How Much Land You Need To Go Off The Grid? The original homesteaders, the pioneers who went West, were following the American dream as it was understood in the 19th century — they wanted a house, and land, and a farm, of their own. Those who become homesteaders today aren’t necessarily aspirational in the same way; instead, they’re looking to escape mainstream America. They want to do so for many reasons: privacy, radicalism, a philosophical belief in self-sufficiency. But “going off the grid” is a daunting proposal, especially for those with families. Non-homesteaders rely on others for virtually everything; not just our haircuts, but our electricity and our eggs. According to the company’s research, a family of four that eats meat, dairy and eggs would need around two acres of land to feed themselves for a year. Here’s the chart. [Via HuffingtonPost.com]
Jackie’s Tips For Hardcore Homesteading By Jackie Clay Many of us have a garden and enjoy fresh vegetables during the summer and fall. Maybe we even have a few chickens for eggs and meat. But many of us may want to extend our homesteading to what I call "hard-core" homesteading. Luckily, most of us with a piece of out-of-the-way land can become nearly "store-bought-free," raising much of what we need in nearly the same way as did our ancestors. There is a vast difference between this type of survival homesteading and stars-in-the-eyes, back-to-nature, recreational homesteading to relieve stress and provide enjoyment. The survival garden It has been said that one can raise enough food for a family of four in a 50- by 50-foot space. When one needs a garden to put up food, not only for the winter but possibly for a year or two, we're talking about at least an acre of intense cropping. And if there are no store shelves to choose from, we will all need to take care of our own needs at home. You can't grow everything, everywhere.
Nine Things to Consider When Looking For Your Survival House image from Seattle Municipal Archives You don’t need a bunker in a remote location in Idaho or Montana to have a home that is able to withstand an emergency situation. However, there are a few things you’ll want to consider when choosing where to live as your home is an often overlooked but important part of your preparedness efforts. If you’re looking to relocate (or just want to run your current location through a survival checkup), here are a few important things to consider that affect the security and survivability of your home. 1. 2. 3. Weather hazards can encompass large areas, so are sometimes difficult to avoid. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Bonus #10. My home is my castle (albeit a very small castle). Adaptable House caters for growing family, home office, retired living, or divorce It uses sliding partitions and storage walls, extension modules and a puzzle of garden components. Danish architects Henning Larsen's new Adaptable House is designed to accommodate the most common lifestyle changes, from having children to settling into retirement. The energy-efficient home can even be fairly separated in case of divorce. View all Realized with developers Realdania Byg and contractors GXN, the Adaptable House not only offers flexible room arrangements, but has a built-in strategy for extending and separating volumes. Pre-figuring life changes The Adaptable House was conceived to help meet a range of lifestyle changes. Perhaps the most innovative and coolly pragmatic gesture is in adapting for divorce. Sliding partitions make flexible interiors (Photo: Jesper Ray/Realdania Byg) Not just a room under the stairs The architects were determined that any new configurations meet their criteria for natural light, ventilation, plus noise and temperature control. Adding on
What Kind Of Small Farm Is Right For You? So, you're planning a small farm, but you're not sure if you want to have a hobby farm, a homestead, or a small farm business. What do you do? How do you decide on the best fit? Consider Your Goals The first thing to think about is, what do you want out of your small farm? For example, are you an entrepreneurial type who gets warm and glowy when you envision creating value-added farm products and selling them at farmers markets, or growing vegetables on acres of farmland and selling them in bulk to restaurants? Set Goals for Your Small Farm Hobby Farming Hobby farming is for people who have another primary source of income and want to have a farm that doesn't have to produce income or support them by providing for most or all of their needs. Hobby farmers can put a lot of money into their hobby farms, or they can run them more like a homestead in that they want to minimize how much money they use as an input. How to Start a Hobby Farm A Small Farm Business How to Start a Small Farm Business
How To Start Homesteading You might live in the city or the country. Your homesteading plans might be pie-in-the-sky dreams or you may be ready to start right this minute. Wherever you are right now, you should know that you can take a step toward your homesteading dreams today. It can be hard to figure out where to start. Start Now You can start homesteading right now, today. Pick one or two projects that you can start in the next month or so. If that seems like too much, start smaller. Read and Learn Besides starting a small project or two this season, take the time to read up about homesteading skills. List Your Priorities Once you've soaked up as much information as possible about how to homestead, you'll be itching to start planning your homestead. Find a Homestead For many of us, finding that "place in the country" is a key part of homesteading. Remember that you don't need 40 acres, or even 10, to have a homestead. How to Buy Land for a Homestead or Small Farm Plan the First Year
Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities This guide is written for anyone seeking help from federal programs to foster innovative enterprises in agriculture and forestry in the United States. Specifically, the guide addresses program resources in community development; sustainable land management; and value-added and diversified agriculture and forestry. Thus, it can help farmers, entrepreneurs, community developers, conservationists, and many other individuals, as well as private and public organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit. The guide can also help USDA and other agency employees become aware and take better advantage of the enormous array of federal programs and resources available to their clients in supporting agricultural and forestry innovations. Website design and maintenance as well as distribution of hard copies of this guide are conducted by the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) project of the National Center for Appropriate Technology
Concept Plan For A Sustainable Farm Here is a sustainable-living concept plan for a 1/4 acre home in an urban setting. I hope you can get some good ideas from it for your own home! Following this plan is a concept plan for a home on acreage. Below is a conceptual plan for a hypothetical sustainable farm that could be created on between 2-10 acres. Some things we have found particularly beneficial is siting the garden below our home so that we can collect the rain water off our roof and store it in a 500 gallon barrel to irrigate the garden. What sustainability means to me! More great ideas are available at Mother Earth News online:
Permaculture Design For Small Farms & Homesteads - Sustainable Farming Conventional agricultural ecosystems (i.e., farms) are inherently fragile: Their productivity can be sustained only if fossil fuel subsidies, in one form or another, are employed as inputs. Most farms entail, as well, other very serious environmental costs. Clearly, we need to create new food raising systems that will conserve soil, water, and nutrients ... minimize the use of fossil fuels, chemical fertilizers, and synthetic pesticides ... and lead to regionally self-reliant food systems. Alternative farming practices—known variously as organic, biological, or biodynamic methods—come closer to meeting such a criterion of sustainability. Nationwide, an estimated 30,000 farmers now rely on crop rotation, animal manures, legumes, green manures, mechanical cultivation, mineral-bearing rocks, and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and tilth, supply plant nutrients, and control insects, weeds, and other pests.
A Plan For Food Self-Sufficiency - Modern Homesteading Related Content Fresh Storage of Produce For the past few years, we've experimented with different ways of storing food fresh and now we're e... Providing high-quality food for your family year-round takes foresight and planning, plus healthy doses of commitment and follow-through. Whether you grow as much of your food as you can or you source it from local producers, the guidelines here will help you decide how much to produce or purchase. The charts linked to in “Plan How Much to Grow” later in this article will also help you estimate how much space you’ll need — both in your garden to grow the crops, and in your home and pantry or root cellar to store preserved foods. 1. Make a list of the foods you and your family eat now — and note the quantities as well. Decide what you’d like to grow, noting the foods your family prefers and recognizing that not every crop will grow in every climate. Don’t be afraid to start small and build gradually toward food self-sufficiency. 2. 3. 4. 5. Oils.