"The ambition for broad acres leads to poor farming, even with men of energy. I scarcely ever knew a mammoth farm to sustain itself; much less to return a profit upon the outlay. I have more than once known a man to spend a respectable fortune upon one; fail and leave it; and then some man of more modest aims, get a small fraction of the ground, and make a good living upon it. Mammoth farms are like tools or weapons, which are too heavy to be handled. Ere long they are thrown aside, at a great loss."
Source: Abraham Lincoln, Sept 30, 1859, Wisconsin State Fair
It is impressive, isn't it? I've looked at their website with great admiration several times over the years. I do think, though, that in more northern climates, a family would need quite a bit more land to raise the same amount of food, because the growing season is much shorter. There's probably some formula that could be devised to give a fair idea of the amount of land needed in different climates (throw in latitude and longitude and elevation, precipitation and amount of wind....).
Location: West Seattle, WA
posted 10 years ago
As far as small space urban farming goes, we have pulled a lot of our inspiration from the Dervaes family and have employed a lot of their space-saving growing techniques with great success. I think the take away message from looking at their site is: there's more than one way…
Small spaces. More affordable and not overwhelming. Good point, Mr. Lincoln…