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Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) (Living Free Guides) Paperback – December 4, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 124 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Angela England is a freelance writer who, along with her husband and five children, cultivates a 1/2 acre farm in their Oklahoma backyard where they manage to raise diary and meat goats, keep enough chickens for eggs and free-range poultry, and foster an intensively productive garden for fresh fruits and vegetables. Angela is the founder of UntrainedHousewife.com and enjoys guiding others in recapturing the lost arts of self-sufficient living. She also manages and maintains the Blissfully Domestic community and contributes to other sites and forums on a regular basis.

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Product Details

  • Series: Living Free Guides
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: ALPHA (December 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1615642145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615642144
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) is the book I wished I had 30 years ago, when I first imagined our homesteading dream. It is comprehensive. It is actionable. Not like the first homesteading book I read, which was just a list of recipes from all over the USA, in no particular order, Angela England's new book offers a thorough, step by step plan to add more self reliance to your life, whether you have a lot in town, a half acre in the suburbs, or a quarter section in rural paradise. My favourite part of this book is its emphasis on getting started right now, where you are at, even in a city apartment.

If you have dreamed of homesteading someday, after you've paid off your debts, or after your partner retires, or after you find your dream rural property, you need to get this book and change your mindset. The reality is that the homestead lifestyle, will help you pay off your debt, it will help you get the lifestyle you want, while you are working in town, and it will prepare you to be more self sufficient even in the city. This isn't one of those antique homestead books that says you have to find a remote location and be off grid to be a successful homesteader. It takes into account the modern realities of backyard chicken ordinances, ordering stock by telephone, and reliance on feedmills. The book even has suggestions for being more self-reliant from the feedmill, something many of the modern livestock books lack.

You don't have to make a huge life change in order to begin a backyard farm. For most of the people in the United States, it's possible to begin living more self-sufficiently right where you are. Don't wait for "the perfect setup" to get started. Start growing your own food now, even if it's just 10 percent to start. Start doing for yourself.
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Format: Kindle Edition
My usual M.O. with a book about living off the land is turning to the gardening chapters first. Since my move from California to Texas, I haven't been able to grow a thing. Not even a self-respecting weed will take hold.

When "Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less)" by Angela England arrived in my mailbox, the gardening chapter is where I started. I was looking for any hint to make something useful come up in my garden plot. I did find some useful tidbits of information that I had forgotten or hadn't thought about.

Next on my list were chickens. I've been reading a lot about chickens and beekeeping (also covered in this book) recently. I want to try my hand at both in the coming year. Sure enough, I found some additional pieces to add to my journal of information.

Each section of "Backyard Farming" has something that I can add to my knowledge about using my land productively and wisely. In addition, Ms. England has added how to use products from a micro-farm, such as recipes, crafts, and household products.

The book is nicely illustrated with photos from Ms. England's own backyard farm. Throughout tidbits of information are sprinkled throughout in small sections: definitions, over the garden fence (homegrown hints), thorny matters (safety and other cautions, and more.

Nearly half the content is about gardening. Gardening is the one thing most people can do even in cramped urban areas. The section on animals is about animals that are relatively easy to raise (chickens, rabbits, goats, and sheep). These are good starter animals.

One thing to remember when reading this handy book is the definition of a backyard. Having been raised in suburbia, I still think of a backyard as a small (o.k. tiny) space behind the house. Ms.
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Format: Paperback
The "green" movement has taken momentum and urban farming is no longer an oxymoron. Even the most convinced urbanite might have, beside a store-bought pot of flowers, a little pot of basil, parsley or thyme. Although it's still a far cry from self-sufficiency, the idea that food grown locally and organically is better for us and the environment (and tastes a whole lot better) is growing in acceptance.

Backyard Farming on an Acre (or less) adds to the short tradition now of self-sufficiency manuals, ranging from patio and condo pot gardening to beginner organic farming. What strikes here at even the most superficial perusing, while reading the table of contents, is the sheer magnitude of the project. The book tries to cover everything from traditional vegetable gardening to beekeeping, outbuildings construction to livestock care, and anything in between.

This huge scope is both a merit and a downside of the book. If you look for a complete and in depth manual of all these farming aspects you are going to be disappointed. If you have never worked with wood before it is advisable you did not try to operate a circular saw with only the guidance of Backyard Farming. Same goes for beekeeping. In short, the book will not turn you into an experienced farmer. However, it will give you a pretty good idea what the work involves and before you put down the book you feel like taking out your rubber boots and a spade and plant some tomatoes on that lawn.

The book covers all the basics in every topic: the dos and don'ts, what to pay attention to and where to look for help if in trouble. The reader quickly understands that even if there is a lot of work to be done, there are ways to do it easier and he or she can start simple and add more to the work as each feels comfortable.
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