Infographic: How big a backyard would you need to live off the land?
Graphic illustrates how much backyard square footage would be needed to feed a family of 4 a well-rounded diet of meat, dairy, eggs, wheat, fruits and veggies for a year. Not surprisingly, it's a lot.
Tue, Aug 30 2011 at 10:00 AM
Last week I shared with you "Cool House, Fat Wallet: How to Run the A/C Full-Blast Without Paying For It," a fantastic — and somewhat sobering — infographic from the folks over at group solar purchasing company, One Block off the Grid. In that post, I mentioned a previous infographic from 1BOG that details how much land would be required for a typical family of four to become completely self-sufficient (read: happily well-fed) for an entire year.
Here's a look at that infographic, titled "How Big a Backyard Do you Need to Live Off of the Land." As you can see below, you'd need a heck of a lot of backyard space — about 89,050 square feet (or about 2 acres) — if your clan plans on eating fruits, grains, and veggies, dairy (via goats) meat (via pigs), eggs, and wheat-based foods (the number drops to about 1.5 acres if you cut wheat out of the equation and opt to purchase flour from a local grocery store). The infographic also shows that to live off the grid, power-wise, the typical American home consuming 11,040 kWh of electricity per year would require 375-square-feet of rooftop space to install 25 solar panels that receive a full seven hours of sunlight per day.
Interesting stuff. My question to those of you out there producing a significant amount of edibles in your own backyards: How much space do you require to feed your family (or just yourself) in a self-sufficient manner without the benefit of living on a full-blown farm? What things, due to space constraints, are outsourced? What things do you find yourself never buying at a grocery store? Two acres is a whole lot of land — backyard farming is often so romanticized that one often forgets the amount of raw space required to keep it up beyond "hobby" status — so I'm curious as to how you make it work ... tell me all about it in the comments section.
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