References: "How to Grow More Vegetable" by John Jeavons, "One Circle" by David Duhon http://growbiointensive.org/
That is one of the first things I try to find out from the small (1-3 people) farms I study -- How big is the area they are actually working? usually one acre or less even when they have 5 or more acres available.
So that tells me that I should be able to re-create thier success on my small plot if I use my space wisely.
use your brambles for hedges and mix in some other food bearing plants in those hedges..and put some perennials under the fruit trees to use that space..(gaia's garden by Toby Hemenway is a good book to read on this subject)..
I would not think so much about how much are but where you can put things..I put a lot of dwarf fruit trees right in the perimeter beds around my house..vines climbing up arbors or decking rails, some things as privacy screens or windbreaks..use your FOOD as your landscaping
If it is too limited, everybody soon gets bored eating the same things all season.
By the same token, I feel it is a waste of land, time and seeds to grow things you don't particularly care for.
(I know a guy who grows +/- 2-300 sq ft of kale, but only eats it one meal per year.)
Don't forget, each year you will probably have a few crops that do poorly, while others outperform your wildest imagination.
Your local squirrels and rabbits can decimate a kitchen garden if not controlled.
As mentioned above, pigs and chickens can convert surplus veggies into protein rich meat.
(In days of old, that's all they got...kitchen scraps, and excess fruits/veggies.)
I'm working with 5000 square feet of red clay right now and it has been tough going. I'd start small, mulch heavily, and build out my garden if I were you.
On my property I allocated half of the property to growing annuals, which was mostly experimentation. The other half was closely observed, and slowly designed/planned/implemented into a forest garden permaculture. The lessons learned in the forest half are slowly integrated into the annual half. Eventually, there will be a smaller area maybe 1/4 to 1/8 of the total allocated to annuals, with the majority reaching a stable perennial forest state.
Also I would add that choice in annual produce is critical for a small garden. Choose wisely, and consider product per sq foot as well as costs/benefits to the soil. Get nitrogen fixers, mulch crops, and native flowers going sooner rather than later.
Keep us posted with pics and plans as you develop them!
I appreciate everyone's input. I'll certainly be on this forum a lot consulting with you guys as I go through the process. Next step will be choose which vegetable to choose
Alder Burns wrote:If you have plans for fruit or other trees, and even bush fruits, whether in an orchard or scattered about, consider starting areas of garden where the trees, etc. are going to go and planting the trees among your vegetables. You will have several years to grow there, and can always be slowly adding more shade-tolerant perennials up under the trees as they grow. The trees will benefit hugely from the soil preparation, water and attention given primarily to the annuals. When the area is mostly shaded, you will have succeeded the area to perennials or perhaps groundcover or pasture, and moved the annual garden elsewhere. This is one way to utilize succession and stacking functions. You can keep doing this until all of your perennial plants are established and by then you will have a much better idea of where and how big your permanent annual garden area will need to be....
I really never even thought about that. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!
Ultimately, you can figure on 2000-10k sqft per person. Variables include soil fertility, selected cultivars, water, storms and climate, bugs, time, even the tools you use.
You mentioned in another post your rainwater harvesting operation. Sounds like you are taking on a pretty big project. You'll find this forum to be useful to you in getting nature to do some of the work for you. Time management will be an important aspect of your plan. You'll find some things take a whole lot longer than you planned on. Some of your projects will need attention regularly. If you don't have the time, neglect can lay waste some of your projects.
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