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Backyard Homesteading: A Back-to-Basics Guide to Self-Sufficiency (Gardening) Paperback – November 3, 2011


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Backyard Homesteading: A Back-to-Basics Guide to Self-Sufficiency (Gardening) + The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!
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Product Details

  • Series: Gardening
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Creative Homeowner; First edition (November 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580115217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580115216
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

 " from the legal aspects of local regulations, raising chickens, goats, bees, and more, David Toht presents an excellent introductory reference on how to create one's own steady source of fresh food."
 
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
December 2011

From the Back Cover

GETTING STARTED
* Benefits of pure food
* Family recreation
* Local regulations
* Potential yields and savings
RAISING VEGETABLES AND HERBS
* Garden planning/layout
* Structures/irrigation
* Vegetable profi les
* Planting techniques
* Composting/healthy soil
* Seasonal gardening
GROWING FRUITS, BERRIES, AND NUTS
* Planting fruit trees and bushes
* Fruit profiles
* Organic pest control
* Grafting and pruning
* Harvesting methods
RAISING CHICKENS
* The joy of chickens
* Collecting eggs
* Care and feeding tips
* Other small animals
RAISING GOATS
* Benefits of goat milk
* Structures/fencing
* Care and feeding tips
* Other large animals
BEEKEEPING
* Benefits of beekeeping
* Care and harvesting
* Building hives
* Collecting honey
HARVEST HOME
* Canning/drying/freezing
* Making beer, wine, cider
* Making jerky, sausage
* Making jams, jellies
* Pickling/salting/smoking
* Building root cellars

More About the Author

We called our first flock of brown-egg chickens our "illicit biddies" because they weren't strictly legal in town. My wife and kids and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, relishing the fresh eggs and delighting in the antics of the hens--until a call came from our alderman and we had to find them a new home. Our current flock of four layers live in more enlightened times. Today, thousands of municipalities allow small poultry flocks. More and more people are experiencing the joys of keeping a few chickens, watching them relish vegetable scraps and meticulously scratch up insects and grubs. In turn, they provide wonderfully fresh eggs, while donating manure for the compost pile. It's a fascinating cycle to be a part of.

Our flock inspired me to contact Creative Homeowner about doing a book on chickens. They had a better idea, a book on the broader topic of food self-sufficiency. Backyard Homesteading is the result. I hope you find it a useful introduction to the joys of raising your own food. I thoroughly enjoyed working on the book because I got to visit scores of backyard farms and talk with people passionate about things like top-bar bee hives, heritage tomatoes, and pygmy goats. Their hard-won knowledge and canny tricks of the trade were invaluable.

That exposure dovetailed with the summers I spent on my grandparents' farm in west-central Illinois. The farm was that rarity, a diversified farm, with not just row crops like corn and soybeans, but fields of alfalfa, oats, and hay, as well as chickens, hogs, and steers. In addition, a huge garden yielded a cellar full of canned vegetables. I watched my grandfather butcher chickens, using the axe and chopping block method. The smell of scalded chicken feathers is something you don't forget. That farm gave me an early exposure to how our food is produced and a lifelong love of working the soil. It also taught valuable lessons about the ingenuity and hard work growing your own food requires--and its substantial rewards.

Backyard Homesteading has been well enough received to warrant a sequel, BUILDING the Backyard Homestead, due out in the spring of 2013. It is loaded with hands-on projects including hydroponics, aquaponics, fence stretching, hive building, and more. Among the projects is a portable chicken coop and run, a new home for our Araucanas and Buff Orppingtons. Somehow it always seems to come back to chickens.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 47 customer reviews
This book is a great getting started in homesteading book.
PlantsvsHumans
This book is written very well and the illustrations are more than you would expect from a book like this.
Backyard Homesteader
This is a great book for anyone who is working on a "backyard" homestead.
grannie prepper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Bethany Fowler on June 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is one of many you can find about, well, homesteading in your backyard. It's always good when the title is appropriate to the words within. ;) I own a few of these books, and this one doesn't veer one inch from the beaten track. What I mean by this is not that there is anything wrong with the book, only that if you already own a couple "self-sufficiency" books, this one is not going to shock you with any new information.

It does have quite a number of illustrations, which is great if you are a visual person. In fact, I really think that this is the best thing going for this book. Some of the other "back-to-basics" which I have read which have few pictures. Ordinarily, I am more than fine with this, since, if I have to choose, I'd rather have competent words than a ton of photographs. However, this book is pretty good at having plenty of illustrations without sacrificing the word content, and I appreciate that.

I will warn those of you who are a little neurotic about misspellings, that there were a few in here (and I am not generally very observant about those things, so I can only imagine what a more keen-eyed person would pick up). The photo quality is good, but not great. The information is laid out nicely--quite well organized. My personal favorite homesteading book is the Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery (the 10th edition), but that book is sorely lacking in organization, so I appreciated this feature in this book.

My favorite section in this book was the part on chicken coops. It had a lot of photographs of different styles, which I appreciated, and went into zoning laws a little more then some of my other books do.

Since this book is supposed to be focused on a backyard, its variety of animals is a little limited.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a good guide to helping you be more self-sustaining; although I always cringe when I read the statement...self-sustaining which is almost impossible, especially within a backyard.
There is a list of safeties and cautions, but not until you get to the introduction is there a mention that perhaps your community or county/city codes might not allow you to have chickens, much less goats. Some of the down and dirty is brought up, such as having to trim goat's hooves. The charts and plans are very thorough for the most part. The storage sheds have a cut away diagrams and a supplies list, but do not tell you how to build them.
There are many pictures and good descriptions; the garden tools you need are all well depicted, even for novices. Several charts are included such as; how much you should plant and steps for drying vegetables. The specifics for the herbs and vegetables are very complete; telling the life cycle, size, soil needed and propagation, spacing, harvesting guidelines and preserving techniques. Pictures and steps for canning are given step by step

This is a very good guide for those who wish to become more self-sufficient and go more green, even novices would be able to understand most of what they need to do by reading this guide.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Moore on January 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was at the bookstore looking over all the homesteading books and many of them were very good, but this one had the most full colored pictures and diagrams. I am such a picture person. You can describe something until the cows come home (ha!) but give me a picture and I can DO it! Love this book! Can't wait to get started!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
I purchased several (7 actually) homesteading books and this one is my favorite. I have learned so much and it gives practical advice on becoming self-sufficient.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alan B. Rogers on February 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received this book yesterday and was very pleased. The photographs and drawings are very high quality. The information is fairly in-depth for such a broad subject. Lastly, it was well written. I read it from cover-to-cover in one day.
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In a year our family will finally leave our nomadic lifestyle behind (Yay Navy :) ) and we are settling down in a town with a quarter acre lot. An important part of our new life will be that we can finally make long term plans for making the most and best use of our resources.

This book is a wonderful introduction to a neophyte such as myself covering the basics including checking local ordinances (we can have up to 6 hens, no other 'livestock'), and start the basics for planning best-use of the back yard. It includes information on such a wide variety of topics (hens, fruits, vegetables, composting, canning) etc that I can use it for planning-- and then perhaps use other resources for some of the nitty gritty aspects.

It's not for truly 'going off the grid' and does not include information on solar/wind etc, which is fine. This is perfect for the average back-yarder. Great pictures/illustrations coupled with clear text really made this book a great read. I can't wait to get started!

Highly Recommended!

JTG
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Backyard Homesteader on August 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a so called Homesteader for most of my life so I love reading others take on the subject. I have religously use the book Backyard Homestead as my bible for homesteading and happened to see this on a friends Youtube channel.

I purchase the book and was eger to open it as the video I watched was awesome about it. Right from the start the book sucks you in as if you are right there living what is being said. This book is written very well and the illustrations are more than you would expect from a book like this. David I have found me a new guide and I thank you!

If you ever wanted to buy a book about Homesteading get this one! I promise you won't be disappointed. To be honest I was shocked at the price. There is a whole lot of knowledge here for such a small cost.
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