Designing A 50 Acre Homestead Layout

designing a 50 acre homestead


ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

To me, homesteading is about getting back to basics, eating homegrown food, and connecting with the land and a community of people who can enjoy the fruits of freshly harvested food. That’s why I think a 50 acre homestead layout with the capacity to commercialize its orchards or pumpkin patches to create family fun for the community is something powerful — something worthwhile.

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Though my own homestead is significantly smaller than this 50 acre homestead layout design, I modeled this diagram on the productive farms I have personally observed in North Carolina — a state overflowing with more than 80 commercial crops and one of the most diverse agricultural economies in the U.S.

While I enjoy planting a variety of crops on my own land, a design for 50 acres gives you the option of opening up your homestead to your local community during different harvest seasons for fruit picking, pumpkin carving, hayrides, maybe a little bit of a petting zoo, and even an open-air market for selling your homemade products. In other words, 50 acres allows you to get creative with all this space and create a model homestead that’s also a thriving business.

50 Acre Homestead Layout

Fifty Acre Homestead Layout

As you look across your wide-open farmland, the work ahead of you probably seems endless as well as complicated, which is why I designed this 50 acre homestead layout to help set you on the right track from the beginning. You need clarity of purpose at the start of a large project, and having a preset design for how to arrange and build your farm will jumpstart your creation process.

Whether or not you want to commercialize your homestead, it’s important to add your own personal touches to your farm as you go. I recommend that you give your farm a name and create a sign that represents its unique qualities. The more you brand yourself, the more your community will know who you are and feel connected to and invested in your success.

With a homestead layout for 50 acres, you’ll have room for a large orchard of around 300 fruit trees, 110 4×8 raised garden beds, 55 10×10 ground-level garden plots, 55 bee hives, 125 pigs, 155 goats, 200 ducks, 225 chickens, and 12 cows. If you choose not to raise cows, that will save about 24 acres for you to farm in other ways. Cows, in my opinion, are generally worth the 2 acres a piece they take up, but if you want larger vegetable and fruit harvests, you might think differently.

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fifty acre homestead layout

Designing Your Homestead Layout


Acre Homestead


Acre Homestead


Acre Homestead

How Much Will A 50 Acre Homestead Produce?

If you follow the numbers and sizes I specified above, your 50 acre homestead design could produce 150,000 lbs of food in a year. Here’s a more detailed analysis.

Production Projections For 50 Acres

  1. Main HouseYour farmhouse (whether or not it’s a tiny home like mine) can serve as your base of operations as you plan out bake sales, make beeswax products and goat and cow milk products, and prepare your homegrown fruits and veggies for preservation. If you have a sunroom and a garage, you’ll also have some room for storing your preserved foods and growing indoor herbs and starters.
  2. Solar ArrayMy tiny home is efficiently powered by 10 solar panels, but depending on the size of your own space, you’ll want to plan on 10 to 12 panels for every 1,000 square feet.
  3. Shed & Compost BinsDon’t underestimate the importance of a woodshed and multiple compost bins on a property of this size. If you choose wood heat or do a lot of campfires, your woodshed will give you a safe, dry place to store your fuel through the colder season. Your compost bins will help keep your homestead self-sufficient by turning your food and garden scraps into fertilizer for your garden soil.
  4. Raised GardensRaised garden beds are not only easier to access and maintain than larger plots, but they’re also more picturesque and will add to the atmosphere of your property if you’re thinking about opening it up to your community. One hundred and ten of these raised beds will yield approximately 3,500 to 7,000 lbs of produce.
  5. Orchard / BeehivesYour orchard and beehives will benefit each other, as your bees will love pollinating your fruit blossoms. Fifty acres allow room for around 300 fruit trees (yielding a harvest of between 45,000 and 90,000 lbs of fruit) and 55 bee hives (yielding approximately 5,000 lbs of honey in a year.
  6. BarnA homestead barn is by far one of the most iconic fixtures of a commercial homestead — think traditional red with white slats on the door or whatever spin you’d like to put on that. Other than looking good, your barn will play an important role in your homestead, protecting your feed, hay, supplies, and equipment.
  7. Pig PentexttPigs pay for themselves by the time you’ve eaten and sold the meat they’ll provide. One hundred and twenty-five pigs that weigh 250 pounds could produce as much as 15,500 lbs of pork.exttext
  8. Cow PenCows take up about 2 acres each, but they’ll also be a big draw if you decide to commercialize your farm. Everyone loves cows, and they’ll make your farm feel like the successful operation it is. Twelve cows can collectively produce either 24,000 gallons of milk (if they’re all lactating) or 6,000 lbs of beef (if you decide to butcher all of them). You will most likely have a few that you’re breeding and a few that you’re butchering at a time, so those numbers will vary widely.
  9. Goat PenIf you’re bringing families onto your farm to enjoy different events, goats bring the bounce and charm you need. One hundred and fifty-five goats could bring in around 31,000 gallons of milk.
  10. CropsFifty-five ground-level garden plots of 100 square feet could reasonably produce around 5,500 to 11,000 lbs of produce in a year.
  11. Chicken CoopIs a farm really a farm without chickens? If you raise the right breeds, with 225 hens, you could bring in just under 5,000 cartons of eggs in a year.
  12. Duck PondA duck pond adds a scenic atmosphere to your farm, and ducks lay even more eggs than chickens do. Two hundred ducks could lay around 5,000 cartons of eggs each year.
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Why 50 Acres Is The Perfect Size For Your Homestead

Why A 50 Acre Farm is The Perfect Size

A 50 acre homestead design is the perfect size for a farm whether or not you’d like to commercialize. You’ll have plenty of growing room for your vegetable gardens, and all your animals will have plenty of roaming space.

When you’re working with a solid plan, the potential for making money from 50 acres of usable farmland is high. Whether you just want to start selling your produce to local markets, or you take this idea and open your farm up for paid public days of family fun, you can bring in significant revenue with a property this size.

homesteading on a budget

Is 50 Acres Enough For A Farm?

Even if your property is heavily wooded, as long as you have a decent amount of open farmland, your 50 acres will provide plenty of room for a farm where you can grow your own food and even lead a self-sufficient lifestyle. That said, if you’re looking to commercialize, you’ll probably need to clear more trees from your farmland (maybe by turning them into firewood to fuel your woodstove and campfires).

You’ll want to be able to access and cultivate as much of your land as possible to heighten your margin of revenue. If you clear some of your trees at the beginning of your process of building this 50 acre homestead layout, you could even build your barn, pens, fence, and garden beds with the lumber from your own land.

when to plant and plant spacing

What Are The Dimensions Of 50 Acres?

Fifty acres is made up of 2,178,000 square feet at about 1,047 by 2,080 feet, which, quite honestly, is a jaw-dropping number when you start considering the process of laying out your homestead. In case you’re doing a double take, yes, that’s over two million square feet you have at your disposal. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by that, you should feel empowered. Your farm can be anything you want it to be.

How Do You Lay Out A 50 Acre Homestead?

How To Layout A Fifty Acre Farm

After looking over my diagram, you’ll have some good ideas of how you can set up your own land for the best functionality. Your property’s landscape will be unique, though, so you’ll need to personalize and adjust the blueprint as necessary.

It’s also helpful to know in advance whether or not you’re planning to commercialize and how large you want your operation to be. You won’t do everything at once, but you’ll want to avoid boxing any area of your homestead in, making expanding more difficult in the future.

Here’s What I’ve Done

  • 10 solar panels to power my tiny home and garage
  • A sunroom to grow herbs for my favorite recipes
  • A long driveway that welcomes guests to my property
  • Lots of raised garden beds built from 2x4s
  • Natural weed and bug repellants to protect my produce
  • A chicken coop made from wood I had on my own land
  • Vermicomposting bins to help nourish my garden
chicken coop garden

How Big Should A Homestead Garden Be?

On a homestead layout for 50 acres that follows the recommendations in this guideline, you will have room for a garden under 9,500 square feet, including your raised beds and your ground-level plots. This amount of growing space can yield between 9,000 and 18,000 lbs of farm fresh tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, squash, onions, potatoes, and so much more! These plenteous harvests will give you plenty to sell in fresh bunches or preserved jars at your own little farm store or to your local markets.

setting up a homestead garden

How Many Fruit Trees Should You Plant On 50 Acres?

You’ll have room for 300 fruit trees of your choice with this 50 acre homestead design. The trees you choose to grow will depend on your own preferences and what grows well in your climate, but if you’re going to open your property up for fruit pickers or sell your fruits in some way, you’ll want to go for popular favorites like apples, pears, peaches, and oranges.

How Many Berry Bushes Should You Plant On 50 Acres?

In place of fruit trees, you could choose to grow around 350 berry bushes, forming a bountiful grove on your property for paying berry pickers to fill their buckets with fresh blueberries, elderberries, raspberries, or any other berries you choose. Blueberry picking is especially popular, so if you want to commercialize, you might start with blueberries.

what is homesteading

Fencing Your 50 Acres

With a 50 acre homestead layout, your property lines probably won’t be easily apparent, and you’ll have multiple sizes of livestock that need to be kept in the safety of your homestead. That’s where a sturdy homestead fence comes in. Your fence needs to be strong, weather resistant, and provide enough coverage to actually keep your animals in, while also safeguarding your animals and plants from outside predators.

If you’re also creating a brand for your farm, you’ll probably want to invest in an aesthetic look, while also creating a sort of archway at the entrance of your homestead. You could even put the name of your farm operation in this archway ranch-style to add to your curb appeal.

building a homestead fence

What Animals Can You Have On a 50 Acre Hobby Farm?

Animals On a Fifty Acre Homestead

Fifty acres is the perfect size for a farm with lots of animals, and you’ll have room for chickens, ducks, bees, goats, pigs, and cows. The bustling activity of all these creatures will bring your farm to life and add lots of food proteins, fats, and nutrients to your diet. Also, a variety of animals can increase your revenue if you turn your farm into a local business, drawing families to your land and expanding community involvement.

raising chickens on a homestead

Start Your Homestead With Chickens

Regardless of your future plans for your homestead, starting with chickens is always a good idea. Chickens are fairly inexpensive, easy to care for, and decently inexpensive to feed if you get creative. A flock of good egg layers will keep you well supplied while helping you with your garden soil and keeping pesky bugs under control.

Getting Started With Chickens

raising ducks on a homestead

Ducks Bring A Whole New Atmosphere

While chickens are easy and help out around your property, ducks are also foragers who will decrease your bug population while bringing a different dynamic to your homestead. A peaceful pond of swimming ducks and ducklings will be a great draw for community customers, and ducks lay even more eggs than chickens do, so what’s not to like?

raising honeybees on a homestead

Beekeeping Will Make Your Farm A Novelty

Bees are integral to the thriving success of your farm. They’ll pollinate your fruit trees, berry bushes, flowers, and even some of the vegetables in your garden. Beekeeping is also a therapeutic hobby that will add a new level of interest and draw to your homestead if you decide to bring the community in and sell your honey.

raising goats on a homestead

Goats Bring A Playful Atmosphere To Your Homestead

Where bees will spark interest in your homestead, goats will entertain any and all who venture onto your property. Fun-loving creatures that they are, goats also produce up to 200 gallons of milk in a year when they’re lactating.

raising pigs on a homestead

Raising Pigs For Meat Is Cost-Effective

Pigs are worth almost half of their body weight in quality meat that will taste amazing as pork chops, bacon, or sausage on your table and also fetch a good price on the market. While they can be somewhat pricey to buy when you’re starting out, they will more than pay for themselves, and you’ll be able to breed to increase your herd.

raising cows on a homestead

Cows Are Worth The Extra Space

Cows like their pasture space — and they need it to stay healthy as they graze on different grasses and plants. In spite of the large cow pen you’ll need to build, a single cow can produce 2,000 gallons of milk a year or provide you with 500 lbs of beef. Their large size also helps keep predators away from your homestead.

raising chicks

Is 50 Acres Really Enough Space To Grow Your Own Food?

Is 50 Acres Enough To Grow Your Own Food

A 50 acre homestead layout is plenty of space to grow all of your own food. You’ll also learn skills like seasonal planting and eating, rotating gardens, and preparing for winter on the homestead that will serve you well throughout your entire farming journey.

How Much Food Can You Grow On A 50 Acre Farm?

A 50 acre farm could produce as much food as 150,000 lbs in a good growing year. For reference, that’s roughly enough food to feed 75 people. You’ll have a great variety in your food as well, if you follow my suggestions in this 50 acre homestead design. Here is an itemized breakdown of what you could expect.

Estimated Harvest From A 50 Acre Homestead With This Layout

  • 13,500 lbs of vegetables
  • 5,000 cartons of chicken eggs
  • 5,000 cartons of duck eggs
  • 31,000 gallons of goat milk
  • 75,000 lbs of fruit
  • 5,000 lbs of honey
  • 3,500 lbs of beef
  • 15,000 lbs of pork
chicken eggs from a homestead farm

Is 50 Acres Of Land Enough To Be Self-Sufficient?

Fifty acres of land is not only enough to grow your own food, but it’s also plenty of space to be fully self-sufficient. You’ll learn valuable skills that will ultimately allow your homestead to support itself.

  • Breeding to multiply your livestock without needing to purchase more
  • Incubating eggs to hatch your own baby chicks and ducklings
  • Seed collecting to minimize annual garden costs
  • Selling enough produce to cover your expenses and provide and income
  • Planting seasonally and preserving food that won’t grow in colder months
  • Composting to keep your garden thriving with no added expense
Can 50 Acres Of Land Sustain One Person?

A homestead layout for 50 acres of usable farmland is more than enough to fully sustain one person. If you’re starting this large of a homestead on your own, though, you will need some help to keep the farm running. This sheer size of this homestead will require multiple hands to work it.

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Is 50 Acres Of Land Enough To Feed A Family Of Four?

A family of four can get everything they need to eat from a 50 acre homestead layout like this one. Even farming only a small margin of your acreage will give you a variety of fruit, vegetables, meat, and eggs.

Can You Be Off Grid On A 50 Acre Homestead?

Can You Live Off Grid On A 50 Acre Homestead

Off gridding is, in simple terms, a commitment to living as autonomously as possible, and you’ll be able to do just that on your 50 acre spread. All of the self-sufficiency skills you learn as you work your homestead will help you achieve an off-grid lifestyle, if that’s what you’re aiming for.

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Is 50 Acres Of Land Enough For An Off-Grid Homestead?

A homestead layout for 50 acres is plenty of land for an off-grid homestead. You will need to add things like an outdoor bathroom and a water source and water heater to the diagram, moving things around as necessary. When you’re working with an acreage of this size, you’ll have plenty of room to spare, but planning ahead can help you achieve this goal more efficiently.

How Many Solar Panels Needed To Power Your Homestead?

The general rule of thumb is to have 10 to 12 solar panels per 1,000 square feet of living or powered working space. Honestly, though, the number of panels you end up needing will depend on the amount of power you use. If you have a store or other activities set up on your land for community days and sales, you’ll probably need some extra panels, and you’ll want to make sure to invest in a good solar generator.

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Is A 50 Acre Homestead Worth The Investment?

Is A 50 Acre Homestead Worth The Investment

In my opinion, a 50 acre homestead design is far and away worth the investment. As long as you have the time, energy, and desire to work your land, you’ll be able to partner with nature to supply your needs. Whether you decide to open up your farm commercially or not, if you farm this to capacity, you’ll likely want to set up a solid plan to sell your produce and animal products.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A 50 Acre Homestead?

I can’t tell you exactly how much your 50 acre homestead layout will cost to get up and running, or what your continued maintenance expenses will be. Your farm will be unique to you, requiring different materials and costs that will be equally unique to your location and situation.

To help you figure out what costs you should be prepared for, though, here is a list of common homesteading expenses.

Costs Involved In Building A 50 Acre Homestead

  • Land and Building Materials
  • Possible hired help
  • Tools and equipment
  • Seeds, plants, bushes, and trees
  • Livestock
  • Continued maintenance and upkeek
  • Animal feed and care
  • Possible branding and store startup costs
  • Property and liability insurance
  • Supplies and containers for selling produce
large homestead farm with barn and shed

Can A 50 Acre Homestead Be Profitable?

I’ve explained a lot of the ways you can make your 50 acre homestead layout profitable, and I’m sure you’ll discover many more! Ultimately, the purpose and design of your homestead is personal to you, but these tips and tricks of the farming trade will jumpstart your entire homesteading future, no matter how big or how small.

Your Turn!

  • In what ways would you choose to commercialize your homestead?
  • How could you get the community involved in your homestead?
1 Comment
  1. Your articles are very helpful to anyone looking for answers in agriculture.

    Thanks a lot the good work

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