How many of each thing?

Discussion in 'General chat' started by Grahame, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    I guess this is a bit like a variant on the old "how many acres per person?" question, but a little more relevant. It's probably not so much of a permaculture question as a it is a self-reliance question. So think of it that way rather than getting too hung up on the deeper pure permaculture ideals. I know it's bit of a hypothetical but ballpark figures are fine. So...

    How many of each thing do you find is sufficient, lets say for a family of 4? By this I mean how many strawberry plants do you need before you find yourself leaving fruit behind because you just can't eat, preserve or otherwise use any more. How many almond trees gives you enough for all your almond needs. Do you need more than one lemon tree? Are you satisfied with what one good mandarine tree gives you?

    Feel free to allow for a little surplus for your neighbours and friends without getting too concerned about it.

    I'll start.

    Apricots: In a good year (when we stop the birds) we can easily use all of the fruit from one heavily laden apricot tree. We eat nothing but fresh apricots for a short while, bottle as much as we can before they go too soft, make a good batch of jam and perhaps even bottle some puree. But the bottled stuff is well gone before we get around to the next harvest. I reckon we could easily go for a second tree for more bottled stuff provided we had the time to do it. A later variety perhaps, with a second bottling. More than two trees would be too much.

    I look forward to hearing your experiences. How many [Insert here] do you have and do you find yourself thinking you could do with some more?
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    One kaffir lime, one bay tree tree and one chilli bush are definitely enough. There are never enough gooseberry bushes. One mulberry tree is enough for about 2 households, same with grapefruit. One coffee bush doesn't come any where near close to a years supply of my favourite brown brew daily. I might need 20 I reckon.
     
  3. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    I have been wondering that for the caffeine addict, err wife. How many plants I need for 1 year of 1 pot of coffee per day.
     
  4. cottager

    cottager Junior Member

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    The one item I never seem to have enough of is garlic. Last season I grew over a 100 plants, and it STILL wasn't enough! (Mind you, I tend to plait and give away about half my crop to the extended family, so that doesn't help lol).

    Onions (I grow them for the tops, so they more or less stay where they are from season to season) ... about half a dozen large variety, and about the same each of the small variety and chives (allows for grazing the outside leaves, and still allowing the plant to grow and reproduce.

    Lettuce, about a dozen of loose-leaf (this depends on how much salads you make).

    Silverbeet, no less than three large plants for continuous harvesting of the outer leaves.

    Rhubarb, as much as you like, one is a good start ;)

    Rosemary, thyme varieties and other herbs ... one large plant of each.

    Parsley, at least 3 plants.

    Potatoes ... there's never enough! Fortunately I have an open pollenated variety which grows well for me, so it springs up all over the place (I haven't planted a seed potato in years ... I just dig them up from wherever they are when I want them). Thinking of growing them in tubs, just to increase production.

    Hmmm ... there's always more ...
     
  5. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Has anyone ever had enough raspberry clumps?

    I've just planted about 20 new asparagus plants because the dozen or so 3 year old clumps that we have are not enough. I suspect we will end up giving a bit away though.

    Agreed on the potatoes cottager.

    I've planted a bunch of carob trees this year (little seedlings) so I'm wondering how that will work out. Anyone have some advanced trees that they have been harvesting?

    I'll never want for jerusalem artichokes again.

    I'm thinking that one big walnut should do the job, but I reckon a 2nd wouldn't go to waste.
     
  6. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    In Geoff's 'Urban Permaculture', from memory, 11 plants per person for the average drinker. Can someone correct me on that?
     
  7. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    I only have to feed myself, so even after redistribution my numbers don't really translate...
    One exciting discovery I've made this year is that one-two Florence fennel plants create enough bulbs for fennel all winter.
    I left my two fattest bulbs on the ground for seed, then cut them right down, but left them on the ground.
    I'd forgotten that fennel's a perennial:think:
    No matter how bonkers I go with chilli plants, I've never had too many. A big batch of chilli sauce looks after them! I look forward to my young rocoto chilli plants bearing: their perennial in a temperate climate and my mum has chillies on her plants or winter.
     
  8. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Oh my!
     
  9. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Carob are gendered plants as I recall so you may find half your seedlings are male. You don't need that many males to pollinate the females, so you might be able to thin them out once they bloom and tell you which they are. I want to plant pistachio nuts but they are also gendered and can only be told apart years after planting when they bloom, so I will have to plant twice as many as I want...
     
  10. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    We used to grow 10 San Marzano tomatoes for a family of 5 all the tomatoes we needed until the next crop.
    Im growing 20 for a family of 2 this year see what happens.(im predicting lots of bartering and gifting)
    I have one productive mandarin and 4 that are still young,hopefully will have more than I need.
    I peach tree is nearly twice as much as we need.
    We had a monster apricot tree that fed us and all the neighbours and family and friends and made jam and dried apricots.
    I have 12 strawberry plants and probably need 10 times that.
    I've had 6 raspberries and easily need 10 times that.(will need to source some more)
    Maybe 10 plus blueberries (I have one that needs marcotting)
    Yet one zucchini and one eggplant is way more than enough.
    4 different chillies pickling, drying Asian and Mediterranean heat tastes.
    2 capsicums to get my 2 a week
    10 lettuce to get heaps of leaves
    Wild rocket big bunch self seeding for a regular picking
    4 French beans to eat and freeze
    20 Chinese broccoli
    2 cucumber plants to get my 2 to 4 a day
    At least 4 tomatoes to get a constant supply
    I've got 3 asparagus sounds like I need more ( I also have asparagus substitutes Moringa and winged beans)
    I have 10 flat leaf parsley and probably need 30 ,I love Tabouleh and so does the bush turkey ,well he loves parsley roots.
     
  11. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Hehe, sometimes we have to allow for the other members of the household...
     
  12. deee

    deee Junior Member

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    Its worth making a Harvest Calendar for yourself: make a table with the months of the year across the top and your fruit trees down the page, then colour in the months of the year that you harvest each tree. This is great way to see any "hungry gaps" which need filling. You can then vary your plantings eg two different peaches, one early, one late and a nectarine in between should set you up for the summer. The apricot "Moorpark Early" fruits 2-3 weeks before Moorpark, and both are good companions for the Elberta peach: by the time you're a bit over apricots, you're ready to harvest the peaches. When you draw up the calendar, you can note how much you get in each box (ie enough to eat, enough to preserve, more wanted).

    You can make a harvest calendar for vegies, or bee forage for honey production, or beneficial insect attractors, whatever tickles your fancy.

    From memory, one of Jackie French's books has recommendations for how much to plant. Other useful succession planting resources can be found at Under the Choko Tree and Fixie's Shelf.

    I need two more oranges to be self-sufficient in citrus. I currently have an Imperial mandarin, a tangelo, a ruby grapefruit, a blood orange, a eureka lemon, a tahitian lime and a kaffir lime. Other things I know from experience: if you plant a Satsuma plum in the Southern Highlands of NSW you can keep your whole extended family supplied with fresh and preserved plums, and plum jam. There are never, ever enough blueberries or raspberries, and chokos are very hard to give away .......
    D
     
  13. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    That's a great idea deee.
     
  14. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Great stuff Deee.
     
  15. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Grahame
    you can buy grafted female carobs might be a skill you can learn , my understanding is male trees make up most of the population for some reason , at the previous property we owned that was certainly the case , there was about 12 mature trees and only one female . It lived under a huge pine tree in tough conditions but still yielded an incredible amount .
     
  16. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Harvest calender excellent idea too much to try and remember as the brains get older
    :sweat:
     
  17. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Thanks Terra,

    I might graft some in the future if I get myself a female. In the meantime I am happy to have a whole bunch of boys as long as they are fixing nitrogen for me. I'm outnumbered considerably here so it will be nice to have a bit more yang around the place anyway ;)

    Ive got quite a few seedlings, so I'll just plant out a few more.

    So the answer to the how many carob trees? is.... It depends!

    Keep the experiences flowing folks.
     
  18. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    When I plant, I count the days on the calendar to see when it is supposed to be harvested and mark it. Sometimes it matches.
     
  19. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    How many table grape vines? HOw many wine grape vines? Anyone self-sufficient in grapes?
     

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