[permaculture] space for food self reliance?

Jenna womanway at aol.com
Fri Nov 6 06:46:47 EST 2015

Where is this planned intentional community going to be?
jenna houston

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Georg Parlow <g.parlow at gmx.at> 
Date: 11/05/2015  5:00 PM  (GMT-05:00) 
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org> 
Subject: [permaculture] space for food self reliance? 

Hello there,

I have a question regarding the need of space for self reliance in food.

I am involved in the development of a kind of permaculturally biased cohousing development (you will hear more about it in the future). I will be approx 70 apartments in 2 story buildings, every 12 or so apartments have a commons kitchen, 1/3 of the inhabitants will be elderly in need of some care that will be provided by neighbors. There will be at least one full time market gardener in charge of food production, who can rely on a mostly unskilled workforce (we will have an internal LETS system in place) of, say 40 parttimers. For the ease of calculation lets assume it will be 100 adults and maybe 40 to 60 kids. We are planning on a 1000m2 greenhouse, intensely managed gardens, poultry and bees, and fish in an indoor aquaponic closed loop circulation system. Since land is expensive where we plan to build, we want to get by with the minimum necessary acreage. Now lets ignore the houses, recreation etc, and just look at food production:
How much land will we need to provide food security? Now don't get me wrong, I am not talking general self reliance, just basic food self reliance (no fiber, no fuel, just food). I guess we are talking mostly zone 1 and 2 here. Of course, we will stack and nest the different uses (closely managed orchard, chicken, staple crops, vegetables, fish) as much as possible. 

We are in a wine growing area, with an annual average temp of 9.5 to 10°C, fairly long and hot summers, approx 400mm annual precipitation but we have easy acces to groundwater of acceptable quality, so irrigation is possible. Since manpower probably isn't the problem either, I even think that growing grain in garden style would be feasible, thus yielding more per area unit, by turning this part of zone 3 into zone 2. Quite a few nut trees should become integrated in the recreational part as shade trees, so this part of zone 3 won’t be big. Fertilizer should not be the limiting factor either, we want to upcyle organic waste with BSF and worms, and if the going gets tough there should be plenty of urine available, growing thing the Chinese style. Some indoor mushroom production should also be possible, the room with the fish tanks and the thus high humindity offers itself for this.

Please ask me your questions, if you need more input, and let me know what you think - how much land will we need for food production?

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