What’s a Footprint Farm
There’s been a lot of talk lately about our ecological footprint. Most of us know that we’re using up resources much faster than we should be, but don’t understand the idea behind the concept. Often, it feels too vague and abstract.
So, here’s an easy way to think about it. If you take the Earth’s productive lands – forests, fisheries, arable fields, and marginal pasture lands – and divide them up among the 7.7 billion people currently on the planet, we each get a little less 1.5 hectares or just over 3.5 acres. That amount of land and water needs to provide all our food and clothing, but it also needs to provide any energy we need and enough trees or other carbon-hungry plants to scrub any excess carbon burned in fossil fuels out of the atmosphere.
A footprint farm combines what we think of as the “fair share” of global resources for a number of individuals and attempts to farm in a way that can provide a healthy diet and the material resources necessary for that many people. For example, our rough estimate is that Highgrove Farm and Commons represents about 17 “fair share” footprints, so our goal is to provide the equivalent of a complete diet for 17 people. It’s a way of taking the vague idea of “sustainability” and grounding it – literally.
Of course, we’re only just starting and we know it will take a lot of trial and experimentation to see if we can reach the goal, but we think it’s a goal worth striving for. Follow along here to see our progress.