From my initial survey I would estimate an ideal population of this site to be about 20-30 people.
Rules of thumb for estimation go at 5 people per intensively cultivated acre, in practice the number is higher but that’s good for a rough estimate. It’s always better to estimate low if you’re analyzing sustainability.
On that rule alone this 30 acres theoretically could support 150 people, however that is a maximum outside figure as I find people need more outside space, natural areas, and privacy to be comfortable. And in my experience it is water, not food, that determines your maximum population.
Aside from general contribution activities, general activities could be pursued to produce income at this site. Starter activities that could be pursued at this moment: shiitake and other mushroom cultivation, goats, fowl, and salad green gardening.
Mushrooms: This would be carried out in the shady woods to the north of the shops, where there is ample opportunity to make ponds for soaking the logs. Spawn run time for shiitake is approx 1 year, so if one were to start now one would be harvesting mushrooms next pring. A cool season shiitake would probably be best and there are many other species possible for this site. See Fungi Perfecti .
Goats: There are already a number of goats on site, and lots of available pasture. A dairy goat operation would be most successful here, and given capital for fencing there would always be fresh paddock in rotation. Goats require a significantly higher level of commitment than do mushrooms, especially in a dairy operation.
Fowl: There are already many chickens here, about 15, they produce more eggs than 2-3 people can eat at this time. The number of species of fowl could be increased drastically and operated on the same space as the goats. Fowl require very little care which would free the operator to pursue other activities, perhaps in the shop or gardens. There are ~20 spring chickens, so egg production will continue to rise.
Salad greens: There is much space here available for cut greens. gourmet varieties could be sold to restaurants in KC nearby twice weekly. This is the fastest operation to begin generating a return.
At this moment there is existing housing for 2-5 additional people, unless you’d like to bring your own tent or other accommodation (mobile home, building a cubicle, etc). Considering that additional housing is already one of the technologies that we have already completed (CEB Press), our ability to produce new housing is great.
If you have ever been interested in working on an organic farm and/or working to change the world now is a great time to start here. Please review policies (Rules of Conduct) and get in touch with us if you are interested.
Many years have I spent pursuing and, sometimes, carrying out, projects. Many people in the ‘movement’ are nothing but talk, ‘waiting for money’ before they take action. These guys are NOT that. Their project is well underway, they have structures built, fruit trees planted, and space to expand. It is clear from their progress thus far that they are DOERS.