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Living Off Beach Trash

Friday, January 5, 2018 13:02
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This year I have made a commitment to live off of beach trash and off the land. Reselling beach toys and beach towels and recycling plastic bottles will bring in some income, but how to eat? I figured I know enough of the local fisherman who can give me their perch, I can probably scrounge a few dinners off my neighbors, but nobody likes a leech. So I need to grow my own food.

According to experts a person needs 200 square feet per person for enough veggies and fruits to live for a year. Of course this all depends on diet, food preferences, types of vegetables, weather and climate. Take artichokes, they take up a lot of space. Squash and cucumbers are climbing vines and need space. The one thing I know I can grow successfully is tomatoes and I hate tomatoes. But I could grow tomatoes, can them in a sauce to freeze. Realistically (according to the experts) a person needs 4000 square feet or an acre for a year to grow their own food. That I do not have as my bricked in yard is only 20 x30. 

In the past, I have up-cycled a shop vac (found in an alley) and a shopping cart (found on the beach) into a tomato planter and a lettuce garden. But it is not enough,  Sustainability in small homes can be achieved through planter boxes, cordoned areas and aquaponics. But nothing is like raised beds.

How many plants do you need? For a family of 4 This is from The Spruce:

  1. Asparagus: 40 Plants Perennial
  2. Broccoli:5 Plants Cool Season Crop
  3. Brussels Sprouts: 5 Plants Cool Season Crop
  4. Beans: Bush 15′ Succession Plant
  5. Carrots: 10′ Succession Plant
  6. CauliflowerL 5 Plants Spring and Fall Crop
  7. Chard 5 Plants Re-Grows after Harvesting Outer Leaves
  8. Corn 15′ Succession Plant and Multiple Varieties
  9. Cucumbers Single Planting
  10. Kale 5 Plants Single Planting (will regrow after cutting) 
  11. Lettuce, Leaf 10′ Succession Plant (will grow back after cutting) 
  12. Onions 5′ Single Planting- you can grow from onion scraps. 
  13. Peas 10′ Succession, Spring and Fall
  14. Peppers 3 Plants Single Planting (you can grow from the seeds you do not eat. 

Add in a chicken or two and you could have it made.

Image: Ecopeanut

Officially my living off the beach begins in April of 2018. Right now I am collecting information and beach trash to re-sell. It should be an interesting year in the quest of can a person live off of the beach with what other people leave behind.


Farmland LP




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Total 2 comments
  • westgate

    I hear that, at Jones Beach, you can find lots of beach whistles. For your collection;

  • 13Stripes

    Look into vertical gardening. There is a book by that name for +/- $15. Excellent and will help you get it together in a 20X30 Space. You can also have 2-3 chickens in a mobile tractor that is about 5X7 if you build it up (8ft?) to give them perch space. Moving it over the yard makes it like they are free ranging–and eating the nasties that would otherwise spoil your garden. Also there are windowsills, the patio, and any indoor spaces you can part with for bucket plants. The plants don’t care. Good luck–and please post updates!

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