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    Looking at purchasing land in the very near future in mid to upper Michigan. I been looking at land ranging from 20-50 acres with price being the most important factor right now. Land is relatively cheap in MI, and I am originally from MI, that is the reason I am looking there. What would you consider to be a minimum amount of land to go off-grid on? Looking at a small cabin, solar and wind power, wood or pellet stove, smoke-house, garden area, and someplace to hunt that is my own.

    Thoughts? Thanks!


    One book I read recommended 15 acres saying that 5 acres was just too little to be self sufficient on. I think you will need land for hunting, ponds for fishing and fields for both pasture and field grains as well as garden and barnyard space. If you can afford more than 15 then great.


    Yea one horse needs like 5 acres just to graize and find fresh grass without tearing it apart. I found some cheap land in tenn and Ky today online. I have only 6 acres but i have no horse. I often think about selling and getting a larger farm / land now that i have saved up some equity and value worth allowing me to pay 60k down now verses 12k like i did 2 yrs ago. But then again there are other factors that keep me here like 8 yrs left on my 10 yr mortgage and my neighbors who are all hard working amish and mennonites. I hate moving near a bunch of rednecks or thieving lazy hippies.. hey i am a hippy but an old fashioned one who believes in working hard :)

    click my screenname to see my farm


    Well I can say that there will not be a horse on the property. I have no experience with them and currently live in the city and no way to really get to know what to do with a horse. What I do know how to do is hunt, fish, and grow a garden. What I am thinking is if I can snag 20ac as a minimum I could take 1 acre and put the cabin, smokehouse, chicken coop, and garden on it. With the other 19ac find some clearings and plant food plots. I have also been looking in to game bird stocking and land management for game birds. Yes, game birds for me only. LOL. You can buy quite a few quail fairly cheap, and if released hopefully they would populate and stick around. I’ve actually found a few plots in MI that I think would work perfectly. Trying to stay out of the UP due to snow fall amounts, but I am finding a LOT of cheap land up there, making it more and more tempting to possibly head that way.


    I kind of dissagree to an extend, while more land certainly makes it a lot easier to become fully self suffisient, clever use of space and an outside of the box approach lends itself to accomplishing a lot more on much smaller acreage.

    There is a guy in our prepper group that has a sizable home on less than 1/4 acre of land, most of which is covered by an in ground swimming pool in the back yard. He built a massive green house over the entire thing, converted his pool to a tilapia pond, and set up floating aquaponics systems with walk boards over the entire thing, and went verticle with floating boxes above e. he now produces more food and fish then his family can consume in a years time. Along the privacy fence there is a chicken run, with a coop in one corner and rabbit hutches in another corner, and he has over 1000 gallons of water collection storage buried on one side of his home piped in from his new roof.

    He sells enough of his produce in the farmers market to pay his property taxes and has even managed to save enough to start making the system completely self sustaining by making the power requirements run on solar, and building solar heating units into it.

    He can produce year round with his system. He also says the best thing about the setup is that if the power goes out, no big deal, if he gets laid off, no big deal, if STHF, he can hole up at home and feed himself and his family with little to no issues is anything outside of the worst case scenario.

    All on less than 1/4 acre of land. Hunting and such he does on public lands not too far from his neighborhood.

    I’m going the farm route myself since I already own 34 acres of land and a farm house. April 27 2011 in Alabama has set us back on our goal more than a year in our progress…..


    I wouldn’t want more than 5 acres to manage personally. Unless you are trying to do large livestock go Quality over quantity.

    Smaller parcels can still offer all the seclusion you need, lower price and taxes.


    Check out the newaygo county area, Wilcox or the outlaying areas of White Cloud. We had good luck picking up very decent property up that way very secluded and private.


    You actually don’t need much land if you farm in a different way. Aquaponics offers the ability to grow lots of food in a small space all year around. Herbs, vegetables, fruits, and fish can be grown and harvested. For a successful home system you need about 500 square feet. Now, if you want some meat you can raise chickens, for milk a goat or two, and you’d be in pretty good shape. For grains you can grow outdoors and it wouldn’t take much space to supply yourself and the family. Certainly you could get away with 5 acres or less of land.


    Perdigo43… I have actually started looking in the LP.  Figure the winters will not be as harsh down there as they will be in the UP, and I can always go for a drive if I want to hunt moose or bear.  I’ve looked on in Newaygo and Whitecloud, I’ll check Wilcox today.

    I also think I am going to scale down my “want” to 10-20 acres instead of 20-50.  It is hard to find 20-50 in the price I want to spend.   I’m also starting my “things I must accomplish in the next 4 years” list so I can be ready to go.  Part 1 of that is socking away some cash.  Now that Christmas spending is done that should be easier to do.  My goal is to be debt free, minus my house and truck payment by September 2013. I want to try and have a decent sum of cash so when I make the move I can buy outright some land and things.

    I’ve also decided a chicken coop and rabbit pen will be going up.  Since I don’t think my fiance will make the move with me it will be cheaper to raise chickens and rabbits for food instead of going to the grocery store.

    Thanks for all the inputs.  Sorry I haven’t been here much, just busy at work and taking classes.  Trying to decide how to plan for the next couple years is pretty crazy.


    5 arces to 10 arces is plenty if properly managed, also having neighbors that live like mind and share crop the community garden and help each other around the land is a plus.   We have at this time 3 families that all help each other like in the days of the waltons and little house on the praire.  Yes they were TV shows, but thats the easiest way to describe it.   We all barter work from each other that way with low income or little money a lot can get accomplished.   We all believe in the TEAM and not just the ME in team that the new world instills in the minds of our children.   When looking at the land just go talk to the people living around there explain your interested in the land down the road and explain your lifestyle.  You will be surprised at the interest they show in learning how to get ride of the light bill and utility bills.

    There is some land still available were we bought look at to see the lay of the land.


    5 acres can be as good as 30 arces if setup right.   We found in our research that 10 acres was perfect with the permission of the like minded people around us allowing us to hunt their land as well as them on ours.   We have 3 families that have come together and share crop the garden, help each other build and do manual labor on the land.   We help each other as our grandparents and past generations have.   We went back to the ways of old.  Barter with each other to help each other.  Work together and not against.  The NEW WORLD has instilled the ME in team instead of the TEAM in TEAM.  Hope this helps.  If you find an area talk to the people that live around there.  Just be polite and let them know your looking to buy around there and plan to live a lifestyle like ————- (fill in the blank)   thats what we did and found they were interested in getting off the grid too but heard it cost 30 to 50 grand to do.   We sat down showed them that it was a lot cheaper than that.   They are limited income people but they have started working towards the off grid life.  Its  has been great to see the 3 families pull together and work toward a common goal.  Reminds me of the TV show’s I watched as a teenager. (little house on the praire and the waltons)   etc.  If your looking there is more land available near use.   just contact me.  look on my blog for the lay of the land


    It’s funny because a local group I am a member of is having me do a presentation on sustainable prepping practices.  It will be very much keyed toward people who live in apartments or neighborhoods with small plots of land, etc.  And it discusses this very thing.  Pretty much how to accomplish self sufficiency when you have little land, and very little money to accomplish it.

    Once I have completed this for them, I may very well post it here, or give it to the website owners for publishing if they decide they want.


    Just know that you can easily feed a family with a garden less than 1/2 acre, you can raise plenty of rabbits and chickens on less than 1/4 acre, and there is still plenty of public hunting lands, plenty of public places to fish, etc.  Be creative.


    OffthegridinOK…  one small problem, you are in OK and I want to go to MI.  Thats about 1000+ miles difference.  I will be looking at your site more this weekend though.  I can not look at it on the computer I am posting this from, and my Droid is being a pain in the butt, so I have to wait till I get home.

    I have slimmed down my land size to 5 – 10 acres.  Since last posting.  I think I found the spot, but since I can’t move for about 4 years I just need to keep saving!  I will be shooting you some questions though in the future if that is ok with you?

    Riverrat… I look forward to reading your paper if you post it.



    Just a few thoughts from a newbie off the grider. I to thought that “Self Sufficiency” was the goal. But I came to realize that that was just a word game fantasy. No one here want’s to be self sufficient completely. The very fact that you are connected via an internet connection means you want the goods and services others in the consumer world have to offer. What I came to realize was that what I really wanted was to reduce my “dependance” on the consumer world. So what self sufficiency means to me is the ability to (if necessary) provide all the basic needs like food, water, shelter and a certain level of creature comfort. To that end I bought 3 acres with a stream running through it. I built a 504sq/ft. cabin with 1,440 watts of solar panels and a roof designed for rain water harvesting. This is plenty of land for a small orchard, berry patches, a garden for vegetables and more than enough room for chickens and a rabbit hutch if desired. As for cattle and horses, well, I would rather barter for beef with eggs or fruit than raise a herd myself. But if I did want to raise more meat I would just get a few goats. My point is really think about what your goals are. Are you looking to become a hard working farmer and/or rancher? Or are you looking for what you need to survive hard times and be happy? I now have a home on my own land both of which I own outright. I have electricity for life, plenty of water and come this spring I’ll plant ten or twelve fruit trees, some berry patches and a garden. And I did it for about $35,000 cash. If I had waited till I could afford 50 acres I would still be wishing I was off grid.

    All I’m saying here is decide what your real goals are and what is needed to achieve them. I’m not trying to talk anyone out of anything, just recalling how I decided that my 20 acre goal was far more land than I really needed to live a simple more self reliant life.


    Just my $0.06 (That’s $0.02 adjusted for inflation)  :^)



    Check away the newaygo county region, Wilcox or perhaps the outlaying areas of White Cloud. You had good luck choosing upwards really good accommodation upwards like that really secluded and personal.

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