Designing A 0.4 Acre Homestead Layout

designing a four tenths of an acre homestead farm


ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

When I began simplifying my life through tiny living and homesteading over a decade ago, my goals were getting out of debt and achieving financial independence. Farming my small property with this 0.4-acre homestead layout helped me successfully pay off my debt and live a simpler, self-sustaining lifestyle.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Crafting a 0.4-acre homestead layout that made good use of my small property was a straightforward way for me to put homegrown produce on the table, obliterate my food budget, and meet my financial goals. If your grocery budget is stressing you out every week, creating a small but productive homestead is a great way to become more self-sufficient without needing much space.

Whether you have the time and capacity to jump right into homesteading or you want to take it slow and try one thing at a time, this homestead blueprint will help you meet your goals.

homesteading on a budget

0.4-Acre Homestead Layout

Four Tenths Of An Acre Homestead

If you think a 0.4-acre homestead layout is too small to make a significant impact on your grocery needs and costs, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. As long as most of your property is usable, this lot will give you room for a small to moderate-sized home, nine raised 4’x8’ garden beds, three ground level 10’x10’ garden plots, six fruit trees, a chicken coop, duck pond, compost bin, storage shed, two bee hives, and a driveway.

what is homesteadingFood is one of the biggest expenses in everyone’s budget, regardless of household size, which means growing your own food can significantly cut back on your cost of living. That said, gardening and raising livestock is a lot of work, especially at first. This is a big part of the reason I recommend starting with a precise ground plan for laying out your mini farm and then starting with baby steps.

Begin your homesteading journey with something that makes you the most excited or meets your greatest needs up front. Does your household eat two dozen eggs a week? Consider starting with a chicken coop and build your flock to a comfortable size until you don’t have to buy eggs anymore. If it’s veggies you consume the most of, start with your ground-level or raised bed garden spaces.

Wherever you choose to start, use this diagram as a launching point to start building pieces of your homestead confidently, knowing that you’ll have room to keep growing and expanding when you’re ready.

four tenths of an acre homestead layout

How Much Will A 0.4-Acre Homestead Produce?

While a 0.4-acre homestead is able to produce over 3,000 pounds of food in a good growing year, the average American will consume at least 2,000 pounds per year. Keep this in mind when making your estimates of how much bought versus homegrown food your family will need in a year.

What Your 0.4 Acre Homestead Can Produce

  1. Main HouseKeep your living space small and designate spaces for potted indoor herbs.
  2. Raised Garden BedsNine raised beds will produce around one to two pounds per square foot for a harvest of 300 to 500 pounds in a year.
  3. Chicken CoopYour number of chickens will depend on the size of your coop and run. A 10’x10’ run could comfortably keep 8–10 chickens, which in turn could produce up to 2,000 eggs a year with the right breeds and conditions. If you’re wanting more chickens, adjust the size of your coop and run.
  4. Fruit TreesSix fruit trees could yield approximately 900 to 1,800 pounds of fruit in a year.
  5. BeehivesWith two beehives, you’ll be able to produce an average of 60 to 120 pounds of honey per year.
  6. Duck PondYour pond will need to be very small, say under 100 square feet. You’ll probably need to keep your flock under a half dozen, which could produce up to 1,800 eggs in a year.
  7. CompostYour compost bin can help feed your garden and your chickens to keep your homestead self-sufficient, but the output will depend on how many people are in the household and how many fresh foods they consume.
  8. Storage ShedIt’s hard to run a homestead without the proper tools and equipment. Storing these necessary items in a sturdy shed will protect them from the elements and keep everything running efficiently.
  9. CropsThree 10’x10’ ground-level gardens can easily produce around 300 pounds of vegetables or more per year.
  10. DrivewayYour driveway or parking space should be only as large as it needs to be to accommodate your vehicles, possibly allowing some extra space for guests if you entertain frequently.

Why A 0.4 Acre Homestead Is The Perfect Size For Your Farm

Why 0.4 Acre is The Perfect Size For a Farm

A 0.4-acre homestead layout is the perfect size for your little farm if you are trying to fully sustain one to two people, or if you are trying to partially sustain three or more people.

homesteading book reviewsWhile you won’t have room for everything, and you’ll have to do without larger animals and crops, you could still cut your food budget in half or even eliminate it entirely depending on your household size and dietary needs.

Growing your own food in your backyard vegetable gardens will be less work on this smaller scale, keeping the farm work manageable for your family even if you’re just starting out. Using my layout design, you can plan to produce enough of your own food to save big money.

Is 0.4 Acres Enough For A Homestead To Farm

As long as your property is predominantly usable farmland, 0.4 acres is sufficient land to farm. If you long to grow your own food and raise some livestock, don’t be discouraged by your small property dimensions. A homestead layout of 0.4 acres can bring you a lot closer to self-sufficiency than you may think.

That said, if you are located in an urban or suburban area, chances are there will be some restrictions on what livestock you can raise. If your location keeps you from raising animals, focus on what you can do. Have bigger gardens. Plant more fruit trees or berry bushes. Raise bees. Your small property can still help you work toward your financial goals by making a significant dent in your food budget.

how to prepare garden soil

What Are The Dimensions Of 0.4 Acres?

When you begin laying out your homestead, you will be working with around 17,424 square feet of ground area that will be about 92 feet by 189 feet. I’ve calculated my blueprint to accommodate garden spaces, a chicken coop, duck pond, storage shed, house, driveway, compost bin, fruit trees, and beehives all inside this square footage, so no need to stray too far from this layout as you get started.

How Do You Layout A 0.4 Acre Homestead?

Four Tenths of an Acre Homestead Design

Following my diagram as much as possible, measure and stake out where you want each different section of your homestead to be. Depending on your land’s terrain, you might need to play around a little bit with your placements. Even if you aren’t starting every element of your homestead at once, go ahead and mark out the space for everything you’re wanting to build in the future. This will guarantee enough room to expand to meet your goals.

Here’s What I Did

  • A tiny home that uses minimal acreage
  • 300 sq. ft. of ground-level growing space
  • 288 sq. ft. of raised bed gardening space
  • 2 beehives
  • Duck pond
  • 4 to 6 ducks
  • Composting bin
  • Chicken coop and run
  • 5 to 20 chickens
  • 6 fruit trees
  • 1 storage shed
  • Open driveway
chicken coop garden

How Big Should A Homestead Garden Be?

With my layout for 0.4 acres, you will have room for 300 square feet of ground-level garden plots as well as 288 square feet of raised garden beds. That’s almost 600 square feet of growing space for your family’s vegetables. I like to break the ground-level plots up into three 10’x10’ foot sections, and I design my raised beds with 2x4s for an easy build at 4’x8’ feet each.

easiest vegetables to grow

How Many Fruit Trees Should You Plant On 0.4 Acres?

For a homestead of 0.4 acres, I recommend planting six fruit trees. Unless you’re planning on undertaking a transplanting process, fruit trees will be more of an investment in your future than something you’ll see a return on right away. If you prefer to plant a couple more or less depending on the length of time you plan to be at your current property, that’s understandable.

How Many Berry Bushes Should You Plant On 0.4 Acres?

The rule of thumb with berry bushes is to plant two to three bushes per person in the home. While berry bushes are also a longer-term investment, they will start producing faster than fruit trees. If you want to plant bushes in place of trees, I would start with eight to 12 bushes.

Fencing Your 0.4 Acres

Even though your homestead is small, fences are important because they help keep predators out and livestock in. Whether you use metal, wood, chain link, or some other materials will depend on the aesthetic you’re going for, the money you’re willing to invest, and the type of soil in your area.

how to build a homestead fence

What Animals Can You Have On A 0.4-Acre Hobby Farm?

What Animals Can You Have On A 0.4 Acre Hobby Farm

On a mini 0.4-acre farm, I advise sticking with small livestock and limiting their number. Poultry and bees are generally best on a homestead of this size and have the added benefit of being multi-purpose creatures.

Can You Raise Chickens On A 0.4-Acre Farm?

Chickens are the perfect choice for a 0.4-acre farm because they’re low maintenance, they like to forage off the land, and they peck up unwanted insects. With the right conditions and health, they are also capable of keeping you supplied with a steady stream of fresh eggs that can really help cut back on food costs.

How Many Ticks Can Chickens Eat

Are Ducks Possible On A 0.4-Acre Homestead?

Ducks are a definite possibility on a 0.4-acre homestead, provided you have or are able to create a small pond for them to swim in. A duck pond adds a whole new dynamic of fun and cuteness to your little farm. Ducks actually lay lots of delicious eggs, and they’re known for being very docile and social animals.

The Ups And Downs Of Raising Bees On A 0.4-Acre Farm

Bee keeping isn’t for everyone, but if you are up to the challenge, having a couple of beehives on your little homestead is a great way to provide a free, natural sweetener for your family and even turn a profit by selling excess honey. Beehives are small and fit easily on a mini homestead, but they come with a learning curve and require regular maintenance.

Is 0.4 Acres Really Enough Space To Grow Your Own Food?

Is 0.4 Acres Enough To Grow Your Own Food

A 0.4-acre homestead layout is enough space to grow at least a good portion of your own food. Whether or not you can grow all of the food your family needs in a year will depend on the size of your family and your food preservation skills.

homestead garden basics

How Much Food Can You Grow On A 0.4-Acre Farm?

While you could feasibly produce around 3,000 pounds of food in a year on your 0.4-acre farm, I can’t tell you exactly how much food you will harvest every year. If you know anything about farming, you’re probably aware of the crazy number of factors affecting how many eggs your chickens or ducks lay, or how many plants die from bugs or weather, etc. That said, here are some projections of what you could (hypothetically) plan on.

Estimated Harvest From A 0.4-Acre Homestead With This Layout

  • 800 pounds of vegetables
  • 350 cartons of chicken eggs
  • 150 cartons of duck eggs
  • 1,200 pounds of fruit
  • 90 pounds of honey
homestead raised chicken eggs

Can 0.4 Acres Of Land Sustain One Person?

0.4 acres is plenty of room to sustain one person. Your diet would be restricted, though, unless you used your homegrown goods to trade or barter with fellow homesteaders or farmers.

Is 0.4 Acres Of Land Enough To Feed A Family Of 4?

A 0.4-acre homestead layout would not be able to feed a family of four on its own. One person could live fairly comfortably off this acreage, and two could possibly make it with some creativity and resourcefulness. If you have three or more family members, though, 0.4 acres will still be enough growing space to save a lot of money on your family’s groceries.

Getting Started With Chickens

Can You Be Off Grid On A 0.4-Acre Homestead?

Can You Live Off Grid On 0.4 Acre Homestead

0.4 acres is enough land to be off grid, but if you live on a small urban or suburban plot, there will probably be restrictions on how far off the grid you can actually go. Make sure to follow your local municipality’s guidelines, but you can definitely make some changes even if you’re not allowed to be completely off the grid.

Is 0.4 Acres Of Land Enough For An Off-Grid Homestead?

Yes, 0.4 acres is enough land for an off-grid homestead. However, off-grid life takes up some extra space in the form of outhouses, solar panels, and more, which will take up some of your precious growing space.

Is 0.4 Acres Of Land Enough To Be Self-Sufficient?

While one (maybe two) people could be self-sufficient on 0.4 acres, it would take some bartering with other local growers to really have a balanced diet year-round.

How Many Solar Panels Needed To Power Your Homestead?

The number of solar panels needed to power your small homestead will vary depending on how much electricity your family uses, but a general rule of thumb is to plan on 10 to 12 panels for every 1,000 square feet of living space or powered work space.

solar generators for off grid living

Can A 0.4-Acre Homestead Be Profitable?

You could use a 0.4-acre farm to bring in a profit, but only if you are okay with not being fully self-sustained yourself. Selling excess eggs and honey is a great way to make a profit while building connections in your community.

Now that you know how to make the most of your 0.4-acre homestead layout to drastically reduce your family’s food budget and make progress toward your homesteading goals, take my diagram and get to work planning and staking out your own property!

Your Turn!

  • What differences have you noticed between raising ducks and chickens?
  • Do you prefer to plant fruit trees or berry bushes?

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