One of the reasons I bought 2.5 HA of land in Portugal is so I can take care of said land and use it to produce food, firewood, fodder and building materials for myself, and to store water for my own use too.
The recent news about the entirely anticipated increase in inflation caused by a combination of money printing and a supply chain crunch has given me a renewed impetus to get the fuck on with getting my land productive so I can produce as much as I can myself, thus reducing my dependence on the fiat economy.
Now I know that 2.5 HA of land in this part of the world isn’t enough land to be self-sufficient, there simply isn’t enough of it to be able to meet all of my needs - especially not for firewood, or for producing fodder for any animals I might buy in the future (defo chickens, maybe goats), and of course there is a WHOLE LOAD OF STUFF that I need that I just can’t grow, or mine, on my land - all the various metals I need for example, glass for storing, the odd bit of plastic (I’m a bad man I know), and being realistic I’m not going to grow my own clothes or soap either.
HOWEVER I can get some of the way towards being self-sufficient, and the aim is to be self-sufficient-ish, it was only ever to be self-sufficient-ish, total self-sufficiency would just be grim, as it’s just so much easier to specialise in a few things and trade those, allowing other people to specialise in other things, whether that trade is barter or via a more universal medium of exchange!
Focussing on the basics….
Personally I want to focus on the basics - food, water, firewood, and of course soil-building as everything basically comes down to the later, well not water, but after that!
In terms of the later, soil building - one word springs to mind - TREES - and with that, lots of diversity. Thankfully, I’m well ahead of the game here - my land has LOTs, and even if they’re not quite the type I want, I’ve got enough tree coverage to produce lots of mulch which is what I want, and where there aren’t trees I’ve got plenty of pioneer plants in place: Broom, Cistus, Lavender mainly - which I’m only selectively clearing out to give a bit more light to the young trees therein.
I said above that I don’t have enough land to produce my own firewood, but that’s only because I’m intending to replace some of the pine and eucalyptus I’ve got with Oaks, Chestnuts, Strawberry Trees, and others I’ve yet to learn about, the later aren’t Firewood trees, but even then I’m keeping some pine, and euc, and I’ll have enough for at leat a couple of months of the year, which is something.
Food is where I think I can make a real move towards being self-sufficient, at least in terms of fresh vegetables and fruit.
I’m already sorted for oil, I should get at least 30 litres of olive oil even in the worst of years, and that’s MASSIVE - something to trade, but I’ll have to wait a few years until my other fruit and especially nut trees come online, but at least I got some in this year.
Veg is easy, that’s just annual planting, which is kind around here, there’s plenty to grow all year round.
Eventually I’ll get some chickens, eggs at the very least, but I need a chicken coop and anti-fox fencing, and that involves concrete and block, being realistic, around the base of the fence - DO IT ONCE, DO IT RIGHT!
Water is something I need to prioritise - I think I can get by with 4000 litres of storage in IBCs and pumping up from the well for a few years, but longer term I need to dig - heavy capital investment, but that should really transform the land - with 2000 CUBIC METRES of storage I’ve got planned.
Oh, and I need to finish off the house too of course, all in good time!
The theory in my brain-thing is crystal-clear, now I just need to convince my brain-thing to instruct my body to work on the land more than 3 hours a day, because I kNOW, I mean I KNOW that’s no where near enough time to do the physical labour required to make enough progress at sufficient pace to keep myself motivated, it’s probably barely enough time to just keep things tidy: 2.5 HA is A LOT of land!
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