One Acre

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jim in Fl, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. Jim in Fl

    Jim in Fl New Member

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    If you had only one acre of flat fertile bottom land, How would you set it up to be most productive? Im not interested in any large animals. There are no buildings on the acre. it is well watered and in zone 6.
     
  2. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

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    Florida
    You don't say where you are in florida, If your more southern, how about citrus , or a quicker return, strawberries or melons?
     

  3. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Is this one acre that you are going to use the whole thing for production? Or is it one acre that you are going to live on and use part for production?

    If the former, what I would do is select some tree crops and plant the trees at a wider-than-normal spacing. Then between them I'd plant some bush crops (berries or ?) also in rows that are wider apart than normal. Now you can use the space between the trees and the rows of berries for annual crops (vegetables or flowers), or for something low like strawberries, or even for perennial herbs. In one corner I'd have a bunch of beehives (except that where you are, you'll have to be careful not to get Africanized bees into your hives). Going up and down between rows of crops, or in fallow cropping beds, I would have chicken tractors, with either layers or meat birds (I don't like butchering large numbers of chickens, so I'd probably have mostly layers).

    You would have a return quickly from the annual crops, strawberries, herbs, and poultry. Also the beehives might have a surplus of honey the first year, though it often takes till the second year. In the second or third year, you should start having some berries to sell from the bushes. And later the tree crops will start producing. You won't get a 'full' crop of any one thing, but the total production off your one acre will be far higher than if you had a monoculture of just one crop. Also, your work load will be more varied, and spread out over different times of the year so you don't have an overwhelming amount of work in a short period of time, and then nothing (and no income) the rest of the time.

    You might want to gradually put some of your crop beds under hoop houses, or cold frames, and have some out-of-season stuff to sell, too -- again, widening the season of income and spreading out the work load more evenly.

    If your acre is also going to hold your home and other outbuildings, you can do the same thing, but you'll lose some space to the buildings and yard.

    Kathleen
     
  4. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    One acre.
    I started with one acre, but it had 3 outbuildings. One was utilized for storage/greenhouse and the other had a small dwelling with a water holding cistern. Added to the shed was a chicken/duck coop.
    The garden took up about 3/4 acres and produced a ton of tomatoes, about 1000 cobs of super sweet corn, many pounds of french filet string beans and other varieties like yellow roma beans, about 50 eggplants, several dozens of peppers, couple hundred pounds of beets, hundred pounds or so of carrots, and all the salad greens we could eat throughout the growing season.

    -2 beehives producing about 150 lbs. of honey/year

    -2 Rouen ducks that hatched a dozen ducklings

    -5 muskovy ducks that hatched over 30 more ducklings

    -raised 50 broiler chickens butchered in 10 weeks

    - plus the excess plants started from seed and grown in the greenhouse sold about $500 worth in the local farmers spring market

    -produced several tons of compost from cutting lawn around the dwellings and the waste from harvesting garden.

    that's what CAN be done, because I done it on an acre.
     
  5. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Maine
    For me? 1/8 acre garden, perennial beds of rhubarb & asparagus, 100 broilers (50 for me for the year and 50 to trade for pork/beef), 12 layers and a rooster, 12 BB turkeys/year, 3 breeder does and a buck, 2 hives, and a dairy goat bred to a meat buck. That would be for my family of 4 2/3.

    Think about what you can get cheap locally food-wise and you can figure out how to best allocate your space. For example, here I can get apples and potatoes for nothing, so I wouldn't waste the space on them if it were limited. I have a huge strawberry farm nearby and I can pick about 25# of strawberries in an hour for about $25, so I don't do those either.
     
  6. Jim in Fl

    Jim in Fl New Member

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    I'm sorry, the land is in Tennessee, and its part of approx 2 acres that I am looking at buying. One acre is taken up with house,small barn and a couple of other small buildings there are already half a dozen fruit trees on the property. I have a good pension and dont need to be totally self sufficient. I just want to grow as much fresh uncontaminated food as I can.
     
  7. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would utilize every square inch the way Kathleen suggests and also grow vertically. No vertical surface should be without a trellis that grows things to eat and things to bloom. I would espalier fruit trees up the sides of the buildings too. Space would be available in the corner of the property for brush piles, recycled brick and lumber piles and compost. In front of that are berry bushes that will hide that mess. Behind the mess will be a corner of fruit and nut trees. I would propagate all that I could. Rabbits with worm hutches below them to raise worms for the chickens. Chicken tractors to "till" and fertilize.

    Rain barrels on all the buildings would provide water for the garden through efficient drip irrigation. A small pond can be used to raise fresh water shrimp or tilapia.

    If you want to see how it can be done efficiently on less than an acre look at the path to freedom or journey to forever websites.

    http://www.pathtofreedom.com/aboutus.shtml