Monday, June 25, 2012

How much land do you need to be self sufficient?

This is from the  website during the year. Food for thought maybe?

Tip of the Day - 21 Jun, 2012

How much land do you need to be self-sufficient?

What do you think? An acre? Five acres? This is a question many of us have wondered Im sure and Jim Cronin addressed it in great forensic detail at his course in GIY Wex last week. Jim reckons one needs the following to be almost* self sufficient for a family of four all year around:

- a polytunnel of 40x14ft
- outside veggie beds covering 30x50ft
- 8 hours a week to give to your GIYing

*he says "almost" self-sufficient because this amount of land would not be enough to produce spuds, carrots and parsnips (which require alot of land) 52 weeks of the year. It would produce enough of these crops to last until Christmas. A further 200x15ft would be required to be self-sufficient in spuds, carrots and parsnips all year round. Even with the additional 200x15ft this amount of land is still less than quarter of an acre! Of course it may take us a while to be at a point where we are productive enough and skilled enough with our existing land to produce such a large amount of food, but still - you have to admit the potential is breath-taking!


  1. It's inspiring to know that you don't need rolling acres to be self-sufficient. Not sure about the 8 hours a week though - I seem to spend at least that amount of time just pulling up weeds and picking slugs off the lettuces at the moment!

  2. I know - I think the 8 hours is the average over the whole year as some months are way more time consuming than others.

  3. That IS exciting! I suppose the number of hours you put in will be dictated a little by what you choose to grow and how you choose to grow it.

  4. Maybe double that if you want to rotate your growing so as not to over-farm the your growing space. Being able to plant effectively while also replenishing the soil will increase your productivity in the long run.