OilFinder2 wrote:If you're growing marijuana or some expensive specialty crop, yeah maybe you can make a decent living off of 20 acres. Unfortunately most people don't eat marijuana or expensive specialty crops, they eat things made from grain, soybeans, veggies, cows, pigs, chickens, etc. So maybe 1% of farmers in pstarr's fantasy world could make a decent living, but the other 99% would be condemned to povery.
So you are an expert farmer as well as an oil-exploration engineer? What you do you know about anatomy, because you seem to have something alien lodged up your butt hole? Is that your brain or mouth?
Seriously, I think a lot of us will be making livings on small acreages - we had best HOPE so if people are going to eat something other than soylent green. I can think of lots of ways of making money on my land; pay attention here: after pot is legalized, that is NOT one of them, nor is it now. There was a big bust across the river last week with LOTS of helicopters and big bad DEA dudes. Grapes, fruit trees, wine (yummmm.... wine), brandy, and on and on. And the amount of grain it takes to feed yourself does NOT require hectares and hectares; most of what the big farmers do is based on competing on the global market and with giga-corporations like Cargill and Monsanto, and it does require some serious farming equipment. Used gigantic tractors cost less than my little Yanmar diesel.
You personally? If you get 60 to 70 bushels per acre of wheat like they do around here (dryland, yet!!) you can easily feed yourself, your family, and some livestock (goats, cows, sheep and chickens, maybe a pig or ten), using well documented crop rotation systems, on much less than twenty acres. The Department of Agriculture even publishes a book called, "5 acres and Independence." I got my copy at the Safeway
in Walla Walla WA! I have 133 acres though...
In fact, since the current wheat farming method includes commercial ammonia inputs the livestock are required to provide some poop back onto the soil. And a 2 or 3 acre grain rotation system COULD be done by hand. Did I mention small stead baking?
Bread, cheese and wine, some tomatoes and green beans, some squash and corn, a little home made sausage from that doggoned sheep that keeps bumping into the kids; there are far worse ways to live. I am fermenting some pickles this year - they smell incredible (as in good).
For example, if you wanted an absolute hellhole (is hell a forbidden word? Carlin didn't mention it, I believe) you could live in an unsustainable community like (drum roll) Las Vegas.
Not on a bet, not with eggs, not on a plane and not on a train. I would not live there, Sam I am. Think Greece, or Italy. Much nicer.
I am putting my extra money into more solar panels, for more water and for led lighting, and more water tanks - one tank will be to run a small hydrogenerator at night, since batteries only last a few years -IF you treat them right; agriculture is seriously fun, and very rewarding (financially and personally). I am also getting more fermentation vessels and I'm thinking about oak trees for oak adjuncts for my wine. I have deer abatement methods (a .308 and a .243, and I just saw the coolest crossbow on Eaarth - scope, crank and hand grip in just the right place). Let's see: Hops, barley, wheat... Did you know that hops make deer hallucinate? It is seriously funny except they are eating the bottoms of my hops. I could get some cutouts of cougars (we have them here - the cougars, not the cutouts) and make them pop up when the deer push against the fishline around the hops (they can't see the fishline and it freaks them out - a form of abatement)... I digress.
The point is that there will be an economic revolution, and it will involve small farmsteads and a return to a world wherein we do things by hand. The economic recovery in the long run will be a very positive thing; my children are very welcome and I have room enough for them all and their families; the more I think about it, the more exciting it is!!!!!! There IS a future; it isn't what I envisioned when I was 20, or 30, or 40, or 50, and it will be hard work, but so what. Work makes you strong, or kills you. Either way, okay.
So, Mr. Oilfinder (I used to work for Shell Oil and Nuclear, and for Peabody Coal (Denver) until I got smarter), making a living on small acreages is very possible; especially with large populations to feed. I won't hire you, though, if you don't have callus on your palms and holes in the knees of your jeans; maybe you can cut some wood for a meal, then on your way. Only one boss here.
Unless the clathrates let go. Game over. No future for my kids. THAT scares me.