Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Factoids About Food And Farming

Researching food production for an eco-village operating manual, I came across these factoids, mostly in a book by John Jeavons, called How to Grow More Vegetables than You Ever Thought Possible:

The world has about one human lifetime of soil left, assuming industrial farming practices;

The world has about nine thousand square feet of arable land per person;

Nineteenth century Chinese practices allowed production for one person on four thousand square feet;

Jeavons and his colleagues at Ecology Action in Willits, California, can grow one person’s entire diet on five thousand square feet, with a six month growing season, and winters that allow them to grow grain over the winter;

Jeavons’ practices build soil rather than deplete it;

These practices require fifteen minutes (or less) per day, per one hundred square feet, translating to ten hours (or less) per day, per person, assuming the Chinese level of production.

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