Anonymous asked in EnvironmentOther - Environment · 1 decade ago

How many acres of typical land would it take to grow enough vegetables and fruit to feed a person for a year?

Please cite your source of this information, if possible.

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    this is a good question, but I can think of other questions that would need to be answered first:

    how varied would you like your food to be? like just beans and rice, or would you want meat?

    would you be trying to just get by with enough, or would you want to be able to eat whatever you wanted?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Irish could grow enough potatoes on 1/2 acre to feed 10-12 people a year, you just have to like potatoes. Thats why so many died in the famine. One acre will feed 4-8 people with a great variety of food for the whole year. The American Indian grew the same amount of calories per acre as we do now, without all the chemicals we use. The three sisters planting is a great thing. Corn, beans, squash all working together to make more than grown alone. The same with tomatoes and carrots, they work great together.

    • Adam3 years agoReport

      The potato famine occurred, because the English landlords only allowed the Irish farmers to grow potatoes. The potatoes developed a disease that destroyed most of the crop, and because the Irish weren't allowed to grow other crops, they starved.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well that would vary greatly depending on the type of vegetables and fruit you were growing.

    Say strawberries...the plants kinda stretch out before growing the fruit. Not very efficient. Potatoes grow underground, allowing alot of spuds in a small amount of space.

    Corn doesn't take a lot of space, but one plant generally doesn't produce much.

    An apple tree will eventually grow high, allowing one tree to produce a lot of fruit. But if it's younger, it won't produce much.

    Too many variables to give a straight answer I think.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    you couldnt just live on veg and fruit. it depends so much on what you grow and how. i think an acre is the size it is because thats the land you need to feed a family, but thats no help. i guess an allotment of 1/4 acre would be enough for one person if you used climbing beans as protein source.

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  • 1 decade ago

    In England during the Middle Ages it took approximately 40 acres to feed a family adequately but the figure is dramatically lower today due to:

    1. Mechanization, fertilizers, land management and new crop varieties producing higher yields.

    2. Synthetic fibres, plastics and chemical dyes reducing the demand for non-food crops.

    3. Automobiles and railways reducing the amount of food needed for draft animals.

  • 1 decade ago

    We had 5 acres, and had apple trees, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, also grew mangoes, chillies, mandarines, loads of eggs, fresh from the chooks, pigs, dairy cattle, lambs, ducks etc., it depends on what you are looking for to complete your survey, you can do it in suburbia too, tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicums etc., I think it all depends on where you live, what soil type you have and how much you are time you are willing to spend in the garden, but its a very interesting question!

    Source(s): Farmer Girl
  • I'm a small farmer, on a permaculture farm (that's your the farmer).

    First, this question ENTIRELY depends on what plant zone you are in. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, of Washington. It was plant zone 8. I could grow dang near anything. Even in the winter, I still had pasture for my livestock.

    I now live in Idaho. I'm in plant zone 4B, borderline 3. There are bairly 90 days in which to plant, grow and harvest your crop, before a hard freeze, or snow will hit. Here the ground freezes several feet down to resemble concrete...nothing grows here at all in the winter, not even pasture.

    You also cannot live off just fruit and vegtables alone. You need grains and legumes to provide complete protiens for your body.

    An incomplete protien will feed your body. It takes a complete protien to allow your body to heal itself, and to allow children to grow. Example would be rice and beans. Eaten together, they are a complete protien. Individually, they are an incomplete protien. The other source of complete protiens of course are meat, dairy and eggs.

    If the person has to grow their own grains, and legumes, along with their garden, and fruit orchard, they would be able to do so with an intensively farmed 5 acres (in the correct climate). Your grains of course are going to take up the lions share of your crop. You will need abut 3 acres of grains.

    You need about 1/2 acre of fruit AND nut trees. Nuts are very important for adding viatimins and minerals to your diet

    You will need about 1/2 an acre of "perminant garden." Those are the food items you do not plant every year. Items like raspberries, ruhbarb, apsperagus, your herbs, strawberries, blueberries, mushrooms, ect.

    You will need about one acre of actual garden. About 1/3 of that is going to be taken up with your corn patch. Another 1/3 will be your potatoes (grow several types). The final 1/3 of an acre will be your intensively managed garden. There will also be overlap, as you will have some of your squash and pumpkins growing in your corn patch.

    Some people will think I'm in error, and going too large, however I'm not. If you are growing your own foods, and eating only fruits, grains, vegtables, and nuts, you need a LOT of food. The amount of energy you will expend to plant, grow, harvest and preserve all of your food will be staggering. One person doing it alone, even with meachnical help, like a tractor, is still going to be expending about 5000 callories themselves during planting, harvest, and preservation times.

    I know, because that is what my husband and I do on our farm. We grow/harvest/preserve most of our foods ourself.


    Homesteading/Farming over 20 years

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It would take much more if the person ate a lot of meat. For example, cows eat enough to need their own field, pigs need their own vegetables. I'm not a vegetarian myself, before the tomatoes start flying at me, but I also don't eat too much meat during the week.

  • 1 decade ago

    1-2 for trees;with the lag time to mature. If you learn to can, ancre should do 4 1 person.

    Ilived on a farm....with fruit & nut can barter for extras...also you can do free range chickens for eggs(potien) or meat.

    The veggies dont take much room mate. but thats soil in usa.

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