I want to get this off my chest – you DON’T need to live on ‘acreage’ to homestead. There are actually some pretty cool advantages to homesteading on less than 1 acre.
Yes, many of us dream of that 5, 10, 50, 100 acre plot of land that we can build our dream homestead on, raise cattle and sheep and alpacas and emus….(wait, are those last two just me??)
But here’s the thing. Most of us didn’t inherit a farm. And so we’ve got to work and save to buy one. And that takes time and dedication – and that’s great and all, but I’m not content to sit on my hands and wait for that amazing day to come. I’m gonna homestead right here on this third of an acre that I actually have, right now. And I’m not going to mope and pine about the future homestead of my dreams. I’m gonna enjoy a few things about homesteading on less than 1 acre – things I might actually MISS once I’m on my ‘dream property’.
So here they are, the best 3 things about homesteading on less than 1 acre:
- Neighbors! Yes, neighbors can get a bad wrap in the homesteading sphere, because they may not like your chickens or your front yard garden or they may report you to the HOA….BUT, if you’re lucky like us, your neighbors might actually be supportive! Our neighbors have lent us their trucks/trailers because we don’t have our own. And they’ve been happy to “farm sit” for us if we go out of town for the weekend. If we were on massive acreage, in the middle of nowhere…it would be pretty tough to find a farm sitter!
- Closeness to Town. Sure, there is the obvious, if we run out of milk (because we don’t have our own goats yet) we can run ten minutes into town and get some. BUT, there has been MORE than one occasion when we’ve had an emergency and being 30min from the ER was about as far as I really wanted to be. Twice in our 4 years living here we’ve needed an ambulance – and it got here in 3-5 min. We were so grateful we lived close enough for that!
- Creativity. One of my favorite things is that living on a small property forces us to get CREATIVE! If you live on less than 1 acre you probably can’t have a cow, or maybe even sheep. You can’t really effectively rotate pastures for raising meat chickens. You can’t have an acre of gardens…so what do you do? You can raise rabbits, or build a couple of chicken tractors to raise some meat for your family. You can get creative with what species of plants you grow, finding the most productive varieties. You can get creative with trellises and container gardens. You can find dwarf fruit tree species! You can find the most productive chicken species for your area so you can get the most eggs out of your small space. There are SO many possibilities.
So, if a small space is holding you back from homesteading…don’t let it! Start homesteading right now, while you’re working for your big dream farm. Be grateful for (good) neighbors, and your proximity to town!, and get creative with the spaces you have! Homesteading can happen where ever you are! Homesteading can even happen on less than 1 acre.