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Thread: selfsufficiency

  1. #1

    Default selfsufficiency

    Foreword
    I researched this for the population of The Netherlands which is high density (497 people per square kilometer opposed to USA with an average 35 people per square kilometer), also I used the metric system for measurements because I don't really know the American system very well, I did turn KG's into LBs. Also, I first ran this through google translate and then I corrected all the grammar errors, but I can imagine it can still read a little weird at some points, lemme know if it does and I'll try to make it more proper.

    Self-sufficiency


    What if, after all the economical cuts, the Dutch goverment decides to invest in sustainable houses with low energy consumption with the slogan " Self-sufficient society " instead of it's current "participation society" What would be necessary to maintain ourselves?


    drink
    To have fresh water, the current conduit system is desirable , but it is not entirely necessary . The entire east side of Netherlands contains potable water sources that can be used for a 'well ' that may be tapped in everyone's backyard. In addition, we are fortunate that the Dutch climate is generally providing us with sufficient rain, this can be captured in a simple rain barrel for animals and plants, but an underground reservoir is also a possibility to have your own water in hot times. In addition, applejuice and goat's milk can also be common types of drink, because they are relatively easy to get.


    food
    Food is a bit more complicated , especially meat . But let's start with the basics , potatoes , bread and oil seeds . These possess almost all the nutrients we need .


    We as humans have a daily need of about 0,8LBs of fruit and vegetables. This requires approximately 35-40 meters of land However, this can be done in an alternative manner, by growing vertically against the house walls which has space of about 100 square meters (7 by 7 house, but more on housing later). However, horizontal ground is necessary if you want to have apples and pears. they have to be planted about 6 to 8 meters apart, so you can place 4 trees on 40 square meters. And use the soil for more vegetables or livestock.


    Potatoes per person cost 15 square meters of land and improves the quality of the soil, but can make the ground sick if it's grown on the same spot too often. Therefore, it is important to rotate with other plants. Wheat is needed to bake bread / cake and we need about 100 square meters per person . But let's not forget about our need for seed oil, our body needs about 6 liters ( 5kg ) of oil. The better quality seeds to grow are linseed and rapeseed. The land required for oil seeds is about 30 square meters. What's important is to have a piece of land to exchange so that all vegetable and fruit stand on healthy soil each year


    The current standings : necessary land is a total of 185 square meters , is still doable right? If pavement / stable / house are added it's about 300 square meters. But we are not there yet, meat !


    meat
    Most people love a good steak and although in theory meat is no longer needed , it still offers the necessary nutrients and in practice is also easier and tastier meat . But how much meat do we need and how much space does it cost?
    The average Netherlands eats 86kg of meat per year , but only 72 to 92LBs is required according to the nutrition center. Let us first look at the requirement and proceeds from one livestock animal . And to do that we look at the conversion factor of different animals, the conversion factor is an indicator on how many pounds of food an animal needs to create 2Lbs of meat on their bones.


    The conversion factor for a pig is about 5.6LBs (power) food per kilogram pig, but if corn or wheat are used, this is around 12LBs of food per 2Lbs . One can forget about cows alltogether, because the norm is to keep 2.5 cows per 10,000 square meters and the number of food they need per 2Lbs of meat is 40-50LBs of food. An alternative for the cow , is the so called workerscow, the dairygoat. A dairy goat only needs about 8LBs of food per 2Lbs of meat. And perhaps more importantly, it produces milk. Chickens need about 5LBs to grow 1KG, but in practice both it's weight and required food is nothing compared to the larger animals. To get good milk and eggs , however, it is important that you don't overfeed your goats and chickens (chickens that are fat lay bad or not at all ).


    The calculation : a piglet starts with 200grams of food per day up to 6LBs food on top weight , an adult dairygoat needs about 5.6LBs of grass in order to maintain their weight and give milk ( 1/3rd may be supplementation) if only grass is given, the advice is to hang a mineral salt block. Chickens can get by with about 100 grams per day (you can use food waste, but calcium is needed, 'shot'/shelves mixed in the food solves this problem ) .


    Corn and wheat are the most realistic form of food production both pigs and chickens can eat that can also be grown by a self sufficient grower. Most useful would be to grow wheat and use wheat the pigs don't need for bread and the like, but a field of 100m2 of wheat only produces about 170LBs and corn produces 900LBs of corn and 270LBs of dry matter which is significantly more. So, pigs need wheat and Goats need grass / hay.

    This comes down to a small 200 square meters of corn per fleshpig. For a goat it's also a small 200 square meters, but they need grass instead of corn. ( around 30 chickens can live of the surplus of the corn and dinnertime residues in times when there is no corn ).


    The proceeds of the food is enough to grow two pigs to 240LBs per year ( conversion factor - 12LBs ), because the edible portion is about half of the total weight, two pigs would give 240LBs of edible meat per year. A dairy goat however is a longer investment because it gives Milk up to 10 months per year ( 1 to 2 liters per day ), this milk can be frozen in safely .


    Conclusion : 1 pig per year would already give enough meat for one person and one goat enough milk , chickens are hardly onerous . So you can choose to fatten a pig less or you can share with a neighbor for 100 meters less land required to be self sufficient.


    housing


    A very important part of selfsufficiency is your own home , with the current standard we want clean water, heat , electricity for tv / internet and the likes. To selfprovide in this as much as possible there are a couple of good opportunities in the market looking at natural energy sources .


    An average household uses 3500kWh of energy. At the moment an average solar panel produces 80kWh per square meter, which means that with a roof of 7 by 7 an energy gain of 3920Kwh enters. However, there is development in the solar energy. To cite a few examples, at the moment there is the Arsolar Plus, which is a kind of film that can be integrated on a rooftop. It's safe and relatively cheap to maintain and yields approximately 110Kwh per m2. There are also tube modules for a flat roof, which yield about 140Kwh per m2 ( 6860Kwh on a roof of 7 by 7 ) . And then there is the type that absorbs both the "light" (solar energy) and heat. This 'Photovoltaic Thermal Absorber' currently generates approximately 60Kwh of solar power and 1.2 Gj/m2 ( 34Kwh) in heat, but still has considerable growth potential.


    So we have power for your computer, TV and lamps . But hot water would be nice too. Fortunately, there is a heater that can be mounted on the roof that functions as a solar panel as well as a boiler and can provide about 40 % of the hot water a family requires. There are also other inventions that reduce energy supplies. For example a heat exchanger for the shower. This heats up the tube that goes to your tank with the warm waste water from your shower. It is estimated that with this technique 65 % of the heat can be extracted and thus less energy is required for heating the tank. Besides that the 'Daalderop CombinAirCool boiler' can generate a 40 % better return for your heating then current systems. Another advantage is that all these alternative forms of energy are far less emissions .


    With an energy income of up to 6860Kwh , it is possible to be completely supplied in heat, electricity (including hot water and electric cooking plate). An alternative fuel , however, would be nice. With an eye on the future, it will probably be possible to catch bio-gas from garbage/livestock with a relatively small machine to process this into energy . They are also working on something that is called water gas, it appears to be four times more powerful than hydrogen.


    Conclusion: If we are social enough to share land with neighbours we would need 270 times the size of the Netherlands!, if we use the full 700 square meters and thus produce more than we need to consume or exchange it for other instrumentation, we need 315 times the size of the Netherlands which equals literally the surface of the whole of Europe .


    In practical terms , there is a long list of obstacles that make it virtually impossible to be self-sufficient. Who continues to develop technology? how will we do it with care for the elderly, disabled and hospital visits? What happens to our tax system with such low incomes? How do we deal with waste?


    Despite the obstacles, I feel a pride for the cleverness of mankind, that we can build up a society in such little space that we would need 315 times our lands surface and yet almost everyone is provided with our current infrastructure. But on the other hand, I also ask myself .. When so many resources are necesary to maintain a human and the number of people has doubled in the past 50 years, how much longer and how much further can this lifestyle be stretched?






































































    sources:


    http://www.geologievannederland.nl/o...-mineraalwater
    http://www.visionair.nl/wetenschap/h...end-te-worden/


    http://www.biogas.nl/
    http://www.energieleveranciers.nl/zo...t-zonnepanelen
    http://www.agentschapnl.nl/sites/def...agen/Innovatie % 20in % 20Energie.pdf
    http://www.varkensloket.be/Portals/6...eesvarkens.pdf
    http://www.devarkenshouder.nl/uploads/Varkensvoer % 20Vlotte % 20eters.pdf
    http://www.levendehave.nl/kennisbank...ekening-geiten
    http://www.levendehave.nl/kennisbank...neralen-geiten
    http://www.levendehave.nl/kennisbank...legvoer-kippen
    Book : Country Life , John Seymour

  2. #2
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    Default

    You don't need to get your own water from a well, you can use the much more efficient conduit system that's already in place. But only having access to water when it's flowing through the couduit is a bad idea, you should have a way to store it at home. It's a good idea to have a plan for when the system doesn't work for a while.

    To make a ddo analogy: You can play a barbarian that can't cast healing spells, but it's a bad idea to not bring silver flame pots for when the healer is not there or is not paying attention. And it's a good idea to know how to play when there is no cleric to babysit you and all the healing you get is from your pots.
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  3. #3
    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    ack I clicked this thread not seeing it was off topic expecting a high drama rant and learned something instead how do I undo this.

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    Community Member Arnhelm's Avatar
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    The myth of self-sufficiency was trumped by the reality of inter-dependency long ago, imo.
    Once upon a time, I was part of a team, and we saved some children. What have you done with your life?

  5. #5
    Community Member PolarisNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnhelm View Post
    The myth of self-sufficiency was trumped by the reality of inter-dependency long ago, imo.
    QFT

    There is no good reason why each person should grow their own crops to feed their own livestock. If we did that, each person would spend a significant portion of their lives as farmers. Some of us have talents in other areas, and would be better off enriching the community through creating music, healing the sick, or teaching children.

    Not that I'm against growing things locally; I keep chickens for the eggs (and raised a batch of chickens for meat last spring). Shipping produce halfway around the world is wasteful and contributes to the global carbon problem. It's just that if you're going to figure out how much space is needed to feed everyone in the country, you should do it for the country as a whole, for individuals.

  6. #6
    Founder & Hero cdbd3rd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnhelm View Post
    The myth of self-sufficiency was trumped by the reality of inter-dependency long ago, imo.
    With very few exceptions these days.

    When we get to be "too many", it's gonna devolve to who can shoot who first and take their stuff. After that, the final leftovers will be the few who possess true self-sufficiency and can out shoot the ones that come hunting.


    ...then there's the zombies to deal with.

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    Community Member Talon_Moonshadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolarisNC View Post
    QFT

    There is no good reason why each person should grow their own crops to feed their own livestock. If we did that, each person would spend a significant portion of their lives as farmers. Some of us have talents in other areas, and would be better off enriching the community through creating music, healing the sick, or teaching children.

    Not that I'm against growing things locally; I keep chickens for the eggs (and raised a batch of chickens for meat last spring). Shipping produce halfway around the world is wasteful and contributes to the global carbon problem. It's just that if you're going to figure out how much space is needed to feed everyone in the country, you should do it for the country as a whole, for individuals.
    With the lack of faith America has had in its government lately, I was thinking that is our banking/money system collapsed that I would suddenly find myself (and my family) in a county of hundreds of thousands of people with nothing of value to trade for food.

    .. hundreds of thousands of scared desperate people, some with guns, some without, but in general, very few with anything that our farmers would want... and not enough local food to meet the demand even if the farmers just gave all the food away for free.

    ... but being a poor person with no political influence, there really is no point in me worrying about it... since I cannot actually do anything about it...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jandric View Post
    ..., but I honestly think the solution is to group with less whiny people.

  8. #8

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    co-dependancy has been a great blessing for our advancements because it gave room for higher goals (if you check pyramid of maslow the first needs to fullfull are hunger, thirst, sleepy, reproducing), when those needs are met and there is room for more there can be looked at things like knowledge, art, selfawareness, selfdevelopment. There is however the risk that co-dependancy disappears, this could be through war or further economical problems.

    But I think it will creep in much more subtle (though paired with economical problems), I think there will simply be too many people to maintain with too little resources. Both able people and food.

    To give numbers, in 1900 we had about 1.6billion people, in 2000 it was about 6 billion and they are estimating 9 billion people by the time we hit 2050. On top of the additional people that have to be provided there is also the upcoming wave of babyboomers that are becoming 65+ and thus paid by the state (at least in the Netherlands) and though they have been working for that money, in reality it's the current employees that pay for it, though it's wrong it does happen that way. That means the financial pressure will be further increased in the upcoming years. (see below image)



    That combined with the current way most companies think namely "hmm I need to cut my budget or I won't make it, whats most expensive? employees.. ok I guess guy A can do the work of guy B as well." This happens pretty much daily where I live, but in the end it's just an extra guy to pay for via taxes. Either way i'm drifting off again. The point is that the pressure we are putting ourselves through with our current system will run us into a dead end within the next 50 years unless we diverse our course. And the second thing is maybe even more painful, but to maintain living comfortably we would inevatibly have to decide about max. amount of kids just like in China, and I know a lot of people dislike the idea alone.

    That was kind of my motivation to see exactly how unrealistic it would be to become self sufficient again, and also how much I could do myself, also because it's financially attractive to invest into cheap living right now, because I doubt it'll get better in the next 10 years.

    ~aid

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    Default Population bomb

    Back in the day when early humans rolled dice via appendage there was this book called The Population Bomb. Google that and you'll discover that many predictions simply haven't come to pass. Mexico had an exploding population in the 70's but births per woman have declined dramatically. To be sure, sustainability is far from being achieved, but the earth is far from doomed. Every generation is going to have challanges. That fact that humans have managed to restrain ourselves from blasting ourselves straight to hell and out the other side via thermonuclear weapons says alot about basic progress

  10. #10

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    Oh I agree on that, it's also great that despite the budget cuts the goverments are still spending a lot of their money on improvements like less harmful exhaustion for the ozon layer, space programs (including a joint effort to find potential harmful meteors), domotica and other developments in healthcare (not only by goverment but not without it either).

    I do think awareness is useful however. If people don't know something they can't change it or at least appreciate what we have. I hope I didn't come across as a doomsayer in the progress though

    ~aid

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