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Grow the vegetables and fruits your family loves. Keep bees, raise chickens, goats, or even a cow. The Backyard Homestead shows you how it’s done. If you are interested in learning how to homestead, this is a great beginner resource for you. This book seems to have enough information in it that you can use it to begin your journey to self-sufficiency. If you are interested in homesteading, check out some of my posts like the one on uses for wood ash and my soap-making book review.
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Book Title: The Backyard Homestead
Subtitle: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Paperback: 352 pages
The Backyard Homestead
From the Back Cover:
Put your backyard to work! Enjoy fresher, organic, better tasting food all the time. The solution is as close as your own backyard. Grow the vegetables and fruits your family loves. Keep bees, raise chickens, goats, or even a cow. The Backyard Homestead shows you how it’s done. And when the harvest is in, you’ll learn how to cook, preserve, cure, brew, or pickle the fruits of your labor.
The Backyard Homestead Review:
Let me say upfront that I am not a homesteader but a ‘wanna-be’! However, this book seems to have enough information in it that you can use it to begin your journey to self-sufficiency. The book starts off by making sure you are aware of some limitations…like the law! A very important one, in my mind, since I am, unfortunately, stuck in an area that won’t even let me have chickens, much fewer cows!
Backyard Homestead Designs
There are backyard homestead design recommendations for plots as small as 1/10 of an acre or 1/2 acre plus yards. The beginning chapter on gardening gives great information on building raised beds, planning the garden design, and building a cold frame.
The next section includes all your veggies A to Z and growing and storage tips for each one. Because it makes no sense to grow 50 pounds of potatoes if you don’t know how to store them for the winter! There is also a section on herbs, fruits and nuts, including which varieties work best in certain climates.
How to Preserve Your Harvest
The section on preserving includes the obvious choices like canning, freezing, and drying (freezing rhubarb is the easiest thing ever!). In addition, it also includes techniques like pickling or making wine and cider. There is a large section on growing your own grain and how to harvest it.
This section also includes my husband’s favorite part…beer brewing! The final sections include the keeping of animals. It is helpful to anyone who wants to just keep a few chickens to gather eggs or if you want to know what kind of cow to choose to get the best milk production.
Limitations to Homesteading
I thought The Backyard Homestead was a wonderfully laid-out book. It takes into consideration the limitations each person may have with respect to their zoning laws, neighbors, or size of the lot. I know my limitations. Personally, I will not be harvesting my own wheat or raising cows…at least not here in suburbia. But, if need be, I COULD do it with this book!
I will use a lot of the information now (like canning, planning my garden, and learning new ways to use herbs). If, for some reason, however, I NEED my own cows and grains I will pull out this book and know how to do it! Buy the Book! Have any backyard homestead tips to share?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.