Photos: How to Produce 6,000 Pounds of Food in Small Spaces

Photos: How to Produce 6,000 Pounds of Food in Small Spaces

Survivalist communities and preppers all over America have learned that properly tilled land can produce tremendous amounts of food. Well-balanced soil is quite generous and will give back much more than it receives. A few organic seeds, adequate watering, and some rich compost can provide even a novice farmer with a bountiful harvest.

Ever since Big Agra took over the farming of America’s vast farmlands, most people are disconnected from the process of food production from seed to table. Agribusiness has so thoroughly monopolized farming and husbandry that many children in the cities think that the food comes from supermarkets and grocery stores, not grainfields and orchard groves.


Now comes along a family just south of LA that has set the bar a little higher for the many residential farms that are popping up all over the place. Their track record is quite extraordinary by any standard. Here are the latest numbers from a family that farms just 4,000 square feet of land.

“If you try to do the math, it just doesn’t seem to compute. But somehow the numbers work out because the Dervaes family is able to produce about 4,300 pounds of vegetables, 900 chicken and 1,000 duck eggs, 25 pounds of honey, and further poundage of seasonal fruits on their 4,000 square-foot postage stamp of land just outside the southern California’s sprawling megalopolis. Beyond providing food for themselves, the family makes about $20,000 per year by selling their produce from their front porch.”
(Source: Inhabitat)

Read: UN Report – Small Scale Organic Farming is Only Way to Feed World

That kind of productivity would rival any highly mechanized, GMO-seeded, chemical fertilized Big Agra farm field. That the Dervaes family was able to reap such an extraordinary harvest from a tenth of an acre is actually the status quo where farmers really know what they’re doing. Especially when they avoid many of the pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers and GMOs of modern farming.

Dervaes family farm
Dervaes family farm

Not only does this family farm eschew all the modern techniques and technology of agribusiness, they run their farm off the grid in more ways than one.

“Every member of the family pitches on to make sure every square inch of their land produces as much as possible. In addition, beyond simply producing their own organic food, the Dervaes family is living almost totally off the grid. Many of the gadgets they use are hand-powered, and what isn’t hand powered gets energy from solar panels, which leads to power bills that max out at about $12 per month. They also don’t burn any fossil fuels, as their car is powered by biodiesel produced from used cooking fat—which restaurants deliver to their doorstep.”


The real secret here is that a focused effort applied with the ancient wisdom about how to till the land and enrich the soil can go a long way. Survivalist communities, even in California in the midst of a 1000 year drought, have proven that farming can still be highly productive when you know the tricks of the trade and the land is genuinely respected.

Related: Russians Prove Small-Scale Organic CAN Feed the World


Many farmers, both small organic and Big Agriculture, have recognized that the rules have been changing. The nation may be entering a period where self sufficiency and independence from corporate farming could become useful. The drought in California and the ensuing water wars are providing a sneak preview of what may unfold wherever new weather patterns establish inhospitable climate trends.

Photo credit: Inhabitat

Photo credit: Facebook