Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Some casual observations regarding land-use in Ukrainian village


You can see the wooden privacy fences between the houses and the road.

I took the liberty of looking at neighorhoods in the Poltava region of the Ukraine.

I found a neighborhood similar to the one seen in the video in the previous post. I make no claims. It would be a fiendishly unlikely stroke of luck if it were the actual neighborhood. I just grabbed one that seemed similar.

This particular "block" consists of 19 households on 17 acres for an average of approximately one acre (or 40,000 square-feet) per small-holding or household. Don't bust my chops for using round numbers. There is a lot of variability from neighborhood-neighborhood and even between lots on a given "block"

This particular location (49°40'21.7"N 34°36'01.2"E) is only six miles north of the center of the city of Poltava, a city with a population of 280,000 or approximately the population of Durham, North Carolina.

Six miles is a two hour walk or a thirty minute bike ride and that might be why this rural-looking area has privacy fences facing the road.

Other observations: 

Of the one-acre average lot, approximately 1/4 (10,000 square-feet) is dedicated to house, outbuildings and animals.

Lawns are small to non-existent

Shade-trees are very rare to non-existent although fruit trees are common to the point of being almost mandatory. The "problem" with shade-trees is that they shade the ground which could be growing vegetables without providing some kind of annual payback.

There is little or no "pasture" although keeping a cow is very common.

There is no common woodlot. A common woodlot on a short-rotation coppice system makes sense from one standpoint. Every garden has a recurring need for many rods and poles. Growing all of the trees in one place means they will not shade vegetable gardens. Some species of trees are very happy to grow in poorly drained areas that are not suitable for vegetables.

Rank speculation:

It would be smart to divide the remaining 30,000 square-feet into three, evenly sized parcels. One-third for nightshades like potatoes, tomatoes and peppers. Assuming the majority of the area is planted to potatoes and they are well grown, an annual yield of 8000 pounds of potatoes is within reach.

One-third for Brassicas like cabbage, broccoli, kale and turnips. 

The remaining third for everything else, sunflowers, beans, peas, carrots, beets, onions, garlic, cucumbers, melons, squash/pumpkins, lettuce and so-on. Even in cold climates like the Ukraine they can "shingle" two crops like Lettuce early and green beans late.

The three-fields method makes it simple to rotate crops. The reason for lumping nightshades together and Brassicas together is because nightshades share pests and diseases amongst themselves just as Brassicas share pests and diseases.


  1. Eurasia has been occupied and farmed for millenia, vs the USA, which has a less than 400 year history of cultivation and livestock raising.

    Realistically, much of the USA has about 150 years of cultivation.

    I noticed in Germany's farmland, most of the houses have very small front and side yards, and medium sized back gardens.

    The villages are close together, separated by enough farmland so that a walk from the village to halfway to the next village is about as much walking as a farmer (peasant?) would want to do before and after working the land.

    Been that way for about a thousand years.

    Prolly the same in Ukraine.

  2. I've wondered about designing the optimum shared homestead with other families. Two intersecting walls, forming an '+' with travel trailer backed into the sides. Steel storage container on 2 sides to form a 'U' cavity for trailer space. The steel containers, along with common wall to form a support for overhead pole beams supporting galvanized steel overhead cover.


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