Making a Living on 1 Acre

I am a farmer in South Africa. I am very interested in self sustainable farming. I heard about a guy who made a living on 1 acre. Is this so,and where can I get the plans and information for this?

Please assist if possible.



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Aug 28, 2012
check out 'urban homestead'
by: Renee

I know this is an old question now, but for people who see this in the future, check out this link:
(sorry I can't create a link, just cut and paste the address)
They produce 6000 lbs of produce off 1/5 of an acre (American site but from what I gather a fairly similar climate to western Australia), they are self sufficient for the most part and make a good income from the excess they produce. They have a great website too :)

Sep 05, 2011
Are You Serious?
by: Anonymous

If you really want to do this, you should get someone who is already successful to teach you the ropes.

I searched around and came across this guy. Him and his wife won a business award for their small acreage farming venture and the info is top notch.

Sep 04, 2011
Making a living from small acreages
by: Keith (USA)

Here in my area, it is entirely possible to feed yourself and your family on small plots of land. In some cases with a small enough family, living a subsistence lifestyle, with the property fully and wholly owned, you could feed a family easily enough on two or three acres. A family of two eating either a non-meat diet, or with chicken and eggs as the protein sources might survive on an Acre of land if intensive farming practices were used. The only problem I foresee is the risk of failure. That one acre will have to be in near prime condition from day one. You will need food storage for (in my opinion) a minimum of 18 months. If there is just one catastrophic event you may not eat until food could be grown again. With 5 acres you can have enough diversity of crops, and with proper rotation of crops to different "fields". Somewhere between 10 and 40 acres you can have even more of a buffer against hunger, and begin to sell surplus food items to your community, and (like I prefer to do) give food to those truly in need. With less than 20 acres you will not need large equipment and with careful planning you can organize the work to keep you occupied but not over worked.

So I guess you have to answer your own question, by setting goals, and building your own map to reach those goals. The biggest question is how do you define "make a living"?

Mar 12, 2011
intensive gardening
by: Ophelia

There is a book - 'Mini Farming, self sufficiency on a 1/4 acre - and how to make money on that 1/4 I suspect 1 acre is doable. Also along those lines is 'How to Grow More Vegetables (than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine)' - all about the bio-intensive method. You probably could just google 'bio-intensive' or 'intensive gardening' as well. Essentially it is about raised beds, closer and companion planting. I think that method enables one to grow the equivalent of something like 3 acres (of traditional row crops) on 1 acre (or something to that effect). Perhaps incorporating permaculture guilds/circular beds may increase the yield a little more?

Apr 16, 2010
Sustainable diet
by: Anonymous

I just very recently heard that it is possible to become self-sustaining with a simple diet known as the basic Kenyan Diet.... you can download the booklet here for free...

Another 2 booklets of interest are found here...

It is a good start off point. I would also add Moringa to any system. Just google Moringa and you will understand why. I have used it as the basis for my food forest. I have written about this here... (hope it is OK to give it)

I doubted that true sustainability was possible.... but think it just might be!


Jan 12, 2010
Not Exactly, But Try This...
by: Meg

Hi Wallis

I do recall seeing a video about a demonstration plot somewhere in the US which purported to being able to grow enough veges on 1 acre to make a living. I'm sorry, but I can't remember the details, and though I've done a search on the net, I can't find it again!

Alternatively, I can recommend either of the approaches shown here:
Linda makes a living from selling organic fruit, veges and eggs grown on 7 garden beds each 15 meters diameter. I can also recommend the use of wicking garden beds for greater water efficiency.
To your sustainability

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