• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Jay
  • Anne Miller
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton
gardeners:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Daron Williams

"One Circle" book by Dave Duhon: discuss garden plan  RSS feed

 
Posts: 3366
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
36
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Don't forget--it isn't just what you grow but HOW you prepare it! Fermenting and sprouting both do things to increase not only the amount but type of nutrition. Sprouted Ezekiel bread has complete protein even though the raw grains don't. Sauerkraut prevented scurvy. The list goes on.
 
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

M Troyka wrote:3 crops of carrots a year?! I thought they usually took a whole growing season, and although NC towards the coast is in the same hardiness zone I'm in, the solar growing season is still shorter. I'm confused, how exactly does that work?


sow seed in early spring, early summer and early fall. 90 day varieties allow for multiple crops per year in a climate where the effective growing season exceeds 180 days. Carrots and other cold hardy crops excel in this type of succession planting.

Succession planting is a critical part of reducing the overall size of the garden footprint in the square-foot and biointensive systems. It works well. At our place in NC, we had 20 3' X 3' raised garden boxes that had good soil about 12" deep. By using succession planting, it is amazing how much you can produce in such a small area.
 
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paulo Bessa wrote:First, you need to be careful eating a balanced protein (..) also enough calories, and finally also vitamin B12



The nutritional analysis shows that I am getting a balanced protein, calories and B12, probably mostly from the meat.


Paulo Bessa wrote:But it lacks other types of beans (easier to grow and eat, than soy). I understand potatoes, but it is dangerous to rely solely on them (think Irish famine): there are other interesting roots to try, sweet potatoes, arrowhead, yams, taro, tiger nuts, groundnut. For cereals likewise, you can consider millet, rye, sorghum, amaranth, even corn, as alternatives to wheat.



Yep! That's the goal listed under "Room for improvement." Those are good choices for me to look into.


Paulo Bessa wrote:Maybe someone else can suggest something to this calory ranking.



Does anyone have charts for calories per acre or calories per square foot per year on a wide variety of crops, like Jeavons' charts? I've scoured the web and only came up with a few small crops.
 
Christopher de Vidal
Posts: 100
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paulo Bessa wrote:Please have a look at the thread I started last week http://www.permies.com/t/17161/permaculture/Plan-staple-self-sufficiency This is 1/10 to 1/5th of an acre, for full self-sufficiency (without counting on wood for fuel)



Your numbers are higher per person because I also included living space, a 450% buffer, water, etc. But still pretty compact. I hope to learn something from the work you're doing.
 
Christopher de Vidal
Posts: 100
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paulo Bessa wrote:One does want to assure that it eats enough diversity, nutrition and calories. With enough diversity also to cover potencial failures of some crops.



I like your crop recommendations.
 
Christopher de Vidal
Posts: 100
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nicole Castle wrote:I was under the impression that north Florida's native soil was really not that fertile. It certainly doesn't look like it is when I drive through there, at least not the panhandle, although it does get less scruby going eastward. If you aren't already growing there, you may want to run your yield figures past people in the area. So much of the work in biointensive gardening is done in Northern California. The soil is amazingly fertile and the growing conditions ideal for many things. The techniques and outcomes don't necessarily transfer intact.



Good point. I'm in Jacksonville where practically anything will grow. Dense forests all around. I don't know anyone doing biointensive here to ask, though
 
pollinator
Posts: 367
Location: East Central GA, Ultisol, Zone 8, Humid
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, Kay! That's just what I was looking for. I knew there had to be a way to take advantage of the long and favorable growing season here, but I've never heard of anyone actually doing it.

Amazingly, a lot of the heirloom carrots from Baker Creek are 70-75 days. I might-could even manage 4 or 5 crops a year with those, although figuring out the planting/harvesting times would be a bit trickier.

@Chris: It really depends on where you're looking at. The last time I drove down to FL from GA I passed dense forests and lots of farms with deep black dirt. It was basically the same in south GA and in FL, and absolutely the opposite of the sandy crap of the peninsula proper or the life-eating clay to the north.
 
Christopher de Vidal
Posts: 100
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
NE Florida is a great place
 
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Christopher de Vidal wrote:I'm in Jacksonville where practically anything will grow. Dense forests all around. I don't know anyone doing biointensive here to ask, though



One place to start:
http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/HomePage.htm (Click the round green button.)
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

M Troyka wrote:Thanks, Kay! That's just what I was looking for. I knew there had to be a way to take advantage of the long and favorable growing season here, but I've never heard of anyone actually doing it.

Amazingly, a lot of the heirloom carrots from Baker Creek are 70-75 days. I might-could even manage 4 or 5 crops a year with those, although figuring out the planting/harvesting times would be a bit trickier..



Beets work the same way, btw... so long as you can keep the soil moisture at a decent level.

I planted our carrots and beets in their final growing space. If you have less room, you could try growing them with soil blocks and probably further increase the number of crops. In the southeast, our trick to get carrots to germinate quickly and evenly was to put a covering of landscape fabric or burlap over them for the first several days to a week, depending on the variety. It is easier to keep the covered bed constantly moist during the warm season and then remove it once the seedlings start popping up.

Having a constant stream of carrots and beets is wonderful for the gardener and livestock. Our meat rabbits really enjoyed the tops every day.
 
Nicole Castle
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
M Troyka, if you find carrots that survive happily in the summer here, please let me know which ones. I can get carrots to survive into the summer, but they taste awful. Tough, fibrous and bland. Anything that handles Georgia clay & heat should do fine here.
 
Marc Troyka
pollinator
Posts: 367
Location: East Central GA, Ultisol, Zone 8, Humid
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nicole Castle wrote:M Troyka, if you find carrots that survive happily in the summer here, please let me know which ones. I can get carrots to survive into the summer, but they taste awful. Tough, fibrous and bland. Anything that handles Georgia clay & heat should do fine here.



I've got a good bit of hugel distance (plus some other things I plan to add in) between anything I'll be planting and the underlying red clay, so that part won't be such a big deal. The heat is a definite question mark though. I'm thinking the hugel moisture might help with that, but I'll definitely try a few kinds and let you know if anything comes out edible.
 
Christopher de Vidal
Posts: 100
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Questions I'm hoping someone can answer:
* Does anyone have charts for calories per acre or calories per square foot per year on a wide variety of crops, like Jeavons' charts?
* Can anyone recommend a good resource to see what perennials replace potatoes, broccoli, etc., while keeping the same nutrient levels?
* Anyone know good figures for acres/gallon on transportation fuel? How about sheep for clothes?
 
Christopher de Vidal
Posts: 100
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For reference, the biggest concerns people have expressed, which I hope to address in future iterations (or perhaps you can):
* Might need more than 450% buffer
* Might need more room for sales crops to pay taxes and such
* Really, really need to maximize variety
* Might need more than 6,000 calories/day
* Do Jeavons' yield numbers really work outside Northern California?

And two more concerns from myself:
* Do I have any unique nutritional needs this diet does not cover?
* How will I like this diet? (Solution: Try it before planting anything.)

(Think I'm forgetting a few, will need to re-read this thread.)

Again, I hope this thread can be used as a template for things to consider for your own self-sufficient farm. I hadn't found much research on this (did I miss something?) so here we go!
 
Nicole Castle
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Christopher de Vidal wrote:Questions I'm hoping someone can answer:
* Anyone know good figures for acres/gallon on transportation fuel? How about sheep for clothes?



I'm not sure I understand the question about acres/gallon. Are you trying to grow crops for biodiesel or something?
 
Christopher de Vidal
Posts: 100
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Any kind of transportation fuel. I don't even know where to begin to figure how much is needed to grow alcohol, biodiesel or other. Though I have manuals (free at JourneyToForever.org, CD3WD.com or other such places) so the answers are likely in there. But if you know off the top of your head, that would be super.
 
Marc Troyka
pollinator
Posts: 367
Location: East Central GA, Ultisol, Zone 8, Humid
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In no particular order:

1) I don't think either biodiesel or alcohol are cost effective to grow yourself. If you want to grow your own fuel you may have to double or triple your land figures, plus the costs of equipment. Most biomass->fuel processes are also very inefficient. Biodiesel isn't that bad, but the alcohol required to make it is. Probably the most efficient would be flash pyrolysis to propane via fischer-tropsch (propane is also very efficient in engines) but that's impractical on a small scale.

2) Do you really want to wear wool in florida? Would sheep even want to wear wool in florida?

3) I think 1/2 acre per person is a pretty safe figure. If you have enough people, you might be able to manage 3/4 acre per person or more. If the prices you quoted are accurate, then a larger plot would be much more cost effective, give you room for livestock, etc.

4) The only perennials I know of that are similar to broccoli are things like lambs quarters and good king henry (goosefoot family, and not universally perennial). However, these are very high in oxalic acid, which broccoli is not.
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
some brief info on gallons of alcohol/acre for corn and sugar beets here:
http://www.burroughsco.com/acbag.htm

There are some free books out there on making "farm alcohol" which is basically fermenting something and distilling it only to ~160 proof. Sufficient for combustion and can directly replace gasoline as a fuel without much if any modification. A lot of info out there on using corn, but pretty much anything fermentable can be used as feedstock. Corn is convenient when it is cheap, but those days may be over...

As a ballpark #, if you ferment decent grapes and get something close to 10% alcohol content by starting with ~10lbs of grapes to make a gallon of wine, you will need to distill the alcohol to concentrate it to 80%, so figure on ~80lbs of grapes per gallon of fuel. Numbers would likely run double that for apples, whereas you'd be able to use only about 1/5 as much for corn as feedstock.
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

M Troyka wrote:

Nicole Castle wrote:M Troyka, if you find carrots that survive happily in the summer here, please let me know which ones. I can get carrots to survive into the summer, but they taste awful. Tough, fibrous and bland. Anything that handles Georgia clay & heat should do fine here.



I've got a good bit of hugel distance (plus some other things I plan to add in) between anything I'll be planting and the underlying red clay, so that part won't be such a big deal. The heat is a definite question mark though. I'm thinking the hugel moisture might help with that, but I'll definitely try a few kinds and let you know if anything comes out edible.


even moisture and decent fertility are important to enable fast growth. don't let them slow down. Nantes and Danvers types carrots were what we used, if I recall (been saving our own carrot seed for awhile).
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Christopher de Vidal wrote:For reference, the biggest concerns people have expressed, which I hope to address in future iterations (or perhaps you can):
* Might need more than 450% buffer
* Might need more room for sales crops to pay taxes and such
* Really, really need to maximize variety
* Might need more than 6,000 calories/day
* Do Jeavons' yield numbers really work outside Northern California?

And two more concerns from myself:
* Do I have any unique nutritional needs this diet does not cover?
* How will I like this diet? (Solution: Try it before planting anything.)

(Think I'm forgetting a few, will need to re-read this thread.)

Again, I hope this thread can be used as a template for things to consider for your own self-sufficient farm. I hadn't found much research on this (did I miss something?) so here we go!



I think the research and planning process is very important, but each person/group's experience, soil, pests, water and climate will make it challenging to apply in general. Once you start growing something on the specific plot of land you will encounter a great deal of surprises, most likely. I'd plan on giving yourself more than 5 years grace period in terms of getting up to speed. By year 10 (if the situation/goals haven't changed completely ), I'd bet you can be nearly self-sustaining.

I would also suggest getting started with the perennial fruit/nut crops right away. Maybe start with five or so different types that are "easy" - figs, thornless blackberries, muscadine grapes, asian pears and genetic dwarf peaches. These all begin to produce within a year or two of planting and are simple to propagate without any special tools. A person could let these crops settle in for the couple of years that are dedicated to clearing, soil building, infrastructure development, etc... After a couple years, you can easily have 100's of these perennials established for just a couple hundred $ initial investment.

Calories are still cheap to come buy... a couple of hundred dollars per person can get you a year's supply. Add the vitamins and diversity with a modest garden while developing skills and the property, perhaps.
 
Christopher de Vidal
Posts: 100
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

M Troyka wrote:2) Do you really want to wear wool in florida?



Yes, for three reasons:
1) As stated in the original post, "We live in North Florida, which does have bitter but short winters" Don't think of Miami, which is over 300 miles away. Think of Southern Georgia. Even northern visitors are chilled by our relatively cool winters. I once visited the Keys during January; after passing Cocoa Beach we flipped the heater to air conditioner and didn't turn it off the whole trip That's how different it is down there; we hardly speak Spanish up here, there are fewer retirees, and almost no one has an orange tree because of annual hard freezes (low 20s typical, several days per year). The blessing though is the very coldest days are just November-March, and then only sporadically.
2) On top of that, I have a low thyroid, so I run the heater 365 days a year
3) I can't think of anything else that I can raise myself, which is warm in winter, still warm when wet (lots of dampness here), and easy to work into clothing. Cotton is great in the summer, which is why I mentioned it. Goose down, but still need something to trap the feathers; best to have wool for that.


M Troyka wrote:Would sheep even want to wear wool in florida?



Apparently so.

Those are appropriate and understandable questions though! Hope to look at your other questions later.
 
Marc Troyka
pollinator
Posts: 367
Location: East Central GA, Ultisol, Zone 8, Humid
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's crazy. I knew it gets fairly cold in south GA/north FL, but I wouldn't have pegged it as a place to raise sheep. I'm fairly cold intolerant also, but I don't think I would need a goose-stuffed jacket to manage that far south .
 
Christopher de Vidal
Posts: 100
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I already have a goose-stuffed jacket and it's about halfway adequate in the winter Layered under that, my handy vest and maybe a muffler. I still haven't had a chance to think about your other questions, sorry.

Stumbled across another interesting Kindle ebook for free (Today only):
Food Self-Sufficiency: Reality Check (Formerly titled: Crunching the Numbers)

It's about how much space is needed for poverty survival. As a reminder, there are free Kindle reading apps for computers and smartphones, no need to own a Kindle.
 
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know much, but that seems to me to be a lot of squirrels, doesn't it? That would be over 1000 a year you'd need to catch.
 
                              
Posts: 18
Location: Upper Midwest
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I like your approach to finding as many ways possible to get nutrition from simple reliable sources. But there are some thoughts which no one else seems to have mentioned yet. Some of the crops mentioned are a little tough to digest. May not be a problem as long as you are young and healthy, but these will be much more difficult as one gets older or if one gets sick. Then it is good to know which crops are easy to digest as well as easy to grow or obtain. And some are not the most efficient. It is a lot harder than most people think to get adequate calcium / magnesium when putting together a self sufficient diet.
 
Posts: 210
Location: Manitowoc WI USA Zone 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How about squash? The three sisters will give 3 to 1 in the same space. And I would take up fishing in place of squirrel hunting. Sitting lazily on the bank does not use so many calories - methinks - so one eats the flesh and uses the rest for fertilizer. Great thread by the way. Thanks.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2382
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
119
forest garden solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is a lovely thread. Everyone should be happy.
It state that even if you are in the city you can provide enough food for a family of 4 on just 1/10th acre in the good years
And even if you factor in soil fertility, novice farmer, etc and give yourself a 1000% margin of error. you can still do it on a 1 acre suburbia plot.
At worse case you simple make this your redundancy food source and focus on your usually self-sustaining food forest.
If you must think of it as your winter "hard" time garden when you have no more cherries to pick.
And even though the OG only listed 9 plants if you read the book it has DOZENS of plants that you can use.
Most people I know really just eat corn, flour, lettuce and maybe six other types of plants.
I think that very few people eat more than 9x2 different plants in a week.

 
Posts: 112
Location: Groton, CT
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Of course, that really depends on where you live. In Western Washington you are not going to find a suburban plot that is an acre, and certainly not a usable acre, and it will probably take double the space to grow the same amount of food, as say, California. I have one of the largest (and oldest) plots in my suburb, and it's 1/4 acre, and 1/12 acre is house and another 1/20 acre is driveway and patio. That leaves me about 5000 square feet of yard to work with, half of which is shaded in the winter months with trees and the house itself. With a family of 4 active individuals I am unfortunately (mathematically) tied to the supermarket to survive.
 
S Bengi
pollinator
Posts: 2382
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
119
forest garden solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I too live in the cold (New England). I buy pretty much all my food from the supermarket and even McDonald at times (I know right, so bad).
However if we both made the choice we could park on the street, get rid of the patio and driveway and be left with (5/20 - 1/20) 2/10 of an acre.
More than twice what is "supposely" required. Now am I going to give up my donuts that this deit doesn't include, hell no. I am going to eat "nasty" X vegetable, NO.
Am I going to give up say fossil fuel and walk/bike/public transit. No
But if I had to I know that I could. I have the option to. Someone else have done it, recorded it and I know that it is doable.
The same way how someone left prime farmland and went into the semi-arid desert or crazy cliffside and started a farm and is doing good.
Is it the norm, does it sound crazy and undoable, is it the easiest way?
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I downloaded the book that was mentioned in the OP..and have been reading it all afternoon. It has some good info but if you apply permaculture and hugelkulture to the process the yields should be much higher than the yields that are mentioned in the charts in the book. I was looking at the yields of fruit tree and ground crops and thinking how you couild combine them by planting them in a food forest rather than in the monocrop type intensive beds..therefor having layaers of crops, like trees above, hedges of bush fruits with the greens on the ground and root crops below..etc..so you can have maybe 4 times the yield..thus..you should be able to grow about 4 times as much or maybe a little less than that per area.
 
pollinator
Posts: 356
Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Christopher,

I have been also continuing my study for self-sufficiency. But still not tested to practice as I want to.

So far my goal is for 1 or 2 month FULL self-sufficiency in 2013. I can only grow stuff outdoors in Iceland in June (and by March in a greenhouse). The other six months the days are just too short and dark, and even with artificial lights I have not done well here.

I agree with combining crops in polycultures: better to grow, more stable fertility and more compact.

Grow corn + beans + pumpkinds
Grow millet + cowpeas + sweet potatoes
Grow also amaranth and beans or peanuts. Potatoes, sunflowers and beans. Wheat or rye, with winter peas or broad beans.

I calculated to need about 150m2 of cereals per year, 100m2 of pulses (because I dont eat meat), 50m2 corn, 50m2 potatoes and sweet potatoes, 50m2 amaranth, 30m2 rice, 50m2 other vegetables (to provide plenty vitamins and minerals: things like celery, carrots, kale, broccoli, parsley...).

Grow in same plot in winter and summer. For instance, rye in winter, followed by three sisters in summer. Try perennial beans and perennial wheat or rye. Also berries for vitamins, nuts and other roots for calories. Sesame for seeds. Grow comfrey, sunchokes, bamboo for fast compost material.

As I said, the 500m2 (1/8th acre) is approximate. Does not include surplus to sell, to feed animals or to provide compost crops. I hope to try to obtain enough food for a month, and estimate the area necessary for a whole year. In Iceland it is very hard due to extremely short and cold growing season, but if I succeed, then surely this would be easier in almost all other countries (except deserts).




 
pollinator
Posts: 1376
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I haven't read the one circle book, mainly because of the price. But it seems that there are no fruit trees included. I believe that you must have trees one your land, because they replenish the soil and hold water, however I can't give scientific reasons for that.
I would always add two legged animals to the mix. Chicken and duck lay eggs and give meat and fertilizer. If you are able to butcher a rabbit add this. A beehive does not need a lot of space but a lot of skills and equipement, this is the reason we don't have one.
If you walk that much each day you could always take a goat or a milk sheep with you. There you have the milk and a lamb each year and the wool, if it's a sheep.
If you need pasture for these animals your space requirement goes way up.
It has it's reason why traditionally pork was eaten very much. It does not need a lot of space but you must have access to leftovers or grow a lot of roots. (I have no experience in raising pork)
 
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
http://www.localharvest.org/blog/15945/entry/calories_per_acre_with_apples

Calories Per Acre With Apples

Wheat can produce 3-4 million calories per acre and potatoes can produce 6-8 million calories per acre. But what about apples? I've harvested one Gravenstein tree and will do the next one today. I got 288 pounds of fruit off the first tree and my orchard is on a grid of 200 trees per acre. That means this tree produced the equivalent of 57,600 pounds per acre. At 236 calories per pound for raw apples (Source: www.caloriecount.about.com), this equals 13,593,600 calories per acre for an apple tree producing less than 300 pounds per tree. This is 3.4 times the calorie production for wheat and 1.7 times the value of potatoes (using 4 million calories per acre for wheat and 8 million for potatoes - the upper end of the spread).

Now let's consider commercial apple production. Back when I was a migrant worker in the 70's, most of the apple orchards I worked at were on a 200 tree per acre grid and a common yield was half a bin per tree. A bin is 25 boxes and a box is 40 pounds, so a bin = 1000 pounds of apples. Many times I picked a whole bin per tree, so averaging a half bin per tree is a robust average. At half a bin, or 500 pounds per tree and with 200 trees per acre, the calorie value of commercial apple production jumps to 100,000 pounds per acre, or 23.6 million calories per acre. This is nearly 3 times the calorie yield of the most optimistic calorie value for potatoes and almost 6 times the most optimistic calorie value for wheat! Obviously, apples are a good deal for farmers (like me) who want to get the maximum calories per acre, while still maintaining diversity of crops. And this does not even address the health aspects of eating apples.



Now start running some poultry or small stock under your apple trees, plant some berry bushes, herbs and vines and you are increasing the yield even further!

I suspect we would find very high calorie yields per acre with other trees as well, especially nut trees and avocados.

We only have 1 mature avo tree, but we've had avos off it steadily since February, 300 calories each and the only thing I've done to it all year is pee on it and prune for size.

And when we consider that trees are more resilient and require much less work once established and also yield biomass for firewood, building materials & mulch, it only makes sense to include them.

Then there are the edible leaf trees, such as mulberry or moringa which offer high vitamins & minerals and 25% protein. OK, mulberry leaves aren't juicy tomatoes, but reasonably palatable and worth having as zero maintenance survival stores.

Mollison used the formula of 10 trees and a 4mX4m (?) veggie plot, I believe. That may not be a complete diet, but it is a good start on a very manageable and productive system.
 
Time is mother nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once. And this is a tiny ad:
This is an example of the new permies.com Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!