The self-sufficient 1 acre homestead: USA vs Costa Rica

1 Acre Homestead

I first fell in love with the idea of running my own homestead when reading an article on Mother Earth News. This article detailed how to run a self-sufficient 1 acre homestead on just one acre of land. Unfortunately when I later returned to Mother Earth News the site redirected to a 403 – forbidden. (Ed: It seems the article is back online.)

Thankfully the article has been reposted on Food Freedom here.

With the farm shop revolution on the rise more people are not only turning to their local butchers and farm shops but they are becoming increasingly interested in growing their own food.

Added to this I’ve since found a similar article but for homesteaders in Costa Rica. What’s most interesting here are the differences between the two illustrations given. I’ve included both images below for comparison – you can click on them to view in full.

1-acre-homestead-plan

USA: 1 Acre Homestead

one-acre-costarica

Costa Rica: 1 Acre Homestead

The one thing that stands out with the Costa Rica farm are the number of fruit plants dotted about the land (note the Banana patch!). Also the inclusion of 3 ponds for filtration, rice and fish.

Do I really need a cow? and similar questions.

If a self-sufficient lifestyle appeals to you then you’ll want to learn more about the farming techniques and duties that a 1 Acre Homestead demands. But first, there are a few things you’ll want to consider about your self-sufficient homestead.

Will you raise and slaughter animals for food or will you sell stock off to people who will do this? Maybe you don’t want meat and will just rely on animals for dairy and eggs.

John Seymour, the author of “The self-sufficient life and how to live it”, says that his perfect 1 acre farm would keep a dairy cow, a goat, a few pigs and a dozen hens. The cow and goats can provide milk while the cow also provides rich manure for soil fertility – which will be required to produce a good enough crop. The pigs would provide meat and chicken provide meat and eggs for the family.

There are pros and cons to having a cow on farm such as milking the cow, but if you’re interested then John discusses this on page 2

If a self-sufficient lifestyle appeals to you then you’ll want to learn more about the farming techniques and duties that a 1 Acre Homestead demands. Here are a few articles that will help you on your way:

 

Don’t have 1 acre of land? Try this out.

And if you don’t have 1 Acre of land then you could always try the 100-foot farm.

Try the 100 Foot Farm

As you can see from the above picture the land is split into 3 and makes use of a wood. The part closes to the house is for plants, trees and crop. The woodland is used to hold pigs for meat and fallen branches can provide winter fuel.

The final part is used to house ducks, for eggs, and bee hives that will produce honey. According to the picture 12 ducks would produce 75 eggs per week. Chickens could also be used to provide eggs and meat.

Over to you

Should you ever open your own Farm Shop don’t forget you’ll need to keep track of your stock and sales to ensure your farm shop keeps running. That’s where we can help.

So do you run your own farm or do you wish you could? How did you start off? Please share your thoughts and experiences with our readers below.

One comment
  1. eric craven January 5, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Which book is the 100 foot farm from? I’d love to read that 🙂

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