Designing A 20 Acre Homestead Layout

designing a 20 acre homestead


ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

As a minimalist homesteader, I like everything in my life to be multi-purpose. This led me to monetize my homestead by creating a diagram like this 20 acre homestead layout that has helped me to become self-sufficient while still making a profit.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

This 20 acre homestead layout mirrors the design I used on my own land when starting my homestead, which has successfully supplied my needs and brought in revenue.

Twenty acres of land is an amazing amount of space to farm, and if you follow this blueprint to cultivate a good portion of your property, you can create an enjoyable, sustainable, and profitable homestead on your own land as well.

20 Acre Homestead Layout

Twenty Acre Homestead Layout

The challenge of designing your 20 acre homestead layout comes mostly from the vastness of your property. You can do just about anything with 20 acres, so where do you even start? That’s where a pre-plotted design like the blueprint below becomes so helpful. You don’t have to follow this layout exactly, but it will give you a game plan as you create a homestead large enough to bring in an income.

what is homesteadingWith this amount of acreage, you can build a nice home and garage situated away from the road for privacy and scenic window views. You’ll have room for around 55 solar panels to power your home and working spaces, a woodshed, as many compost bins as your household and farm require, and a roomy barn as well.

To produce bulk amounts of vegetables and fruits that will help with cash flow, you can create around 85 raised garden beds (at 4×8 feet apiece), 35 ground-level garden plots (at 10×10 feet apiece), and an orchard of around 200 fruit trees. You’ll also have plenty of space for livestock to provide meat, eggs, and milk. You can experiment with different types of animals if you’d like, but for a 20 acre homestead design, I recommend around 140 ducks, 170 chickens, 90 pigs, 120 goats, and as many beehives as you’re able to monitor and maintain.

twenty acre homestead layout

Designing Your Homestead Layout


Acre Homestead


Acre Homestead


Acre Homestead

How Much Will A 20 Acre Homestead Produce?

A 20 acre homestead layout like the one above is capable of producing around 90,000 lbs of food in a good growing year. Here’s a more in-depth breakdown.

Production Projections For 20 Acres

  1. Main HouseWhile I went with a tiny home, you will have room for a house just about as large as you’d like with a roomy garage and a long driveway. No matter where or how large you build your house, consider adding an indoor sunroom to grow herbs.
  2. Solar ArrayFifty-five solar panels should be enough to power around 5,500 square feet of living space. If you’re going completely off grid, you might need additional panels to help with your different outbuildings.
  3. WoodshedWhether you’re heating your home with woodstoves or you just want some firewood for campfires in the evening, you’ll need a place to protect your wood pile from the elements. To give you an idea of how large your woodshed needs to be, 2 to 3 cords of firewood is enough to heat 1,000 square feet of living space.
  4. CompostA compost bin is a handy feature for your homestead, as it makes use of your fresh food scraps to help fertilize your gardens and even feed your livestock.
  5. Raised GardensFor a harvest of 2,720 to 5,440 lbs of produce in a year, you can cultivate 85 raised 4×8 garden beds.
  6. CropsFor a harvest of between 3,500 and 7,000 lbs of produce, create 35 ground-level 10×10 gardens.
  7. BarnFor a homestead layout of 20 acres, you’ll need a place to store your feed, hay, equipment, and gardening supplies. The more supplies you have, the larger the barn you’ll need.
  8. Pig PenNinety pigs that each weight about 250 lbs would yield close to 11,000 lbs of meat.
  9. Goat PenIf you own around 120 goats, your homestead could produce around 24,000 gallons of milk annually, depending on the breeds and ages of your herd.
  10. Orchard / BeehivesAs beehives are known to produce between 60 to 100 lbs of honey per hive in a year, you could feasibly produce between 1,200 and 2,000 lbs of honey. You’ll also be able to use your bees to pollinate your orchard, which, assuming you have around 200 trees, could produce between 30,000 and 60,000 lbs of fruit annually.
  11. Chicken CoopIf your flock is healthy, and you’ve chosen the right breeds, 170 chickens could produce approximately 4,000 cartons of eggs in a year.
  12. Duck PondDucks usually lay more eggs in a year than chickens do, so if you raise 140 ducks you could count on around 4,000 cartons of duck eggs in a year.
barndominuim floorplans and designs

Why 20 Acres Is The Perfect Size For Your Homestead

Why A 20 Acre Farm is The Perfect Size

A homestead layout for 20 acres of farmable land is the perfect size for your homestead if you’re looking to monetize your property. The vegetable gardens, orchards, and animals you’ll have room to grow and raise will provide you with bulk harvests of produce you can market to your local community and even sell online in some cases. With a realistic plan, a pre-set design, and some creativity, you can enjoy the privacy, beauty, and bounty of a large homestead all while working your land, growing your own food, and bringing in a larger income.

how to start homesteading

Is 20 Acres Enough For A Farm?

Twenty acres of land is not only enough for a farm, it’s enough for a lucrative farm. You’ll have ample property to grow your own food, live a self-sufficient lifestyle, and sell your excess produce to local stores and farmers markets. To really lean into making a profit, you’ll want to start initiating connections with other homesteaders and farmers in your area to learn their tricks of the trade, as well as how they market their goods.

What Are The Dimensions Of 20 Acres?

When laying out your homestead, you’ll be working with 871,200 square feet of land at approximately 660 by 1,320 feet. If that sounds like an intimidating amount of farming space, don’t forget that it’s fine (even wise) to start small and gradually build up to the large, thriving farm you’re aiming for.

How Do You Lay Out A 20 Acre Homestead?

How To Layout A Twenty Acre Farm

I won’t be able to predict every weather or soil problem you’ll run into as you begin setting up your homestead, but I still believe that following my blueprint for your 20 acres will give you a solid head start. Compare my diagram to an actual map of your own property. Mark off each section of your homestead and then walk your grounds, making sure your diagram aligns with your terrain. Place some stakes to mark the areas you want to reserve for your gardens, livestock, and other endeavors so that you don’t have to do the brainstorming twice.

Here’s What I’ve Done

  • A long, curved driveway so my home is surrounded by nature, not traffic
  • A three-bin composting system utilizing my garden waste and table scraps
  • A chicken coop and run with two dozen chickens
  • A tiny home with a garage for storage and parking
  • A sunroom for growing indoor herbs and enjoying a view of my property
  • 10 solar panels to power my living and working spaces
  • A mixture of pear and apple trees in my orchard
  • A row of maple and dogwood trees lining my fence for shade and privacy
  • Lots of raised garden beds (4×8 feet), each made easily from three 2x4s
chicken coop garden

How Big Should A Homestead Garden Be?

When you’re working with a homestead layout for 20 acres, I recommend keeping your full garden (raised beds and ground plots) between 6,000 to 7,000 square feet. This will give you a good harvest of vegetables and melons without completely overwhelming your property. You can always choose to extend your garden space if you have a good market for your garden-grown produce and instead opt for a smaller orchard or less livestock.

how to prepare garden soil

How Many Fruit Trees Should You Plant On 20 Acres?

If you’re looking to bring in as much of an income from your acreage as you can, you’ll want to plant a sizeable amount of fruit trees, think around 200. That said, trees aren’t known to grow quickly, so planting them will be a longer-term investment in your property that you’ll want to off-set with some investments that give you faster rewards and harvests.

How Many Berry Bushes Should You Plant On 20 Acres?

growing berries on a homesteadWhile you could feasibly plant around 250 berry bushes on your 20 acres, how many you choose to plant will depend on if you’re growing them in addition to or instead of fruit trees. Berry bushes like blueberries and raspberries are decently easy to grow and can give you a substantial harvest, which is great if there’s a market in your area for fresh berries or baked goods.

Bushes also mature more quickly than trees, so you could choose to grow some berry bushes while you’re waiting for your trees to start producing fruit.

Fencing Your 20 Acres

One of my favorite ways of fencing a larger property like this 20 acre homestead design is to line the inside of the fence with pines, oaks, maples, dogwoods, or whatever trees grow well in your location. This provides an extra layer of privacy so you can make your large homestead your own little natural paradise.

building a homestead fence

What Animals Can You Have On a 20 Acre Hobby Farm?

Animals On a Twenty Acre Homestead

On a 20 acre spread, you have room for plenty of animals. That said, I still recommend sticking to livestock that are medium-sized and under, so that your animals don’t completely take over your growing space. Chickens, ducks, bees, goats, and pigs will add variety to your herd, making your homestead more sustainable, while still leaving room for your crops, orchard, and other homesteading interests.

raising chickens on a homestead

Always Start With Chickens

In my opinion, chickens are the easiest livestock option to start homesteading with, as they’re fairly inexpensive and low maintenance. If you start with a mixture of grown hens and fluffy chicks, you’ll even be able to start getting eggs pretty instantly. Once you’ve started planting your vegetable gardens, your hens can also help you de-bug, fertilize, and till your soil, and they’re also great foragers.

Getting Started With Chickens
raising ducks on a homestead

Ducks Are Amazing Egg Layers

While chickens are easy starter livestock, ducks are prolific egg layers, and adding a pond for them will completely change the look and feel of your property. Duck eggs are also larger with a stronger flavor, and your ducks can help with pest control just like your chickens.

raising honeybees on a homestead

Bees Might Surprise You

Bees are fascinating insects that can help pollinate your fruit trees, bushes, and flowers, while also creating large amounts of honey for you to use, sell, and gift. Beeswax is also very popular in lotions, lip balms, and other products, if you’re interested in adding those profits to your farming business.

raising goats on a homestead

Goats Are Surprisingly Multi-Purpose

The amount of milk a herd of 120 goats can provide is enough to use for a home business built around goat milk products like soaps and lotions; you could also get into making goat milk cheese to eat, store, and sell. Owning goats is a lot of fun, and you’ll get some free lawn trimming out of the arrangement!

raising pigs on a homestead

Pigs Don’t Take Up Much Space

Pigs are smart, social animals, and they don’t tend to travel very far on their short little legs, so they’re as easy to raise as they are enjoyable to care for. The amount of meat pigs provide is also a huge factor, because you’ll make more than enough from the profits to cover the costs involved (and then some). Farm-raised meat sells for a pretty penny, so this investment is definitely worth it.

chicken coop garden combo

Is 20 Acres Really Enough Space To Grow Your Own Food?

Is 20 Acres Enough To Grow Your Own Food

With a 20 acre homestead layout at your disposal, you’ll have ample room to grow all of your own food with enough left over to sell, gift, and incorporate into other hobbies, such as beeswax products, goat milk soaps and lotions, and limitless other options. Unless your property is predominantly wooded or unusable, owning 20 acres pretty much means you’re ready and able to be self-sufficient — so long as you’re willing to put in the work.

easiest vegetables to grow for beginner gardeners

How Much Food Can You Grow On A 20 Acre Farm?

A 20 acre homestead layout can produce 90,000 lbs of produce if you’re willing to farm a large portion of your property. That size of a harvest is more than enough to feed your household, with over 75,000 lbs of excess food to use for a profit that will pay you back for your expenses, cover what you need for the upcoming season, and continue to keep on giving after that. While I can’t predict the weather or the health of your gardens and livestock, a good growing year, free of drought and other unforeseen circumstances, could look something like this.

Estimated Harvest From A 20 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
  • 40,000 lbs of fruit
  • 1,700 lbs of honey
  • 11,000 lbs of meat
honey harvested from homestead beehives

Is 20 Acres Of Land Enough To Be Self-Sufficient?

Yes, 20 acres is plenty of land to be self-sufficient. To be clear, you don’t have to commit to farming the majority of your 20 acres if you don’t want to. You’ll be able to provide for your needs and cover your costs even if you only farm a few acres of your vast spread. If your goal is to make a profit, though, you’ll have ample space to raise enough livestock and grow enough produce to make an income by selling meat, goat milk, vegetables, fruits, honey, eggs, and even the products you make from these farm fresh goods as well.

how to dehydrate food

Can 20 Acres Of Land Sustain One Person?

A 20 acre homestead design is more than enough land to sustain one person completely, but it is also an overwhelming amount of land for one person, or even one family, to fully farm without help. You’ll probably need to factor in costs for hired help or consider trading help for food.

Is 20 Acres Of Land Enough To Feed A Family Of Four?

A family of four could easily live off the harvests a homestead layout of 20 acres provides. If you’re wanting to go beyond just living off the land, though, and actually turn your homestead into a business, you’ll need to treat your land like a part-time job — maybe even eventually a full-time job. It will need consistent time, money, and upkeep, and will even involve after-hours surprise projects. If you put in the work, though, 20 acres can help you turn a decent profit.

homestead garden basics

Can You Be Off Grid On A 20 Acre Homestead?

Can You Live Off Grid On A 20 Acre Homestead

You can absolutely be off grid on a 20 acre homestead layout. An off-grid lifestyle will bring added challenges and costs to the startup and continuing maintenance of your homestead, so you’ll want to know all the pros and cons before you get started. I’ve known many successful off-grid homesteaders, though, who love the complete independence and freedom they have with food, finances, and their own time as well.

Is 20 Acres Of Land Enough For An Off-Grid Homestead?

On a 20 acre spread, you’ll definitely have room for all your off-grid homesteading necessities, like an outdoor bathroom, extra solar panels, and a solar generator, but you’ll want to take a look at what your profit-margin goals are first. Full commitment to off-grid living can take level farmland away from your crops and livestock, but it can also lower some of your costs of living. Weigh these considerations in the balance when you’re starting out.

how to build an off grid bathroom

How Many Solar Panels Needed To Power Your Homestead?

The number of solar panels you need will depend on the size of your home and the number and size of other buildings (such as your barn) that you decide to power around your farm. For reference, 55 solar panels is enough to cover 5,500 square feet of living space.

Is A 20 Acre Homestead Worth The Investment?

Is A 20 Acre Homestead Worth The Investment

I’m definitely biased toward the homesteading lifestyle, so, to me, a 20 acre homestead is more than worth the investment of money, time, and energy. This might not be true for you, but if you’re craving an independent life that’s also more in touch with nature, living on a large 20 acre spread will probably be a refreshing life shift for you. Also, if you’re serious about farming your land, you’ll be able to turn a respectable profit at the end of a good growing year, which will make your investment even more worthwhile.

homesteading on a budget

How Much Does It Cost To Start A 20 Acre Homestead?

The cost of building materials, land, and even livestock will vary widely depending on your location, so I can’t give you any exact numbers. To get you thinking about the scope of your expenses, though, here’s a list of some common costs to expect.

Costs Involved In Building A 20 Acre Homestead

  • Land
  • Building materials
  • Possible hired help
  • Tools and equipment
  • Seeds, plants, bushes, and trees
  • Livestock
  • Continued maintenance
  • Animal feed and care
keeping goats on a homestead

Can A 20 Acre Homestead Be Profitable?

As I’ve mentioned above, a 20 acre homestead has great potential for being a very profitable homestead. It all depends on what you do with it. Following my 20 acre homestead layout will give you a head start on your journey to using your own land to make money.

Your Turn!

  • How much of a profit are you hoping to make from your 20 acre homestead?
  • What is your experience with following a plan vs. winging it on a farm?

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