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Homesteading on Small Acreage: Everything You Need to Know

Do you enjoy the thought of homesteading?  Perhaps you are a lover of animals, or maybe the thought of growing your own fruits and vegetables is what catches your fancy.  But if you live on small acreage, you may feel like homesteading is a dream that will never turn into reality.  Well, I have good news for you.  You can homestead even if you live on an acre or two of land.  That's what this article today is about.  I'll be going over how to start a homestead, useful ways to make the most of your space, tips on making money on your small homestead, and tips for making your homestead successful.  So let's get started on making your dream a reality.

Tips to Make the Most of Your Homestead

Homesteading on a small amount of land means that you'll need to try to make the most of the land you have.  In other words, if you have a few acres of land, you could probably plant a large garden and not worry about it taking up too much room on your farm.  But what about if you live on one acre of land?  Taking up to much space to grow a garden can result in you and your animals feeling crammed.  Same thing goes for taking up too much room for your animals or even yourself.  Building a rock garden in your backyard too big means not enough room for your farm animals to graze.  Let's together take a look at some useful ways to make the most of your homestead.

Grow Your Plants Upward

It is time to grow up, and I'm talking about your plants.  Like I just said, growing a large garden on the ground takes up room.  When you are homesteading on a small amount of land, you cannot use too much space to grow a garden unless that is all you plan to do on your homestead.  But that doesn't mean you can't grow a lot of vegetables.  Try growing your plants upward.  A vertical garden is a great way to do that.  There are many different ways to make vertical gardens.  You could use planter boxes, or make your own vertical garden out of a frame.  If you don't have much space, you can even try growing a vertical garden indoors.

Small Livestock

An easy way to save on space is to get small livestock.  For example, if you want to raise sheep, consider getting a miniature breed such as the Shetland sheep.  Or if you are raising goats, perhaps you want to try the Pygmy goat.  You can also go small on chickens too.  Bantam chickens are very popular.  Their eggs are going to be smaller, but they are still just as good as other chicken eggs.  Keep in mind that bantam chickens may not be good if you are raising chickens for meat, because they are so small.  But their eggs are great, and when they molt you can keep their feathers for making pillows or other creative items.  The truth is that the smaller the animals are, the less room you need for them.  

Besides Raising Chickens for Meat, Also Raise Them for Eggs

If you are raising chickens for meat, consider raising them first for eggs.  This will allow you to get a large quantity of eggs either to keep or sell.  Chickens can live for a long time, and that is a long time of not having to buy eggs from the store.  Hens are also very easy keepers.  You may want to add a rooster in too, to protect the hens and also to serve as your country alarm clock.  

Container Gardening

If vertical gardening isn't your thing, perhaps you want to try container gardening.  This means using pots/containers for growing plants instead of using the ground to grow a garden.  A lot of people use container gardening for growing flowers, but it can also be used for growing vegetables.  You won't be able to get too many plants in each pot, but you can grow as many pots as you'd like.

Raise Your Own Pollinators

Since your fruits and vegetables need pollination to produce, it may be a good idea to raise bees so that they pollinate the crops for you.  This will bump up the number of produce you will receive, as well as give you free honey.  Make sure to check your city’s ordinances for details before you get started on raising bees.

Tips for Making Money on a Small Homestead

Are you thinking of homesteading to make money?  Read on!  There are many ways to make money off of your small homestead.

  • Sell vegetables and fruits - Look around to see if you have a farmer's market near you or some other store that would sell your produce.  If so, try selling some of your fruits and vegetables there.  If you have herbs, sell them too.  People are eager to purchase fresh fruits and veggies grown locally.
  • Sell eggs - Try selling your eggs at a local farmer's market or store.  Farm fresh eggs are so much healthier than store eggs.
  • Sell seedlings - Try making your own business of selling seedlings.  You may be surprised at how many people want to buy seedlings instead of seeds for their garden.
  • Sell fertile hatching eggs - Some people want to experience raising chickens from the egg to the adult chicken, but sometimes they don't have a rooster.  Perhaps you want to sell fertile eggs so that people can raise their own chicken from chicks.  Another option is to sell day old chicks.
  • Teach a class - After starting your small homestead, you may feel like you are well experienced.  Even if you don't feel that way, you can be a help to those wanting to get started on making their own small home a homestead.  Teaching a class on homesteading can bring in some extra income for you.
  • Stock photos - If you have been taking lots of pictures of your farm, consider selling those photos online.
  • Cut flowers - You can actually charge a lot for cut flowers, and people will buy them.  You may want to sell them at a time when people are really buying cut flowers, such as around Valentine's Day, Easter, and Mother's Day.

What Makes a Homestead Successful?

We have now gone over the tips for making the most of your small homestead and how to make money off of it.  But you may be wondering what makes a small homestead successful?  Well, let's take a look.

Eat Seasonally

Each Summer/Fall when the crops can be harvested, try to eat what you have grown instead of shopping at the grocery store for foods your family prefers.  If you are buying other foods along with your homegrown foods, there is a good chance that some of the vegetables you grew will go to waste.  As soon as the crop is harvested, try to eat only what you grew.

Learn to Store Food Properly

Even if you make it a point to eat only what you grew, some of your veggies and fruits will probably rot if you don't process them.  Ways to process your foods include canning, dehydrating, and freezing.  Make sure you do that as soon as your crop is harvested, so that they don't go bad.  Besides, you'll have a winter supply of homegrown veggies and fruits.

Go Small

Like I said earlier, going small will give your small homestead more space.  Try raising small livestock, build small shelters, and grow gardens upward.

Get Selling

Making money is what will keep your homestead running successfully.  The profit that you make will allow you to buy animal feed, vegetable seeds, and other animals you may want to add to your homestead.

How to Start a Homestead

I'm sure by now I have convinced you that homesteading on a small acreage is worth while, and if it is your dream you can indeed make it a reality.  But how do you get started?  Let's take a look at the steps to turning your home into a homestead.

  • Prepare your land - Build a shelter for your animals, set up your backyard so that you can use it to grow a small garden, and rearrange your yard so that is fit for homesteading.
  • Purchase some animals - To begin your homesteading journey, you will need to purchase some animals.  Decide what livestock you would like to raise.  Chickens, sheep, and goats are common farm animals to raise.
  • Start your garden - Wait until around Spring to begin your garden.  Before Spring comes, get your vertical garden and containers ready for growing plants.  Have some seeds on hand too.  If you will be growing your plants indoors, you can start at any time during the year.
  • Sell your products - After your small farm is up and running, start selling some of your products.  Let your business be known (if you have one).

Final Thoughts

The new and very popular homesteading trend is homesteading on small acreage. So why not get started yourself on turning your home into a farm.  As you can see, homesteading on small acreage is easy to do.  You will want to use your space wisely, such as growing a vertical garden instead of a regular garden, or using containers to grow plants.  This will save on space.  Another tip to try is to raise smaller livestock.  The smaller the animal is, the less room it will take up and the less food it will eat.

In this article, I went over some tips for making your small homestead successful.  I also went over some ways your farm can provide an extra income.  Remember to have fun when creating your small homestead. Homesteading can be a great project for the entire family.  Have fun!

Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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