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# of eggs per man per year

 
jesse tack
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Location: SE Michigan, Zone 5
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and other numbers!

on average, and yes it is a subjective question, has anybody found or kept track of your own food needs for one year?

i had read in Elliot Colemans book Four-Season harvest his estimate for one cold frame per person for winter consumption. then i wondered about how many chickens for meat and eggs, spring vegetables, fruit trees, etc.

i know this is a ridiculous question given the number of variables but thought you all might provide some interesting answers/links.

thanks!
 
John Polk
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Not trying to be a smart ass, but the average man lays less than one egg per year.  A good hen, however will give you +/- 300 per year, but they are seasonal.  Winter time is a time when nature tells the hens to take a break, as chix are unlikely to survive in the cold, and momma needs her food converted into energy to keep her warm and alive throughout the colder months.

One cold frame per person, depending on climate, would provide little fresh food, which is why early man learned to grow crops that store well through the winter months.  The 3 Sisters  (corn/beans/squash) that the aboriginal tribes grew were for winter food.  Now, we have learned how to process foods for storage, and this greatly extends the bounty of summer.  Beans and cereals store well, and are important in the winter diet.  With enough beans and rice, a few ham hocks and canned vegetables can feed many people through out the lean months.  For a family of one, I figure at least a pint per week of tomato sauce...spaghetti, chile, and so many other things that can be made with tomatoes. Besides cold frames, simple hoop houses can also greatly extend your growing season.  Growing year round food takes planning...the colder your winters, the more planning it takes.
 
jesse tack
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Location: SE Michigan, Zone 5
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Larry Santoyo told our class in Detroit that it takes 10 to feed 150. I am interested in this number as a rough, scalable assumption.

I guess my real question is how much food, in a diverse perennial system, do 150 people need. Let's assume Michigan as location. The human body needs approximately 2500 calories a day. That's 375,000 calories a day for the group of 150.

But let's assume that I am in that group of 10 in charge of feeding the 150, I'd rather know how many CSA style boxes the average adult male and female and child would require per day, week, month, etc. to meet their caloric intake.

The cold frame was for only considering winter vegetable needs.

I have never laid an egg, but I have sat on 12.     
 
Tyler Ludens
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How many calories are in each box?

 
Jonathan Byron
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One good grapefruit tree will keep a family of 4 in grapefruit from Jan 1 through June. Oranges don't last as long on the tree and get eaten quicker. If you plan to juice oranges or mandarins, 1 tree per person is a good rule of thumb.



 
Willy Kerlang
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Personally I am good for up to six eggs a week.  My family of four can go through about 18 eggs per week, including omelets, scrambled, and my special homemade pancake mix, and if I'm lucky my wife will do some baking.  We probably eat more eggs than the average family, but my girls love them and I insist on making them a fresh hot breakfast every morning before school.  No Froot Loops in this family, dammit. 

Some weeks, of course, we probably go through less than a dozen.

We also eat about one chicken per week.  Sometimes two.  I love chicken.  I wish I was allowed to keep them but town ordinances prohibit it.
 
Ken Peavey
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In the developed nations, an average of 5 pounds of food per day is consumed by a healthy adult human with a diverse, nutritious diet.  1800 pounds per year.
 
Dave Bennett
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I average 300 lbs. of dressed whole rabbit per year.  That is enough to feed me and then some.  I eat a dozen eggs per week.  That is 6 eggs in my weekly loaf of bread that I make with the nut meat left over from making my coffee creamer and I eat 6 eggs usually over easy.   My diet is very regimented because I have severe "insulin resistance."  I cannot eat tomatoes so I always sun dry enough to last until next season and sell the rest.  I do grow lots and lots of red peppers that gets turned into a red sauce that is so close to "spaghetti" sauce that it is difficult to tell that there is only one tablespoon of pureed sun dried tomato in it.  I grow enough sweet potatoes to last for a year. What is left over gets sprouted and becomes next years crop.  I grow the three sisters too.  I plan to add Amaranth and a few other food sources as long as they don't make my blood glucose rise rapidly.  I also grow enough Bitter Melon to control my blood sugar.  I plan to add several varieties of mushrooms too but I digress.......
I use 52 dozen eggs a year.  Three good hens can do that. 
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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With diabetes, I have to be on a low-carb diet, so eggs are a big part of our diet.  My daughter and I almost always have two eggs each for breakfast (whether fried, scrambled, or mixed into low-carb pancakes), so right there is 28 eggs a week just for the two of us.  Any extra baking, 'potato' salad, deviled eggs, etc., adds to that number; I'm going to say we go through close to four dozen a week, or 208 dozen a year (2,496 eggs/year).  Since a 300-egg-per-year chicken is actually rather rare (a better number to use is 220 eggs per year for a good layer), I figure just for Juniper and me we need a dozen good laying hens.  I add a few just in case of losses, so we usually end up with between fifteen and 24 or so (and have eggs to give to friends and family most of the time, or a few to sell).  

We are also able to easily use two to three quarts of milk (kefir) and some cheese each day (some of the kefir goes to my dog).  One goat would be plenty, but you can't keep just one goat, and since each doe has to be dry for a couple of months, with two it's possible to stagger breedings and at least try to avoid having to buy milk for part of the year.  (It doesn't always work, of course.)  So we have a surplus of milk part of the year, which can provide a feed supplement for the chickens or a pig, or raise a bottle calf or a few lambs.  Or make a lot of cheese and store it for winter.

I really do think that people's diets are all so diverse that each person or family needs to run their own figures.  You could keep a food diary for a while and keep track of what gets eaten in your house.  Maybe keep it for one month and then multiply times twelve (although obviously a lot of foods are seasonal).  Someone, Eliot Coleman I think, who lives in a northern climate (Maine?  IIRC), said his vegetable garden for the house is 40' X 40', plus a larger patch where they grow things like squash and potatoes.  This supplies all their vegetables for the year, for two people plus visitors.  He also has a 20' X 40' greenhouse.  (I'm trying to remember information from reading books several years ago, so may have mixed a couple of authors up.)  This is obviously an experienced gardener with a garden spot that he's been using and improving for quite a few years.  A new gardener should start with more modest goals, but certainly wouldn't be likely to get the yields than an experienced person would get on good ground.

Kathleen
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Dave Bennett wrote:
I average 300 lbs. of dressed whole rabbit per year.  That is enough to feed me and then some.  I eat a dozen eggs per week.  That is 6 eggs in my weekly loaf of bread that I make with the nut meat left over from making my coffee creamer and I eat 6 eggs usually over easy.   My diet is very regimented because I have severe "insulin resistance."  I cannot eat tomatoes so I always sun dry enough to last until next season and sell the rest.  I do grow lots and lots of red peppers that gets turned into a red sauce that is so close to "spaghetti" sauce that it is difficult to tell that there is only one tablespoon of pureed sun dried tomato in it.  I grow enough sweet potatoes to last for a year. What is left over gets sprouted and becomes next years crop.  I grow the three sisters too.  I plan to add Amaranth and a few other food sources as long as they don't make my blood glucose rise rapidly.  I also grow enough Bitter Melon to control my blood sugar.  I plan to add several varieties of mushrooms too but I digress.......
I use 52 dozen eggs a year.  Three good hens can do that. 


Dave, would you mind sharing your red sauce recipe?  I love spaghetti and such, but like you, have serious issues with eating tomatoes.

Kathleen
 
Dave Bennett
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
Dave, would you mind sharing your red sauce recipe?  I love spaghetti and such, but like you, have serious issues with eating tomatoes.

Kathleen

Are you familiar with
Diabetes Solution by Richard K. Bernstein M.D.

If you haven't read that book I highly recommend it if you are diabetic.  it is by far the best information available anywhere.  That is where the recipe comes from except his version doesn't use any tomatoes at all and I make uncooked tomato paste using sun dried tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil and some fresh garlic.  Just a tiny bit gives a powerful tomato flavor that completely hides any red bell pepper flavor.  His dietary information is excellent since he was diagnosed with Type I in 1946 and is still alive, healthy and still practicing medicine.  I couldn't get my doctor to read it but all of his PA's and Nurse Practitioners read it.  That is one reason why I love nurses and physicians assistants.  They are open to learning.
My Dad was an M.D. too.  He was old school though so whatever worked.  He came home from doing his evening rounds at the hospital and during the family dinner he said to me, "my patients will get well in spite of what I do because it is the body that does the healing not the healer."  That statement had a profound effect on my life.  Get that book you will be glad you did.  Lots of excellent diabetic friendly recipes in it too.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Dave, I have the book!  And have read it!  I just didn't go through the recipes very thoroughly, I guess.  Will have to look for it -- it's packed in a box in the garage, as the house is for sale and we are getting ready to move clear across the country as soon as this place is sold!

As much as I really don't want to move back to New England, in some ways I think it will be good.  We won't have the water worries that we have here, and maybe some of the things I plant will actually grow!

Kathleen
 
Marissa Little
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How much food does it take to feed a person for a year?  I've asked myself this question a lot as I plan garden, orchard and animal numbers for my family as well as our CSA customers.  I've found several books/resources that quote numbers and by looking at the different numbers they give for the same item, I can see that things are extremely variable.

For example, a 1960 Home Economics college text book (Food for the Family) says it takes 300 lbs of potatoes per person per year.  Uh...that's almost a pound of potatoes a day.  I might eat potatoes 3 or 4 times a MONTH.  Another resource said 100 lbs a year.  I aim to grow 50 lbs for my whole family.

Since I make a lot of food from scratch, that means more eggs than a person who only eats eggs as omelets, etc.  My family of 2 adults and a one year old can go through 2 dozen eggs a week.  Or only use 6.  In general, when planning CSA shares, we want 3 chickens per share (which is one dozen a week).  That's 62 dozen a year if all goes right (we use the number 250/yr)...which it never does.  So we should be happy to get the 52 dozen.  That's only for eggs, not meat.

One goat could easily keep several people in enough dairy products.    We have 4 milk goats and provide for 10 families plus our own extended family (15 people).  We use goat products almost exclusively but I'm sure some of the other families also use plenty of cow products.

For fruit/nut trees, one tree will produce far more than a person can eat for most varieties.  So if you are planning for your family, that's all you need.

Grains, etc it get more complicated.  Wheat is anywhere from 50-200 lbs a year for us.  On the lower end if corn and oats make up some of the diet, on the higher end if they don't.  I'm not sure why we vary so much on this one and I haven't been keeping track long enough to find a pattern!

And vegetables are a huge matter of personal preference and local weather conditions.  For fresh tomatoes here, probably 3 plants per person.  For putting up for winter, double that.  Carrots is about 50 lbs a year per person in my family - the national average is 10!  We never grow enough carrots.  Or onions, garlic or lettuce for that matter.

I have loads of numbers/guesses/refined guesses for various vegetables according to what we can grow in our garden and what we want to provide in a CSA box.  Too much to detail here!
 
Dave Bennett
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
Dave, I have the book!  And have read it!  I just didn't go through the recipes very thoroughly, I guess.  Will have to look for it -- it's packed in a box in the garage, as the house is for sale and we are getting ready to move clear across the country as soon as this place is sold!

As much as I really don't want to move back to New England, in some ways I think it will be good.  We won't have the water worries that we have here, and maybe some of the things I plant will actually grow!

Kathleen
It's called Red Sauce in the recipe section.
 
Dave Bennett
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
Dave, I have the book!  And have read it!  I just didn't go through the recipes very thoroughly, I guess.  Will have to look for it -- it's packed in a box in the garage, as the house is for sale and we are getting ready to move clear across the country as soon as this place is sold!

As much as I really don't want to move back to New England, in some ways I think it will be good.  We won't have the water worries that we have here, and maybe some of the things I plant will actually grow!

Kathleen
Besides the unreal quantities of chemicals used in the San Joaquin Valley it was also the lack of water that brought me back east.  I may even be moving back to upstate NY in September after 25 years here in Virginia.  I am not sure yet but am seriously considering relearning to deal with snow up to my ass again. LOL
 
Dave Bennett
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sandhollerfarm wrote:
How much food does it take to feed a person for a year?  I've asked myself this question a lot as I plan garden, orchard and animal numbers for my family as well as our CSA customers.  I've found several books/resources that quote numbers and by looking at the different numbers they give for the same item, I can see that things are extremely variable.

For example, a 1960 Home Economics college text book (Food for the Family) says it takes 300 lbs of potatoes per person per year.  Uh...that's almost a pound of potatoes a day.  I might eat potatoes 3 or 4 times a MONTH.  Another resource said 100 lbs a year.  I aim to grow 50 lbs for my whole family.

Since I make a lot of food from scratch, that means more eggs than a person who only eats eggs as omelets, etc.  My family of 2 adults and a one year old can go through 2 dozen eggs a week.  Or only use 6.  In general, when planning CSA shares, we want 3 chickens per share (which is one dozen a week).  That's 62 dozen a year if all goes right (we use the number 250/yr)...which it never does.  So we should be happy to get the 52 dozen.  That's only for eggs, not meat.

One goat could easily keep several people in enough dairy products.    We have 4 milk goats and provide for 10 families plus our own extended family (15 people).  We use goat products almost exclusively but I'm sure some of the other families also use plenty of cow products.

For fruit/nut trees, one tree will produce far more than a person can eat for most varieties.  So if you are planning for your family, that's all you need.

Grains, etc it get more complicated.  Wheat is anywhere from 50-200 lbs a year for us.  On the lower end if corn and oats make up some of the diet, on the higher end if they don't.  I'm not sure why we vary so much on this one and I haven't been keeping track long enough to find a pattern!

And vegetables are a huge matter of personal preference and local weather conditions.  For fresh tomatoes here, probably 3 plants per person.  For putting up for winter, double that.  Carrots is about 50 lbs a year per person in my family - the national average is 10!  We never grow enough carrots.  Or onions, garlic or lettuce for that matter.

I have loads of numbers/guesses/refined guesses for various vegetables according to what we can grow in our garden and what we want to provide in a CSA box.  Too much to detail here!

I use a conservative estimate of 3 good hens for 52 dozen per year just to be on the safe side.  If I have a few extra that's cool.  I only have me to feed so I will only keep a minimum of chickens.  I use rabbits for my primary meat source except I will get out my homemade long bow soon and start practicing so I can harvest a deer this falls to let my "ladies" rest from having to carry around a litter. I won't have the opportunity to get a good harvest of sweet potatoes if I move back to upstate NY though.  I already know how to grow them in a cold climate but not enough time.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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My daughter and I use almost no grain of any kind, but do purchase coconut flour for our baking (baking with coconut flour uses a lot of eggs).  We use potatoes in small quantities; I imagine fifty pounds a year would be more than plenty for the two of us plus company sometimes.  We can use a lot of berries and fruit if we have them, but primarily our diet is veggies, meat, eggs, and kefir, with something baked from coconut flour once in a while.

Dave, we had friends in the Interior of Alaska who had a nice little greenhouse and managed to grow sweet potatoes.  They didn't have any electricity, but did have a small wood stove in the center section of the greenhouse.

The reason I'm looking at Maine is because (besides being closer to my daughters in New Hampshire) if you can find suitable property outside the incorporated towns, the property taxes are a lot lower.  With a fixed income, that is important.

Kathleen
 
Marissa Little
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I forgot to say something about meat!  My family is vegetarian so I don't have any personal experience there.  But again, doing a lot of reading, this can be all across the board.  In general, Americans eat a lot of meat.  So if you want to consume the average amount and types, it will take a lot of animals and there will be a lot of waste (just chicken breast, just bacon, just steak, etc).  But a lot of homesteads/farms aren't just going to stick with chicken breast, steak, bacon and one turkey for Thanksgiving.  They may raise duck, goose, rabbit, goat and hunt quite a bit of game as well as using parts of the animals that they wouldn't have normally (meaty bones for soups, lard, organs).  So I fee like meat is another huge variable that can be anywhere from none (vegetarian) to making up a significant portion of your calories (like it sounds like for Kathleen).
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Yes, meat does make up a significant portion of our calories, but we usually only have meat once a day -- eggs for breakfast, and then either kefir for lunch and meat for dinner or vice versa (I prefer kefir for dinner, but if we are in town, kefir is more convenient at lunch time).  Once in a while we'll have no meat at all for a day (cheese or eggs instead).  Meat in my vocabulary includes poultry and fish, although I know some separate fish from meat.

We try not to waste anything, though, and certainly wouldn't raise chickens only to eat the breasts (we prefer dark meat, actually) and let the rest go to waste!

Kathleen
 
John Polk
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@ Kathleen:
Since you (and I) prefer the dark meat, have you considered the "Freedom Rangers"?  In the U.S., breast meat outsells any other cut, but in many other countries, the dark meat is preferred.  The Freedom Ranger was developed for the French "Label Rouge" (red label) program which is a free range bird of the first quality.  The Freedom Rangers do not have the absurdly large breasts of a Cornish-X, but they do have proportionately extra large legs!
For those of us that prefer the 'leg quarters' over the breasts, it is worth looking into.

(In the U.S., the demand for chicken breast is so great, that other parts are mostly sold for chicken stock production, pet foods, or packaged for export!)
 
Dave Bennett
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I had to leave my Muscovy ducks behind when I decided to leave the farm and figure out another way.  Kathleen, I have a friend that grows sweet potatoes outdoors in northern Ontario.  There is a technique.  I do not ever eat potatoes.  They are not good for controlling blood glucose levels.  I do make lots of nut milk using Almonds, Cashews, Coconut, and sometimes either Brazil Nits or Macadamias.  I don't use the Brazils or Macadamias very often because of the expense.  That is what I use as coffee creamer.  I then dry the left over nut meats, run them through a food processor and use them with additional coconut flour to make a quick bread.  Tasty and not abusive to my blood glucose level which I keep as close to 100 as possible.  My system won't work in the north outdoors but may be perfect for a greenhouse.  I use a special type of planter.  I build them.  Harvesting is a piece of cake too.  The greenhouse is a great idea because curing them needs heat.  Uncured they taste like orange paste LOL.
Oh yeah I also make sweet potato/summer squash/zucchini bread with coconut flour.  6 eggs per batch that makes enough for me for a week. 
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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John, I've heard of the Freedom Rangers but had never looked into them very closely.  That's VERY interesting that they have proportionately more dark meat!    I will consider them further next year (getting ready to move this year -- hopefully, if this house sells -- and just sold all my chickens in preparation).

Dave, we seldom eat potatoes and then only small portions.  More of our potatoes actually go to guests when we have them.  I have to avoid nuts other than coconut, because I'm also allergic to nickel and nuts are high in nickel.  We really like sweet potatoes and when we get settled again, I want to try raising some in a greenhouse.  But winter squash makes an acceptable substitute and will grow where we are going.

Kathleen
 
Dave Bennett
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I will also look for that outdoor method of growing sweet potatoes in the north.  A very cool way of doing it.  I hardly ever eat any vegetables on Dr. Bernstein's list of vegetable no no list.  I am sorry to hear of your allergy.  If I had easy access to raw milk or a couple of Kinder goats and a place to raise them I wouldn't make nut milk.  I don't do pasteurized dairy except for organic butter and organic 10% butter fat yogurt from the store.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Kinder goats are good little animals.  I had some before I switched back to full-size goats (Oberhaslis).  Might go back to the Kinders someday.  I've got a very nice reg. Ober buck who is a brat and he's only one year old.  I'm not so sure I am going to want to handle him when he's full-grown.  Either that, or I need to get a good working dog.  (My old dog never has been much use as anything other than a watch dog.)

Kathleen
 
Dave Bennett
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I will turn any bucks into weathers.  I want mild tasting milk.  The last two times I had goats I did not like the taste of the milk.  It made very strong tasting cheese.  So bucks will become meat for the freezer and I will find someone to breed my does.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Well, this particular buck was a very expensive purchase for breeding, so I don't plan to turn him into a wether just yet, LOL!  I may, in a few years when I need to get another buck, wether this one and use him for packing.

Have you ever had Kinders?  Their milk is the best-tasting I've ever had, and that was even with a buck living with them.  (Actually, my buck is usually in with the does, and I've never noticed any off-flavor from it.)

Kathleen
 
Dave Bennett
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No, I had 3 nubians does and a buck the first time in the early 70's and a lamancha buck and a nubian doe and a lamancha/nubian doe.  I have friends with Kinders but they live too far away to get milk.  I think they are the coolest goats on earth.  I think it is weird that I love huge rabbits and small goats. LOL 2 Does will give me at least one milking with overlap.  More than enough milk for me.  I think in small footprints but enough to survive, that's easy to maintain.  Anything more than 2 acres would be like a mountain ranch.  I found a gorgeous piece in northern Wayne county Pa. very near from my hometown.  Good price for a little over 7 acres with a year round small stream that feeds the Delaware River but out of the flood plain.  I don't think I will ever afford the price without winning the lottery. A little over 60 grand.  It's one of those ....wow this is perfect kind of places for me.  I know those hills, I grew up there.   Hard winter but abundant clean water, really gorgeous dirt and hardwood forest. 
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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I'm hoping to get at least ten acres in Maine, although it may be a little less than that.  The reason is that we'll be heating with wood primarily (passive solar, as well), and I want my own woodlot.  Don't need a huge woodlot if we use a rocket mass heater, but do need some.  Then I need a couple of acres of hay and pasture for the goats, and a good sized garden, orchard, and berry patch.  A small barn, a small house, a root cellar and a greenhouse and we'll be pretty well set.

Kathleen
 
Dave Bennett
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I have a friend in upstate NY that has 50 acres.  He has a small garden and the rest is forested but the soil is full of clay.  He lives in an area with moraine left over from the last ice age lol.  We are lifelong very close friends and I am going to propose either leasing some property from him or living on a small piece of it for sharing the food I produce and helping correct some of his gardening problems.  He at times has too much water or not enough. LOL  This will be fun if he goes for it.  I can practice my permaculture philosophies and find out if they are sound.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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That sounds like a good project, Dave!  I could probably live on the fourteen acres in New Hampshire where my ex-husband is, as I'm still part-owner of that property, but besides not wanting to be that close, I don't think the town would allow any form of residence to be added to the property other than what's there.  Anything permanent would raise the taxes, and they are already high; travel trailers and tiny houses would undoubtedly be booted off toot sweet.

Kathleen
 
Dave Bennett
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That's where my portable (semi-portable) dome comes into play.  It is small (214 sq, ft.) but can be assembled or disassembled in about 2 hours by one person or less time by two people.  Since it is essentially an insulated hard sided geodesic tent it won't raise his taxes.  If it did I would pay the extra tax.  Unloading all of this unnecessary "stuff" that has accumulated over the years is a problem.  It seems never ending.  I have been a collector of "valuable" junk most of my life.  It comes in handy having some odd piece of whatever it might be that has been a lifesaver at times though.  I need a storage building for some of this "stuff" that is just too valuable to part with like my collection of electric motors and my stack of stainless steel angle iron.  Junk?  Maybe to some LOL.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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How about using a cargo trailer for a storage shed?  That's basically what I'll probably end up doing. 

But, getting this back on topic, more or less, with such a small house, what will you do about food storage?  That's one of my issues with the tiny houses -- what I don't grow, I usually buy in bulk, and try to have at least six months of food on hand at any given time, preferably a year or more.  It sure evens out the bumps in life, and if you are trying to grow most of what you eat in a temperate climate, it's absolutely necessary.

Kathleen
 
Dave Bennett
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I am working on that issue.  Food storage will take a second dome.  Animal shelter will take a third.  I need a bigger trailer and a full size pickup truck.  LOL  Building storage sheds that are on skids instead of a permanent foundation are not added to the tax burden in most places.  Robustly anchoring them isn't that big of an issue.  I will get it all sorted out though.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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@Kathleen;

The only hatchery that I know of selling the Freedom Rangers, is  a Mennonites family in Lancaster County, PA

http://www.freedomrangerhatchery.com/

 
Dave Bennett
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I am driving near there in two weeks on my way to upstate NY to visit my older sister.
 
Mac Nova
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1 person needs 1 million calories in 1 year based on 2700 calories per day.

1 egg has 75 calories so you would need to eat 13,333 eggs in a year. So your group of 150 people would need 200,000 eggs if they were to live on eggs alone. Assuming your hens each laid 200 eggs per year you would need 1000 hens to feed the lot. Delivering the 150 million calories you require.
 
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