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Monday, May 22, 2023

How much land you'll need to be self sufficient


Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


How much land do you need to be self-sufficient?



Decades ago, a man named Jules D. started a life of self-sufficiency.


He decided to grow his own food because he was concerned about what was being put into his children’s food.


Eventually, Jules and his three adult children took their idea to the heart of Southern California.


The family purchased a 4,000-square-foot lot in Pasadena, CA. At the time Jules said, “I brought the country to the city rather than having to go out to the country.”


For years, the family grew almost all the food they ate. The only things they purchased were staples such as rice, wheat, and oats.


The garden included 400 different vegetables, fruits, and edible flowers, and the property produced over 6,000 pounds of food a year.


In addition, the family raised chickens, ducks, and goats to provide them with eggs and milk.


If they had excess amounts of food, it was sold to chefs from local restaurants.


When the family first started growing their food Jules admitted…


“I kept thinking this place was too small. There’s no way that we are going to be able to feed ourselves, plus I never thought we’d be able to grow the vegetables for the market.”


In addition to growing food, the family had solar panels that provided all their electricity.


They even used hand-cranked kitchen appliances and had a wastewater reclamation system.


With the drought conditions, they used a clay pot irrigation system that conserved water.


The family estimated that they were able to eat fresh and organic food for as little as $2 a day per person.


Jules and his family were able to accomplish what many folks would love to be able to do.


They were incredibly self-sufficient. If needed, they would have been able to survive without assistance from the outside.


And they did this all on a 4,000 square-foot plot of land.


Jules and his family proved that no matter how big or small your property might be, you can still take care of your family.


So, if you’ve ever thought about buying property to be more self-sufficient, but didn’t believe you could purchase enough land to do it effectively…


Here are a few ideas for buying property to become self-sufficient.


How is the ground?:


All soil is obviously not the same. Depending on the climate, the soil could be difficult to work with.


For instance, for the best growing results you want rich soil.


Rich soil will have plant and animal activity in it, such as earthworms. Also, rich soil is usually darker and crumbles off roots when you pull plants out. 


In general, the richer the soil the more crops you will produce.


For example, a small area with rich soil could grow more food than a bigger area with bad soil.


Before buying a particular piece of land do a little digging into the soil to see what it looks like.

How many people to feed?:


A key factor dictating the amount of property needed to be self-sustaining is the number of mouths you have to feed.


The more people there are the more food and water you will need to keep everyone healthy.


At a minimum, you should have at least 200 square feet of garden space per person. Of course, the exact size of the garden will depend on the quality of the soil.


But this is just garden space.


If you are going to have animals, they will require more space. For example, you will need about 10 square feet of space per chicken including a coop and run area.


Before you purchase property, you should plan out the amount of garden space and animals you want to have.


This will play a big role in exactly how much property you need.


Who will work the land?:


Just because you can buy 20 acres of land, doesn't mean you should.


Working the land takes a lot of time and effort.


So, there is no reason to buy a huge amount of land if you don’t have enough hands to work it.


And, while you could probably hire people to work with you, this may not be sustainable. If things go bad, you may be left in a lurch.


Plus, how many people do you want to have knowledge of your food stocks and preparations?


Best to try and work the land yourself.


So, if you can’t manage the land by yourself, much of it will be useless during an emergency, and it’s unnecessary to buy.


In the same way, if you can’t harvest the food or care for the animals there is no reason to have them.


The exact amount of land needed will depend on several variables that I’ve mentioned.


For most people, between two to five acres should be enough. However, if you live in a big city like the family above then you can get by with a lot smaller property.


The key is to plan what you want to grow and raise before spending your money on a property that could be too big or small for your needs and unique situation.


Once you’ve got that nailed down, your next step should be planning out how to secure your property.


It’s pointless to have a survival garden or bugout location that can be pilfered at will by anyone who happens upon it.


I use this simple, but effective, system to secure my property against thugs, criminals, and anyone foolish enough to trespass with malicious intent.

--Jason Hanson



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Brad said...

I've read anywhere from as small as 1/3 acre to 3 acres would suffice to be self sufficient.

Tina said...

Having your own plot of land has always been a goal of most people~!

Greta said...

I'd like 10,000 acres in Montana to get away from the idiots in DC

Barb said...

Periodically, I see entire rural towns being auctioned or up for time one becomes available, I'll buy it!