How many acres do you own? Ten? Five? Two? None?
Good news—you can still farm!
Yes, it’s true! Limited acreage cannot prevent you from pursuing a country lifestyle or from raising food either for your own use or to sell to others. With wise stewardship of the land, a couple of acres can yield an amazing abundance.
Let’s do a little brainstorming and come up with some options.
The most obvious thing that you can do with a small acreage is plant a garden. Even if you have only a tiny backyard in town somewhere, you can almost always have a garden—maybe not the sprawling garden you always dreamed of, but certainly a small, efficient garden.
You should also consider raising an orchard. Dwarf and semi-dwarf trees don’t take up that much room, and they still yield generously with proper care.
And you may even be able to grow grains. Seriously! If your grain crops are raised primarily for your own home consumption, you don’t need that much space to plant a food plot. Some super-small-scale farmers grow grains right in the garden.
Assuming zoning restrictions are not an issue, you can even raise livestock on your small acreage. Poultry and rabbits are two obvious choices. A few laying hens should have a place on almost every super-small-scale farm. But there are more options than this!
Pastured pigs really don’t require that much room. Estimates vary from five to ten pigs per acre, sows needing more space than growing hogs. Of course, you’ll want to start small and figure out what you and your pastures can handle.
But you may be able to keep grazing animals, as well. In many parts of Kansas, you can raise three stocker calves or five sheep or goats on five acres. If you have access to ten acres, you could even consider keeping a couple of cows. (Theoretically you could keep one cow on five acres, but one cow is a lonely creature.) And don’t forget that many farm animals come in miniature versions that need less space to graze.
Ideas For Apartment Dwellers
Even if you have no land at all, there are still some things you can do. You could grow lettuce in a window box, tomatoes on the balcony, or lime trees in five-gallon buckets. You could head over to Grandpa’s farm on the weekend and help him with the chores. You could lease some land nearby. You could join forces with a few dedicated friends, buy a couple of acres outside of town, and go shares on the chores and the harvest.
No matter where you live, there are ways to pursue the country lifestyle. If it is part of your life purpose, you will find an open door if you search for one. Your farm will just have to be a little bit unique. And that’s not such a bad thing, now is it?
Our complete archive dedicated to small spaces. More ideas, plus principles to help you make it all work.
All New Square Foot Gardening
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The Home Acre
A free public domain work on growing an abundant supply of fruits and vegetables on one acre and limited time.