Planning the Mini-Farm, Step Three

Step Three: Map It Out

When I sat down to plan out our homestead, some advice I did take was author Anna Hess’s in her book Weekend Homesteader. She advises surveying your site and drawing it out on several maps. I already wrote about documenting the seasonal and light changes to your yard in Step One and testing your soil in Step Two. Both of these things should be on your map.

What else should be on your map? Your home’s footprint, any concrete drives or walkways, existing plant beds. Where your water sources are, where the entrances to you home are. Where your garden shed is if you already have one. Where your neighbor’s giant dog drops stinky poops next to your fence (I’ll be planting some strongly scented flowers near there soon).

Draw out everything that may affect what you want to grow and how you want to grow it. Putting it all together like this will help make it obvious where you should put what – where will the garden get the best sun; where is there year round light for a greenhouse; what are the obvious pathways that will be regularly traveled – the kitchen door, the tool shed, the water spigot.

After that, run your ideas by the other members in your household. They will help you think of things you missed – like when my partner pointed out that he did not want the chicken coop right next to the house because it would smell. He has actually raised chickens before, and knows these things ;)

If you have children, this is a fun task to involve them in. Older kids can fully participate in this with you; while younger kids, like my Taylor, may just enjoy drawing their own doodles while you draw next to them.