Designing A 30 Acre Homestead Layout

designing a 30 acre homestead


ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Whether it’s designing a tiny home or building a chicken coop, I’m particular about the details in everything I do. That’s why I designed my own homestead like this 30 acre homestead layout in order to have simplicity, beauty, and organization; all while enjoying the fruits of my gardens and livestock.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

I’m often asked about homestead design because of how I set up my own land, and this 30 acre homestead layout came about in answer to those questions. Whenever you’re starting something new, it’s natural and wise to ask questions and learn from the experience of others. Homesteading will always be a DIY project, but you can avoid a lot of mistakes and start way ahead of the game if you do your research before you get started.

30 Acre Homestead Layout

Thirty Acre Homestead Layout

I created this 30 acre homestead layout with the intention of helping others create a practical and efficient farm on their own land, while also keeping the whole operation scenic and nicely landscaped. The goal of homesteading isn’t to make your property look pretty, but if you’re planning on farming a large portion of your land, you’ll spend a significant amount of time walking your property lines. The more effort you put into the layout and creation process, the more enjoyable your time surrounded by the nature on your property will be.

what is homesteadingOnly you can decide how much of your land you want to farm, and that decision will come mostly from how much time you have to invest and how large of a harvest you’re looking to bring in. Because I can’t know your specific needs, I’m going to be giving estimates of what you can achieve with your 30 acres if you’re turning most of your property into a homestead. Take these numbers and apply them to your situation, but it’s always great to know what’s possible before you start.

With a homestead layout for 30 acres, you’ll have room for a lot of growing space. I recommend around 85 raised garden beds (4×8 feet each), 35 ground-level gardens (10×10 feet each), and an orchard of approximately 200 fruit trees. For livestock, I recommend around 170 chickens, 140 ducks, 120 goats, 90 pigs, 40 beehives, and five cows.

Cows spend most of their lives grazing open pastures, and for them to have enough to graze, you’ll need to allow for close to 2 acres per cow. Since five cows will effectively take up about 10 acres of your property, you’ll need to decrease your other livestock or garden spaces for any additional cows you want on top of those five. If you’re more interested in bulk vegetable, fruit, egg, and pork harvests than you are in dairy, you could opt for skipping cows entirely to keep that 10 acres of cow pasture for your vegetable gardens and smaller livestock — it all depends on your priorities.

thirty acre homestead layout

Designing Your Homestead Layout


Acre Homestead


Acre Homestead


Acre Homestead

How Much Will A 30 Acre Homestead Produce?

A 30 acre homestead layout can produce around 100,000 lbs of food in a good farming year, assuming you go with my recommendations above. You could potentially increase this amount by deciding against cows and gaining 10 more acres of growing space. That said, farm fresh dairy and beef are also great additions to your meals, and they fetch a good price if you’re trying to turn a profit.

Production Projections For 30 Acres

  1. Main HouseYour home is a vital part of your homestead. Whether you build a tiny house or a two-story farmhouse, you can design a place to enjoy cooking your homegrown foods and storing your preserved produce. Having a garage for projects and a sunroom for growing indoor herbs will add nice, practical touches.
  2. Solar ArraySolar power is a great way to take your homestead a step closer to sustainability. Fifty-five solar panels can power around 5,500 square feet of living and working space.
  3. Shed & Compost BinsHaving a shed to store your wood for winter is essential if you’re using wood heat, and having compost bins to turn your garden scraps and produce waste into fertilizer for your garden and feed for your livestock is an essential part of creating a sustainable homestead. One cord of wood takes up around 128 cubic feet and heats around 300 to 500 square feet of living space depending on your climate. The size and output of your compost bins will depend on the amount of garden and table scraps you produce, so you can start small and build to the number of bins you need.
  4. Raised GardensI’m a fan of raised beds because they look sharp and pleasantly rustic on your farm, and they are easy to maintain because you can reach everything while standing outside of them. Eighty-five raised garden beds built 4×8 feet could give you a yearly harvest between 2,720 to 5,440 lbs of produce.
  5. Orchard / BeehivesYour beehives and your orchard can work together, with your bees pollinating your fruit trees and producing around 2,000 lbs of honey (if you maintain around 30 bee hives). If you grow around 200 trees, you could harvest between 30,000 and 60,000 lbs of fruit annually.
  6. BarnThe larger your homestead, the more important a barn becomes, as you’ll have bulk amounts of feed, hay, garden tools, and farm equipment you need to store in a safe, dry place.
  7. Pig PenYou’ll bring in around 11,000 lbs of meat for every 90 pigs (weighing around 250 lbs each) that you slaughter. Keep in mind you probably won’t want to slaughter all of your pigs in one year, as you’ll want to breed and raise piglets, so you probably won’t actually reach that amount all at once.
  8. Cow PenAfter giving birth, cows can produce 2,000 gallons of milk in the following 10 months. Also, a cow that weighs 1,200 lbs would produce approximately 500 lbs of meat, so, with five cows (and depending on your goals), if you breed three and slaughter two, you’ll be looking at around 6,000 gallons of milk and 1,000 lbs of beef.
  9. Goat PenIf most of your goats are female and you breed them all, you’d be looking at a production of around 24,000 gallons of milk a year.
  10. CropsThirty-five ground level gardens at 10×10 feet each could produce a harvest of 3,500 to 7,000 lbs of produce in a year.
  11. Chicken CoopUnder healthy conditions, 170 of the right chicken breeds are capable of laying 4,000 cartons of eggs in a year. For reference, the average American eats approximately 23 cartons of eggs annually.
  12. Duck PondSince ducks are usually more prolific egg layers than chickens, 140 ducks could also produce around 4,000 cartons a year, and their eggs will be larger and, I think, tastier.
barndominium floorplans and designs

Why 30 Acres Is The Perfect Size For Your Homestead

Why A 30 Acre Farm is The Perfect Size

A 30 acre homestead design is the perfect size for a farm where you can enjoy organizing a wide variety of livestock, gardens, and trees into a smartly landscaped nature haven. You can help your animals, vegetable gardens, trees, and lawn to thrive when you follow a practical and scenic layout for each area. If you’re a homesteader at heart, growing your own food is a big deal, so give your property the thought and care it deserves.

Is 30 Acres Enough For A Farm?

Thirty acres is plenty of space for a farm to grow your own food and even to be self-sufficient. The fact that you have 10 acres to spare for your cows means that your land is a homesteader’s dream come true. Between your large barn and pastures, your fields of vegetables, and the faint scent of manure and herbs, your homestead will look like and feel like a classic country farm.

how to start homesteading

What Are The Dimensions Of 30 Acres?

As you start laying out your homestead, you’ll be working with a whopping 1,306,800 square feet of farmland at around 808 feet by 1,616 feet. This means that you have wiggle room to arrange your coops, pens, and gardens in an order that gives you the best workflow as you care for your crops and animals, while also keeping everything pleasingly proportioned.

fall growing season

How Do You Lay Out A 30 Acre Homestead?

How To Layout A Thirty Acre Farm

I always recommend using my homestead layout for 30 acres to map out your land on paper before actually walking your grounds. You have a lot of property to mark, so stake out the area you need for every aspect of your homestead — from your gardens to your orchard — so you can picture in your mind what your future, flourishing homestead will look like.

Here’s What I’ve Done

  • A tiny home powered by 10 solar panels with a backup solar generator
  • A sunroom with shelving and hooks for growing indoor herbs
  • Twenty chickens with a coop and run
  • A tree-lined driveway
  • Compost bins for creating fertilizer from food and garden scraps
  • A small orchard of apple and pear trees
  • Several maple, oak, and dogwood trees for shade and privacy
  • Raised garden beds (4×8 feet), each made easily from three 2x4s
chickens on a homestead

How Big Should A Homestead Garden Be?

If you’re setting aside 10 acres for your cows, you’ll probably need to keep your homestead garden between 6,000 and 7,000 square feet. Without cows, you could choose to expand your growing area up to 12,000 square feet if that better suits your needs.

homestead garden basics

How Many Fruit Trees Should You Plant On 30 Acres?

Again, with cows, you’ll want to keep your orchard to around 200 trees, which will still give you a large fruit harvest. Without cows, you could choose to build your orchard to around 300 trees, increasing your fruit production by half.

How Many Berry Bushes Should You Plant On 30 Acres?

Some homesteaders choose to add some vining berries along their homestead fence, or to create a large grove of berry bushes instead of having an orchard. With the second option, you could plant between 250 and 350 berry bushes, depending on whether you’re allowing room for a large cow pasture.

Fencing Your 30 Acres

A homestead fence acts as a border to your farm, but more importantly, it serves as a barrier to keep unwanted predators from harming your livestock and plants. This barrier can also keep your (sometimes ornery) livestock from venturing off your property, so keep that in mind when choosing your materials. To function as a barricade instead of just a marker, you’ll need something sturdy that gives a lot of coverage, like chicken wire or chain link.

building a homestead fence

What Animals Can You Have On a 30 Acre Hobby Farm?

Animals On a Thirty Acre Homestead

For farms 25 acres and under, I recommend sticking to small and medium livestock options like chickens, ducks, bees, goats, and pigs, but for a 30 acre homestead design, you can also add cows if you’re interested in adding dairy and/or beef to your homestead’s production. Cows require about 2 acres of land a piece, so you won’t be able to have a large amount on a property this size without sacrificing most of your growing room and room for other livestock.

raising chickens on a homestead

Start With Chickens

Chickens are easy starter livestock, and it’s amazing how having a flock of them roaming your 30 acres, foraging for food, can transform your acreage into a charming homestead. Chickens are great for many reasons, most importantly because they lay eggs, eat bugs, and scratch their own fertilizer into your garden soil, all while being decently cheap to buy and feed.

Getting Started With Chickens
raising ducks on a homestead

Add Ducks For More Eggs

While roving chickens make your farm comfortable and homey, ducks add a more unique, peaceful atmosphere to your 30 acre spread. Who doesn’t want to linger by a peaceful pond brimming with life? Frogs, turtles, and even birds will be drawn to your pond even while your ducks and their ducklings enjoy it. Another great thing about ducks is that they’re abundant egg layers that will also forage and help decrease your bug populations.

raising honeybees on a homestead

Consider Bees For Honey And Pollination

Like chickens and ducks, bees serve more than one purpose on your homestead. After pollinating your fruit tree blossoms, flowers, and even some of your vegetables in your gardens, they will produce large amounts of honey and beeswax that can be used, gifted, and sold for a good price.

raising goats on a homestead

Goats Bring Playful Energy To A Homestead

If you’ve never seen kid goats playing with each other or their owners like a bunch of puppies, you’re missing out. On top of being just plain fun, though, lactating goats produce a lot of milk that can be used for numerous products, and your herd will also keep their pen mowed free of charge.

raising pigs on a homestead

Pigs Are Easy, Fun, And Lucrative

A 30 acre homestead layout will keep you busy, no doubt, so adding livestock like pigs that are easy to take care of is a no-brainer. Pigs don’t actually need much space, they enjoy interacting with people, and they can be fun to watch. By the time you eat and sell the pork you get from your pigs, they will more than pay for themselves.

raising cows on the homestead

Cows Add A Whole New Atmosphere

There’s something about cows grazing in an open pasture that elevates a homestead to a fully fledged farm at first sight. Cows are fun, and though they take up a lot of space, they produce a lot of milk and can provide a lot of meat as well. They’re also good for the plant life on your property, as they return most of the nutrients they consume from grazing back into the soil.

how to start a compost pile

Is 30 Acres Really Enough Space To Grow Your Own Food?

Is 30 Acres Enough To Grow Your Own Food

A homestead layout for 30 acres will give you space to grow enough food to feed a small neighborhood. You can always choose to grow only enough to support your household, or, you could produce bulk amounts of fruits, vegetables, meat, milk, eggs, and honey to turn your 30 acres into a lucrative homestead.

How Much Food Can You Grow On A 30 Acre Farm?

If you follow my recommendations for the sizing and numbers of your gardens and livestock, you could produce around 100,000 lbs of food in an ideal growing year. The actual numbers might end up looking a lot different depending on the varying factors of weather, livestock health, and pests, but here are some estimates to give you an idea of what you could aim for.

Estimated Harvest From A 30 Acre Homestead With This Layout

  • 10,000 lbs of vegetables
  • 4,000 cartons of chicken eggs
  • 4,000 cartons of duck eggs
  • 24,000 gallons of goat milk
  • 6,000 gallons of cow milk
  • 40,000 lbs of fruit
  • 1,700 lbs of honey
  • 12,000 lbs of meat
eggs harvested on the homestead

Is 30 Acres Of Land Enough To Be Self-Sufficient?

A homestead layout for 30 acres of mostly usable farmland is more than enough to be self-sufficient, even if you have a large household. With all the livestock I’ve recommended and all the fruits and veggies you choose, you’ll have a well-rounded diet of fruits, vegetables, and proteins, and you’ll have several bulk produce items to sell.

how to prepare garden soil

Can 30 Acres Of Land Sustain One Person?

Yes, 30 acres of land can sustain one person, even if you only farm a small percentage of your full acreage. Farming your acres to capacity, though, would take a considerable amount of outside help, even if you turn your land into your full-time job.

Is 30 Acres Of Land Enough To Feed A Family Of Four?

As I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, 30 acres is plenty of land to completely feed a family of four, even without any outsourcing. Four people might be able to fully farm 30 acres by themselves, but if you have young children, hired help would probably be a must.

easiest vegetables to grow for beginner gardeners

Can You Be Off Grid On A 30 Acre Homestead?

Can You Live Off Grid On A 30 Acre Homestead

Yes, you can be off grid on a 30 acre homestead layout. Whether or not a completely unplugged lifestyle is right for you will depend on your startup budget and the size and willingness of your family, but many homesteaders swear by the benefits of a fully self-sustained lifestyle.

Is 30 Acres Of Land Enough For An Off-Grid Homestead?

Thirty acres of land is definitely enough for an off-grid homestead, and, honestly, this amount of land is pretty ideal for an off-grid lifestyle. You won’t have so much land that you can’t efficiently manage it while tending to the other tasks that a fully self-sustained lifestyle brings. Also, while your land won’t be too overwhelming, it will provide plenty of extra space for the outbuildings and extra solar, water, and heating equipment needed for an off-grid life.

off grid living misconceptions

How Many Solar Panels Are Needed To Power A Homestead?

I’ve allotted space for 55 solar panels with this 30 acre homestead layout, but how many you need for your unique space will depend on the size of your home, whether or not you want to power any of your outer buildings, and how much power your family uses every month. In general, allow for 10 to 12 solar panels for every 1,000 square feet of living space.

Is A 30 Acre Homestead Worth The Investment?

Is A 30 Acre Homestead Worth The Investment

A 30 acre homestead design is 100 percent worth the investment of time, money, and energy. Those of us who enjoy gardening and raising animals aren’t afraid of farm work, and though homesteading has its challenges, the sight of your chickens foraging in your yard and the soft barnyard sounds of cow moos and pig snorts in the background create an atmosphere some of us thrive on.

homesteading on a budget

How Much Does It Cost To Start A 30 Acre Homestead?

What a 30 acre homestead would cost for me and for you is probably very different. The price of land, materials, and even hired help varies widely depending on the year and the location, so I’m not going to able to give you anything close to an exact estimate of what costs to expect. All I can do is advise that you take all the potential costs into account before getting started. You’ll have plenty of surprises ahead of you, and you don’t want an unforeseen expense to be one of them. Here are some of the costs to keep in mind.

Costs Involved In Building A 30 Acre Homestead

  • Land
  • Building materials
  • Possible hired help
  • Tools and equipment
  • Seeds, plants, bushes, and trees
  • Livestock
  • Continued maintenance
  • Animal feed and care
  • Lawn care maintenance and gear
large homestead farm with barn and shed

Can A 30 Acre Homestead Be Profitable?

The potential for profit on a spread of 30 acres is fairly limitless. How profitable you make it depends on how hardcore you want to go at it. If homesteading is a hobby, and nothing near a full-time job, you’ll probably only focus on turning enough of a profit to keep your farm running. On the other hand, if you’re homed in on creating a large margin of profit, you can sell your goods to local farmers markets, along with venturing into cheesemaking, soap and lotion making, and even selling baked goods.

You’ve got what you need to get started building the homestead you’ve always dreamed of. Use this 30 acre homestead layout as you make your own plan, and don’t be afraid to go slowly. One step at a time will eventually get you a homestead teaming with life and overflowing with produce.

winter on the homestead

Your Turn!

  • How much space would you dedicate on your homestead to cows?
  • What’s your favorite season of the year to be on a farm?

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