How many acres minimum for my organic farm?

oldravenDecember 15, 2013

Hello all! My dream is not far away. I want an organic farm and live as far as it comes without the need of money. So I've put up a list on what I want. But I don't know how much land I need for it so I was hoping for your help to estimate how many hectares I might need. This is to support a family from 5-10 ppl.

To start with I want:
1 cow (for milk and calf (buy sperm?))
2 horses
4-5 goats
chickens
a few ducks
honey bee's

Potatoes
Eggplants
Cabbage
Carrots
Celery
Tomatoes
Cucumber
Onions
Peppers

Apples
Melons
Pears
Cherry

I also want an herbgarden.. I think I would surivive on this. What do you think? Of course it will all be organic, and I want to setup solar power and also an windmill for windy days. Will be happy to read answer.

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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

How many people will you be feeding? Will you be wanting to sell any extra produce at a local farmer's market?

If you answer those questions, then appropriate answers will be easier to offer.

My initial thought is about 20 acres. You will need a decent amount of space just for the animals, then trees take up room and then the veggies. It all depends on answering my two questions.

Thanks for asking,
Jim

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 9:17PM
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oldraven

1) I'll be feeding 2 families (avarage 2.5kids? for now 0 kids, only 4 ppl but max 10 in total?).

2) I have no goal to sell anything, but if I get extra sure it wouldn't hurt :)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 10:23PM
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Sumatra(6)

For 4-10 people 20 acres would be about right, but since your list includes horses, a cow, and an orchard, probably 25-30 would be better.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 5:55PM
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lazy_gardens

Not only do you need pasture for the livestock, but unless you are in a climate that allows year-round grazing, you need enough land to grow your own organic hay and other winter feed.

The livestock to acreage ratio will vary wildly depending on where you live and what quality pasture you have.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 6:40PM
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jnjfarm_gw(5a)

With the information you provided and the questions you asked, I would say " yes, you are not ready to take on such a farm". You need to spend time doing your own research as to how to accomplish your objective.. Get a copy of Carla Emery book, and use the internet ( forums, youtube vids etc.) to see what others are doing. there are many youtube on how to organic garden, chicken pasture production homesteading season extension gardening etc. Also, do you know how big 20 acres is? Depending on soil type , succession planting , labor and growing zone , 1/4 to 1/2 acre garden could provide plenty for 5-10 people. My garden of about 1200 sf. provides more than enough for 4 people in season (we don't preserve for year use as much as we could if we had more time) plus we give away or sell a lot of excess. I hope this is helpful

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 12:01PM
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Agrilicious

I would say you need about 20 acres to be able to do all the things you want.

However if you did decide to start growing to sell some of your crops. I would say you may want a farm in the 30 to 40 acre range.

And if you do chose to grow extra, make sure to list your farm on Agrilicious.org and they can help you find local consumers in your area looking for farm fresh produce.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:09PM
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