Friday, December 30, 2011


How neat is this?  Recently, one of you awesome readers referred me to the always great website, Mother Earth News.

I was directed to THIS ARTICLE.  The article is by John Seymour and is about how to start a self sufficient homestead on just one acre of land.
Drawing by: Dorling Kindersley
She said it might help give us ideas on where to start at our farm.  Boy did it ever.  I just love this picture.  Now to be fair, the article that goes with this illustration doesn't show you how to make this plan exactly, but it has all the information on the why and how of doing something like this.

I found myself looking at this and imagining our piece of property from this perspective.  Granted, we have a large plot of land, much more than one acre, but the vast majority of it is undeveloped at the moment and so we need to concentrate on the area around the house first and this illustration at least gives us an idea of what we could do if we wanted to go "all out" in the immediate area around the house.

Sure, we don't have a house like the one above.  Sure our land isn't laid out so perfectly square.  Sure we have existing trees in places that wouldn't work so well with this layout.  But the thing we like about this is the fact that it shows you how it COULD be done.  Notice in this drawing, there are of course  several gardens, fruit trees, a bit of a lawn in the backyard, chickens, a place for a cow, pigs, pasture land, even 2 beehives at the back of the property.  It reminds us how we could fit a lot into the space we have.  So I'm going to go to Google satellite views and see if I can print out an overhead view of our property and maybe I can start planning for the future.

In the short term/near term, I need to work on the spot we decided for some raised bed gardens, and I need to get the fruit trees I bought earlier this Fall in the ground in the next month so I'll have to find a place for those, and of course I'd still like those bees in the next couple of months too.  This picture also reminds me that some trees along the back of the property might be a good idea, for wind break and for privacy.

With this as a guide, of sorts, I think we can draw a road map for the future of our farm...of course it might just have to be a multi year plan, but hey, whatever works, right?


  1. I've always thought it would be grand to start out with a TOTALLY blank slate....but then , how long we'd have to wait for a shady spot to sit and admire the view.
    Can't wait to see what you come up with. Planning is such a fun part of the process.
    (Keeps the winter ~interesting!)

  2. Gotta love John Seymore! He has inspired us to work towards the eventual purchase of our future homestead (of at least five acres)! Happy planning! And Happy 2012!!!

  3. Sue - Oh wow, wouldn't a totally blank slate be awesome? But yeah, I don't think I'd have the patience for the trees to get big, ha. It's nice to have trees already. Now I just need to figure out how to work with what we have and add all this fun stuff. Winter IS perfect for Spring dreaming huh?

  4. Bee Girl - Thanks and happy 2012 to you and yours as well! It's funny, we kind of did the opposite, we wanted a homestead and acreage (since we already knew the family that was selling it to us) and so we got it and then have to figure out how to get there , ha. John has some great ideas. He's very inspirational.

  5. how amazing is this plan! i am demolishing our raised beds this summer as they came with the house and are rotten. i was just going to make some beds in the ground rather than raised but those galvanized pots you showed might be the ticket! and this picture makes me want to cash it all in and move out to the country! {we are on the cusp of the country already} thanks for the inspiration!!! one question - where is the driveway?

  6. Jen - I know, isn't it awesome! I know it's probably not very practical (i.e. no driveway, LOL). Yes, this inspires me to just DO something out there. Of course sometimes my reality conflicts with the dream, but I suppose that's what it's all about, make our own dreams right? Thanks for the kind words!!


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