Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It's interesting to think about how much of a family's annual food supply could be grown on a typical suburban lot. Typically in the U.S. they're around 1/4 acre, 836 square meters, with maybe a 2500 square foot, two story house, which would cover around 116 square meters, so maybe there's around 600 square meters after accounting for driveways and stuff.

That's around 0.06 hectare (oh, wonderful metric system!). What would you grow? Potatoes, I suppose, and beans of some sort...

by asdf on Tue Oct 13th, 2009 at 11:10:46 PM EST
600 sq metres is more than enough to provide all a family's veggie needs for the year (depending on local climate, of course).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 14th, 2009 at 02:25:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2.000 square meters, but there are setbacks for both well and septic system - especially for the drain-field. Still, the garden space would easily be the size that you suggest, including flower borders.

As to what to grow - that is rather particular to your diet and to climate/soil/insolation. Generally, I would always grow beans; because there is almost always some variety that will work in your area, most beans are good for both you and for your garden soil, and the yield is usually higher for beans than for most other garden crops. Beyond that advice, though, I suggest that you should look to the locals or to the local Extension Agent of your state's land-grant college (Washington State University here).

I recommend 'dwarf' fruit trees, too - again, whatever works well in your area. For instance, I planted a Hale-type Peach tree about 20 years ago, and it suffered badly from a 'leaf-curl' problem. I finally cut it down and planted a variety with known resistance to leaf-curl (in a different location), and we harvest peaches by the dozens now.

As mentioned in the diary, all of these benefits demand a fair amount of work (the good kind in my opinion) and attention. That's probably the main point.

As to annual food supply - I estimate that Mirta and I raise about 60% of our food. If we were Vegan, we would probably raise 90% of our food. Since we're not, we give away that difference.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (paulgspencer@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 15th, 2009 at 07:22:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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