I'm sure you have heard that slogan. Have you given it much thought? I mean, really? I had not. Until yesterday.
I was watching a youtube video yesterday of an interview with a lady who set about trying to answer the question, "how much can I grow on my property and how many people can benefit from it?" That question intrigued me. In the video, she quotes that slogan -- Think Global Act Local. She stated that growing your own food is the ultimate in local action that has a global affect.
Think about that. Growing your own food doesn't just affect you, it affects many others. The more you are able to feed yourself, the less farmers on the other side of the country--or other side of the world--have to grow and ship to you. Growing more plants, scrubs, and trees on your property means less lawn which means less water run-off, less use of chemicals to maintain that green carpet, and cleaner air.
Then, if you grow more than you and your household can eat, you have food to share. Setting aside a portion of one's produce for the hungry was a concept first promoted by none other than God, Himself. In the Pentateuch God instructs the Israelites to not harvest to the very edges of their fields nor gather the gleanings (the stuff that fell to the ground) so that the hungry and the foreigner can have something to eat. Planning for excess produce allows one to share with others.
So, back to the question: How much food can I grow and raise on my property? How many people can I feed from my little piece of the world?
I figure it will take another five years before I can answer that question. I have yet to plant all the fruit trees I want to have and I have to build the overall fertility of my land before we can see just what is really possible to achieve. With the addition of the rabbits, poultry, worm beds, and perhaps even a couple of dairy goats, we will be producing quite a nice load of fertilizer. Combine that with the mulch material we produce and we are on our way to building up the soil -- or as the author of "Chicken Tractor" says -- uppin the soil. Of course, the aforementioned menagerie of animals will also provide eggs, meat, and milk.
The chickens in their tractor will be helping prepare the initial garden beds and then helping to uppin them over the next few years. I am curious to find out just how many 4x8 garden beds we end up with. I hope to end up with mostly beds and grass paths between them. As the number of beds increase, their fertility increases, and my gardening skills increase, it will be quite interesting to find out what we can harvest from our .66 acres in year five.
I hope you stick around to follow the continuing saga of the Not Quite There Yet Homestead over the next five years. Lord willing, I'll be here in 2018 to answer the questions: How much food can I grow and raise on my property? How many people can I feed from my little piece of the world?