You don’t need 100 acres or even close

Something that pops up in my feed a lot: people expressing some version of the idea of buying a huge amount of rural acreage in order to live “sustainably.”

(Looks like this thread is public; if you do Facebook you can see it here and participate if you like. It’s actually grown into quite a rich thread with many viewpoints.)

Here are some thoughts I wrote in response:

Or a bunch of friends can get together and each buy a house in close proximity in a neighborhood! Then each person would be in charge of their own space, and yet people would live close enough together to be able to combine efforts and share resources.

[A hundred acres] is way too many acres for just a few people. We need to normalize using only our fair share.

Added later for clarity: I’m not trying to be negative, but the math just doesn’t work out.

If everyone tried to do this, living on large acreage with just a few people, there physically wouldn’t be enough land for everyone.

And there’s no need to take up so much land. There are people growing thousands of pounds of food at their homes on regular-sized lots in cities and suburbs.

Even 1 acre is a huge amount to manage. It’s a lot of work, as well it should be.

Getting along with neighbors can be a challenge. But then again if we try to live out on rural acreage with a group of people, there would be similar challenges of getting along.

And in response to someone’s question asking, But can we raise animals on small urban lots, I responded:

This is a great question. And something we don’t have enough of right now.

Yes, there are some cities & towns that allow backyard livestock.

Also in rural areas there are some places that will allow, for example (in Florida where I live), three cows on as little as an acre.

Back during World Wars I and II, people were not only encouraged but in many cases almost required to raise food in their own backyards.

But in the postwar years, economic prosperity got a lot of people away from raising their own food, especially in the towns and cities.

But now that the economy is what it is, with a lot of people struggling, it seems like a great opportunity to push back against the towns, cities, HOAS etc that have restrictions preventing people from exercising the right to grow food in their yards. It should be a basic human right.

Here are a couple of articles I found by doing some searches.

Also, I would recommend that everybody look into their local regulations. Sometimes people assume it’s illegal when it’s actually not.

5 top cities for raising urban livestock:

What cities allow goats:

How chicken keeping began as a war effort:

These are just a few of the many search results that I found.