- File Size: 39853 KB
- Print Length: 241 pages
- Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (July 10, 2015)
- Publication Date: July 10, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0113CT91Y
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,812 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$15.95|
|Print List Price:||$19.95|
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The Woodland Homestead: How to Make Your Land More Productive and Live More Self-Sufficiently in the Woods Kindle Edition
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— from the foreword by Philip Ackerman-Leist
“A friendly and informative book about a subject that intimidates many folks new to homesteading. McLeod makes a walk in the woods a whole new world.”
— Jenna Woginrich, author of One-Woman Farm, Barnheart, and Chick Days
From the Back Cover
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There was roughly 5-7% that I thumbed through as it didn't offer me much use at the moment, or interest for that matter. We are currently in the 'burbs' still adjusting to life in a new region of the country. Once established, we are looking to begin rural homesteading within the next 15-36 months. Because of this, while some sections will prove useful in time, right now, it's lost on me. Really, it was mostly chapter 2 that I didn't read in depth. A few paragraphs here and there, but that's it. In this chapter it talks about tools and techniques needed and used on a woodland homestead, building your home from scratch from cord wood, building your own tools, using portable saw mills, etc.
The remaining chapters gave me some much needed food for thought. Until reading this book, I have been unable to find sufficient resources that detail how to establish a homestead in the woods. Everything from raising animals, beekeeping, orchards, gardens, etc! I have been trying to find a location that offered enough woods yet enough cleared but has untainted soil and ground water from surrounding industry and ag. Finding this book gave me new things to consider and has opened my eyes to the possibility of "taking to the woods", successfully. In our new home region, woodland lots are available often and usually better priced than semi-cleared lots. If I hadn't read this book, I would continue to overlook the benefits of woodland homesteads.
You will find information in here on how to "prune" and harvest firewood from living trees to allow regeneration from existing root stock. I had no idea that could be done! How to introduce livestock to weeds and bramble on your land and get them to begin to prefer these forms of fodder over traditional hay/feed options; allowing up to 25-30% reduction in purchased feed. Again, that's because most in woodland settings wouldn't have the cleared space to turn animals out onto traditional pastures. It gives information about breeds of various animals from chickens, turkey, sheep, cattle, etc that you can consider for a woodland homestead- how they adapt to the climate, fodder, foraging ability, etc. It gives instruction on how to clear a section to literally have an orchard in the middle of the woods. How to integrate vegetables and fruiting bushes into the orchard, and basic orcharding advice. You could take this same advice and use it for a large veggie patch if you were not so interested in orcharding.
The author is a fan of community and the community as a "resource". He talks about basic info on how to get neighbors and the community to help you and visa versa for free or bartering. This is something other homesteading books cover as well, but he shows how he did it with orcharding, etc. You'll get handy advice about how to use pigs to remove stumps, how to use all of your animals as a tiller and weed management system, How to use horses and oxen to pull the heavy loads, building the tools to pull the loads, how to build/graft living fences, grafting trees, how to grow in old stumps, look at trees and know if it's disease or woodpecker damage, survey your trees that would pass the grade for lumber, firewood, as well as furniture-grade wood, sugaring, etc. You'll even get a section about basket weaving with some types of "wood" found in some regions of the country (His region- Upstate NY).
Although I'm now in the Deep South, I found so many useful tips, techniques, and factoids to help when considering which property we will buy. It was a fast read, knowledgeable read, and in depth enough to get you started in the right direction. There are some things that I'll investigate further but it is nice having strong basics in once place at my fingertips!
I really enjoyed the sections on livestock, orchards, and mushroom cultivation but the most fascinating part was by far the section on growing a hedge! I'm a bit of anglophile so I really like the idea of growing a hedgerow like you'd see in rural areas of the UK.
This book is by no means a one stop shop of everything you'll need to know but for someone like me who is just getting started, it was an excellent buy! I now have a much better idea of what I'm getting myself into and what I need/want to research further.
I learned a considerable amount about forestry in general, and got some great new ideas for integrating livestock, growing firewood, living fences, and how to incorporate multi-use areas into my future homestead plans. Overall, very inspiring and informative, great illustrations, and surprisingly detailed instructions about a range of different topics. This book is going to be a great asset to my homesteading library, and I can't wait to make my homestead dreams a reality!
As another reviewer had said. I wish I had started with this book. I've spent plenty of money on other books that were not worth it.
Top international reviews
It opened me up to so many possibilities, like syrup production...who doesn't want to try beech or walnut syrup? Now our forest can be producers for the homestead and community.