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Backyard Homesteading: A Back-to-Basics Guide to Self-Sufficiency (Gardening) Paperback – November 3, 2011
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From the Back Cover
* Benefits of pure food
* Family recreation
* Local regulations
* Potential yields and savings
RAISING VEGETABLES AND HERBS
* Garden planning/layout
* 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
* The joy of chickens
* Collecting eggs
* Care and feeding tips
* Other small animals
* Benefits of goat milk
* Care and feeding tips
* Other large animals
* Benefits of beekeeping
* Care and harvesting
* Building hives
* Collecting honey
* Making beer, wine, cider
* Making jerky, sausage
* Making jams, jellies
* Building root cellars
More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am slowly gaining knowledge for future use & this book is a very nice start. I cannot see anything wrong with this book so far, it is well laid out & the information is good for... Read morePublished 5 months ago by John Paul Moore
Good book, but I already have several like it. For some reason I was under the impression that this one was more garden-focused. Read morePublished 7 months ago by LR
Great book, a good basic start to homesteading plenty of pictures and descriptions. Recommend getting the building project book as well, great complement to thus one.Published 8 months ago by Matthew Munson