Designing A One Acre Homestead Layout

designing a one acre homestead layout


ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I love raising animals and growing produce, but my desire for simple living has also made me hyper-focused on optimizing my space in a way that makes things as streamlined and straightforward as possible. With those goals in mind, I created a 1 acre homestead layout for my property, and I think it can help you farm your own acre of land as well.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

My decision to start a mini farm on my own land by designing this 1 acre homestead layout came after I had simplified my belongings and my life to the limits of a tiny home.

I knew I wanted to raise some animals and grow my own food, but I also knew that I’d need to have a carefully laid out plan to follow so that I could keep living the simple way I liked while expanding my homestead.

The homestead design I’m going to show you helped me achieve both the simplicity and the harvests that I was looking for, and it can do the same for you.

what is homesteading

1 Acre Homestead Layout

One Acre Homestead Layout

Believe it or not, 1 acre is considerably more land than many homesteaders have at their disposal, and I’m confident that, using this 1 acre homestead layout as a guide, you will be able to produce a significant portion of your household’s food on your own land. Working with your property’s dimensions, this design will give you a good sketch of how to fit 16 4×8 raised garden beds, a roomy goat pen, a chicken coop, a duck pond, nine fruit trees, three bee hives, a three-binned compost pile, a storage shed, and six solar panels.

homesteading book reviewsThe solar panels are optional, of course, but many homesteaders — myself included — enjoy the challenge, independence, and other benefits of living off the grid, so having the space for these solar panels was a game changer for me. If you’re not planning on incorporating these panels into your design, though, you could always fill the space with a few more raised garden beds, some fruit bushes, or a few extra fruit trees.

You can play with the dimensions of your chicken coop, duck pond, and goat pen depending on how many chickens, ducks, and goats you’d like to own. To keep your flock happy and healthy, aim for an average coop space of 4 square feet and an average run space of 8 square feet per chicken. Ducks require a little more space at 4 to 6 square feet of coop space and 16 square feet of outdoor space per bird.

Goats will definitely take up the most space, as they’ll need around 15 square feet of bedded area, and your pen will need to allow for 200 to 250 square feet per goat.

one acre homestead layout

How Much Will A 1 Acre Homestead Produce?

A homestead layout for 1 acre can produce more than you might think. Here are some itemized projections.

A 1 Acre Homestead Can Produce the Following

  1. Main HouseKeep your living space small and designate areas for potted indoor herbs.
  2. Raised BedsSixteen raised 4×8 beds will produce around 1 to 2 lbs per square foot for a harvest of 512 to 1,024 lbs of produce in a year.
  3. Goat PenThe amount of milk your goats produce in a year will depend on how many you have and what breeds they are, but you should be able to count on an average of over 200 gallons of milk per goat every year.
  4. Chicken CoopThe number of chickens you can raise will depend on the size of your coop and run. A 10×10 run could comfortably keep eight to 10 chickens, which in turn could produce up to 2,000 eggs a year if you have the right breeds and conditions. If you’re wanting more chickens, adjust the size of your coop and run.
  5. Duck PondYour pond will need to be fairly small, probably under 150 square feet, so you’ll need to keep your flock under a half dozen, which could produce up to 1,800 eggs in a year.
  6. Fruit TreesNine fruit trees could yield approximately 1,350 to 2,700 lbs of fruit in a year.
  7. BeehivesWith three beehives, you’ll be able to produce an average of 180 to 360 lbs of honey per year.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Solar PanelsSix solar panels are generally enough to power a one-bedroom house, so whether or not this number will work for your full homestead will depend on the size of your home and powered workspace as well as the amount of power your household uses.

Why A 1 Acre Site Is The Perfect Size For Your Homestead

Why One Acre is The Perfect Size For a Farm

When I started homesteading, I wanted vegetable gardens and animals, and my 1 acre homestead design surprised me by how much room it provided for both, with some square footage to spare. My plan to put each square foot to use worked out better than I imagined, and I’ve been growing a good portion of my own food ever since. If you’re wanting to start homesteading, but you’ve hesitated because of the size of your land, my homestead layout for 1 acre has been successful in the past and I’m sure it can help you too.

how to prepare garden soil

Is 1 Acre Enough For A Homestead To Farm?

One acre is plenty of space, and I’ve never once wished I could take back my decision to turn my one acre spread into a small farm, as I found that my land was sufficient for all my homesteading needs. As you start putting your homestead to use with this blueprint, you will reap the benefits of growing your own food and becoming at least partially self-sufficient.

What Are The Dimensions Of 1 Acre?

As you begin the process of laying out your homestead, you will have 43,560 square feet of land to work with, laid out in approximately 147 feet by 296 feet. You’ll have a little wiggle room, but following this diagram fairly closely will be your best bet in optimizing your space.

beginner gardening

How Do You Lay Out A 1 Acre Homestead?

One Acre Homestead Design

Lay out your 1 acre homestead on paper before you start doing any measuring and staking. Look at my blueprint alongside a picture of your own property and make any necessary adjustments based on terrain and shape. After that, measure and stake out each area you plan to incorporate. This part of the process is extremely helpful, as you can play with each area until you have the square footage of growing room and coop space you want for your particular needs.

Here’s What I’ve Done

  • A tiny home that took up minimal acreage
  • 512 square feet of raised bed gardening space
  • Three beehives
  • Composting bin
  • Chicken coop and run
  • Nine fruit trees
  • Duck pond with six ducks
  • Six solar panels
  • One storage shed
  • Open driveway
  • Five chickens (which grew to 20 chickens)
  • Goat pen with 10 goats
homestead beehives

How Big Should A Homestead Garden Be?

On a 1 acre homestead design, your garden should be between 500 and 550 square feet of growing space. I like breaking my garden up into small 32 square foot raised sections because these beds are easier to maintain and harvest.

homestead garden basics

How Many Fruit Trees Should You Plant On 1 Acre?

One acre of land is enough for a mini orchard of your favorite fruit trees, but I’d keep the number of fruit trees to less than 10 because they take up a lot of room and are more of a long-term investment. If you’re planting little seedlings, they will need quite a bit of loving care at first, so make sure to start this portion of your homestead when you’ll have the time to tend to them.

How Many Berry Bushes Should You Plant On 1 Acre?

The general rule of thumb with berry bushes is to have two to three bushes per person on your homestead. If you’re planting these instead of trees, you could comfortably fit at least 15 bushes, which might leave some extra berries for you to sell or gift after harvest.

Fencing Your 1 Acre

Building a fence around your 1 acre homestead layout is important for keeping your livestock contained, especially if you plan on allowing your chickens to free range. A good fence will also keep predators away from your animals, as well as keeping deer and other grazers out of your gardens.

building a homestead fence

What Animals Can You Have On A 1 Acre Hobby Farm?

Animals On A One Acre Homestead

A one acre farm has enough space for a few small livestock options and one larger option. I chose goats, ducks, chickens, and bees for my homestead because they are all fairly small and low-maintenance, and they each produce a considerable amount of our daily food.

raising chickens on a homestead

Raising Chickens On a 1 Acre Farm

I always recommend starting with chickens first, especially if you’re unaccustomed to dealing with animals or livestock. Chickens are relatively inexpensive, they can be decent egg layers if you get the right breeds, and they’ll also help till your garden and get rid of pests.

raising ducks on a homestead

Why Raise Ducks On a 1 Acre Homestead?

Surprisingly, ducks are even more docile than chickens, and they are also better egg layers. This makes them a great choice for your homestead, but only if you have a natural water source or are willing to put one in for them.

raising honeybees on a homestead

The Ups And Downs Of Raising Bees

Bees are amazing little creatures that will help pollinate your fruit trees while producing enough honey to keep your family supplied all year with extra left over. Honey can also bring in a decent income if you are able to sell it regularly, so I wouldn’t write off the idea of keeping a few beehives on your property, unless you won’t be able to keep up with the maintenance or have a fear of the buzzy little creatures.

raising goats on a homestead

Raising Goats On A 1 Acre Homestead

You won’t want to get any animals bigger than goats on a homestead of this size, but they can be a great addition because they produce a lot of milk, which is especially helpful if you enjoy making your own cheese and other milk products. Don’t buy too many at once as you get used to raising your goats — just a few at a time is the way to go.

homesteading on a budget

Is 1 Acre Really Enough Space To Grow Your Own Food?

Is One Acre Enough To Grow Your Own Food

A one acre homestead layout is enough to grow a significant portion of your own food. Whether you’re completely self-sufficient or not will depend greatly on the size of your household and how content you are with limited food options.

How Much Food Can You Grow On A 1 Acre Farm?

You can feasibly grow thousands of pounds worth of food in a year on your 1 acre farm. This sounds like a lot of food (and it is), but the average American consumes just under 2,000 lbs of food in a year, and it shouldn’t be all milk and honey, either, so there are lots of factors to consider in how much you rely on what you produce at home.

Estimated Harvest From A One Acre Homestead With This Layout

  • 800 lbs of vegetables
  • 400 cartons of chicken eggs
  • 250 gallons of goat milk
  • 2,000 lbs of fruit
  • 225 lbs of honey
chicken eggs from a homestead farm

Can 1 Acre Of Land Sustain One Person?

One acre is sufficient land to sustain one person with excess food remaining. That said, most people I know would get tired of eating only the things they themselves are growing on their small farm, so selling or trading some of the produce to bring in some variation would be ideal.

how to start homesteading

Is 1 Acre Of Land Enough To Feed A Family Of Four?

You couldn’t easily feed a family of four on 1 acre of land. Two people could live off what your land can produce (if they don’t mind getting creative), but a family of four people would need to supplement with outside food sources. Homesteading 1 acre with a family of four or more is still worth it, though, as you could cut your food costs in half.

Can You Be Off Grid On A 1 Acre Homestead?

Can You Live Off Grid On A One Acre Homestead

Yes, you can live off the grid on a 1 acre homestead. Just make sure to check with your local county or city guidelines to see if it is permitted in your area before making any changes to your property.

off grid living misconceptions

Is 1 Acre Of Land Enough For An Off-Grid Homestead?

Technically 1 acre of land is sufficient for an off-grid homestead. However, you’ll have to consider the space that solar panels and things like your outhouse and outdoor shower will take up. If you’re all right with some of these things taking up some of your garden and livestock room, go for it.

Is 1 Acre Of Land Enough To Be Self-Sufficient?

You can be self-sufficient on 1 acre as long as your household has two people or fewer. Whether or not you want to be is totally up to you, though. Living completely off of the land and keeping your living costs to the absolute minimum is amazingly freeing for some (like me), but not everyone wants this level of self-sufficiency, and that’s okay too.

How Many Solar Panels Needed To Power Your Homestead?

I’ve designed room for six solar panels on my one acre homestead, but if your house is larger than my tiny home, you have a powered shed, or your family uses a bit more power, you might need to make space for a few more. The general rule is 10 to 12 panels per 1,000 square feet of living space.

solar generators for off grid living

Can A 1 Acre Homestead Be Profitable?

One acre of land can technically be profitable, but not to a huge degree. You can always sell your excess honey, eggs, milk, fruits, and vegetables, but depending on how much your household consumes, you might not have a lot of excess to part with.

Ready to get started? Use this 1 acre homestead layout to map out your property and start working your land for the satisfaction of producing food in your own backyard.

produce from a homestead garden

Your Turn!

  • How many eggs do you go through in an average week?
  • Do you enjoy making things with goat milk?
1 Comment
  1. Thanks Ryan, this is a great article. What software did you use here for your 1 acre design? I like the detail. Thanks. Karen

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