agricultura [re: wage slavery?]

Dave Long
Thu, 18 Apr 2002 13:11:55 -0700

> that's why 50 sections are only good for growing cows.  They have 150 
> cow/calf units on those 50 sections, i.e., about 200 acres per cow over a 
> period of 7 months.  The remainder, most of what they own, is all bottom 
> land and very fertile.

This sounds similar to the agricultural
system which led to the Spanish "labor
and league" land grants.  The labor was
an area of bottomland which was suited
to individual cultivation (at 1,000,000
square varas, about 1/4 section), and
the league was rangeland (5,000 varas
on a side, so the total grant would be
about 7 sections, a little more or less
depending upon whether the labor area
was included in the league or added).

> Irrigate and grow feed is done on the valley floor. Depends on reliable
> access to water in a semi-arid region. Not a position I'd like to be in.

Hanson says that the reason for raisins
in the Central Valley is that the valley
bakes, but there's a great water supply
coming off the Sierra Nevada.

> You can grow a lot of food on 1-2 acres, if all you want to do is
> feed yourself ...  Much of the work on the garden can be done during
> otherwise unproductive time (early evening), or can be worked into an
> exercise schedule. Think of it as trading your commute for watering
> the garden.

Growing food to feed yourself can be much
more time-intensive than market farming:

If .5 hr/evening suffices for the 1 acre
gardener, the farmer with 1 section only
has to put in 320 hr/day to match that
level of attention.

That's why gardeners can get remarkable
yields, and farmers prefer the capital-
intensive techniques (removing the rock
and laser-levelling; mechanizing, etc.)