How Big a Backyard Do You Need to Live Off of the Land?

I happened upon this neat picture at One Block Off the Grid and I had to share it.  It is just so eyeopening to see what all it would take to sustain your family for one year while living off the grid.  This definitely puts my 0.40 acres to shame and makes me want to upgrade to at least 2 acres and really maximize what I do with my property.  Unfortunately our current drought wouldn’t be very accommodating for any of this so our micro farm will have to wait for another season.

It doesn’t take a lot of money or space to make start living off the land.  Even with a small lot in the city, you can still make smart decisions for your home and family. Every thing you purchase towards this dream builds upon the previous one. You don’t have to cover your roof in solar panels to see a savings, even Amazon offers small solar panels so you can upgrade on a budget.

Have you ever thought about making a big change and living off the grid?


  1. We have friends that lived off the land for a year and half. He is a chemical engineer and she is school teacher. They both went back to work this year! ha! I think living off the land is tough!

    Haven’t talked to you in a while. Hope all is well with you!

    • Can you imagine how much money you would save?! I wouldn’t want to cut myself off from the rest of the world but it’d be nice to know you could be self reliant if you had to be! Hope everything is going well with you too – I need to catch up with your blog!

  2. Man I would LOVE to do this and I could, but wow, I would need some help! But just think of the money it would save with all the expensive groceries I buy weekly..

  3. We live on a vegetable farm, I have chickens and will get a lamb in the Spring. The numbers sound pretty good, but that also assumes the growing season is good, there is no major disease and no pest outbreaks. Farming is hard work and some years we are at the mercy of the weather. Even with what we grow and raise, I spend between $20 to $40 a week at the grocery store for our family of 4. :)

    • That’s awesome you’re able to do so well on your land! I have a hard enough time trying to grow a small square foot garden. Couple that with the drought in Texas and there’s no way I’d see any cost savings from trying to do an urban homestead right now.

  4. I have always wanted to have a farm, but with the way my square foot garden is going, I think we would starve. :)

    • Ugh, our garden isn’t doing much better. We planted more peppers a month or so ago and have yet to see anything from them. This drought is killing them and/or we don’t have a very green thumb. I saw citrus trees today for B1G1 but resisted the urge since I’ll most likely kill them anyway and they’re going to require a lot of water to grow. Sigh.

      • Do they sell mini citrus trees anywhere by you? I’ve been thinking about getting one of those. You can grow them in containers and they’re small, so I’m sure they don’t use up as much water! We went to the nursery here yesterday and they had little meyer lemon and clementine trees for 25% off.

        • We have some friends that have a dwarf lime tree, so I wonder if they do have other mini trees. Did you buy any of the citrus trees? I’m wondering if I need to just try container gardening? It’s just a shame I have a huge yard and can’t grow anything in it – even in raised beds with all organic soil/compost/etc.

          • No, we didn’t–I’m going to wait until next year when we (hopefully) have a patio built off of the porch because I’m running out of room for all my plants. :) Maybe you should just try containers. I think they sell ones that self-regulate with the water too!

  5. This is so interesting! The way I kill plants, I would have to hire a farmer and I think that would negate my savings! LOL

    • HAHA! Somehow I can manage to keep houseplants alive but anything that might sustain me doesn’t want to grow for me. So disappointing – I had high hopes of having my own garden.

  6. What a great infographic! I would love to, at least to some extent, be self sufficient and make some of my own produce. I can’t WAIT to have a house!

  7. Such a cool visual!!! I just love it! One day, I will be self sustaining! 😉 One step at a time for now. Thanks for sharing.

  8. This is cool. My husband and I want to buy a lot of land and raise animals and have a large garden. Once we sell this we are off to look. We both grew up in the country with lots of lands to do this ourselves, and we also want to look for land with free gas:)

  9. Very cool, It’s my life’s dream to live on/own a farm and I found it heartening that you really only need 2 acres to live on (though right now I’m in an apartment so I have zero acres…)

  10. It certainly makes it look doable. Thanks

  11. If you check out “The Backyard Homestead,” two acres is really quite a lot more than may be necessary. It doesn’t seem that this accounts for vertical planting. Potatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, peas, tomatoes can all be grown either on a trellis or for potatoes, an upright box of dirt that is filled over time to maximize potato output. Lettuce, spinach, and other crops with smaller root systems can do great in a vertical hanging garden made of various materials. Crop rotation can cut out a lot of the land need. Then, there’s always passive solar-heated greenhouses to grow more cold crops throughout the winter and to lengthen the time that the hot weather crops can be grown.

    It is tough growing this amount of food though! It’s quite a commitment for me to grow even 1/8 of that amount for my family, but then, I have a lot of other irons in the fire…like most people these days.

    I’m going to go check out 1BOG. Sounds cool. Thanks for posting this!

  12. Wow, what a fantastic graphic – it really also displays how dependent we are on the American farmer who is so often taken for granted.
    Thanks for Sharing!
    Stephanie from

  13. That’s a really interesting graphic! Although I have grand dreams of one day being able to do this…I can hardly ever remember to water our house plants. But…I can dream!

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