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Paperback The Backyard Homestead : Produce All the Food You Need on Just a Quarter Acre! Book

ISBN: 1603421386

ISBN13: 9781603421386

The Backyard Homestead : Produce All the Food You Need on Just a Quarter Acre!

(Part of the The Backyard Homestead Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: New

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Book Overview

This comprehensive guide to homesteading provides all the information you need to grow and preserve a sustainable harvest of grains and vegetables; raise animals for meat, eggs, and dairy; and keep honey bees for your sweeter days. With easy-to-follow instructions on canning, drying, and pickling, you'll enjoy your backyard bounty all winter long.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An Excellent Introduction

I'm already planning my 2010 garden, with the aim of getting back into gardening after a four year hiatus. Many of my neighbors are planting their first gardens and still others are incorporating small animals like chickens and goats into their yards. And no, I don't live in the country. I live in the suburbs. So when I saw The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan, I was excited. The premise of this book is that with a quarter of an acre - or less - you can provide your family with lots of great food. You may wonder if growing your own food is worth the effort. Here's how I look at it: I recall with great fondness working in the vegetable garden with my father. I want my children to experience the same thrill of pulling fresh foods from the ground and eating them with the pride that they helped grow them. Besides, homegrown foods are fresher and therefore more nutritious. And you know exactly what chemicals were used on them, and whether the seed is heirloom or genetically modified. Not so with store-bought foods, even if they are marked organic. Although my family hasn't ventured into raising farm animals, we've considered it. I hate the idea of feeding my family meats pumped full of hormones, or even just salt water. And no store bought egg can ever compare to the taste of fresh eggs, just as store-bought tomatoes don't taste remotely like store-bought. You'll probably be surprised by how much food you can produce in your suburbia yard. Madigan says with a quarter acre you can produce 1,400 eggs, 50 pounds of wheat, 60 pounds of fruit, 2,000 pounds of vegetables, 280 pounds of pork, and 75 pounds of nuts. (The film HomeGrown says that if you just stick to produce, you'll get 6,000 pounds.) The average lot in the suburbs isn't that big, but you can still produce a lot of food - and at significant savings. (According to the National Gardening Association, the average family with a veggie garden saves $600 a year.) You might wonder how any one book can thoroughly cover the topics of raising your own vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, grains, herbs, and a variety of farm animals. Well, it can't. But The Backyard Homestead does a great job of providing a basic overview of what's possible. The section on gardening is the most thorough, and probably the only guide you really need to growing veggies, fruits, and berries. There's information on growing from seed, preparing a bed, growing in containers, choosing crops most appropriate for your space, succession planting (where, when one plant stops producing, you plant another crop), getting a general idea of how much your garden can produce, harvesting (with general info on freezing and canning), basic information on storing seeds for next year's garden, general growing info on popular vegetables, growing berries, growing nut and fruit trees (hint: they don't have to take up a lot of space), and growing and using herbs. There's a short chapter on incorporating edibles into your decorative lan

Same Info As Storey's Basic Country Skills

I purchased this book but returned it because I already had "Storey's Basic Country Skills: A Practical Guide to Self-Reliance" and it contains almost all of the same information. For the little bit of new information contained in this book, I didn't think it was worth purchasing this book in addition. I didn't realize this book would be so similar. If you don't have or never read "Storey's Basic Country Skills...," this book will be a great find for you. It's a smaller, easier to handle book than "Storey's Basic Country Skills..," but it has much less content, for those deciding between the two. However, the information it contains is valuable for backyard homesteaders.

Fresh eggs! Fresh bread! Fresh basil!

What else could you want? Do you need? Well, after reading Madigan's book, apparently I want to have and do alot more with my life and garden in the city. I've already been trying to turn my 1/16th (?) of an acre city garden over to chickens, veggies, and fruit, but, yikes!, this book has been an absolute dream find for me. It has made me realize that I've barely cracked the surface as far as creating a life that is in happy harmony with the plant and animal world, not to mention how my family's eating experience will become more fun, more fresh, and more delicious! I can't wait to start making my own mozzarella and planting those nut trees! That will be the easy part...getting my husband to agree to those four gorgeous blue Andulusian chickens I've been coveting might be slightly harder.

Even if you don't have a backyard!

This book was recently introduced to me by a friend who was tired of hearing me just *talk* about my preserving and canning aspirations - she thought, rightly, that having this book as my guide would spur action. What always sounded like a lovely annual ritual to me is now actually - I have been happy to discover, after reading "The Backyard Homestead" and its clearly, engagingly written advice - something I can and do do. But I have discovered so much more that is possible within - as it turns out, having only a balcony, and no actual backyard, is not a deterrent when looking to live more self-sufficiently, and Madigan addresses viable options for all kinds of living circumstances. There really is something for everyone within, and inspiration is inevitable.
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