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Our 1 Acre Homestead Layout + FAQ’s

Interested in developing a 1 acre farm? Check out our 1 acre homestead layout and some FAQ’s that people ask about our little homestead in Idaho!

Do you ever wish there was a “House Hunters” style show for homesteads? I would tune into that every week. 

Maybe I’m just nosey, but it’s always incredibly inspirational and educational to see how people have designed their homesteads.

I’ve always been a bit of a design junkie. I absolutely love learning about graphic design, landscape design and interior design. So when we bought our homestead, I was very picky about it having a good basic layout. 

We’ve changed a lot of things over the years, but I knew that the layout of this property would allow us to create a functional, and efficiently laid out, homestead.

So, let’s pretend this is an episode of “Homestead Hunters” and you can come snoop on our homestead and learn how we get the most out of our 1 acre homestead!

Back yard with chickens and chicken coops.

Our Homestead Stats:

  • Location: Nampa, Idaho
  • USDA Growing Zone: 6B
  • Size: 0.81 acres (It’s not even a full acre!)
  • Date purchased: We bought our homestead August 2016. It needed some renovations to make it livable, so we didn’t move in until October 2016

Update! We sold our Idaho homestead in 2020. Check out the final before and after homestead pictures to see the progress that happened in our 3.5 years of developing the property!

1 acre homestead layout: garden with red barn in background.

Our 1 Acre Homestead Layout

Our property was a fixer-upper, but it had “good bones,” as they say! 

The layout of our property is one of the things that made me instantly fall in love with it. It had the potential to be a fantastic homestead property, with a lot of love and hard work. And, oh how we worked over those 3.5 years! 

I made this super-sweet graphic by taking a screenshot of our property on Google Earth. Since the photo was at least two years old, I plugged it into Microsoft PowerPoint and used the picture as an outline. That way, the dimensions are all pretty accurate. 

There’s nothing that I hate more than those totally mis-proportioned “1 acre homestead layout” pictures that you see online! If you are trying to plan out your own 1 acre farm, I highly suggest doing it this way since it’s an easy way to get fairly accurate dimensions. 

Feel free to click on the layout image to see it enlarged.

You can also get a better look at our pasture layout in this Behind the Scenes post.

Detailed map of homestead layout.

1 Acre Farm Layout FAQs

Do you own or rent your homestead?

We own our homestead. We wanted to buy so that we could really settle down, make it our own, and build equity in the property. 

Also, Lindy is a realtor, so buying a home is something that is familiar and “easier” for us than it is for most people. 

Chickens walking on a pathway covered in fall leaves.

Did you buy your homestead debt-free?

I would love to say yes, but that’s just not the case for us. We used a conventional housing loan to buy our home. 

Since the property and home were not in good condition and since it’s a very basic home (no HVAC system, no garage, etc.), the purchase price was very low (like, unheard of low!) for our area at $124,900. 

We got a good interest rate and put as much down as we could which helped reduce our mortgage payment.

Pasture with red barn and goats.

How do you fund your homestead?

We work very hard! We both work formal jobs in Boise, which is a 45+minute commute from our home. We live very practically and are very thrifty. 

About a year ago, I went down to part time hours so that I can be home more to work on the homestead and the blog. We also find as many free or cheap supplies as we can which allows us to continue building our homestead even when funds are tight. 

All renovations that have been done on the home and homestead have been paid out of pocket, so we haven’t acquired any new debt from the property. 

Why did you choose a small property?

Once upon a time, we thought we wanted a million acres in the boonies. Land is very expensive in our area right now, so that definitely limited us because we didn’t want to incur a lot of debt from buying a property. 

We also realized that what we actually wanted was a small, cozy and well-kept property that we could make our own while still being able to enjoy all aspects of life. Our 1 acre farm layout was perfect for this.

We have some physical limitations, especially with Lindy’s multiple sclerosis, so a 1 acre homestead is much more ideal for us. I also believe that learning how to sustain ourselves on a smaller property is a very vital skill as the future of commercial farming is so shaky. 

Imagine the change that could happen if more people felt empowered to start growing a portion of their food, regardless of how much land they live on. You don’t have to go big to have an amazing homestead garden layout!

Bee boxes with California poppies.

Why did you buy an established property instead of bare land?

We almost bought bare land before we bought this property. And every day, I thank my lucky stars that we didn’t! 

Since our property was in pretty rough shape, the amount of time and work that we’ve put into this property has been huge. We work on it pretty much non-stop. 

But when I think about how much more work it would have been to develop a homestead on bare land, I am soooo grateful we chose a property that already had so many existing features and amenities.  

Read more about our experience buying a fixer-upper.

Is an acre really enough space to grow your own food?

Absolutely. But when you are considering how to start a 1 acre farm, layout is super important! You have to make every nook and cranny of space functional. 

Even with less than an acre, we still have so many plans to expand our food production space, including more fruit trees, a berry hedgerow, and an aquaponics space where we can grow prawns and tilapia! 

We can also convert the pasture to growing space instead of having dairy goats. But, if you are still skeptical, check out exactly what we grow on our homestead and what we still have to buy from the grocery store.

Have you done all the work on your own or do you hire out?

We have done almost all of the projects on our 1 acre homestead ourselves. We did hire out for the following projects: rewiring some of the rooms, wiring for kitchen disposal installation, quartz countertop installation and replacing all the plumbing pipes.

Everything else, we’ve done just the two of us. Some projects are pretty easy but others have been a challenge… yeah, looking at you, hay barn! I swear we almost died at least 5 times while building that beast! 🤣

Red barn with painted flag on it.

Is your homestead out in the country?

Kinda yes and kinda no. If you’ve seen pictures of my garden, you’ve no doubt seen that there’s a bunch of houses right behind the fence. 

We are backed by a neighborhood (isn’t that what people call them now instead of subdivisions? 🤣) so there are 3 houses that we share a property line with along our back fence. Even with those houses, I’ve always felt a great sense of privacy here.

We live down a little unmarked dirt road that we share with 3 other houses which all have anywhere from half an acre to 5 acres. Our neighbors are amazing and also live a homesteading lifestyle. 

And even though we are all quickly getting surrounded by subdivisions (err… “neighborhoods”), I still feel like we have our own space. The houses surrounding us are in the City limits but our little dirt road is grandfathered as county land for the time being – thank goodness! 

We actually really love our location because it feels like we are in the country as soon as we turn down our little road, but we are still super close to amenities, walking paths, etc.

What else would you like to know about our 1 acre homestead? Let me know in the comments!

Our 1 acre homestead layout - image for Pinterest.

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Dee

Tuesday 29th of June 2021

Thanks so much for sharing your homesteading story. It was very informative and definitely gave me some ideas. I really like the pics.

Heather

Thursday 18th of July 2019

My question is when are you open for tours? I'm kidding, I live across the country from Idaho. I love the graphic, it gives an easy way to understand how all the parts work together. It looks like a nice peaceful place you'll enjoy for years.

Emily M

Wednesday 17th of July 2019

I love this! Such a great post and I always enjoy reading them! You are super inspiring and motivating :) Thank you for sharing!

Stef @ Natural Paleo Family

Tuesday 16th of July 2019

This is amazing! We are currently thinking about doing something similar in the future, but I would have no idea where to start. I love the detailed plan!

Project Zenstead

Tuesday 16th of July 2019

So glad it's helpful for you!

Tessa Zundel

Tuesday 16th of July 2019

That is such a wonderful set up! Thank you for including your plan - I'm so visual that I need stuff like that. In fact, it reminded me that we haven't drawn one up for our newest place. How do you like your stock tank pool? Benefits/drawbacks, especially compared to a regular pool (besides not having plastic)? Do you struggle with crickets where you are, or does the poultry help keep them in check. My sister lives in Idaho and has just given up gardening because of the crickets but I wondered if I should suggest free range chickens for her. They help where I am, but I'm far removed from Idaho!

Project Zenstead

Tuesday 16th of July 2019

We loooooove the stock tank pool! It's a nice convenient size, it's easy to care for, and (in my opinion) it's much more visually appealing than a plastic one. Plus it will last for years! I actually have a full post about it where I talk about how we constructed it and care for and why we love it so much! :)

That's awesome that your sister lives in Idaho, too! I've never had an issue with crickets, but we are also in a fairly hot and dry area, so I don't think they prefer it as much as cooler damp areas. But our chickens love them! So I'm sure that they are cleaning up any that they can catch! I swear chickens are the remedy to most garden pests! Now, if only they would eat the squash bugs... ??‍♀️