How to Create Your Own Self Sustaining Homestead
There are many ways to create your own self-sustaining homestead using 1-acre of land. Some people tend to have cows goats, pigs and hens while others prefer to keep animal livestock to a minimum, or none at all. With or without livestock, your home can offer you with most of your everyday needs.
The followings are a brief overview to help you turn one-acre of land into a self-sustaining homestead.
Raising a dairy cow
There are both pros and cons when having a cow in your self sustaining homestead but pros takes the most part. Cows are able to provide milk, meat and their rich manure fertilize the soil.
Fresh cow milk is inevitably good for you and your family and even other livestock such as pigs and poultry. Their rich manure keeps the soil productive for many future crops.
Still, a cow is an annual expense that can tally near a few hundred dollars each year, or more. If you can afford the original bill for keeping happy, healthy cows, you will make your money back with everything a cow has to offer.
It takes less than 8 minutes to learn how to milk a cow. Cow milk can be use to make cream, cheese and a delicious glass of milk.
Pasture for daily cow and Crop Rotation
If you choose to keep a cow you can assume that half of your acre will be dedicated to pasture, which you may never plow, or you can plow every four-years if you plan to rotate crops.
It is suggested to rotate crops in strips of a quarter of the half-acre, leading to freshly sown pasture that varies in age. If you have freshly sown pasture that is 2-years-old, 3-years-old, and 4-years-old, you will have the most productive land usage.
If grass becomes overgrazed you need to remove cows from the area. Rotational grazing is essential in order to keep the grass healthy, as grass does best when it has enough time to fully grow before being grazed.. It is so important to carefully manage grazing in order to prevent your entire pasture from turning to dust.
The other half of your one-acre will be used as a garden. Ideally, you will separate this land into four sections so that annual crops grow in a strict crop rotation.
Example of an ideal crop rotation:
Grass (four years)
- Plot 1: Potatoes
- Plot 2: Legumes (pea and bean family)
- Plot 3: Brassicas (cabbage family)
- Plot 4:Root Vegetables (carrots, beets, etc.)
Over time, your 1-acre farm can become more productive than a 10-acre farm built using commercial lines.
A goat is a great asset for times when cow milk runs dry. In fact, all farm animals will provide their own unique benefits.
Even if you only have a very small amount of space to work with, you can still develop a self-sufficient home.
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