Designing An 8 Acre Homestead Layout

designing a eight acre homestead

NAVIGATION

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

To me, homesteading is all about having fresh, homegrown foods every day. Consuming nutritious whole foods is one of the best choices anyone can make, and this 8 acre homestead layout can help you create a self-sustaining, health-inspiring homestead.

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When I began a homestead on my own land, I followed a design like the 8 acre homestead layout diagram I’ll share below. Working with nature’s whims means that no farming life will be perfectly predictable. There are challenges and always a lot of work to be done, but a solid plan is a great place to start.

Deciding what my goals were and following a pre-plotted blueprint as I built and expanded my farm made the process really straightforward. I found myself enjoying the homegrown cuisine I was aiming for with much less stress than I’d been warned to expect.

garden on an eight acre homestead

8 Acre Homestead Layout

Eight Acre Homestead Layout

Following this 8 acre homestead layout plan can honestly help you get from the strategizing stage of homesteading to eating your very own farm fresh foods a lot faster than you might think. In my opinion, the words “farm fresh” in front of anything automatically make it taste better.

what is homesteadingKeep in mind that the numbers I’m about to give you are relative — they’re my own personal recommendations for your property size — so know that you can experiment and adjust as you go.

The possibilities might seem a bit overwhelming at the beginning as you’re staring at wide-open farmland, so it’s helpful to have some numbers and dimensions to give your vision parameters. Eight acres will give you lots of room for growing your delicious fruits and veggies. I’d advise seven to eight ground-level 10×10 gardens, 35 raised 4×8 garden beds, and anywhere from 50 to 70 fruit trees.

For livestock, you will easily have room for a large goat pen with around 50 goats, a duck pond with a coop and run that can accommodate around 40 ducks, a chicken coop and run designed for a flock of up to 50 or more chickens, a pig pen with room for 30 to 35 pigs, and multiple beehives.

You’ll also want to allow space for a barn, compost bin, and woodshed, as well as around 25 solar panels if you’re planning on using solar power.

eight acre homestead layout

Designing Your Homestead Layout

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How Much Will An 8 Acre Homestead Produce?

An 8 acre homestead design could feasibly produce just under 25,000 lbs of food in a good year. Here are some more detailed descriptions of what you could produce.

Elements Of An 8 Acre Homestead

  1. Main HouseYou have enough land for a roomy home with an attached garage, but consider also having a sunroom for growing indoor herbs.
  2. Solar ArrayTwenty-five solar panels can power a decent amount of space, but if your home, garage, and powered working space combine to over 2,500 square feet, you may need a few more depending on your level of power usage.
  3. Orchard / BeehivesEach beehive will be able to produce an average of 60 to 100 lbs of honey per year, and with 70 fruit trees, you could also harvest anywhere from 10,500 to 21,000 lbs of fruit in a year.
  4. CompostIf your household consumes a steady flow of fresh foods, you can easily fill a compost bin to help feed your garden and your chickens, keeping your homestead self-sufficient.
  5. Goat PenEach goat can give you an average of more than 200 gallons of milk per year, though your total numbers will vary depending on the breed you choose and how many are in your herd.
  6. BarnA barn can store your feed, hay, and farm equipment to keep everything you need for your homestead safe from animals and bad weather.
  7. Pig PenPigs don’t move around a lot, so they don’t require a lot of space, and you can own as many as you’re willing to feed and care for. Just for reference, 35 pigs that weigh around 250 lbs would yield just over 4,000 lbs of meat.
  8. CropsSeven to eight 10×10 ground-level gardens can easily produce around 800 to 1,600 lbs of vegetables in a year.
  9. Raised GardensThirty-five raised 4×8 beds will produce around 1 to 2 lbs per square foot for a harvest of 1,120 to 2,240 lbs of produce in a year.
  10. Chicken CoopFifty chickens could produce over 1,000 cartons of eggs in a year if you have the right breeds and conditions.
  11. WoodshedIf you’re planning on using wood for a firepit or a heat source, you’ll need a place to shelter it from the elements. The size of your shed will depend on the amount of wood you’ll need for the season.
  12. Duck PondRaising around 40 ducks could get you around 1,000 cartons of duck eggs per year.

Why 8 Acres Is The Perfect Size For Your Homestead

Why An Eight Acre Farm is The Perfect Size

If you want to eat healthier by growing your own foods and ensuring the healthy living conditions of the animals producing your milk, eggs, and meat, a homestead layout for 8 acres will give you the space to do both things. This design will give you easy access to ground-level and raised bed gardens that will make your weed control, health checks, watering, and harvesting as easy as possible so your plants can yield the best produce.

Is 8 Acres Enough For A Farm?

If your idea of a farm is acres upon acres of wheat or corn fields, you might not think of 8 acres as enough, but this property size really is plenty for a farm. This layout would actually seem huge to homesteaders who have less than an acre to work with, so while you shouldn’t plan on acres of corn fields, you will have plenty of space to grow your own food and even be self-sufficient.

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What Are The Dimensions Of 8 Acres?

As you begin laying out your homestead, keep in mind that you’ll be working with 348,480 square feet of real estate at approximately 417 by 834 feet. This is an amazing amount of space to work with, so your possibilities are limitless.

How Do You Lay Out An 8 Acre Homestead?

Design and Layout of An Eight Acre Farm

Ultimately, you’ll need to adapt my 8 acre homestead layout to your own particular landscape, moving things around depending on the shape and usability of your land. Use some stakes and string to mark your growing areas so you can visualize how your homestead will take shape, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box — it’s your homestead, and it needs to function in a way that supports your lifestyle, not anyone else’s. For reference, here are some of the things I’ve done on my own land.

Here’s What I’ve Done

  • Maple, oak, and dogwood trees for shade & privacy
  • A compost bin with worms
  • Chicken coop and run with five to 20 chickens
  • A small home with a driveway large enough for guests
  • 10 solar panels to power my tiny home and work shed
  • Apple and pear trees for fresh fruit and delicious recipes
  • Raised garden beds at 4’x8′ feet each
  • Indoor herbs for fresh and dried use in my cooking
chickens on an eight acre homestead

How Big Should A Homestead Garden Be?

On a homestead layout for 8 acres, keep your garden around 2,000 square feet. When you’re just starting out, you could choose to garden only a fraction of this space to keep it manageable, starting with one or two ground-level gardens and five or so raised beds.

how to prepare garden soil

How Many Fruit Trees Should You Plant On 8 Acres?

With 8 acres of space, you’ll have room for a nice orchard of around 70 fruit trees. I personally love to grow apple and pear trees, but you should look into what choices will grow best with the climate in your area.

How Many Berry Bushes Should You Plant On 8 Acres?

You could easily plant over 80 berry bushes on your 8 acre homestead design, so just determine your purpose for growing these bushes in advance.

If you only want enough berries for your family, you could simply choose to grow two to three bushes per person in your household, but if you’re looking to produce enough to preserve and sell, you could replace your orchard with bushes shaded by buildings or trees and vining berries on your homestead fence.

growing berries on a homestead

Fencing Your 8 Acres

You might think of a homestead fence as something pretty rather than practical, but having a fence around your property is important because it can keep predators out and livestock in. You’ll want to pick different fencing materials depending on your soil and terrain.

building a homestead fence

What Animals Can You Have On An 8 Acre Hobby Farm?

Animals On An Eight Acre Homestead

The animals on your farm will provide a large portion of your food, and you can choose to own large groups of chickens, ducks, bees, goats, and pigs if you want to be self-sustaining and maybe bring in a profit. If your main goal is simply providing fresh, whole foods for your family to enjoy, you might not want to invest in so many animals, so just know yourself and your goals.

raising chickens on a homestead

Invest In Chickens First

Starting with chickens will break you into the livestock world slowly and gently. Chicks are pretty inexpensive and easy to care for, and you’ll see a quick return on your investment as they grow into egg-laying hens. Chickens can also help you de-bug and till your garden soil if you use a chicken tractor or build a mobile coop.

raising ducks on a homestead

Try Ducks As Well

While chickens are the easiest to start with, ducks tend to be more prolific egg layers, and they’re very friendly, so they really make a great addition to a homestead. If you don’t already have a pond on your property, don’t be afraid to add one in. A pond is a calming, peaceful addition to your homestead that can increase the value of your land while inviting ducks, frogs, and turtles to join in the farming fun.

raising honeybees on a homestead

The Surprising Benefits Of Raising Bees

Bees are amazing creatures that can pollinate your trees and flowers while providing you with a large amount of honey as well. If you haven’t tried beekeeping before, there will be a learning curve, but their hives take up little space and they’re fairly easy to care for.

raising goats on a homestead

Are Goats Practical On 8 Acres?

Goats can be a fun addition to your 8 acre homestead, and with as much space as you have, they are definitely a practical option. If you have children on the property, they’ll probably enjoy playing with the goats like they would puppies, and you’ll also get some goat’s milk and hassle-free weed trimming out of the experience.

raising pigs on a homestead

Why Pigs Don’t Actually Need A Lot Of Space

While pigs eat a lot and their pens don’t smell pretty, they really are easy, tame creatures that don’t take up a lot of space, don’t roam or move around much, and are pretty easy to care for. There’s a reason people like to raise pigs, as you’ll get around half of their body weight in meat from each one, which is significant when they weigh an average of 250 lbs.

Getting Started With Chickens

Is 8 Acres Really Enough Space To Grow Your Own Food?

Is Eight Acres Enough To Grow Your Own Food

An 8 acre layout is enough space to grow all of the food you need with plenty of surplus. Honestly, though, just because you have eight acres to work with doesn’t mean you have to use it all.

Don’t burn yourself out going all in if a few gardens and some chickens would satisfy your need for farm fresh food on the table. Just know that the option to expand is there if/when you’re ready.

easiest vegetables to grow for beginner gardeners

How Much Food Can You Grow On An 8 Acre Farm?

If you go all in and fully farm your land, you could be looking at a yearly harvest of nearly 25,000 lbs of food. With the average American eating 2,000 lbs per year, this should have you pretty well set for yourself and then some.

Estimated Harvest From An 8 Acre Homestead With This Layout

  • 2,900 lbs of vegetables
  • 1,000 cartons of chicken eggs
  • 1,000 cartons of duck eggs
  • 8,000 gallons of goat milk
  • 16,000 lbs of fruit
  • 570 lbs of honey
  • 4,000 lbs of meat
fresh honey from the beehive

Is 8 Acres Of Land Enough To Be Self-Sufficient?

A large family can be self-sufficient on 8 acres of land as long as they’re willing to put in the work and also learn some marketing skills. That said, you don’t have to farm your land to self-sufficiency if you don’t want to. Expand your homestead gradually and find your homesteading sweet spot.

Can 8 Acres Of Land Sustain One Person?

Yes, 8 acres of land can sustain one person with tens of thousands of pounds of produce left over for selling, trading, and sharing. Either that, or you can choose to only plant the gardens, trees, and other features needed for your plate alone.

Is 8 Acres Of Land Enough To Feed A Family Of Four?

An 8 acre homestead design is more than enough land to feed a family of four, and this space could even comfortably feed up to 10 people. Again, this will depend on the amount of work you want to put into your land, but if you’re passionate about it, you will be able to put plenty of farm fresh food on your table.

homestead garden basics

Can You Be Off Grid On An 8 Acre Homestead?

Can You Live Off Grid On An Eight Acre Homestead

You can choose to live off grid on an 8 acre homestead, but you’ll want to keep in mind that the off-grid life can be as hard as it is rewarding. If you’re dedicated to a fully self-sustained lifestyle, then the extra expense and space you’ll need for your water, power, and plumbing will be worth it.

Is 8 Acres Of Land Enough For An Off-Grid Homestead?

Eight acres is plenty of land for an off-grid homestead provided you’re willing to use possible farming space for your outhouses, generators, and other off-gridding necessities. Honestly, though, this acreage is pretty roomy, so you’ll easily be able to work in what you need if it’s important to you.

off grid challenges

How Many Solar Panels Needed To Power Your Homestead?

How many solar panels you need will depend on the square footage of your home and other powered spaces, but, for reference, 25 panels should be enough to power 2,000 to 2,500 square feet. If you want to make a more personally informed decision before investing in solar, keep track of the amount of electricity your household uses in a given month.

Is An 8 Acre Homestead Worth The Investment?

Is An 8 Acre Homestead Worth The Investment

As a lover of fresh, homegrown foods and a self-sustaining lifestyle, I firmly believe that an 8 acre homestead is well worth the investment. If you choose to farm the majority of your property by following my diagram, your homestead should start paying for itself and possibly even reimbursing some of your building costs as well.

homesteading on a budget

How Much Does It Cost To Start An 8 Acre Homestead?

The cost involved in purchasing and building a homestead layout for 8 acres will be different for every location, but it’s safe to say that starting a homestead from the ground up will cost a pretty penny. If you already have your land and your home, and you’re just working on starting the farming process, you’ll have a lot less initial investment to worry about. Here are some costs to keep in mind as you begin.

Cost Considerations When Building An 8 Acre Homestead

  • Land
  • Building materials
  • Possible hired help
  • Tools and equipment
  • Seeds, plants, bushes, and trees
  • Livestock
  • Continued maintenance
  • Animal feed and care
northeast landscape with a homestead

Can An 8 Acre Homestead Be Profitable?

produce from a homestead garden
With a household under 10 people, your 8 acres can absolutely be profitable. The real question is whether or not that is your goal.

If you just want farm fresh foods for you and your family, you can keep your farm as small as you’d like, but this amount of space gives you plenty of room to expand and eventually have a large homestead that brings in a sizable profit.

If you’re yearning for some of that farm-to-table produce, pick what’s next for you from this 8 acre homestead layout, and enjoy the process.

Your Turn!

  • What foods do you have the most success growing in your area?
  • Which fruit trees do you think are worth the wait?
2 Comments
  1. Very well laid out. Thank you.

  2. Wonderful

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