Most of us will spend our time buying groceries from our local supermarkets each week. To all intents and purposes, they are our primary sources of food and drink. Of course, that wasn’t always the story. Many generations ago, we would have to grow our food and produce our own drinks.
In some cases, we would have to trade things that we’ve grown for food made by our neighbours. These days we rely too much on third parties for our food and drink. But there is a growing community of people that want to reverse that reliance.
Some people might have a small vegetable garden at the back of their homes. They enjoy growing food as it’s organic, easy to do, and it saves them money on their grocery bills. Others folks might want to step things up a notch and be fully self-sustainable.
If that sounds like something you wish to do, and you own acres of arable land, this blog post is for you! Keep reading to learn how you can lead a greener and more self-sustainable lifestyle.
Living off the grid (sort of)
The average home consumes around 11,000 kWh of electricity each year. One of the biggest household expenses you’ll have to pay, aside from food and drink, is electricity. There’s no doubt that part of your desire to grow your own food is to save money.
One way to complement your greener lifestyle is to generate power for your home. One conventional way of doing so is to have solar PV (photovoltaic) panels fitted to your roof. There is a couple of requirements before you can do this.
First, your home needs to have 375 square foot of roof space. And, second, your roof needs to face southward. If your property fulfils these requirements, you can get some solar panels fitted! One benefit of solar power is that you can “sell” excess electricity to energy companies.
Of course, you should have plenty of suitable batteries to store electricity. Just in case of days where there is little sunlight.
Leading a vegetarian lifestyle
If you’ve made the decision to stop buying your groceries, you will have to grow them yourself! As you will know, you can’t grow animals like you would plants. At this point, some people choose to lead a vegetarian lifestyle.
Despite what your meat-eating friends say, humans don’t need to eat meat to survive! All you need to do is ensure that you have a healthy mix of fruit and vegetables in your diet. There are hundreds, if not thousands of delicious vegetarian meals you can make. All using the ingredients grown on your land!
You might be wondering what you need to grow. Let’s assume that you and three other people living in your home. For instance, let’s say you are married and have two children. On average, you will need to allocate just under two acres of land per person to fulfil their dietary needs.
What about wheat, I hear you ask? As you know, wheat is used to make whole-wheat flour. And that flour is an essential ingredient in the bread-making process. To cover each person’s daily allocation of bread (and wheat), they will need 0.25 acres of land for growing wheat.
Eggs are an important part of any diet as they provide a much-needed source of protein. As you know, eggs come from hens.
For a family of four, you will need to have around 13 hens in your backyard farm. That’s because the average hen lays between 80 to 100 eggs per year. The average person eats around four to five eggs per week. It’s also worth mentioning 13 hens need around 65 square feet of land.
Another essential ingredient in anyone’s diet is milk. Unless they are lactose intolerant, of course. You might think that having some cows on your land is a good idea. In reality, it doesn’t make sense in your case because keeping them isn’t “land efficient.”
Instead, you should consider keeping a couple of Nubian Goats on your home farm. One goat can produce around 836 litres of milk each year. Like humans, goats need companions, so I recommend buying at least two Nubian Goats.
Adding some pork into the equation
There are some people that refuse to lead a vegetarian lifestyle. If you are one of them, you can always have some pigs on your home farm.
To feed your family of four over a period of 12 months, you will need at least three pigs. And around 200 square feet of land for their pen!
What else will you need?
Using the above examples, you will probably need around two acres of land to lead a self-sustainable lifestyle. But what else will you need to get started on your greener lifestyle?
Unless you enjoy the thought of back-breaking work, growing fruit and vegetables is a task made easier with technology! Given that you have at least two acres of land to tend to, you will need farm equipment like tractors.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend six-figure sums on brand new machines! That’s because you can buy used ones through sites like http://farm.autotrader.co.uk at cheaper prices. You will also need to learn how to use such equipment.
If your knowledge of farm equipment is inadequate, consider volunteering or getting a job working for a farm to build up your skills.
Going down the self-sustainable route is an attractive option but you must put the work in to achieve your desired result. That usually means getting your family involved too. They must share your enthusiasm and drive for such an ambitious project if it is to succeed.
It might sound like a mammoth task, and one that requires a lot of time and effort. But once you start eating the fruit and vegetables that you grow, you will soon realise how much better off you are!
I hope this article has been of use to you. Good luck!