We follow a seasonal cycle of observation, design, implementation, and cultivation. We’ll work with you to develop a monthly homestead improvement plan that meets your budget and ambition for your land so that you can make steady progress toward a thriving backyard homestead.
What’s a Homestead Improvement Plan?
A Homestead Improvement Plan is a seasonal service plan, like a CSA crossed with gardening, carpentry and landscaping services. It’s about designing, building and growing a homestead in a way that consistently and purposefully transitions your backyard (and front yard) into productive spaces that supply your home with food, herbs, medicinal plants, energy, and fiber goods.
Many parts of a successful transition to backyard homesteading require planning, effort and time up front, and ongoing oversight and care. We’ve been there. We provides regular services from homestead designers and builders who are trained in gardening, tree care, earthworks, carpentry, water systems, renewable energy systems, micro-business planning, ecological design and the other niche fields.
Homesteaders for Hire are certified permaculture designers and builders who bring knowledge in integrating systems, reducing repetitive labor, and planning for a future with less dependence on external supplies of energy and money.
The services provided change from season to season to meet the growing conditions of Vermont: in the spring we are working on garden prep, soil building, tree planting, and light building projects; in the heat of the summer we focus on crop cultivation and water systems; fall is the time for harvesting, garden clean up, building projects and site analysis; and winter is a time for design and planning for the year to come.
We design to improve
We design and build integrated systems that support each other and tap into natural ecological processes. Working in this way requires planning up front and less maintenance work later. This frees up time and money in later years to install additional garden plots, build a solar chicken coop, design a compost hot water system, or install an aquaponics system. We’ll work with you along the way to plan next steps and optimize the use of existing spaces.
We build the infrastructure pieces that support self-sustaining backyard ecosystems (compost bins, rainwater collection, garden beds, fruit & nut tree plantings, chicken coops, fencing, trellises, energy systems, nursery and crop storage structures, pathways) and use these pieces to generate yields by planting crops, managing crop rotation, performing tree care, managing compost, inoculating mushrooms logs, collecting the harvest, saving seeds and many other backyard homestead projects.
How does it work?
We work together to formulate a monthly budget that’s right for you and your site. Then schedule a visit to assess your site’s soil conditions, topography, solar aspect, vegetation, micro-climate characteristics, circulation patterns, and local zoning laws.
From there we develop a site plan map and recommendations that are used to create a project phasing plan. We’ll schedule regular visits at a frequency that meets your budget to build the pieces and implement the plan. We’ll be helping along the way with planning crop rotations, delivering trees & berry bushes, inoculating mushroom logs, and helping you generate yields.
You may choose to sign up for a single season of HIP services or for year round services. Year round services allow us to fully tap into the cyclical process of observation, design, and implementation across all seasons and maintain continuous progress. At a certain stage you may wish to become the primary steward of your homestead. We hope that you’ll be excited to learn the knowledge and skills to be a successful backyard homesteader.
Here’s an overview of services offered by season.
Contact us here to start on you path toward sustainable backyard homesteading