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Thread: How much land to support a family of 4?

  1. #1
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    How much land to support a family of 4?

    If you want to be self-sustaining and live off the grid, you'll need about 2 acres.

    http://1bog.org/blog/live-off-the-land-2/

    Note that the blog article doesn't cover stuff like food preservation (after slaughtering a hog, how do you preserve the meat for later eating?), or building a surplus (and storing it for long-term) in case you have a bad harvest.

    Chip H.

  2. #2
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    If you want to be self-sustaining and live off the grid, you'll need about 2 acres.

    http://1bog.org/blog/live-off-the-land-2/

    Note that the blog article doesn't cover stuff like food preservation (after slaughtering a hog, how do you preserve the meat for later eating?), or building a surplus (and storing it for long-term) in case you have a bad harvest.

    Chip H.
    For storage and surplus you would need:

    a slaughterhouse (maybe...or you could just hang it in a tree like you do at deer camp)
    a smokehouse/corn crib/facility to dehydrate your harvest
    wood or fuel to preserve/can your harvest
    a cellar or cool basement to store your canned, preserved, and dehydrated goods

    Yeah, I think their 2 acre estimate is on the conservative side.

  3. #3
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    After the civil war, freed salves were given 40 acres and a mule. Most were able to survive but barely.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

    Text if you want to meet him.

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Personal opinion based on about eight years of living in the very rural country:

    Two acres is insufficient.

    For one, you will need to think about firewood for heat during the winter (unless you live in an area where winter is not an issue, of course). I fell/cut up 2-3 large oaks each year. On a two acre plot, you'd denude the land fairly quickly.

    Two, not enough buffer between your place and others' property. It is harder to stay out of sight/remain unnoticed. This is a problem for security reasons and also practical reasons. Target practice, for instance. Yes, you can create a backstop but your neighbors will hate you - not good in a rural setting - and it may be illegal depending on the area. Also, if you raise animals, you want to keep them well and clear of neighbors and as out of sight as you can. We raise chickens (23 hens and two roosters at present). Animal predation - especially dogs - is an ongoing problem. In a SHTHF or off-the-grid scenario, you don't want people knowing you have food on the hoof just walking around out there. In day to day life, animals are noisy, smelly and you want to put as much space as you can between your house and where the animals are housed. On two acres, this is hard to do.

    Three, not enough land to build storage/outbuildings - which you will need to house tools and equipment, trust me. On two acres, the land used for buildings takes away from the land available for ag or other uses, leaving you with not much - and a very crowded-looking place.

    Four - water. You absolutely want (need to have) this one covered. A well is essential. But if you buy a small two acre plot in a less rural area, you will be on city water, probably - ad that makes you completely dependent. If you have a well, two acres would still worry me because of the possibility that the well may run dry and then you might not be able to "perc" a new one. This happens - rendering the land next to useless. If you own a large spread, being able to drill a new well/tap into a new source is virtually certain. The ideal land will have both well and spring/stream as a back-up.

    I think 5 acres is the minimum; we have about 8 and I want to at least double that if I can.












    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    If you want to be self-sustaining and live off the grid, you'll need about 2 acres.

    http://1bog.org/blog/live-off-the-land-2/

    Note that the blog article doesn't cover stuff like food preservation (after slaughtering a hog, how do you preserve the meat for later eating?), or building a surplus (and storing it for long-term) in case you have a bad harvest.

    Chip H.

  5. #5
    Clik
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    No Land Required

    You could be off grid with no land at all. You could survive on a boat. You could barter fish, crabs, etcetera. You could be off grid in a RV motorhome or trailer hunting, fishing, gathering wild edible plants, fruits, etcetera.

    If you want to plop down in a forest somehwhere you, are going to need at least seven acres just for sustainable firewood. Then you need room for a large garden, room for rotating it possibly, room for fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, goats, septic area, water well area. I think the old forty acres and a mule isn't too far off the mark in somewhere like the plains. You might need less in a mountain area where you can rely somewhat on roadside gathering, hunting on public lands, etcetera.

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