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Lincoln speaking on farm size  RSS feed

 
steward
Posts: 25155
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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"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
 
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till you have mammoth tractors and mammoth dollars and mammoth ambitions then it will sustain itself.......... until it destroys the earth.............
 
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
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No, it doesn't sustain itself.  If all those corporate farmers had their subsidies cut off, like cutting the head off a snake, they would die. 

American politicians' fantasy with 'cheap food' is an illusion.  We are paying at least twice for all the food we buy, once through our taxes, and again at the grocery store.

One person or a few, working intensively on a small parcel of land will outproduce by far, any method of corporate farming.

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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your right. they really aren't feasable even before they ruin the land. they are wholly insufficent and destructive both enviromentally and economically.
 
                            
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Location: West Seattle, WA
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Case in point, look at the Dervaes family in Pasadena, California.  http://www.pathtofreedom.com/about/urbanhomestead.shtml
 
paul wheaton
steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Wow.  That's damn impressive.  Wow!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1109
Location: Green County, Kentucky
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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....).

Kathleen
 
                            
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Location: West Seattle, WA
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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…
 
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