Prepper, Survival, Homesteading Forum > Homesteading > General Homesteading & Building > Required acreage for homesteading?


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Old 06-05-2013, 02:59 AM   #31
goshengirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff47041 View Post
Goshengirl, The book, The Backyard Homestead, has a section on grains (I think for feed and for human use) But it's been a few years since I read it so I don't remember what it has about it. I really want to get it out and re-read it now.
We have that book, too, and love it (it's my DH's favorite reading material to bring when we go to visit my folks, lol). Another good one is Seymour's The Self-Sufficient Life. I guess I've got to get those out and look at them again. Because I'm thinking about some of these places that aren't even 2 acres and being able to grow everything needed (garden, orchard, grains, plus feed). We've got about 2.5 acres that aren't woods... maybe we could fit it all in (animals, too) if we reconfigured things. I'd want more room for pasture rotation, but that's a want, not a need. Okay, I can see it. But I still need the woodlot.


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Old 06-05-2013, 03:06 AM   #32
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What do you the more experienced hands here think of mini-combines for small homesteads?

http://youtu.be/dJBcwNMWvRE
How about this walk-behind hay baler?

http://youtu.be/pMK3O00Fyo0
Another version:

http://youtu.be/0XiIHX6pyEc



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Old 06-05-2013, 03:08 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by goshengirl View Post
I'm not seeing any woodlots. What's everyone heating with? We're thankful for our woods for firewood - I don't know what we'd do otherwise.

And does anyone consider an aggie pond a necessity? I can see it not be absolutely necessary, but for true self-sufficiency, I'd want to be sure of water (we don't have an area good for drilling wells).

Also for true self-sufficiency, we need to do more with grains, for ourselves, but mostly for feed. With small acreages, what's everyone doing for feed? Are you able to grow enough, and for what kinds of animals?
My first little 1/2 acre was in an irrigation area (near the Murray River in South Australia) and our neighbour would let us water our garden using his water license (he used to own the house and the water license included that lot number). Firewood we would collect from road sides and the rubbish tip. The reason we moved was to have more acres, plenty of firewood and independent water.
The second homestead was 40 acres, the section I drew was the bulk of the cleared area, the rest was forest. We had 3 large ponds and a good well.
The homestead I now live on has about 45 acres or cleared or partly cleared land and about 130 acres of forest. We have a good well and large pond as well as a small pond.
We are aiming to grow most of our stock feed here on the farm. It won't be grain as we just don't have the arable land for it. Realistically we could grow enough grain to supply the house, not enough for the animals as well.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:44 AM   #34
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Quote:
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What do you the more experienced hands here think of mini-combines for small homesteads?
I'm not "more experienced" but I have been intrigued by this kind of thing too!
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:31 AM   #35
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Those are neat videos Bobbb, prompted me to start another thread on the subjecthttp://www.preparedsociety.com/forum/f35/small-machinery-small-homesteads-19801/#post262776

My thoughts on the particular harvester in that video was that it had no real screening or separation. IF it caught everything, impossible to tell how efficiently it gathered from the video, then I guess it wouldn't be a problem, just would need a lot of screening and maybe some re-threshing after the fact.

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Old 06-10-2013, 04:05 PM   #36
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Depending on what level of self-sufficiency you want, the type of ground you are considering, and the amount of rainfall during a bad year, and the availability of irrigation, I think you need considerably more land that most are indicating.

For 5 people, raising a garden; pig; milk cow; beef steer; chickens and eggs; sugar beets for sugar; oil seed crops for cooking oil and bio-diesel; animal feed, hay, and pasture; woodlot; pond; fruit and nut orchard; space for fence rows and driveways; buildings; and rotating fallow ground, I believe 56 acres of good land, with good rainfall, and good irrigation is needed. More if there are limiting factors as listed above.

There was a reason the land rushes for homesteads were mostly 80-acre and 160-acre parcels. They were expected to provide most of what was needed on the homestead, and generate enough income to buy what they couldn't produce on their own. 80-acres is still a good size for a true homestead, if the ground is good, rainfall is adequate, and there is some irrigation.

I attached a .pdf of the spreadsheet I use to calculate how much land is needed for how ever many people, with the quantities they want of various things. The _a sheet is the spread sheet with a few recommendation numbers on the left, and the _b sheet has a lot of the calculation, notes, and specifics of why I used certain numbers.

Just my contrary opinion.

File Type: pdf 5 person homestead_a.pdf (604.6 KB, 40 views)
File Type: pdf 5 person homestead_b.pdf (52.3 KB, 30 views)
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:32 AM   #37
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A person needs to define what they want to do. The general rule was that (without power equipment), a person can grow enough food to feed themselves. If they had draft animals they could grow enough to feed themselves and sell to others. Mechanized equipment increases yields but you have to have fuel for it. Draft animals need fuel too. We've looked into getting horses (and have owned horses several times). Once you get livestock though and want to grow the food for them too you add a lot more work to your life.

I have a fair sized section in my book Creating the Low-Budget Homestead, directly addressing the question of livestock ownership. With modern gardening methods a person can get by with a lot less garden space than in times past.

Be creative. Use bees for honey/sugar/wax production. The hives take up little space and keep a lot of people out better than a guard dog. The bees feed themselves and you and pollinate your crops. I'd advise staying away form animals because they're often more trouble than they're worth. We plan on getting meat by hunting and fishing but then we live in a sparsely populated area (Montana has less then a million people in the entire state). The only states with more land are Alaska. California and Texas.

I firmly believe that a person can feed a family on one acre under good conditions if they don't own livestock. You'll need good soil, a long growing season, and water for irrigation and you'll need to know what you're doing (good gardening and food preservation skills). The big items will be heat, fuel, etc. but build your home for low energy usage and you should be okay (this means earth sheltered in most places). Take advantage of solar and wind power too.

It would take some planning but would be worth it in the long run.


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Old 06-11-2013, 05:59 AM   #38
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Double post! Sorry


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Old 06-11-2013, 06:01 AM   #39
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My grandfather farmed many years with horses. His opinion based on his experience was that 160 acres was about all a person could handle when farming with horses.

He also pointed out that crop yields were considerably smaller when using horses. Row crops (like corn and soybeans) were spaced 40 or more inches apart so that the horses could walk between the rows to cultivate, etc. With tractors the distance was sometimes as close as 24 inches. There were a lot of other things done differently as well.

They had never heard of intensive gardening back then. We can do a lot better now than they could then but we could learn a lot from them as well.


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Old 06-11-2013, 06:17 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helicopter5472 View Post
Guess I'm old, Is there a web site you got that from, sorta hard to read, Thanks
Try this I got it from One Block Off The Grid

you should be able to click to it to enlarge it. If not try this link http://1bog.org/files/2011/01/backyard_farm.jpg for the original pic. Hope that helps


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