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What percentage of your own food do you produce?

 
gardener
Posts: 1402
Location: Cascades of Oregon
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I would include improving the soil as a positive step towards production.
 
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I think it would be a great deal more helpful if people would give a small introduction with the following information, for their posts:

- Size of plot
- Location
- Number of years actively engaged in food production

Thanks,

_S
 
Posts: 2134
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    Another p'hoto of clover roots.
i have had my garden fifteen years the soil has enormously improved it is in the mountains in the centre of spain there are some places close by were the soil is incredibly poor i wanted to prove that you could have good soil there and i have.
      Soil grows on tope  of what you once had there are stones that i placed as stepping stones that are now two inches under the soil and i think it soil also also grows below the surface as worms arrive and pull leaves down and sand and clay up so it deepens like a concertina at many levels and the  stones in th esoil seem to disappear.
  It used to be impossible to dig the soil because of the many stones in it and they have disappeared.
  I leave all the weeds to grow so that they will provide organic material.
  the trees i plant all succed recetly which maybe is due  due to the soi haivng bettered and partly due to my unwinding pot bound roots. Since i started to break into and in the end unwind the roots of pot bound  trees which is to say trees whose roots have gone round and round in the pot and intertwined and form an incredible basket of roots, i always now operate the roots unless there are very few and no intertwining.

  I planted pampas grass by a mistake and can say to those who are interested in plant guilds that  it is very strong and bares the summer drought and also does not kill the little maple i put right next to it maybe it helps it the maple has not seemed to want water.  and i planted bamboo that also is very strong and does not mind the summer drought and does not kill the cherry i put next to it.
  My intention, untill writting on these forums had been  to show what a great advantage building up the soil is to growing things or simply that the soil could be bettered,  I had not seen vegetables as feasable, going there often to water them in summer would mean using lots of petrol and contaminating  the air. I have seeded the place with vegetables this year to see how it goes.

  the first japanese to talk, of bettering soils and growing food was intereseted in them growing food at the same time as bettering soils because he was working where there were poor farmers needed to grow food. Bettering soils is a need for the relatively rich  and poor, it stops desertification and the rich mans green land helps the land next to it to be less dry.
    It must lessen global warming if soils are better vegetation wil grow and the land that is covered will not warm much, the suns rays will stay as light energy and not turn into heat energy. I need joel hollingsworth who knows more about science than i do  to expand on this. vVegetation alive or dry is not a accumulator of heat. agri rose macaskie.
blue-flowered-clover-root.jpg
[Thumbnail for blue-flowered-clover-root.jpg]
 
Robert Ray
gardener
Posts: 1402
Location: Cascades of Oregon
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Good point Steven,
Oregon 1.5 acres, just East of the pacific crest, 4500 feet, 20 years in area 15 yrs on property.
I have lived at higher altitudes but find that this area is more extreme for some reason as far as temperature flucuations.
 
                    
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We probably produce about 3% of our own food right now.  Next summer (our second growing season at this location) will drastically increase that amount.  Our annual garden is probably....1/8 th of an acre?  It's a strange shape that follows the contours of the hill it's on, hard to say.  We're a zone 7 in northern california.  Dry summers with lots of rain the rest of the year. 
 
pollinator
Posts: 356
Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
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Here in Iceland, we grow about 3% of our own annual produce (mostly vegetables and potatoes and perhaps a handful of grain + 100% for tomatoes grown in greenhouses and eggs, within the local community. I plan to step up to reach 10% as a ideal goal (grains barely grow, pulses and fruits are nearly impossible); I don't think I can go more than 10% without restoring to expensive greenhouses. So far only 2 years here. But my variety is nicely large.
We donÂșt have fruits but we have plenty native blueberries.

Back in Portugal and Austria, warmer climates, I was growing up to 10% of my food consumption in small 30m2 urban gardens.

I know people that are 75% to 90% self-sufficient in rural Portugal. With water it is easy, people were doing it a few decades ago, when the country was cut from the world. The key is growing your grain, roots and pulses, and while giving it also to your animals.

In Iceland, you can only be self-suf, by becoming a large scale animal farmer and trading for milk and fish. And even that is very challenging hard life!
You have no idea on how hard it is to survive little ice ages and volcanic ash storms after eruptions, without imports life would be very hard.

The trouble is that I keep travelling and haven't started a homestead yet. I plan to start one in Portugal. I aspire to grow 90% of my food a few years down the road, but so far I haven't had the climate or land to do it!

As I said key is grains, pulses, perennials, roots, nuts.. besides animals
 
Posts: 1113
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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Robert Ray wrote: Just curious as to where everyone else is as far as food production for themselves.



Hmm... Can or do?

We can raise all of our own food and have done that in lean years.

When we have extra money we like to buy luxuries like chocolate and other things we don't make here on our farm.

It is a matter of how much money is available for extras.

We raise almost all of our own meat as well as potatoes, pumpkins, root crops, greens and things like that. We eat a lot of those things. Our pantry is out grazing our fields.

Steven Kraft wrote:I think it would be a great deal more helpful if people would give a small introduction with the following information, for their posts:
- Size of plot



We farm about 70 acres. We have additional forest land. Farm and forest is how we earn our living. We have about 400 pigs grazing that land using managed rotational grazing. We sell our meat to area stores, restaurants and individuals on a regular weekly delivery route to sell our pork. We are in the process of building our own on-farm butcher shop. See:

http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop

We also raise sheep, chickens, ducks and geese.

I have several acres of gardens for producing food for our family and our livestock plus we forage wild things such as fruit.

Steven Kraft wrote:- Location



We're in the mountains of northern central Vermont. Please send warm weather.

Steven Kraft wrote:- Number of years actively engaged in food production



45 years? There abouts. We've been making our living from farming for about a decade. No outside jobs. We have been doing sugaring and forestry for about another ten years before that - so 20 years. Before we were farming, to sell to others, we were raising our own food for decades.
 
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I am in southwest central New Brunswick, Canada, USDA Zone 4b/5a. I bought an acre with a tiny 1896 farmhouse on it in 2005, and put in my first small garden in the summer of 2008 after getting married. In the summer of 2009 we bought another 2 acres (1/3 old field with a couple of old apple trees, the rest a 10 year-old clear cut), and started a massive reno/expansion of the house, and also foolishly started a 20-member organic CSA program that same summer out of a 1/4 acre new garden (that had been a old hayfield)....all while working full time as a civil servant. Biting off that massive amount of work didn't endear the idea of permaculture to my wife to say the least.

I gave up the CSA after the one year. It was a horribly cold, wet summer but despite the low yields all but a few of my customers would have returned if I'd kept with it, so that was encouraging. Since then I've devoted the 1/4 acre to growing food for my wife and I, selling/giving away a bit of our extra. I would have chickens and pigs if my wife would allow it - I'm still working on her! We don't buy any herbs or vegetables at all (except avocados) between early July and late December, and then only tomatoes, peppers, and greens for the remainder of the year. We can/freeze a ton of tomato paste, and this year I made about 30 bottles of dill pickles and 25 of salsa, all lacto-fermented (the easiest and best way, IMO). I also trade veggies for wild meat and fish with my hunter/fisher friends, although not nearly enough to fulfill our needs.

I planted 10 Haskap bushes (Google them!) this year, and have several apple/pear/plum/cherry trees, although most aren't producing yet.

I grew some Oaxacan Green Dent corn this year too, and am hoping to successfully make masa out of it for tortillas, etc. We eat more Mexican food than anything else, so ideally I'd like to be able to grow all of the corn required for that.

Now I'm looking for any excuse I can find to quit my job and start up the CSA again, full time, supplemented by furniture/cabinet making in the winter. I will probabaly rent the extra land required for that, as there are dozens of acres of fallow fields belonging to my neighbours within a 5-min walk from my front door. Much less effort and $$ required than to convert the clear cut to a garden.
 
Posts: 21
Location: Kasilof Alaska
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Robert Ray wrote: Just curious as to where everyone else is as far as food production for themselves.



I buy 100% of my food.

Although I live in Alaska, I don't like wild game or fish and I only eat less than 5 pounds of meat a year. No not a vegetarian. I just don't like it and I don't have any teeth..

While I am pretty good at house plants and trees, growing vegetables is a total failure to me. I got a black thumb.

I go to the grocery store in the fall and spring and get 6 months worth of food at a time.

I don't like going into town during tourist season and in the winter it is just easier. A couple of times a month I make a two to 4 day trip (depending on how long I want to camp) by 4 wheeler or snow machine to another town that I can reach a convenience store without going on the highway and get things like milk bread and vegetables and spend a few days camping. In my area it usually stays around zero in the winter but if it goes lower I usually just don't go because the weather changes every two weeks or so. I am sure I could get  ride to town with other people I know, but I like the ride and the camping. I see a lot of wildlife too. I gave up driving because I getting too old and slow. You can go almost any where by snow machine or off road vehicle. A lot of Alaska is not even accessible by road. Even Juno the state capital is not accessible by highway. Only air and boat.

 
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