TEMPERATE: Is 100 x 200 ft of land enough?

by Mark
(Ottawa, Canada)

I have purchased a small house with 100 by 200 foot of land.


Is it possible to run a self sustaining life (food and power) with this amount of land?

Where do I start?

MEG: HI MARK, GLAD YOU ENJOY THE SITE. I WOULD START BY LEARNING THE BASICS ABOUT PERMACULTURE. ALSO SEEK OUT A PERMIE GROUP OR COMMUNITY GARDENING GROUP LOCALLY SO YOU HAVE PEOPLE YOU CAN LEARN FROM.

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Sep 04, 2012
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Small land space food production
by: Pam

I think you will need to plan very carefully, and also look into the restrictions you might have. It sounds as though you may be in a town, and many people who live in town have weird and unhelpful ideas about people growing food. You will need to keep friendly relations with your neighbors or your plans may lead to constant battles with authorities, if not even fines and being forced to take out certain things.

Given that, I'd suggest you think about first lining your property with fruit trees/berry bushes or/and maybe grape vines which will provide a solid hedge so what you are doing is not "in the face" of the neighbors. If they are not wholeheartedly in your favor then if they can't see what you are doing it can save you a LOT of grief. Don't be TOO secretive with them though or they may think you are growing pot over there! Sharing some of those heritage tomatoes e.g., can help a lot to get them on your side.

Rabbits are quiet and will provide a lot of protein and a wonderful manure. Be SURE you can slaughter them before you start, some people end up with dozens of rabbits because they can't bring themselves to kill them, not helpful!

Chickens are a terrific idea. Don't get a rooster with your chickens; many places which allow a couple of hens draw the line at a rooster. Please forgive me if you already knew that, some people don't think of it.

Some people have even raised one or two (permitted) potbellied pigs in town as "pets". They are rumored to be good eating as well.

I'd also suggest you look into aquaponics. A small system inside would be able to provide you with veggies at least through the long months when nothing will grow outside. If you have an unused area which can be kept warm enough (space in a heated garage maybe, or an unused bedroom?) that would likely be a highly satisfying winter project at least, and you could start all your summer transplant seedlings in it come spring.

For one person you should be able to grow most of your own vegetables and protein, but you will probably still need to buy grains and some fruit etc. Proteins are the most expensive parts of the diet though and you can certainly raise enough of that..AND know it isn't full of antibiotics, anti stress drugs etc.

Best of luck

[MEG: GREAT POST, THANKS FOR SHARING :)]

Dec 29, 2011
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Just starting
by: Mark

Thankyou very much for the info ,great ideas!

Dec 29, 2011
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Raised beds and Chickens
by: Anonymous

Mark,
My way to maximize land is to combine orchard, garden, compost and chickens. You will need raised beds to concentrate your best growing soil. You will need fencing to keep chickens out of the garden. If you rotate the garden and compost beds every growing season and always give the chickens free run of the compost they will fertilize, weed, debug and till your future garden beds. Read and utilize everything you can find that Dr. Meg has written and evaluate everything on her site written by others.

Dec 28, 2011
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small acreages
by: Keith

Since you are on nearly 1/2 acre, yes that is enough land, for food production anyway. I recommend you get the book "Mini Farming self-sufficiency on 1/4 Acre" by Brett L. Markham. The other book I would recommend Is 5 acres and independence, not so much for accurate current methods, but a broad view of the old practices of subsistence farming and since they survived there must be some accurate info in there. At any rate other than reading material, go right now and put in two or three raised beds 4' x 20' x 6" deep. Then start reading, farming season starts in Feb when you start seeds inside.

Best wishes, remember even if you do not become 100% self sufficient you can be less dependent on others and that is a good thing!

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