6 Jun 2017

ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
In the US, it is recommended that women eat 2000 calories a day and men, 2500 for a healthy diet. Correct me if I'm wrong. Gardening alone cannot provide you with enough food to fill this need. Note that nutrition is not what we are talking about. I picked a lot of food today. Shall we look at it from a calorie intake perspective?

There was a half pound of rhubarb, three quarters of a pound of mulberries, a quarter of a pound of strawberries, and a handful, .04 # of black raspberries. According to the USDA website, the rhubarb would give me about 47 calories (kcal), the mulberries about 146 calories, the strawberries about 36 calories and the raspberries a whole 9.45 calories. If I ate it all, it totals a whooping 238 calories. So when Marjory Wildcraft (Grow Network) talks at Mother Earth News symposiums, she recommends that people try to grow more food, not all their own food. Half is a good goal if you are a serious person with a bit of land. Here's how she figures:

Egg production with six hens yields 250 eggs per hen, 63 calories an egg for a total of 1500 eggs or 94,500 calories a year.

With rabbits, 1 buck and three does as breeding stock, assuming you butcher at an age of 4 months, you end up with 85 rabbits a year. Most meat rabbits weigh 6 pounds. After removing fur and other non-edibles, you have about 2 pounds of meat each. One pound of rabbit meat is about 893 calories. That would supply the bulk of your necessary calories, coming in at 151,810 annual calories. Side note: I heard that American-based rabbit stock is like white-meat on a chicken and European breed stock is closer to dark meat. Let me know if that's true. We cooked rabbit this week and it turned out really good. We managed three or four meals for three people out of it by turning it into soup. It was easier to cook than chicken.

Using a biointensive gardening method, 200 square feet can net you another 118,690 calories annually, assuming you plant stuff in every vacancy as you harvest so that production is continual. Things like potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, squash, strawberries and sweet potatoes. And you need a compost to replenish your soil or else your production will go way down.

All these thing have a certain minimum amount of land associated with each in order to produce this amount. It equals half of what you need to live a healthy life. Now multiply by the number of people in your household. You get the idea. It takes a lot to feed the human race. Marjory is doing another free food summit with amazing speakers, live online June 12th to the 18th with an encore on the 19th. Visit her website -somewhere in there is a signup via email. We do need to take responsibility for growing more of our own food, but probably not all of it. Personally, my goal is to become more of a localvore with the exception of chocolate and some sugar!



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