Designing a Homestead Property for Maximum Efficiency

Learn strategic property design so that you are able to get the most out of your homesteading space. Including tips for one-, two- and four-acre homesteads.

| March/April 1970

  • Homesteading Orchard
    Be strategic about laying out your homestead. It will save time and effort later!
    Photo by Fotolia/Subbotina Anna
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    The design for a four-acre homestead, complete with a pasture, orchard, vegetable garden and hay field.
    Illustration by Ed Robinson
  • 002-016-01
    A sketch of the Robinson's homestead, which gives them space for raising animals and gardening. The family grows 75 percent of their food.
    Illustration by Ed Robinson

  • Homesteading Orchard
  • 002-015-01_01
  • 002-016-01

An old farmer struck it rich in oil and his family persuaded him to buy a $4,000 automobile. Never having had anything better than a second-hand Model T, the old boy insisted on only one thing for the new car — the most colossal and expensive set of bumpers he could find!

I wish we'd had some good bumpers when we decided to move to the country. We bumped our noses on land, on the layout of our house, on the location of our barn, fruit trees, and pasture — on nearly everything a family could blunder at. I hope you'll profit by our mistakes!

Setting up a productive country home is probably the biggest and most important job any of us attempt during our lifetime. Despite all of the people who have needed some basic data on setting up a homestead, no one had completely worked the methods out and put them on paper. Every new family has been left to stumble its own way toward the answers.

Not long after our first edition of the "Have-More" Plan went out, we began to get letters asking for help in laying out a place. Of course, we couldn't give specific advice without seeing each piece of property — and then, people have different ideas of what they want to do with their place.

Even though no one layout will fit everybody's ideas and site, there are certain basic points that ought not to be violated.

For example, where should you locate your house in relation to the highway? (If you do this right you can probably get the town snow plow to do your snow shoveling for coffee and doughnuts.) Where should your barn be placed with reference to the house? Toward what compass points should house and barn face?

3/10/2016 6:44:26 AM

You can find this article in the book the "have more plan" it can be found on Amazon. The other literature the article mentions has been out of print since the 70's or even the 40's

10/18/2015 11:01:35 AM

I posted below about having the picture. I need to specify. I have, and will share, a picture of the homestead layout that goes with "Layout For A Productive Homestead".I have the book too, but because of copywrite laws I will not share the book. The picture can be found online, a small blurry one. I have a very good, clear picture of it, I am willing to show anyone who would like to see it. I got an e-mail from someone asking why I think I have the right to show the picture to other people. So, I will state that I do not own the copywrite to the picture, it is not my picture, I do not charge money for it or make profit from it. If anyone would like to see it, email me at

6/12/2014 11:41:33 AM

I have "Layout For A Productive Homestead". If anyone would like to see a better picture, ask via email,

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