Monday, February 8, 2016

Homestead Design

There are so many things to consider when designing a homestead. It makes my head spin!

Not only do we have to think of where all the gardens and animals will go, but things like the direction of various features towards the sun, water runoff and retention, and the siting of outbuildings are critically important as well. I hope to incorporate as many permaculture principles as I can into the design.  If you are just visiting for the first time, I'll catch you up on the news: my husband and I have decided to embark on a journey of building a farmhouse and homestead on 10 acres of land in the country. You can read my post on homestead inspiration here.

I thought I would go ahead and take a stab at designing a site plan layout for our property--and I've found it to be a lot of fun actually!  Here is a rough draft of the site plan so far:

We have placed our kitchen garden at the south of the property beside the house so that it receives full direct sun, with the tool shed and cold frames behind it for easy access. We also wanted the tool shed/small barn to be close enough to the driveway that a car could drive up to it if need be. The row crops and orchard will also get full sun and they are actually sited on a slight slope. The chicken coop is behind and away from the house but not too far (gotta keep an eye on things and gather eggs!) and our compost area is nearby so that bird droppings can be conveniently deposited. We will also probably set up a compost bin near the kitchen garden as well.

I thought planting herbs at the rear elevation of the house would be the most convenient place for going outside to gather for cooking. This leaves the south and east (front) elevations of the house for my favorite types of flowers and small shrubs, with shade loving perennials on the north side. We will probably fence off some of the area behind the house for pasture and potentially for chicken tractors to house meat birds.

There are certainly things that can and probably will change from this draft plan. Everything is still all very flexible at this point. I am really enjoying the planning process! Any tips you more experienced homesteaders can give me?

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