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FAQ from Facebook: Biointensive Calories per Acre
By Ecology Action Staff

A bumper crop of winter squash harvested from the GB garden at The Jeavons Center.
A bumper crop of winter squash harvested from Golden Rule GB Demonstration Mini-Farm .
PHOTO CREDIT: Cynthia Raiser Jeavons

Ecology Action's Facebook page continues to be a helpful source of GROW BIOINTENSIVE information for readers everywhere. Below is an example of the kind of question and answer found on our page. Like us on Facebook!

Question: I was directed to you by the agriculture faculty at Montana State University. I am attempting to determine the average yield in terms of calories per acre one could expect from a nutritionally complete, Biointensive, sustainable cropping system operating in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana. Thanks!

Answer: Probably ~15+ to 30+ x 876,000 calories/acre with closed-loop GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Small-Scale Farming, growing nutritionally complete diets.


John Jeavons

Perspective: This answer is practical for anyone who wants to grow part or all of a complete balanced diet using the Biointensive method. One average person consumes 876,000 calories annually (2,400 calories per day x 365). There are 43,560 square feet in an acre. Based on Ecology Action research, a carefully designed vegan diet, as well as the compost materials to maintain and build soil fertility, can be grown in twenty 100-sq-ft Biointensive beds, assuming intermediate GB yields. With space for one-foot-wide paths added, the total area needed per person comes to 2,500 sq ft. If fifteen of these 20-bed units are grown on one acre, the food-growing area amounts to 37,500 sq ft, which leaves 6,060 sq ft for a home, greenhouse and compost piles. Therefore, one acre produces 13,140,000 calories (15 x 876,000).

The Jeavons Center and Victory Gardens for Peace are developing a design that could grow all the food for a complete balanced diet for one person annually, as well as all the compost materials from the carefully chosen diet, in 10 beds. On that basis, one acre can allow the growing of 30 complete diets. Therefore, one acre is capable of producing 26,280.000 calories (30 x 876,000). The local production of food can be increasingly possible with closed-loop sustainable GROW BIOINTENSIVE.

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