The holy grail of being completely self-reliant is producing 100 percent of your own food and not relying on modern conveniences like grocery stores to provide for your family.
Although there are many strategies you could take to accomplish this lofty goal, today we’re going to take a realistic view on how anyone could realistically produce 100 percent of the food they need and break away from being reliant on grocery stores for survival.
First and foremost, in order to produce all of your own food, you’re going to need to know how much food you’ll actually need day to day. HERE is a great tool that calculates, based on your body type and lifestyle, how many calories and nutrients your body needs daily. Using a tool like this will give you a benchmark of what kind of production you will need to have in order to sustain 100% of your own dietary needs.
As an example, a typical family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 children will require a minimum of ½ lb of protein and 1lb of carbohydrates and 1/4lb of fiber daily. With these figures we can determine that over a month’s time we will need to produce a minimum of 15 lb of protein 30 lb of carbohydrates and around 8lb of fiber.
This seems like a pretty conservative number to me. I would be much more comfortable producing double that, in case those figures aren’t as accurate in real life as they are on paper. I would also want to store a significant amount of that production into short or long-term food storage.
How much space will I need?
This is a very common question that comes up when planning any sort of food production, let alone providing ALL of y our own food yourself. There’s no easy answer for this because it will be determined by what foods you are going to produce.
On top of that, the types and volume of foods you produce will be determined by, the quality of your soil and what plants and protein sources will be able to be produced in your area.
What about protein?
When you look at something like producing ALL of your own food, you really have to break this down into two groups; protein and everything else. Growing vegetables is much simpler and can be done with less space and resources than producing protein.
There are several ways to go about producing protein. If you have the space you can raise all the livestock you want. If you have a pond on your property then you can easily raise fish for protein as well. You could even look into alternative systems like Aquaponics.
However, if you’re like the most of us, you don’t have a huge multi-acre rural homestead and are limited in how much space you can use for food production. This is where we need to get creative with protein.
The best way I have found to efficiently produce protein is to use a variety of strategies together. For one, there are several vegetables that are very high in protein. Although I’m far from a vegetarian, integrating a lot of high protein vegetables into your diet will reduce the amount of actual meat you will need to produce to get your necessary protiens.
Another way of producing protein when you don’t have the space to raise it yourself is to procure meat from hunting, trapping and fishing. There is a huge amount of diversity in protein sources when you are willing to procure it yourself by these conventional methods and once you have developed strong skills in these areas, there is more than enough protein out there to ensure that you never have to pay for grocery store meat again.
One important thing to keep in mind when it comes to producing all your own food is that the majority of it is going to be coming in at specific times. You’re going to be harvesting a lot of vegetables at specific times, hunting and fishing seasons are only certain times of the year and if you’re raising your own livestock then you typically process several animals at the same time.
Storing this food is going to be just as important as producing it since most of it will be available for harvest in large chunks throughout the year. Make sure that you are prepared and have all the equipment and supplies that you’ll need in order to store your harvest for not only the leaner times of the year like winter but also for long-term storage as well.
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