Small Acreage Homesteading Guide

M.D. Creekmore

I've been interested in self-reliance topics for over 25 years. I’m the author of four books that you can find here. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about prepping, homesteading, and self-reliance topics through first-hand experience and now I want to share what I’ve learned with you.

13 Responses

  1. Docj says:

    Excellent review of basic skills for living sustainability. Thank you for the time you put into the site.

  2. patientmomma says:

    Nice introductory article on learning self-reliance.

    We used to have about a dozen ducks of 3 varieties. We kept them in a fenced 1/4 ac free range area with a large coop for night time protection. They made me laugh everyday! But after about 3 years we phased them out because it was a game of hide and seek to collect their eggs and sometimes I didn’t find them until too late. Also, it was difficult to de-ice and clean the kiddie pool ponds in the winter and the level of noise was getting annoying. Chickens are less work than ducks.

  3. Deborah Harvey says:

    thanks much. very informative.

  4. Mrs. B says:

    Sustainable farming means different things to different people. In a total collapse, admittedly, priorities change. The economics of farming on a everyday level determines my bottom line. I no longer plan for a total collapse. I plan for surviving the moment and keeping the lights on in the meantime. Broken down this way, my farm is set up to generate enough income to allow me to keep my family fed and develop a network of other people who have what I need or want what I have. We partner, trade, and share information goods and services so everyone gets what they need, and life goes on another day. Plan accordingly. Simple.

    The reality is that you do what you have to do until such a time you have to modify your plan to adapt to a changing time. I have very little debt. I don’t buy new. I do as much as I can off the books, and certainly don’t bring unwanted attention to myself in a negative light. I’m learning carpentry, plumbing, heavy equipment operation this year as my new farm becomes operational. I use a green house for garden propagation and plant only what we need or want. Bees-have two hives, want four more. I can sell local honey and my pasture loves the little pollinators. Easy to manage with very little work from me. My freezer will be full of fish, chicken, beef, and pork. It takes 1 steer, 6 hogs, and 40 meat chickens to have enough variety on hand for my family to eat. I sell grass hay by the ton. I sell vegetables that are surplus. I sell lambs at auction as these have been shown to provide the most profit for the farm without that much effort. I’d rather fish than work so I plan on 20 hours a week on the lake and learn where the honey holes are to eat fish when we want and can the rest. I make my own dog/cat food from the organ meat from deer, rabbit, or chicken. Our farm has two spring fed ponds that have fish stocked for emergencies. We reload whenever possible and have recently thought about selling ammunition excess as there is always a market for small arms ammunition. The economics of sustainable farming when applied realistically make me a better person with less stress. Cash is kept on hand for gas, equipment maintenance and incidentals.

  5. Goatlover says:

    Good article. It has been my journey for the past 10 years to become more self sufficient. I look at my farm as an eco-system and I try to find new ways to increase its sustainability. The plants feed the animals and the animals fertilize the plants. (A little simplistic, but that’s basically how I do it!) And I glean enough from all of it to keep myself fed.

  6. Daddio7 says:

    I have some land, extra bedrooms and many decades of experience from running a farm and a job as a tech at a produce packing plant. What I don’t have is much strength. My plan is having some of my children return home and to team up with my neighbor. He has a large farm and his wife has two commercial green houses 200 yds from me.

    I might not get my youngest son back, his girlfriend’s dad is a retired Navy seal, I’m sure he has plans and skills for the worst and where that girl goes my son is going with her.

    My plan is to stockpile seeds and basic foods and have a good assortment of hand tools available.

  7. Prepared Grammy says:

    I am continually trying to become more self-sufficient. My husband can build and fix nearly everything, and I’m learning as much as I can. We have chickens, bees, dairy goats, fruit trees, berry bushes, and a large garden. We hunt and fish. I also save seeds. In fact, my cucumber seeds were originally from a friend. Her family had been saving them for generations, and we have no idea how far back the seeds originated in her family.

    I have a stockpile of a lot of things needed to care for my animals. (A lot of these can also be used for medical care in other situations too.) My vet says I know a lot about animal care. He says my only problem is that I don’t trust my knowledge.

    We know how to butcher animals; and I’m knowledgeable on canning, freezing, and dehydrating food. I can also cook everything we need from scratch.

    Do I think we could handle anything life may hand us? No, but I believe we’re ahead of the majority of people in our country. Thanks for all of the information on how I can expand our plans. I LOVE THIS SITE!

  8. Jack says:

    Oh man, don’t get me started on this subject, we lived it, breathed it and enjoyed the lifestyle until I lost my first bride to breast cancer 12 1/2 years ago and all our grown children moved away in different directions. None of them wanted to take over the “hobby farm” and continue. I wound up in the Republic of the Philippine Islands just about 6 years ago with a large suitcase, my sea bag, a carry-on, and a neck pouch containing my passport and $5,000.00USD to get me started. Let me assure anyone just beginning, YES YOU CAN do this I have literally started over as we sold off several properties and then “the farm” after I was sure this is where I will live out retirement. The only tool that came with me was the leatherman multitool and belt pouch that was in my duffel bag. BTW, the first place I lived for almost one year needed work. With a sanding block, my multitool, a scraper/putty knife, and a few materials, I rebuilt the room I stayed in those first months. All hand labour including hand sanding the old mahogany floor, not a single power tool. I brought a “job” for regular income with me as I trade options at night when the US market is open. These days I am blessed with my beautiful second wife. Maria and I began a business that has more than tripled my original investment in only ten months of operation. It takes money to purchase preps, land and quality tools etc. etc. If things do not get too wild, there is a lot of open land we could use like squatters in our subdivision to grow an emergency garden. We also have access to fallow land across town owned by Maria’s family. Hunting and fishing is a no go. No game (maybe rats?) The only “eating size” critters I have seen anywhere near home was on Corregidor island. There are roving bands of macaque monkeys that steal your bags and distribute the contents on the ground as the run through the jungle looking for edibles in the bag. That trip means going into manila and then a 26-mile excursion out of Manila Bay to the island. Not a good survival plan. If it became too much for us locally with our preps at home and in our two other alternate locations, there are the mountains up north where I will be able to operate much better. Getting there could be a problem. We did add an old but very low mileage mechanically injected TURBO-DIESEL but who knows if the roads will be open to allow our escape? For us, the ultimate solution is the boat. I can put to sea, go further out safely and stay far longer than any of the locals in their small fishing canoes. This puts a moat of safety around us, only a very few marauders could come close to us. For books, I had a now out of print (there are two updated versions on Amazon) volume “The guide to self-sufficiency” by an Englishman named John Seymour. That with a few other books was the basis of our farm plan. At our city home, we had an intensive kitchen garden to keep the family in fresh veggies spring, summer and part of the fall. Up north at our hobby farm, I used Seymour’s recommend 4-year rotation with a twist. Instead of 4 plots, I had five, so my rotation was actually five years. The cow or steer ran on plot one to “muck” it as the grass was consumed. The manure was turned under and a cover crop planted. In the spring, the cover crop was turned under twice, several weeks apart and then planted. With five plots, it was an easy matter to rotate crops and time it so nitrogen-loving crops got their “fix” and at the end of the rotation, crops that were sensitive to too much nitrogen had just enough to do well. It was also good that near the end of the rotation, the soil was less likely to cause problems such as “fork-root” in root crops like carrots. Add in the “free heat” we enjoyed from thinning the woodlot, many kinds of homemade cheese, butter and meat that was aged fork tender and yes, it was a great lifestyle. New challenges under new rules these days but may I encourage newbies, with destination and hard work, you can reach your goals.

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  10. Gloria says:

    For keeping chickens, there’s a simple rule for fencing: chicken wire is meant to only keep chickens in, not to keep anything else out. If you need to varmint proof your chicken area, stick with hardware cloth or smaller mesh fencing wire. And if your area is air or climbing predator prone, cover the top of the chicken run as well. Never assume anything or make it easy for others to steal your hard work.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      You’re right. Hardware cloth is the way to go. We have three coops, and the most secure is made to not only keep chickens in, but to keep other animals out. The other two aren’t as safe, but they’re not too bad.

  11. Debbie sykes says:

    Good article I have been prepping for so long that it’s hard for me to understand why more people aren’t aware and trying to be more self sufficient. I have chickens, guineas ( they are the best buggers) I have no mosquitoes, are bugs. Plus an acre with garden fruit trees berry bushes I love my homestead life.