Designing A 4 Acre Homestead Layout

design a four acre homestead farm


ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I started homesteading because I wanted to take charge of my own life, and I knew I could make it happen with some hard work. While I am working harder than ever to get closer to self-sufficiency, the rewards make it all worthwhile.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

When properly planned, a 4 acre homestead layout can produce almost all your food.

The thought of living on my own land by being able to generate most of what I needed to maintain my life was too appealing to pass up.

I knew a little when I got started, and I learned the rest from homesteading books, and helping out at friends’ farms.

a 4 acre homestead layout

4 Acre Homestead Layout

Four Acre Homestead Layout

A 4 acre homestead layout can be very productive – as long as the design is well planned. Having an orderly layout will allow you to make the space work more efficiently than if you added elements a little at a time, in a haphazard fashion. Using fences and pens for each type of plant or animal will help keep things under control.

four acre homestead layout

Designing Your Homestead Layout


Acre Homestead


Acre Homestead


Acre Homestead

How Much Will A 4 Acre Homestead Produce?

A 4 acre homestead can produce 2,000 to 4,000 lbs of produce, over a thousand cartons of eggs, and over 1,000 lbs of meat each year. You’ll need to become proficient at a few different preservation methods and figure out what you have in excess to be able to trade for the things you don’t grow on your farm. For example, with a 4 acre homestead, you won’t have enough room to raise beef and pork — so if those are part of your diet, you can barter your top-producing veggies for them.

Production Projections for 4 Acres

  1. Main HouseWhile not a major growing zone, the main house is a great place to situate your berry bushes, and you can also start seeds inside. Planting a couple of varieties of berry bushes is smart, because some take years to produce significant yields.
  2. Solar ArrayOn a 4 acre farm, you can fit 12 solar panels, which should generate a decent portion of your energy needs, though having a backup plan is always a good idea since we can’t control the weather.
  3. Raised Garden BedsWith 20 14×7 raised beds, you’ll be able to produce around 1 to 2 lbs per square foot for an annual total of 2,000 to 4,000 lbs of produce.
  4. Goat PenYou can keep six to 12 goats on a farm this size. This entry point into raising livestock will give you experience in breeding animals and processing dairy.
  5. CompostA 4 acre homestead design can accommodate three stalls for compost piles. You want to add scraps to one area over a year, then let it break down, while starting a new pile in another stall the next year.
  6. BeehivesYou will be able to produce hundreds of pounds of honey from the three beehives you place on your homestead.
  7. Fruit TreesA four acre homestead can fit 15 fruit trees, each producing 100 to 300 lbs of fruit per year, for a total of 3,000 to 4,000 lbs of fruit.
  8. Duck PondYou can keep a dozen ducks in a small nesting house on your farm. Situating them near a small pond will keep them happy, while also allowing you to collect rain for watering.
  9. Chicken CoopYou’ll easily be able to build a fenced-in coop and pasture area for 25 chickens to lay eggs and 75 raised for meat.
  10. CropsIn your raised beds, you can start with the vegetables that are easiest to grow, but you will also want to plant grains and legumes like beans, corn, and wheat, which grow best directly in the ground.

what is homesteading

Why A 4 Acre Site Is The Perfect Size For Your Homestead

Why A Four Acre Farm is The Perfect Size

A 4 acre homestead site is the perfect size because it offers space for growing a variety of crops, as well as raising the animals needed to round out an omnivore’s diet. With a layout including vegetable gardens as well as pens for chickens and goats, and a duck farm and beehives, you will be able to get very close to self-sufficient living. While this is a sizable farm, it’s not so big that you won’t be able to monitor every part of it on your daily rounds, making it a popular choice for those looking to support the diet of a solo dweller, couple or small family.

homestead garden basics

Are 4 Acres Enough For A Homestead To Farm?

Four acres are enough to farm, especially when you consider urban homesteads situated on less than an acre of land. You may be asking if it’s enough to grow a variety of foods to live on. The answer here is yes, as well — 4 acres includes an ample amount of square footage.

What Are The Dimensions Of 4 Acres?

When laying out your homestead, keep in mind that 4 acres covers 174,050 square feet. My plot is 590 feet long by 295 feet wide. On this land, you can easily fit a tiny home into your layout — mine has a 14 x 40 footprint — without it being a significant drain on the square footage available for raising plants and animals.

How Do You Lay Out A 4 Acre Homestead?

Design and Layout of A Four Acre Farm

For my compact farm of four acres, I chose to create distinct zones for each type of cultivation, putting each where they’d have the biggest impact. The beehives are in the fruit grove, just across from my raised beds. This way, the bees can eat while conveniently pollinating the plants. Likewise, the poultry’s closeness to the crops means that the birds will eat the insects that might nibble up my sprouts, significantly decreasing my yields.

Here’s What I’ve Done

  • A tiny home that took up minimal acreage
  • 600 square feet of ground-level growing space
  • 1,960 square feet of raised bed growing space
  • A pen for a dozen goats
  • A coop for 70 chickens
  • Three beehives
  • Twelve fruit trees
  • A duck pond with eight ducks
  • A strawbale compost pile
  • A storage shed
  • A solar array with 12 panels
goats in homestead pen

How Big Should A Homestead Garden Be?

The garden will make up a significant portion of your 4 acre homestead layout, taking up to an eighth or a quarter of your plot. You will devote the most square footage to this area — nearly 3,000 square feet in a 4 acre plot.

How Many Fruit Trees Should You Plant On 4 Acres?

A 4 acre homestead farm can easily accommodate 15 fruit trees. This is enough that you could plant a few different types to enjoy ripe fruit over a longer growing season: peach, plum, pear, and apple are my favorites. You can also consider cherry and fig trees.

To be pollinated, most fruit trees — apples, pears, some cherries, and some plums — need to be planted in groups of two or three.

How Many Berry Bushes Should You Plant On 4 Acres?

I’ve planted 15 berry bushes around my home, including blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Planting a variety is smart, because some plants mature more quickly than others. Blueberries take years to be reliable producers, as I ‘ve discovered. However many you choose, be sure you have a plan to protect them from wild animals, so there are some left for you by the time they’re ripe.

Fencing Your 4 Acres

Of course, the larger your farm, the bigger an investment it will be to fence the perimeter, but properly fencing your farm is critical to ensure your veggies survive until harvest time, and your animals don’t stray from their safe haven. Trying to track down grazing goats is not the best use of your time!

What Animals Can You Have On A 4 Acre Hobby Farm?

Animals On Four Acre Homestead

It’s possible to raise a few different types of animals on a 4 acre homestead farm, including bees, chickens, ducks, and goats. Animals larger than these will need a larger space. Any surplus you have can be traded or bartered for the things you don’t grow on your farm.

raising chickens on a homestead


There is little downside to having chickens on a 4 acre homestead. With this size plot, plan on having up to 25 egg-laying hens and 75 grown for meat. They’re easy to get started with and keep happy, they play an important role in pest management, and their eggs provide the basic building blocks for a huge variety of recipes, in addition to being delicious on their own. My chickens were happy — and produced reliably — in an 80 feet by 90 feet fenced area and coop.

raising honeybees on a homestead


Bees are a critical element in the farm ecosystem, and they will make about 200 lbs of honey per hive. With their important role in pollination, they’ll ensure that your fruit trees, berry bushes, raised beds, and open crops will deliver their best yields. The honey they produce as a result is just the icing on the cake — an important element in recipes, medicines, and a valuable commodity to trade.

raising ducks on a homestead


A 4 acre homestead can easily hold a small pond for a flock of ducks. Many folks enjoy their eggs and meat, but, even if you don’t, ducks are a great way to keep malicious insects under control.

raising goats on a homestead


In a 4 acre homestead layout there is plenty of room for a goat pen. Many keep goats for their milk, not only to consume, but also to use in soaps. Goats are also an asset in taming wild land because they are able to eat even the most stubborn weeds and pesky growth and keep your pathways navigable.

Is 4 Acres Really Enough Space To Grow Your Own Food?

Is Four Acres Enough To Grow Your Own Food

Yes — with a well-considered layout, a 4 acre farm offers plenty of space to grow your own food, as well as allow a margin of error for a plant that just doesn’t take off or doesn’t perform its best in unpredictable weather. Keep in mind that you may want to go outside the bounds of your land to get things that just don’t grow well in your climate (I do love coffee, but I can’t grow it here).

Instead of raising several head of cattle, I can buy a cow through a local rancher or butcher. If I don’t have dairy cows, I can get milk from a local source.

tending garden on small two and a half acre homestead

How Much Food Can You Grow On A 4 Acre Farm?

With careful planning, you’ll be growing thousands of pounds of produce on a four acre homestead. You can expect 5,000 lbs of produce just from your raised beds. When you add in the other categories, you’ll see that the yields are substantial.

Estimated Harvest From A 4 Acre Homestead With This Layout

  • 240 lbs of berries
  • 5,000 lbs of produce
  • 1,600 cartons of chicken eggs
  • 120 cartons of duck eggs
  • 800 lbs of chicken
  • 400 lbs of duck
  • 1,000 gallons of goat milk
  • 900 lbs of honey
  • 13,000-16,000 lbs of fruit
  • 400 lbs of wheat
homestead beehives

Is 4 Acres Of Land Enough To Be Self-Sufficient?

In a perfect year, and depending on your family size, it is possible that a 4 acre homestead farm will be able to support your nutritional needs. True self-sufficiency depends on adjusting your expectations. You won’t be regularly eating beef or pork you raised from a farm this size. But you won’t be starving, either. Try to keep an abundance mindset, and remember all that you do have instead of focusing on what you don’t have.

You’ll be able to raise most of your own food on this plot size if you’re able to maximize your space, turn beds over fast, and plan carefully. In the end, you’ll be able to cover most of your needs and barter for things you can’t grow.

Can 4 Acres Of Land Can Sustain One Person?

I have been able to totally support myself on a four acre homestead, while keeping in mind that I appreciate some things that just don’t grow well in my area, or on the space that I have, and allow myself opportunities to round out my pantry with things like oils and spices, as well as local pork, beef and bison. Becoming adept at preserving food will enable you to eat from your garden year-round, adding greens like leeks to your soups in the coldest parts of winter.

how to dehydrate food

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

I have friends who support their family of four on a homestead this size. Since the land supports growing filling nutritional powerhouses like eggs and fruit, in abundance, it’s easy to get your daily harvest right outside your door, instead of from a store.

Can You Be Off Grid On A 4 Acre Homestead?

Can You Live Off Grid On Four Acre Homestead

A 4 acre homestead can accommodate a solar array to generate electricity. However, the larger a farm gets, the more energy it will require for your maintenance infrastructure. If you want to live off-grid, plan accordingly with a tiny home no bigger than you need and farm implements that can run off solar energy.

Is 4 Acres Of Land Enough For An Off-Grid Homestead?

4 acres is a good start toward an off-grid homestead. The solar panels will provide much of your electricity, and the pond can serve as backup irrigation in times of low rainfall. It ends up coming down to your preferences around utilities like bathrooms — there are a number of options to go off grid.

How Many Solar Panels Needed To Power Your Homestead?

Smaller homes generally require 10-15 solar panels per 1,000 square feet of living space. At 560 square feet, my tiny home requires less energy than that, leaving me a surplus for devoting to farm upkeep. If your home takes up more square footage, plan to add additional panels to meet your energy needs.
solar generators

Can A 4 Acre Homestead Be Profitable?

In short, yes — though maybe not in cold, hard cash. With a 4-acre homestead, I consider success not as generating profit from my produce, but as achieving prosperity and financial peace by eliminating my need to spend money on food and energy from external sources. A farm of this size will likely not produce quantities in sufficient excess to create a shop or regularly sell at a farmer’s market, but it should produce enough for you to live on, with a little extra left over for trading.

Is A 4 Acre Homestead Worth The Investment?

Is A 4 Acre Homestead Worth The Investment

A 4 acre homestead is worth the investment, simply from the perspective of generating your own food and energy. From the property perspective, land will almost always appreciate over the years.

When you add in your home, the careful cultivation of the land, and making the soil richer each year through composting and the fertilization from the manure, you will be adding to the farm’s value year over year.

investing in a homestead

How Much Does It Cost To Start A 4 Acre Homestead?

A 4 acre homestead is a sizable mini-farm, but it’s possible to get started without breaking the bank. Depending on how much time you are willing to spend before the farm is fully productive, you can buy plants that will need a couple of years to grow and mature. Here are some points to consider when you’re ready to start investing in your farm.

Costs To Consider When Starting A Farm

  • Berry bushes — the price will vary depending on the age of the bush
  • Seeds — you will need to cover each foot of your raised beds, though you can lower this by
    saving seeds and trading with neighbors
  • Chickens — the cost will vary whether you purchase chicks or mature chickens
  • Ducks — the cost will vary for ducklings versus ducks
  • Goats — you can save money by buying a few goats and breeding them
  • Beehives — you will need to purchase each hive as well as the bees
  • Fruit trees — you will want to buy each tree as it takes a few years for each tree to bear fruit
  • Crops — the seeds required per acre

A 4 acre homestead layout offers a clear path to abundance, while still being within the average farmer’s means to set up and maintain. Enjoy the bounty and the feeling of knowing that you are your own boss.

Your Turn!

  • Do you focus on one or two kinds of fruit trees or several to have fresh fruit throughout the year?
  • Will you build a wood fence (easier to install, harder to maintain) or steel (harder to install, easier to maintain)?

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