[permaculture] wild foods ... how many acres per human?

Marjory forestgarden at gvtc.com
Thu Feb 26 11:00:11 EST 2009


Hi,

thank you so much for your thoughtful reply.  we are lucky enough to 
have 75 acres to care take, and i am well aware that without some form 
of agriculture, it cannot support even one human alone.  on the other 
hand, with a well and careful management, i believe we can support about 
10 humans, while increasing the vitality of the overall area. 

thank you again.

marjory






negiliblek wrote:
> Hello Marjory,
>
> I can't answer the acres/human question but hunter/gatherer is something I've tried twice for a about a week each try. So, while I can't speak to wintering, I can give a feel of it and hope it doesn't just sound like rambling.
>
> In a desert similar to the Sonoran (banna yucca, agave, cane fruit cholla, prickly pear, juniper berries, velvet mesquite, pinon pine, wild onion, and indain potato, and four wing salt bush), a single individual could eat well enough.  WITH THE FOLLOWING CONSIDERATIONS:
>
> -the amount of food varies greatly with location. A three mile difference in location could mean the difference between life and death This means you'd have to roam; leaving a good area to regenerate for a season in desert locations (maybe 60 days in higher rain/foliage growth rate areas like the Pacific NW)
>
> -when things ripen at a given location is also paramount (I've found mesquite pods ready to eat at 2,000 feet but still green less than a mile away at 3,000 feet. Pinon puts off a good crop every 4 years)
>
> -and hope you're not vegetarian if you don't do some food preservation for the winter -even in the desert, the nutrients of the plants are sucked back in to the roots
>
> -As Larry pointed out, you must also be a caretaker or else you'll ruin your habitat even if you roam. This means thinning out the weaker stock when you eat, removing a plant if too many are grouped together in one spot (happens often as bear and elk scat sprout many species in a very small diameter). When you eat, swallow a few of your uncooked mesquite beans/prickly pear seeds/cane fruit cholla seeds and take care where you shit -you're planting next season's food. It might not hurt to build small compost piles in micro-habitats your wild foods like.
>
> -Places that have been cattle grazed are truly places to starve to death unless you like beef.
>
> -mono culture farming are also death lands as the ditches and roadsides are full of pesticides, insectisides, and other physical trash.
>
> As a farmer, you can look at each acre and see how plentiful your crops are and even calculate the number of people you can feed that season. 
>
> In wild foraging where a body must roam, the crop isn't easily seen and varies greatly from place to place, such calculation requires years of experience that is only good for a very specific location with in a given area like the Sonoran.
>
> If you have land and are wondering how many wild foragers it will support, begin to learn every single wild plant on your land,if it's edible, and how to prepare it. Then you'll know which ones you'll want to encourage a lot and how many plants it'll take you of the variety you've chosen to feed a given number of people.
>
> I've told you everything I know -I'll go back to sleep now :)
>
>
>
>       
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