Question to the pros out there... My wife and I are looking to move to Kentucky next spring. We really want to get a large homestead, but where we want to live that just isn't in our price range. So we'll probably settle for a half acre or less for our homestead.
One option would be to buy a 5-10 acre lot farther away, like maybe 20-30 miles away. That wouldn't work well for a high-maintenance garden, but would it be realistic or cost effective to build a low maintenance garden / food forest that I could visit once a week or so to pick up more food and do whatever limited work would be required? Anyone already doing anything like this? If so, I'd love to hear what kinds of things you grow and how you do it.
Well, I actually had an annual vegetable garden about five miles away one year, and went out there once a week. Worked OK, but animal damage was high. I imagine that fruit and nut trees would work well, since they only need to be harvested once a year.
Just my opinion, but this is a really bad idea. You would be far better off to develop your half-acre lot, and then sometime in the future if it becomes possible to sell that property and buy a larger piece, start over.
Reasons: Survival rate of your plantings will be lower (unless you fence it like Fort Knox)
Anything it produces can and probably will be stolen, by either animals or people
After the initial period, you will find it very inconvenient to actually go clear out there and harvest things when they need to be harvested
And, if it became difficult or impossible to drive, you wouldn't be able to access the 'remote' lot at all.
I'm sure other people can think of more reasons why it's not such a hot idea.
For a food forest to really work, you have to be part of it, to be in it. The closer you are to it, the more you see how the pieces are fitting together ( or not). You can do a lot on a 1/2 acre. Use it to learn, to discover the processes at work.
We Permies were not the originators of the food forest idea. The peoples who lived here before us have left a legacy of fruit and nut tree and bushes, search them out. I have several around here that I frequent in order to supplement what I grow on my 1/2 acre.
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?