Master Plan

Our homestead master plan is a key part of our homestead planning. It is a diagram of how we hope our homestead will look some day. It maps out all the various elements of our homestead: house, gardens, paddocks, outbuildings, etc. and gives us a visual tool from which to discuss, brainstorm, prioritize, and plan what we hope to accomplish next. Our most recent revision was March 2020.

  • solid black lines = fence
  • dashed black line = property line, not fenced
  • pairs of black dots = gates
  • dotted gray lines = electric fence to subdivide pastures
  • italics = planned projects

The Big Picture

Detailed View

The links below will take you to earlier versions of our master plan. You can see how it's evolved, and the rationale for various parts of the plan as well as changes.

Copies of 2009 - 2012 master plans are available in
5 Acres & A Dream The Book:
The Challenges of Establishing a Self-Sufficient Homestead

Copies of the 2014 - 2020 master plans will be available in
5 Acres & A Dream The Sequel:
Lessons Learned in the Quest for a Self-Sufficient Homestead

Master Plan images and text © 2009 - 2020
by Leigh at


Unknown said...

How did you come up with this plan? Did you have someone help you? If so what type of companies do this or what would you suggest if we are learning how to do this type of thing?

Leigh said...

Unknown, we did it ourselves. We started with a tracing of our property and a list of goals. We would walk the land and discuss optional locations for the things we wanted, such as the garden, orchard, chickens, etc. We spent time observing the weather and sun. Some things just seemed logical, for example, some of our land was already cleared, so the location for pastures was set. Our plan changes a little every year as we reevaluate our needs and goals. It's a lot of fun to do and becomes a very personal look at your dreams, plans, and goals.

Unknown said...

I have found it can be really helpful to Google Earth the property, take a screenshot, and work from that to reference things in scale.

M.K. said...

Can't wait to show all this to my husband. We're just in the planning stages. One thing he wants to do is to build a cob house for us (eventually) and move out of the small sharecropper house that exists on the property. It's neat to see all your plans on paper!

oldjove said...

I'm following your idea with a master plan. We just bought our dream house with 3 acres but we have so many plans that a master is the only way to go. Thank you for all the great tips you give us!

Leigh said...

Beverly, congratulations! That's exciting. I have to say that having a master plan has served us well. It's a fun way to dream and give all your ideas a home. Glad to see you have a blog. I look forward to following your progress.

Grant Research said...

with all that rain ought consider swales, hugelkultur, permaculture practices

Leigh said...

Agreed! A very handy tool for more real-life decisions. :)

Leigh said...

I hope it inspires you to think about your own master plan. :)

Leigh said...

Oh yes, we absolutely employ those methods. The recent rain has been invaluable in helping me analyze the effectiveness of my swales and consider where to put more. Even with rain, we need water conservation in case we get a dry spell.

Unknown said...

Love the ability to use satellite imagery to help us plan the usage of our farm! It is an invaluable tool. Also love this blog! ;)

Unknown said...

Have you ever ventured using Solar for your electricity needs? If you have already posted anything about it, pls share the link.

Leigh said...

Unknown, yes, we have! I made a pretty long blog series about it, starting with planning and feasibility, all the way through to running our chest freezer and small fridge on it. It's not whole house, but it helps a lot with our food security. The first post in the series is here. Each post links to the next in the series.