and a dozen motherly chickens and pair of ducks and registered milk goats and billy. Have 2 quarter acre pastures and little barn with 4 or5 sections. I bought a load of clover or non gmo alfalfa hay and timothy or native hay and 5 sacks of wheat and non gmo dent corn to keep hens laying in winter. You need a hand corn grinder from Columbia to grind flour and cereal and scratch. You will work hard and you might want to invest in a freeze drier and pressure cooker and dehydrator. Freeze dried is good for 20 yrs+ canned for 5 years
bo ter berg (1 year ago)
Just did a lookup and some calculation : There is about 150,000,000 Km2 land on earth, of which 30% is good, fertile land (no deserts, no permafrost, no mountains, and has topsoil), so 50 M Km2, which, multiplied by 250 (to get from Km2 to acres) gives you 12500 M acres of arable land. Should be possible to grow enough for all of us ? Would be even better if the 10% without topsoil, and the 20% dry-lands would be mended.
Peas, beans, potatoes, wheat, rice, corns and the list goes on plant what you eat your fav veggies...and of course share your productions with your neuirbours...i.e. u have pears your friends have apple share them...hope im not spamming.
And also cattle...cuz now i still raise them i loved cattle brahmans and charloraise that would be my ferterlizer for my crops.
feltingme (2 years ago)
Growing part of your own food is great too, even with outside outputs. Especially, that one can't even easily find nutritious food to buy since most commercial food is very low in nutrients, even organic. Commercial growers simply have no time or resources to build up the soil. For more calories we could plant potatoes. I do not like legumes as they are very hard to digest and contain phytic acid, which makes lots of nutrients not available to us. However not he calories, those are available. :)
Karima Osmani (1 year ago)
Don't worry about phytic acid, do it the old way: soak your produce in water for two or 3 days and it will get rid of it. It is how they used to do it in early early days. Have a look at this great book: Read Sally Fallon-Morell’s book, Nourishing Traditions.
Polite Q (2 years ago)
Maybe we are looking at it the wrong way. There seems to be an expectation that people on suburban sized plots are supposed to be able to do everything. Suburban sized lots owned by individual families are a recent idea. Some sort of commons concept for grain growing or raising cattle might be the missing link. Too bad the "system" is stacked against the idea of sharing. Stupid stupid.
itsnotthesamething (3 years ago)
It wouldn't be totally sustainable, but I could save a ton of money for my 13 people, if I could grow 1000 lbs of potatoes and sweet potatoes, along with onions, tomatoes, several varieties of peppers, carrots, celery and garlic, and a few herbs and spices on my 1 1/2 acre property. Maybe I could squeeze in enough room for some broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and squash, but peas and beans would provide better protein than some of those. I've got space for a chicken coop, but not big enough to feed 13 people eggs for breakfast. In the end, I'd still have to hit the grocery, so until I can figure out how to fit all the food on my land that I would need, I pray that the grocery stores stay open. I'd really like a bigger plot of land. 
Coop Harrison Watling (2 years ago)
+itsnotthesamething you deserve a bigger plot of land :D
hippy chick (3 years ago)
very informative and mathematical! awesome plan for vegetarians. the 3 sisters garden makes so much sense. i'm having to move my houseplants out of my new greenhouse to make room for kale and squash. :o)
Shawn Breshears (4 years ago)
Very interesting. Lots of love and hard work went into these projects.
Love & Division (4 years ago)
How is it that over 7 billion people are alive, on 2.8 billion acres of farmland world wide.  That's .4 acres per person. And that's with 1/3 of the food being destroyed.
DavesWorld (2 months ago)
Also it doesnt sound like these people are growing any grain crops which make up the bulk of the calories in most people's diets.
earthsskin (2 years ago)
+SeanMauer try searching "MST landless workers movement". It is a land reform group in Brazil forming communities on land owned by absentees.
Love & Division (3 years ago)
+Ian James Thanks. Can we get this land distributed to the people? Do you have any good video links?
Ian James (3 years ago)
+SeanMauer you need to check your source. There are over 4,883 M ha land used for agriculture. That's over 12 billion acres.  Plus of course the oceans etc.  And much is oil supported intensive methods.
aefaefa aefawfawfawf (4 years ago)
if you can automate all the growing/harvesting of food with some machinery, then it'll be a true revolution, you just wake up, open the fridge, and fresh food is all there.
Polite Q (2 years ago)
That's pretty much what exists now, and it's not a sustainable system. Too much energy, stripping the land, and no nuance.
unumomega (4 years ago)
using scales that I got from Amish and Mennonites. I calculated roughly what I need to grow every year to feed one person for one year. this includes meat and grains. by using properly managed systems I can feed my family and then some from my farm in Arkansas.  
Angel Helms (1 year ago)
unumomega Can you elaborate on that system?
Ian Etsell (4 years ago)
Love the video. The only negative thing I will say is, where do you get your idea of how mnay calories a person needs to live. If you are going by fda approved then this is a biased agency.
Ian Etsell (4 years ago)
Love the video. The only negative thing I will say is, where do you get your idea of how mnay calories a person needs to live. If you are going by fda approved then this is a biased agency.
Where we live in SE Florida we have the advantage of a 12 month growing season. While certain crops definitely grow better in certain seasons. It still works out that we can get by with a lot less land than people further North like yourselves. Being blessed with a mildly acidic sandy soil also helps. We're still not anywhere near self sufficient YET, but are a work in progress. Thanks for sharing your vision with us.
rtdnan (4 years ago)
Yams are a good source of nutrients and calories. Grow pole beans supported on string above the yam vines for a double crop on one space.
paul wheaton (5 years ago)
It is true. Most of their neighbors are now emulating their yard.
Chris Moore (5 years ago)
I'm sure their neighbors LOVE the look of their yard.
ModestTruth (5 years ago)
I mentioned a bunch of things you might not be able to grow in your USDA zone. If it's worth it to you though, I've seen people erect HUGE greenhouses out of recycled materials to facilitate growing Lemons, Olives, Figs, Cinnamon Trees, Coffee plants, Gogi berries (FULL of antioxidants), Miracle berries (that make sour foods taste sweet), grapes, & exotic herbs (cumin seeds, curry, fennel seeds & etc.) What you really need is a USDA growing manual and a total care guide for each plant species.
ModestTruth (5 years ago)
Fig tree sap does the same thing as rennet when added to whole milk (during cheese making). If you do keep chickens, save their egg shells not just for the compost heap, but to grind and bake into an egg shell powder to use as a calcium supplement back into the chickens and any dairy cows or foals. (Use with caution b/c hypercalcemia can cause muscle tetany & heart arrhythmias in humans and animals...)
ModestTruth (5 years ago)
Herbs you cannot be without: Dill, Oregano, Black Peppercorns, Garlic, Shallots, Onions (onion powder), red crushed pepper, chile (make & store your own chile paste in stone jars as they do in Korea), cloves (make clove oil as a topical analgesic), tea bush (caffeine/stimulant source--good for vasoconstriction when applied topically to stop blood loss), licorice, cannabis (if legal), tumeric, lavender, mustard... Even grow soybeans and press your own fermented tofu/make soy sauce.
ModestTruth (5 years ago)
Oats, barley, hops, cloves: All extremely useful. (Unfiltered wheat beer with low ABV was an important source of calories for people back in the day AND it STORED). Grow grapes & apples and make wine/hard ciders (you can also make balsalmic/apple cider vinegar from it. Make mead from honey & water (cover it, boil it and collect 100% ethanol to use as disinfectants.
ModestTruth (5 years ago)
Potatoes, Corn, Wild Rice or White Rice Varieties (If you have shallow ponds/bog land), Almond Trees, BEANS-BEANS-BEANS (dehyrdate them for storage), Grow cold-storage foods that you can jar/can (tomatoes, beets, green beans, fruits to make jams). Grow wheat (store grains or flour or as dried sphagetti). Grow bermuda grass & timothy hay for dairy cows & bulls. Don't waste time on berries, make an orchard (apples, peaches, fig, lemon, olives).
BackyardSolarPowerCo (5 years ago)
Wow, this information truly opens a person's eyes about how much land and plants a person needs to survive. It is always more than you expect, well at least more than I expect.
Stephen Tranter (5 years ago)
Potatoes more potatoes haha
cantgetlaidforshit (5 years ago)
I don't know if you guys thought of this or not but i eat honey dew melons whole with the shell included which is said to have a lot of caories
Str8representing beats (5 years ago)
Don't count your calories. Count on you own feeling of well being! By counting you disconnect from your own body and unlearn to read it's signs!
J F (5 years ago)
I agree with the spirit of your message, but there are real variables that 'hard data' will never be able to account for. Such as, how much love the people give the plants. How much and what kind of sound in the environment of the food plants (Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach are helpful),,, You know... living variables.
TheDragonascending (5 years ago)
I've noticed on most of the YouTube videos on food that most people are using one method of gardening exclusively, while some are combining methods with mixed results. This was thought provoking and validating as I have looked back and thought, "If only I had known." I am left wondering however how much they looked into or did they become fixed on one idea and run with it? Would they now consider other methods of farming to achieve their original goal? There is so much info out there now to see.
wildoxidizer (5 years ago)
I used sterling generator that I built myself and a rocket mass heater and also wind turbine that I built myself. aquaponic, Rabbits, chickens I raise critics, and worms, duckweed, and 7 day old barley hydroponics few greens. I use my and animals poop for methane ch4=co2+h2o= greenhouse plants and with my rocket mass heater I gasify wood , mulch, poop which makes burnable gas and oil, gasoline, diesel, butanol and my aquaponics system 130 fish growing tilapia and snails, shrimp, prongs, sardines
Reformation * Inc. (5 months ago)
wildoxidizer you're hired
Al Gentry (5 years ago)
Why did you stop?
chainwhip93 (5 years ago)
I would also like to know - did this require electricity?
coreolis7 (5 years ago)
Glad we have that refreshing drink of honesty, we were thirsty for reality. Remember that irrigation is an input too.
UncleFexxer (5 years ago)
I really appreciate the candor of the couple discussing Real Yield vs. input. A lot of homesteaders make huge claims of "sustainablility" but their systems are a lot more open than they claim. The sustainable living movement needs a lot more people carefully monitoring and recording the numbers so there's more hard data. The more accurate the data, the more effectively people can tweak farming techniques to maximize yield in very small spaces. Ya gotta be realistic to get real results.
BloodTar (5 years ago)
It was Arkansas..aka...land of bugs. We only had about 5 laying hens and during summer months they'd usually just roam free and would eat whatever they found on top of whatever table scraps we threw at 'em. It was a long time ago and as I recall we may have threw a few handfuls of bagged feed at 'em maybe 2 or 3 times a week.
shoopdeedoop (5 years ago)
They are a delicacy in Peru. I'd rather raise rabbits though.
LookABear (5 years ago)
Guinea pigs are evil
captnhuffy (5 years ago)
Cuy wiki: Peruvian cuisine guinea pigs
therawlifefamily (5 years ago)
It makes sense. It's just another means of looking to the non-obvious or more importantly non-traditional things that will fit well in a system.
enticed2zeitgeist (5 years ago)
Really? Can I contact you further to ask questions?
1crazynordlander (5 years ago)
A family of seven lived off of our small garden and barnyard growing up. If you did grow it you bartered excess for something you didn't have. You can't grow it all.
vinyl12blagger (5 years ago)
its true and especially here in peru but to be honest they dont produce that much meat
BloodTar (5 years ago)
6 or 7 acres to feed 10 people? Is she kidding? Hell lady, you must be definitely doing something wrong. I grew up in Arkansas and people there, my family included, could feed 10 people very well on 1 acre and that included having chickens for egg production.
paul wheaton (5 years ago)
I'm sure when people hear this for the first time they will think you are trolling. Or crazy. But this is huge in south america. And the more I hear about it ... the more I want to try it. I think there are even several videos here on youtube of people trying it. I think in south america they call it "koo-ee"?
Tyrr Vangeel (5 years ago)
guinea pigs seems to be even easier, they can feed on grass and some weeds and don't fight so you can keep them in 1 cage/penned area.
greenknitter (5 years ago)
I agree! I too wonder why it should have to be a closed system. Here in Ireland we've always had strong resilient communities (less so in the last decade or so during the Celtic tiger years but it's still there) and when times were hard people pulled together and helped each other with trade and bartering. Nothing wrong with localised trade where we meet each others needs for what we can't grow ourselves. Also, don't they have trees and bushes producing calorific nuts, seeds and berries?
Stephen Hill (5 years ago)
wow half the people? That is amazing. Good job guys, :)
Jimmy Gann (5 years ago)
so .... total calories 2500/day would take how many acres ? rice corn chips and olive oil is a lot of calories
occupynewparadigm (5 years ago)
faeriegardener84 (5 years ago)
My thoughts: Firstly, why does it have to be a completely closed system? Even if the **** hits the fan, there will always be community, one person has commodities different than another and thus trade happens. This is a good thing! Second, I wonder if they are utilizing root space for potatos, carrots, etc. Do they have fruit trees? There is a lot of natural excess that happens, we just have to know how to tap into it. I think they should be able to easily grow the calories they need...
Swansen03 (5 years ago)
yeah, people miss this, most anyways. Like the first girl was saying, growing space for fertilizer plants, only just don't separate them, grow all in the same space and just don't be so 'organized'.
Arthur Hau (5 years ago)
Aquaponic is not the way to proceed; otherwise, land plants, not human, would have adopted this method millions of years ago. Natural farming: Masanobu Fukuoka Fertility farming: Newman Turner These two farmer scientists have already "concluded" more than 50 years ago that undisturbed soil is the right medium for land plants. There is no need to control for pest or weed. The so-called heavy and dense soil results from unnecessary human intervention. I am not talking about traditional farming.
Jex134 (5 years ago)
Soil is also incredibly heavy and dense, which massively retards root growth and aeration, whereas aquaponic medium facilitates exponential root growth (excessive growth with some plants) and perfect aeration of roots, all while providing the same amount of nutrition as soil. Its better in every conceivable way. . Just because there's a traditional method and an efficient method does NOT mean the traditional is inherently superior, when its quantifiably inferior in many ways. Period!
Arthur Hau (5 years ago)
I am sorry to interrupt. But the soil has a lot of nitrogen fixing bacteria, including azotobacter and rhizobacteria. Soil also has tons of organic matter feeding not only plants but also microorganisms. Soil has no inherent problems. It is just the right growing medium that most plants have adapted to after millions of years of evolution. The only problem is human!
Arthur Hau (5 years ago)
Talking about calories which is just CHO. Traditional composting wastes N. This year I am growing wheat, rye, and clover in the winter to feed my chickens. I give them worms from a worm bin. I feed them dandelions for calcium. Wheat and grasses can survive fresh chicken manure, so I suspect rice also can. I will use straws and chicken manure to grow rice and potatoes. I have an apple tree, a pear tree, and a walnut tree. As long as the ground is covered all year round, CHO is not an issue.
Mikalyn715 (5 years ago)
No reason that you shouldn't be feeding yourselves with this much space. Aquaponics is an easy way to raise calories and protein in a small space. Amaranth instead of traditional grains can also provide some carbohydrate if you're not growing starchy roots....another option is mushroom culture which you can do in a rainy Portland backyard really easily and raise proteins...
ytgv3fc7 (5 years ago)
Show videos of your setup. You can't. There is none.
Jex134 (5 years ago)
Again with the ignorant needless assumptions and adhominems. You really do argue like a child.
ytgv3fc7 (5 years ago)
APPLES TO APPLES. You have no such system. It's all a fiction you're writing about. It flat out does not exist.
Jex134 (5 years ago)
LOL wait you're arguing against my aquaponic system with the logic from a traditional system? Apples and oranges buddy. . Soil (or any growth medium) is NOT the source of nutrients in an aquaponic system, the fish are; their waste is converted directly into base nutrients, fertilizing the plants' water. No soil = no problem, that's a fact---its an assumption that you can't grow without soil. . Furthermore, your assumptions on output and personal needs are utterly ridiculous. You're very ignorant
ytgv3fc7 (5 years ago)
not talking about aquaponics - that's not a part of a normal green-house. My assumptions do not exist, they are not invalid. However, having water or soil is heavy. You'd need 10 greenhouses to be sustainable, not 1 garage greenhouse. Soil is the SOURCE of nutrients. No soil = no food. That's a fact, not an assumption. Grow towers can not feed ONE person off ONE garage-sized greenhouse
Jex134 (5 years ago)
Having to obey the same basic rules of biology does not make two vastly different entities completely identical. To assert that small scale backyard permaculture is completely identical to a full scale factory farm literally is ridiculous---furthermore, its ridiculous to argue solely by asserting that any dissenting opinions are inherently incorrect, simply because they're dissenting your opinions! No offense, but that's how children argue.
Jex134 (5 years ago)
All my 'tanks' (concrete pools) added up are roughly equivalent to a wading pool---most of which is for the fish. My duckweed bed is only 3 inches deep.
Jex134 (5 years ago)
Soil doesn't work well with aquaponics, its far too dense; you need a very light medium to facilitate proper aeration of the roots. And, again, the amount of water in the grow towers at any given moment is very minimal; the weight has never been an issue, even with heavy plants. . Your assumptions are invalid.
ytgv3fc7 (5 years ago)
the smallest I've ever seen it is a swimming pool with duckweed & talapia. Not bad but any smaller and it wouldn't have worked. There are critical limits of quanta about how small you can go for any closed loop system before it fails completely.
ytgv3fc7 (5 years ago)
the dry soil without the water is already too heavy to stay up for long. Not wise. Adding any water will only make it worse. Vertical hydroponic towers do not work.
ytgv3fc7 (5 years ago)
time will tell. If you aren't careful then the filters you get will themselves be contaminated with heavy metals or radioactive elements. It's not as easy as you describe to do it right. But my comparison is 1000% valid in every way - a personal greenhouse, fish farm, chicken-coop and factory farm all must obey the same rules because we all live in the same reality. To call this ridiculous is only calling YOURSELF ridiculous.
Jex134 (5 years ago)
Oh and aquaponics uses incredibly small amounts of water---less than any other form of agriculture, because all the water is recycled through a closed loop system---the entire system is based on the symbiosis between the fish[their waste], bacteria[metabolization], and their fertilizing use on plants---the only water loss is from evaporation, transpiration, and harvesting; which isn't very much for a system of its size.
Jex134 (5 years ago)
There's not much weight to the grow-towers, because they don't have a significant amount of water in them at any one moment, and the water only goes to them 50% of the time, at roughly 5 minute intervals. They're cheap PVC plumbing (2 & 4 inch) which gets no visible bend from the weight. . The *vast* majority of energy use comes from the digester, which produces large & consistent amounts of methane, which runs a small gas furnace -> [h2o based]stirling engine -> electricity & heat.
Jex134 (5 years ago)
Lol did I ensure not a single infectious germ got into my system? Impossible. But I took steps to prevent excessive buildup of bacteria, using one barrel with layers of filtering material, and another as a vortex filter to settle silt---the filter barrel gets ozone bubbled up from the bottom, which then bleeds off in the vortex barrel. . Comparing a personal greenhouse, fish farm, and chicken coop to a factory farm is simply ridiculous in every way.
Jex134 (5 years ago)
Duck weed, ground corn scraps, and flies---I let small amounts of food scraps rot in a trash can (kept in a lonely corner of the property) before going into the digester, using a bunch of cheap 2ltr bottle fly traps to have a consistent source of protein for them.
Barskor1 (6 years ago)
Yah Bees! even if you don't take the honey your garden will prosper with bees.
i heard there's an aquaponics system that requires no electricity, whereby all pipes network eventually to 1 pump to complete the cycle... but its a hand pump to be dealt with manually several hours a day, not cool. but cheap. what i'd be interested in seeing is aquaponics designs taking a turn towards Modular designs e.g. a solar/hydro powered system that can easily be used as a hand-pump no-electricity system if, say, there's an electrical fault. have you come across this at all?
Professional Welders (6 years ago)
I guess it gets easier as your land area gets bigger, we have 2.5 acres and have lots of food, we even sell some. I wouldnt worry about the data base, compost, compost tea worms, pee in yer garden make garbage enzyme, biochar no limits to what you can do search growing power and be amazed good luck
I think that a serious campaign to teach people how to save fossil fuels is one crucial step. Then we should invest in wind farms, solar energy, to name a few changes. I want to believe that it is still possible to save the future. I feel I need to learn persuasion. I think your work is very important.
Taijitu888 (6 years ago)
Not enough calories? Eat more fruits!
ZeceFackler (6 years ago)
I am working on the blue prints of a project I hope that can feed 10 people plus per acre year round maybe even more with some help and innovations.
Houba Hop (6 years ago)
This is a very interesting subject! But it is really sustainable and fail-proof? I am dubious about vertical growing, but if it can be done the "lazy" Fukuoka way, it would be great!
websuspect (6 years ago)
You can grow corn, wheat barely soybeans to feed chickens and run it all through a grist mill.
mogges (6 years ago)
That was just to start now you like meat, whos going to butcher your cows,hog You going to want hamburger,steaks talk about a full time job
mogges (6 years ago)
Thinking about this make me wounder if it is at all possible.You would need meats and grains. dairy products.that's for your self. then you would need to feed your live stock. you would need to grow wheat.hay barley then you would need to harvest it all by hand.Then comes milling it so you can feed your cows chickens hogs rabbits and other animals. "Thats a lot of work for 2 people".are even 10..then come the food for your self you would need flour salt sugar cant grow salt are sugar
pigdogw (6 years ago)
Obviously our population numbers are whats not sustainable. As far as agricultural models it is good to see urban models developing which take the weight of rural and wild areas. The concept of private sustainable food production needs to be seen as partnering with larger scale production which creates community interdependence. A local Fukuoka to grow grain , local Salatin for meat, forests to the deer and clean seas to the fish.WE will just have to learn to get along. PS End all Wars!
fleebenworth (6 years ago)
Which would actually help the problem, all of this extreme sustainability, while nice and beautiful, has NO impact on the problem since the problem is US.
wizardangel (6 years ago)
Great Realistic garden production ,,,picking the right plants is key and a good hoe with plenty of compost tea helps production in the small kitchen garden ,,my extras become dehydrates for long term stores so I can rotate year to year large space needs crops or keeping plants from cross pollinating with their close genome type..we have to hand pollinate now some of our squashes -- so planting more flowers that good bugs need is important too. Grow what you like~ have fun teaching kids gardening
Jex134 (6 years ago)
That was the fault of the system I was working with. Currently I'm working on a much bigger, and more efficient system, with some family and friends. The agriculture aspect will be based on all the same things as my original, just expanded; we're focusing on devices to produce electricity for free. . Sadly the sound science of 'free energy' is still a matter of personal opinion, just know that some devices really do work. See: Rodin coil + Joule thief circuit. Only you can prove it for yourself.
paul wheaton (6 years ago)
it required no electricity?
Jex134 (6 years ago)
With good use of vertical space, proper aquaponic agriculture, and an efficient anaerobic digester system, there is absolutely no reason to take up such massive amounts of space to feed so few people. . I fed myself with a greenhouse the size of a single-wide car garage. It was well more than enough fruits, veggies, fish, and chickens to feed me daily. Preserving excess food ended up being more work than growing said food. . And it required no outside inputs; all nutrients were recycled.
tucsonpersonified (6 years ago)
Look into Aquaponics it can be fert for fruit and protien if you raise talapia.
artsychic2000 (6 years ago)
wouldn't hanging gardens help if you are limited in your square footage?
artsychic2000 (6 years ago)
don't these guys have a rocket mass heater? They could use their wood chips
artsychic2000 (6 years ago)
agenda 21, you will depend on the state for everything. Good luck with that
alan spurlock (6 years ago)
i enjoy gardening as much as the next guy, but where did this idea that we have to grow all our own food come from? neat if u can do it i guess. until then, i will support our amazing farmers, while i go to work to produce and contribute to this world in my way. thx for making the vid though, pretty interesting. i do agree that if everyone gardened a little bit, our society would b more educated on the concept of food sustainability.
RDJim (6 years ago)
Living in a planned community may not be as free as life on the corner of Wisconsin & Cody but I assure you we have no concentration camps. No hating here brother.
@paulwheaton12 cool video. in terms of getting all calories needed from growing your own food, sweet chestnuts is one option - it has the same calorie & nutrient values as many grains such as rice. according to permaculture experts, its possible to feed 10 people per acre when designing a permaculture food forest for maximum yield.
StarFlower99654 (6 years ago)
Aquaponics seems a good closed system and can be made with recycled things. The fish can be feed by growing duckweed in their pool, and if you use a gravity system, no electric would be needed. Coupled with a rainwater collection system and a solar panel for a water pump, would be set. This is my plan, but due to weather, am having to build a subterrainium insulated greenhouse.
adamdm87 (6 years ago)
@RDJim You live in a community that doesn't "allow" gardens? Crazy... Are you talking about an "intentional community," or, just a subdivision of sorts [I've heard about suburban subdivisions whose neighborhood associations don't allow edible gardening].
Ben VS Ben (6 years ago)
My mother and I lived primarily on what we planted in our little 2'x10' plot in the hills of Southern Indiana, supplemented by wild mulberries and a few crab apples. We did have a 20 lb. bag of rice to last us through the fall, and we started with a loaf of bread for the first week. With no transport and no help from anyone else, we survived a pretty harsh winter. True, we didn't get the "recommended" calorie intake, but we didn't suffer from malnourishment like we are today in our TX city.
onebigkahuna69 (6 years ago)
a very honest video and i would say what looks too good to be true in the other videos most times that.
patrickhenrysghost (6 years ago)
"Realizing how niave we were". Smartest thing I've ever heard a liberal say.+1 for that. Seriously.
patrickhenrysghost (6 years ago)
@marthale7 True. If these mush-minded eco-weinies had there way, we'd be a 3rd world country.

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