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here is my idea for a small 50.ft long-x-25.ft wide homestea

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by hank2222, May 9, 2011.

  1. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey++

    i got into a dinner table conversition with someone tonight over the fact i have been trying for years to get people to understand if you going to homestead bigger is not allways better if it just you there ..

    as i said i laid out on a place of paper for them to see what my personal idea of a great homestead set up for single person and that you could live on a 50.ft long -x-25.ft wide piece of land and produce everything you need but fresh meat and hunting here and there would provide that if you planned it right

    plus given the fact when i had asked them how much do you know about homesteading a place and how much work it is to just work a small homestead of this size ..

    i explained to them that they need to start small and work there way up from there and this is the perfect sized place for a small start up homestead for a single person ..

    plus i explain to them there is some area you can cut down on to have to take care of over time

    so here is my idea about the small homestead of 50.ft-x-25.ft wide.as i explained this to them on the piece of paper

    n1 go underground and have the homesteaders house under the ground and then the area is left free for use on the land

    as i told the person that if the house is completely covered with earth.. you cut down on the need to cool it in the summer or heat it in the winter along with a security of haveing somethings that are hidden out of site of the wandering eye or person who may be out to harm you ..

    when the hatch is closed and it blended back into the landscape it also provides some basic security not haveing other not really know where your long term supplie are and entance to the house is on the land ..

    once the place has been put under ground then the dirt is put back into place and allowed to settle and the area is relandscaped back to it before the hole was dug look

    also think of this way ..the house takes up so many sq.ft of the lot by moveing it underground you free up more space for other things on the lot ..

    n2 raised bed gardens -x-20.ft long-x-4.ft wide-x-4.ft tall with a set of 10.gallon barrels with wooden or metal stands for the fuit and vegs items that need a little more space to grow ..spaced out on the growing section of the land in own area of 22.ft long -x-15.ft wide square area of the homestead ..

    i told them that you going from planting to havest time ..your going to be in the garden 5 hours a day or more everyday of the week dureing the warm weather months of the year trying to produce enough food for you to survive another year on along with any long term food supplies you have stocked up on ..

    so make it easly for you to work in the long run because your going to get old and when your older make it easlyer on yourself in the long run to do things.

    n3 solar and wind power system to power the homes ..

    so that mean makeing your mistakes now when it easly to get parts that you have messed up because you have not listen to anyone and now you paid for that mistake ..

    so when the time does come and there is no spare parts you have the knowage of how the system work and how to repair it in the long run and many other things in the upkeep of the solar and wind system ..

    n4 the basic bonus of not haveing a large area to keep up and that is going to be biggest factor of the place

    i explained to them that household chores should not last more than 20 mins total in a small place for everyday takeing care of the place from the makeing of the bed to cleaning of the kitchen and bathroom along with doing the breakfast dish that morning ..

    outside the place the same thing make your chores less than 1 hour total set up to keep up the place ..

    n5 the big one make it easly to defend you have to do that and the more area you have means the more area you have to defend in a attack ..

    this way your only defending about 10.ft sqaure area around the hatch opening and everything is off the ground in front of the hatch area and you can see under the raise beds and there is no hideing spots inside your area ..

    so when comeing out of the hatch in the morning after haveing it locked down for the night you have a clear view of under the bed area to make sure no one is hideing behind the beds or stands ..
  2. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Small means less to heat and underground will make heating and cooling easier.

    As one never knows when it would come in handy, I'd have more than one entrance/exit.
    hank2222 likes this.
  3. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Sounds good but i would consider not going totally underground for a few reasons...

    1. Sunlight... our bodies neeed sunlight to make process vitamin "D" so some sort of windows or light tubes would be needed....
    2. Claustraphobia... many folks cannot handle extended times ion an enclosed area with out affecting their mental health...
    3. Ability for someone to bottle you up in a seige situation... a vehicle parked on your trap door has you trapped... cut the solar /wind power... no water, light or air circulation...
    4. Any injury may make your refuge a place of limited use... if you can't climb down a hatch you are screwed... same if you can't climb in... ( this assumes a vertical entrance) speaking from experience this is one of the major issues....

    I have a friend in Colorado who is off the grid... his house is a cinder block structure with a double wall (4ft between walls with rammed earth between) built into the side of then montain he has windows with a dead air space between the inner and outer walls... a 4" reienforced concrete roof with a dirt fill on top inner and outer doors a seperate escape hatch, a cool room carved into the mountain... heats it with a wood burning stove... very nice.... i think it's around 1200 sqft
    hank2222 likes this.
  4. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey++

    this came out at a mother day cook out for a lady friend of mine with one of the lady haveing the magazine mother earth news and i was telling to explain to one person how much work there is to running a homestead without animals in the picture and double the work load if they are in the picture ..

    there is some of the ideas like sun tubes let them have a another way into the place as it was explained to them the reason why not to have them along with you going to be working for 6 to 12 hour day or more dureing diff times of the year ..so your going to get enough sunlight ..

    the nice part about underground is the basic fact of a secured place dureing the night once the hatch comes back down and it blended back into the area landscape..

    you can remove the solar panels from the solar tree set up along with the small wind turbine set up each day and get up and put them back togerther to make sure no one steals them ..

    also install a small emergency hand cranked gen set up to charge the batties if it need in a extened lock down prostion with roveing bands of problem childern outside
  5. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    Rabbit and chickens. Chickens in a chicken tractor.
    A single person will not make it in a lot of SHTF senarios. Illness, defence, chores ect.. Ever try to weed and watch your own back?
    Good point on the light thing and entrapment.
    Modern spider hole.
    hank2222 likes this.
  6. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey++

    It also comes down to a matter of trust also when dealing with people ..the thing i have learned through groups that they allways fail someone down the line ..

    So i have set up something with the people around me but when it comes to my personal survival and safety i trust family and someone i know for a long time.. but it going to be me in the long run to get things done also ..

    That is a sad but true fact on that matter
  7. sarawolf

    sarawolf Monkey++

    This also sounds great for a couple. And there is always tweaks to something for a bit different circumstances, but a good idea.
    hank2222 likes this.
  8. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey++

    I have thought about makeing a small rural village set up with each home set up for one or couple withou chilldern or couple wih childer sized at four to six members to a family on about 12 acres

    It would have a central well point for the fresh water to come into the area

    Then on the outside of the town there would be a large area that would act as septic and leaching field from the village ..

    On each arce there would be two earth homes with a small walk way that gravel type that can be smoothed out by hand rakeing it that would connect the whole area by a walking trail that goes the area .. ..

    one house would be a family sized house and other house would be a couple or single person household the house entances are set in a way that the other person is not looking down saight into the person entance of there home . ..

    each house lawn would be set up like the above design homestead

    on the center area of town is the following idea set up

    two acres is would be the following units there

    a small farmer market to trade for items as need
    a medical center to handle the basic medical problems
    a security partol and fire station along with the local radio network set up
    a small one room school house for the kids to go to school at
    a playground for the small kids along with a covered area with bbq grills and tables and brenchs for group cook outs
  9. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Plus watch it in a few directions. Protecting the exposed is not an easy task if and when someone wishes to shoot them. Because of the need to work the soil and tend animals a prepper will be exposed.
  10. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    25x50 to raise all you need to eat??? I'm not trying to be rude but my money is on you starving. [peep] When you factor in things like hail storms, animals/insects eating your food, then the weather and about 1,000 other things that will go wrong you need more. Then you will have years where no matter what you do it will fail, so on good years you need to grow more to carry you through the bad years. Like I said I'm not trying to be rude, but if you have to survive on what you grow you need to factor in failures, because you will have them. [2c]

  11. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey++

    i have put aside long term food items to last dureing the lean times and from what i was reading a person can grow a year worth of food on a small piece of land ..
  12. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Yea I have read that as well, and it makes me laugh every time. Those claims sell a lot of books. If someone tries it long term my bet is on them starving. We raise a big garden every year so I'm going off of what I see year after year. Most People have no idea how much food they consume in a year. Then when you grow it you work hard which means you consume more. My statements don"t come from books sir they come hands that have worked the soil and lived on what the soil produced. Not that I have any problem with books, we have an ever increasing library, my family and I are avid readers. But if you get out there and work and grow some food you will see very quickly that to live off what comes out of your garden you will need a bigger garden. Like I said before not trying to be rude, this is just my way of trying to help you before it is to late to help.

  13. Catullus

    Catullus Monkey+ Site Supporter++

    I have to agree with this statement. Those books make a lot of claims...I have never been able to duplicate the yields versus the square foot of garden that I have seen claimed. It is much more practical to stock up on long term food options. Obviously, have the ability to grow food.

    My plan is to not have to worry about growing my food for at least 2 years after a SHTF scenario.
  14. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Grow two, eat one. Every year.
  15. bizy

    bizy Monkey+

    Grow your own?

    50 X 25 is enough if you have a controled enviorment.. Here in Okla, we have animals that eat your garden, wind storms that uproot the plants, hail storms that beats plants down to stubs, droughts for ever, rain storms that float your garden into the next county, insects. 2 failed crops/ 2 years and all the stored food is gone.

    Lots of things look good on paper, but...
  16. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey++

    back in 1982 era my wife and i sit down and figure out what we called the 5-5-10 year stowage of long term food to eat dureing those years..

    the plan was dureing the first five years we would eat only stored long term foods because of all the problems dureing the first five years after SHTF type liveing

    that also meant we could not put in a long term garden to feed the family and hunt for extra meat in the area we lived ..the hunting was going to be a deer or wild pig meat along with a few heads of cattle and chickens we had manage to find and keep alive after the SHTF

    the second five years was planned out to start the garden and start back hunting in he area after things have settled down enough to start back on the right track ..

    now with the first five years have passed and things where settleing down in the area we where at we where looking to put in the large family garden and hunt a few deer and wild pigs a month along with butchering of single cattle & chicken here and there to keep us in meats.

    the plan was to use long term items like rice and potatoes and beans and other items in large 5.gallon sized buckets to eat the first two years along with the meat we had smoked and cured for long term use intill we had bult enough of the garden up in canning jars to see us through a winter and then summer time intill fall havrest then useing only the long term food items as we need them

    also part of the plan to be used the if we need them if the garden or hunting did not produce enough that year to support the family group that year ..

    the last ten years of the plan was to have the garden and hunting produceing enough food to last the family unit though out the year with the long term items filling in as they are need to help in the case the gardendid not produce as much as was need for that year or hunting and cattle off spring was not enough to butcher that year for a supply of meat to be canned and put away that year

    or as my wifed called it the lean years dureing those last 10 years before everything righted it self ..

    We felt that it would have been 20.years before the socalled world would be working right with laws and other things becomeing the normal thing in the way of life ..
    STANGF150 likes this.
  17. thebastidge

    thebastidge Monkey+

    Intense gardening depends on devoting a LOT of time to making sure everything works right. It would be difficult to do that if you also have to cut firewood to keep warm, mend your socks, stand guard duty, and maintain your tractor.

    Thousands more examples of time sucks exist. Point being, we live at a certain level of comfort and security in our modern society because of the division of labour. There is no way one person can provide for even a small percentage of the labour required to maintain themselves in modern comfort and security.

    Personally, I think the best long term bet for food self-sufficiency is a permaculture setup for perennial forest gardening as much as possible: Orchards will form a large part of my strategy once I have the land.

    For lower levels of mechanization, nothing beats animal husbandry for a healthy lifestyle. You need the protein and fat available only from raising meat animals, as a concentrated form of energy. One thing voluntary vegetarians fail to recognize is that those vegetable foods high in protein are not easy to grow on a subsistence level. People who live in subsistence agriculture lifestyles, tend to be small, subject to lots of disease and injury, often are slightly mentally retarded, and lack the energy to effectively bootstrap themselves.

    Tiny lots like the OP describes are really only the case in the city. In a city you won't get approval to build this way, and it wouldn't help if you could- it's still too obvious. This is in addition to all the problems with building underground and lack of natural light is the least of it. Ventilation is the most critical part- not in terms of running out of breathable oxygen, but in preventing mold and fungus problems that affect your breathing and ruining your posessions.

    In the country, lots typically aren't this size and if they are, it's because they are close to the neighbours- again, not hidden.

    It is entirely possible to build an earth-sheltered home and gain benefits in temperature control and secruity, but it's not as easy as digging a trench and building a concrete bunker in it, then covering it back up with dirt. This would rightly be descrbed as a hole in the ground and there are good reasons more people don't live in holes in the ground.

    The hand of man on a piece of land is not unobtrusive- whether you buried your bedroom or not, it will still be obvious someone lives there, unless you are literally hiding in your hole. Footpaths, footprints, cultivation of crops, fences, tools- all the things you need to live better than a chimpanzee are like a blazing sign. And that's ok- humans are territorial animals- I WANT people to know that my land is not free for the taking. I want them to think twice about squatting or taking something.

    Yes, homesteading is brutally hard work, and you may not have the resources to take a large plot under cultivation by hand. But proper planning ahead of time allows you to let the land do some of the work for you., and you still need space for some things. You will not raise a fuel crop of any kind on this size of plot (not even with intense coppicing, or methane production. Even if this land started out covered in forest, you would burn it all within a year or two at most to keep warm, and trying to clear stumps for cultivation is almost impossible without mechanization).

    You could raise some small animals in cages, but again, with intense labour- as opposed to a couple/few head of goats freely grazing for the majority of the year on a pasture 1 or 2 acres in size.. You can't hunt this size plot. If the land around you is off-limits before, it probably will be occupied after.

    Much better to have more land legitimately under your control than you absolutely need in a good year, because you'll need extra in a bad year.
    ghrit, hank2222 and BTPost like this.
  18. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey++

    When my wife and i was first talking about the socalled suvival set up as a family group ..we knew that as the childern got older they would want to be moveing out and starting there own family then what where we going to do about some of the basic things.

    simple things like getting firewoods and tilling the ground to get the garden going for the place with them gone could become such a chore that we had to quit or hire someone to do it for us and us getting on in years and one of might be hurt or gone dureing to something happening to one of us over the years ..

    So we had to figure out a way to heat the house in the flatland of West Texas where the lack of trees to cut for firewood could not be found in great numbers like on the Eastern side of Texas .

    So we had look at diff building system to use there in the area of the farm there in West Texas area..

    it was going underground and useing the earth to cover the building and it would protect us from the blistering heat and cold winters of the western Texas landscape has there .

    we sit down and looked at many diff thing about a underground house set up at the time in the 1982 era of underground house building we could find in the diff magazines that where around back then about underground home building ..

    my wife came up with a basic design that we where going to use at the time to keep us and the kids safe dureing the year along with allowing us a way to keep a eye on the place also dureing the night time without us exposeing ourselfs to a person or people out on the land ..

    plus we had a 6.ft tall adobe wall around the place to protect the area and give us a basic cover if someone did fire on us outside the area of the flatlands as we called the area we lived in and it had a single gate to come through when it was open ..

    the gate was design so only two people at a time could come through it and no one else ..the car area was away from the gate so someone could not climb up on the car overhead cover and get into the gate that way ...

    the top of the wall had broken glass put into the top to stop anyone from trying to climb over the wall

    the wall had removeable slots at diff hieghts to allow us to shoot from behind the wall with the fresh water well was inside the wall and the socalled fake house set up inside the place concealed the entance to the place ..

    we reworked the area intill some of the air intakes and exhaust pipes systems are hidden in plain sight and it would take a person a long time of just standing around trying to figure out where the pipes where on the land

    i now use a basic 12.volt system to cycle the air through the place about 6 times a day there in Az where i have my underground home ..it works great in the area because of the dry air we have in the area where i have my place ..

    most people do not even know there is a house under there feet because of how the landscapeing was done to the land ..the only person who know there is something there in the lot is a person who was there when it was put into the ground

    they are now doing the same thing on there land to hide a house under the ground there ..

    plus at the place we had in Texas i had all the fence post cut in the same way to make sure if you where looking at the fence post to see if there is a air intake or exhaust ..you would see the same pattern of cuts and not special about the cuts ..
  19. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    im going to be doing that on 100 x 150
    i figure thats the smallest i can survive on
    and ive 40+ years of farming experience
    hank2222 likes this.
  20. thebastidge

    thebastidge Monkey+

    That's about 1/3 of an acre. My house in town is on a lot that is .3 acre. I have a small vegetable garden, that when weather cooperates and I tend it properly, produces more lettuce, spinach, and tomatoes than I can use at any given time.

    I have two pear trees, and apple tree, and a flowering cherry that isn't supposed to fruit, but does a little bit. I have a row of raspberries along the back, and some blackberries in the corner. Most of the front and back yard is given over to grass (typical urban yard) with a couple raised beds with herbs, mint etc.

    I don't think I could raise enough food on that property to support myself. It's nice to be able to supplement, but when I look at the staples needed to actual form a well-rounded diet, it would be pretty tough or impossible to raise everything I need. I could do a pretty good job of supplementing if I had no zoning or noise ordinances to deal with, but it would still only be a supplement.

    Granted, my place is not set up with this in mind from the get-go, which is a huge disadvantage. But even if the house were half the size, the orientation to the sun were better, and it were all flat, I have serious doubts about how well it would work.

    I've read "One Acre and Security" and I think that book is way too rosy and optimistic, although it does have some *really* good ideas. I think a small family could support themselves with good planning and lots of work on 5 acres. It wouldn't be self-sufficient on just any 5 acres in the first years though. It would take time to build up an orchard of fruits and nuts that produces as early and as late in the growing season as is practial in your local climate. It would take intense rotational grazing of meat/dairy animals. It would take deliberate composting efforts, and multi-level planning in placing your (perennial and annual) crops the grow your garden UP as well as out (herbaceous layer, shrub layer, tree layer just to start with). It would take very detailed water planning- how to gather it, where to store it, how to release it. It would take a lot of change in diet to incorporate native plants so that you could build plant guilds with greater robustness to natural climate and latitiude conditions, as well as resistance to disease and ability to grow with less inputs of soil amendments and labour. It would take adjustments to the idea that some things are in season, and some things are not right now, and some things never will be in your latitude.

    Anyway, I don't think absolute self sufficiency and independence is really a goal worth striving for. It's got too high of a cost in terms of lost opportunities to do other things. I think being mostly self-sufficient, or even better able to supplment with a reserve ability to ramp up to mostly self-sufficient in an emergency or for a period of time is plenty. Again- division of labour. I think it's worth specializing in a skill other than agriculture to trade your time for things you don't enjoy doing or don't do well.
    hank2222 likes this.
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