I originally posted this on the Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op, but I wanted to repost to ensure its survival. It is quite topical seeing that Sustainable House Day is only four sleeps away!
You have probably heard of energy efficiency, but what about land efficiency. Are you really using what you have in the most efficient way? Or do you dream of selling up and moving to the country to settle down on a few acres? Do you really need a house cow or goat to live a sustainable lifestyle?
Those sorts of questions used to go around and around in my head when I first started this journey. Sure I may have dreamed about it for an odd minute or two, but never seriously, and I just don't have the room for livestock. They would be nice, but not practical.
Early on when I just started my greening, the family and I decided that we would do the best we could with the space we had available. Our space is a 779 sqm or 8385 square feet or 0.19 of an acre.
More than most plots around my area where the houses are getting bigger and the land getting smaller. McMansions are rife around here because property developers have gotten greedy! To some this may sound like a lot of land. It is all relative I suppose.
Anyway, I have managed to squeeze a lot of things into my normal sized suburban yard. Click to enlarge to picture.
I sourced the image from www.nearmap.com. Near map have detailed aerial photos of most Australian urban centres. North is at the top of the picture and I have marked our boundary in red, highlighting some of the stand-out features.
Hopefully it has put all the other outdoor photos of my garden that I have taken for my blog into context for those who are regular readers.
There is not one bit of land that is unused except for behind the shed, and I even let the chooks down there occasionally to clean it up. Most of the pool area is now covered with an arbour for the grapes, and there are five new citrus trees in large pots at the front of the pool.
There is room for improvement in the front yard, as I am planning some drip irrigation in for the existing fruit trees. I have 14 fruit trees in the front yard with the tallest being 2 metres (7 ft) and the shortest only 60 cm (2 ft). I have a second rainwater tank now under the garage all hooked up to the original tank and the veggie patch. I have a small 12 volt water pump for irrigation that is connected to my standalone solar PV system.
We also have no lawn at all. That's right, not a blade of grass to be seen except for the nature strips which I just mow and don't water. I ripped up the rest years ago and put in food production. I find that lawns are such a waste of space, resources and water.
However, all in all, I wouldn't have it any bigger and certainly not much smaller and I find that I can manage it in the spare time that I have available.
I am very happy with what we have and couldn't want for any more land. By making do with what I have, we can grow just about anything in the smallest of spaces.
You just have to use your imagination!