Homestead planning – 2016 Goals

Things to Think About

There are so many things that we need to consider in the upcoming months and years while we are building our retirement homestead. The logistics of building a standard home are bad enough, but our home will need to be off grid and as self contained as possible. There have been a few posts individually about many of these topics already.

Here is what we hope to accomplish for 2016.

1. Septic and Leach Field

The first thing we will need to put in is a septic tank and leach field. I don’t think I have ever lived somewhere that had a septic tank so this is all new to me. I am learning a lot about tank capacity, biochemical processes, leach field necessities, etc. For instance, a leach field works really well where there are trees or large shrubs already, but you cannot use the land where you place your leach field.

Also, you can’t just decide where you want the tank and leach field to go. There are all sorts of rules and regulations regarding inset off the property line, proximity to cabin, water sources, and ultimately where you plan to put your well. As I have posted recently, this has cause a problem not once, but possibly twice over placement of our cabin. Our property has several “seasonal streams” and wetlands that run through it.

Hopefully, the septic tank and leach field will get installed this year. This will dictate where we can put our house and our well.

Cost? Anywhere from $5000-20,000.

2. Road Placement

Another topic on our list of things to get done this year is our road/driveway.

We need to be able to get materials and equipment out to our building sites, so even a minor dirt road might work. We are currently waiting on estimates for a road leading to two possible building sites.

No idea on cost yet.

3. Storage Shed

On our next trip, we will begin building our first storage shed. This will act as a place for us to sleep and keep minor tools and camping gear for when we are working on our property. This way we will not need to carry as much back and forth and can concentrate on materials and equipment for building.

  • Shed cost: @ $4000
  • Foundation: @ $1000 – We have some of these materials already, not included in the cost.

4. Wood Lot

I would like to order at least some of the trees for the woodlot. See what I can get growing. The ground where I plan to put the woodlot seems to stay pretty wet all summer. I will try to get something in the ground this fall.


The trick to this planning thing, as I am finding out, is to be EXTREMELY flexible. We have changed our cabin location once, and are looking to change it again. We have also changed the size of our cabin 2 times as well, once to make it almost twice as big, and now to bring it back down a bit. And I am currently thinking about shrinking it even more, AGAIN! We also need to constantly remember to consider where the well, and the storage sheds will go in relation to everything else. Will it all fit? We also have to consider that we want an RV pad for family to to come visit.

Items on the back burner, and/or in research mode…

  1. Well
    • Well House
    • Spring house
    • Scystern
  2. Orchard
    • I am thinking and planning, but we can’t get started till the well goes in.
  3. Wood Lot
    • As mentioned above, I know where it will go, but my research is showing that poplars may not be the best choice for firewood? Still learning. I am leaning toward several varieties of trees, both for health of the woodlot in general, and to see what actually flourishes best in our area.
  4. RV locations – Need 2
  5. Chicken coop
  6. Goat paddock and goat shed
  7. Pig shed
  8. Rabbits?
  9. Other storage sheds
  10. Holding ponds
    • Fish?
  11. Solar Power
  12. Anything else???



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