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Permie effeciency

 
Posts: 280
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I've been reading through this thread. "You know you are a permie when..." https://permies.com/t/56757/permie. Very educational. I see the frugality and the seemingly efficiency of our permie friends. But since we are permieng to feed people my question to all permies. How many people  can be feed generously on an hectare of land, Assuming that we do things the permie way?
 
pollinator
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Not enough data. A hectare where? With what type of soil? What climate? What is the availability of water, and what are the other constraints on our actions?

After all these types of variables are nailed down, we are limited only by the creativity of our approach and the materials and resources at hand to establish resilient, living soil-generating systems.

If water isn't an issue and if we can have a minimum of two ponds, human-augmented biomimetic aquaculture can be used to produce much more animal protein and plant matter than otherwise possible, and to produce food for land-based animal systems.

Paddock-shifting and animal tractoring can increase nutrient cycling many times over, increasing the rate of soil creation, as can regular amendments of organic matter, necessary mineral contributions, and regular applications of fungal slurries and oxygenated compost extract.

If we can boost soil vitality, everything grows better. Beyond that, there are the usual function-stacking based methods of intensifying production per square foot, such as the square-foot gardening method, and complete multi-trophic polycultures that incorporate primary plant actors in soil generation and life support, including but not limited to nitrogen fixing bacteria hosts and nitrogen fixers, hyperaccumulators, pollinator food and habitat, and pest controls. As for practical examples, I suggest a study of Jean-Martin Fortier's work.

To answer the question as it stands would be like answering the angels-dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin question. But to answer the question behind it, yes, permaculture is a viable alternative to conventional agriculture. It might not fit the needs of conventional agriculture as it stands, but that's only indicative of the flaws in that particular system.

-CK
 
julian Gerona
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Thanks Chris, I wonder if you can give an example base on your experience. I mean whatever you had or have right now.
 
Chris Kott
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Also, feeding people is only one facet of permaculture. To break it down to simplistic terms, the ethics have been broken down to Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share. I am not going to get into the third one, and I keep switching the first two, but I think that's only because, at very least, People Care is impossible without Earth Care. Nonetheless, feeding people is only a part of a third of permaculture.

Having said that, it will still out-perform any competing system for the care and feeding of people, as few, if any, competing systems take a comprehensive whole-system approach to problem analysis and solution.

-CK
 
Chris Kott
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A much better example on the scale of what you're talking about is, as I mentioned above, the work of Jean-Martin Fortier.

I have included a video about his work on a slightly larger but still human scale.



-CK
 
julian Gerona
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wow amazing. Still I am wondering how many people can thrive on such a scale and conditions.
 
Chris Kott
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Then the only correct answer I can give based on all available data is, "It depends."

-CK
 
pollinator
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Julian, if you're looking for a hard number as to how many people, it can't be had - too many variables.

If you're looking to change the world through Permie tactics, start with this question - "how many people am I feeding with my own Hectare of land?"

If the answer for yourself is less than you would like, then try some of these ideas, watch your garden grow, and experience first-hand how GOOD it can be - then share the ideas with others, infect them with permaculture too, and watch it spread.

Seeing how many people we actually feed in real-time is much more valuable than hypothesizing an ideal yield.
 
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Biointensive gardening, which is compatible with permaculture principles and ethics, is supposed to be able to provide a nearly complete vegan diet for one person from 4000 square feet under ideal conditions.  http://www.growbiointensive.org/  I think that is a low estimate of land needed for most people.  Most, or many, people are not gardening under ideal conditions, and most people are not vegans.  
 
julian Gerona
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I am not looking for exact figures not even close to exact. A conservative estimate might inspire a non permie to become one. I dont have a garden, well a small one at the back of the house just for fun. I am living in a crowded city. But I do wanted to have my own land. And do the gardening. I just wanted to have an idea how big a land should I get to support the family. Though it seems that I have to find the answer somewhere else.
 
Tyler Ludens
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How large is your family?  One hectare is about two and half acres.  My plan for my family of two is to feed us generously on about one acre under somewhat poor conditions.  Don't know if I will achieve it!

(I chose about one acre because that's the maximum land I might be able to manage mostly on my own)

Does that help?

What kind of diet you want is also very important to deciding how much land.  If you like cow dairy products, you will need much more land than if you don't need dairy but like fish, for instance.
 
julian Gerona
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Thanks mate, thats definitely helpful perhaps more replies similar to yours I will have a more or less accurate figure base on averaging. I know there are too many variables but still its far better than not having an estimate from experienced permies.
 
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Julian, where in the world are you looking at purchasing?  Knowing the country or state could really help get you a better answer.  

If you're in a fertile area with a long growing season, I'm sure you could grow enough and have chickens or small livestock on an acre.  If you're in a dry climate with limited water you may need 2 acres.  If you want dairy goats or larger critters I don't really know but I'm sure it depends if you're growing their food or not (and definitely on how dry it is).

The food I grow and our chickens take up 1/2 acre here in Wisconsin, USA.  To have dairy/meat goats and buy food for them, I'm pretty sure I could get by on an acre.  To grow enough forage for goats would probably take a couple more acres.  
 
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These links might help answer some of your questions.

https://permies.com/f/117/hugelkultur

https://permies.com/f/116/forest-garden

https://permies.com/t/40/2338/percentage-food-produce
 
julian Gerona
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Mike Jay wrote:Julian, where in the world are you looking at purchasing?  Knowing the country or state could really help get you a better answer.  

If you're in a fertile area with a long growing season, I'm sure you could grow enough and have chickens or small livestock on an acre.  If you're in a dry climate with limited water you may need 2 acres.  If you want dairy goats or larger critters I don't really know but I'm sure it depends if you're growing their food or not (and definitely on how dry it is).

The food I grow and our chickens take up 1/2 acre here in Wisconsin, USA.  To have dairy/meat goats and buy food for them, I'm pretty sure I could get by on an acre.  To grow enough forage for goats would probably take a couple more acres.  



We are in the south part of the Philippines. Rain comes at night and sun during the day for roughly 240 days a year. I'll say pretty good area for gardening. Many foreign business comes here to grow banana pineapple and more. we'll need Chicken for eggs and goat or cow for milk. Its impossible to get organics here. Will need to make feed for the animals as well. Need to feed 6 mouths.
 
Mike Jay Haasl
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Ahhh, that is a totally different climate than I was imagining.  Now some of our more tropical members can chime in.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I think it's a good bet you could support your family on one hectare in the tropics.  More land would be great, but in a tropical climate, one hectare is huge!

Here's a helpful website and Youtube for the tropics:

http://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/davidthegood

I think David recently bought something between one half and one acre in Costa Rica (wet/dry tropics), and plans to feed his family of 10.
 
julian Gerona
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I think it's a good bet you could support your family on one hectare in the tropics.  More land would be great, but in a tropical climate, one hectare is huge!

Here's a helpful website and Youtube for the tropics:

http://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/davidthegood

I think David recently bought something between one half and one acre in Costa Rica (wet/dry tropics), and plans to feed his family of 10.



wow this is good news. I was thinking 5 hectare. 1 acre is only a fourth of hectare. Feed a family of 10 on that? Really? can permaculture do that?
 
Tyler Ludens
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I think they will have to buy things like meat and dairy, but from what I have read and seen of David's techniques, he can grow a lot of calories in a small space in the tropics.
 
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Here is one of the case studies that David Holmgren investigated in his new book:
Plummery productivity stats

vegetables, fruit, honey and eggs - 428kg in 2018



The land is 270 sq metres and the house takes up half that.
You can check it out on youtube.

Bill Mollison repeatedly stated that there is no known upper limit to productivity, with creativity being the chief constraint.
 
He was expelled for perverse baking experiments. This tiny ad is a model student:
Dave Burton's Boot Adventures at Wheaton Labs and Basecamp
https://permies.com/t/119676/permaculture-projects/Dave-Burton-Boot-Adventures-Wheaton
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