Following is an excerpt from a room conversation between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada and Allen Ginsberg that took place on May 11, 1969 in Columbus, Ohio.

Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada: From economic point of view, if one man has got a cow and four acres of land, he has no economic problem. He can independently live in any part of the world. Simply he must (have) one cow and four acres of land. Let the people be divided with four acres of land and a cow, there will be no economic question. All the factories will be closed … I am instructing devotees to show this example in New Vrndavana. 
Allen Ginsberg: Are you going to be able to do it on four acres? 
Devotee: I hope so. 
Prabhupada: Is it very difficult? Four acres of land per head? 
Allen Ginsberg: I was in Minnesota just last night, where land is flat, very fertile, very rich. 
Prabhupada: Where it is? Which province? 
Allen Ginsberg: Minnesota. Midwest. Further west. Talking with a poet who also is a fellow sadhaka, whose family is from that area for many generations, whose brother has a thousand acres of land , and he himself has 160 acres of land. And as farming is done now in America, apparently 160 acres is not enough to support a farm economically because farming is done now in such large scale with machines. 
Devotee: You can use those machines if you want. If you want to live in the so-called American style, that is so. But if you're willing to adopt the Vedic way of minimizing the material needs in order to pursue Krsna consciousness, what does one need? He needs sufficient food to keep the body healthy and a place to lay down. So four acres is plenty. 
Allen Ginsberg: Where do you get the fodder? How do you feed the cow? 
Devotee: On four acres you can do it. At most five acres. It's all in that vicinity. 
Allen Ginsberg: See we are interested in this problem of minimizing. 
Prabhupada: So let us cooperate. 
Allen Ginsberg: And doing organic farming and minimizing the effort and also the material demands. 
Devotee: You can grow sufficient vegetables on a fraction of an acre. 
Prabhupada: Yes. Farming, agriculture, that is nice. There is a proverb: agriculture is the noblest profession. Is it not said? Agriculture is noblest, and Krsna was farmer, His father. 
Allen Ginsberg: The cow. 
Prabhupada: Cow, yes. And in Vedic literature you'll find, a man is … Richness of a man is estimated by the possession of grains and cows. Dhanyena dhanavan. If he has got sufficient quantity grain, then he's considered to be rich. Formerly, even still in India, when a daughter is offered to a family, they will go and see how many grain stocks there are. If he sees that he has five, six, big, big grain stock, then he can … "Oh, this is nice house." You see? "They can feed." So in India still, the arrangement is that every family has got at least two years grain in stock. You see? And at least one dozen cows. No economic problem. And actually, that is the fact. You keep cows and have sufficient grains, whole economic problem solved. And sleeping, you can take some wood and four pillars(and make a hut). Of course, in your country it is not…(possible) 
Allen Ginsberg: It's very cold. 
Prabhupada: Very cold. (laughing) India, all the year they are lying on the flat (earth). 
Devotee: But still, it is very simple. We also experimented with that. You can build a nice shelter very … for ten, fifteen dollars. 
Allen Ginsberg: Well, it depends. 
Prabhupada: Formerly, in Europe they were also living. 
Allen Ginsberg: Man lived this way for 20,000 years, 30,000 years until the 19th Century. 
Prabhupada: So we have to live that. Plain living, high thinking. The necessities of this bodily existence, that should be minimized and not to be unhealthy. Be healthy. Keep oneself fit. But the time should be utilized to develop Krsna consciousness, spiritual life. Then this whole problem is solved.