Review: The Backyard Homestead

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by M.D. Creekmore: The
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After examining
the results of Fridays
poll
it’s obvious many readers are interested in setting
up and running a small homestead.

And since you’ve
shown an interest, I thought it would be fitting (and useful) to
do a review of The
Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter
acre!
by Carleen Madigan/Storey Publishing.

Actually, I’ve
been planning a review this book for several weeks, but was sidetracked
by other projects. Too
many irons in the fire.
Can’t believe, I was thinking about
doing a survival
podcast
. Thank
you
for setting me straight on that one.

It doesn’t
take a lot of land to have a self-sufficient homestead. I have two
acres, but use about half of that for my garden, fruit and nut trees,
henhouse, grape vines, goat lot, rabbit hutch, bee hive, compost
pile, trailer and yard. You don’t need a lot of land.

But you do
need to know how to use your small acreage efficiently, The Backyard
Homestead will help you do that.

Within it’s
368 pages you’ll find easy to understand, straightforward instructions
covering a wealth of information, that’ll help you get the
most from a small homestead or even your backyard.

The thing that
stood out most was the detailed planning diagrams and breakdowns
for different sized plots, arrangements and lists of possible yields
from each. Of course the actual yield harvested, would depend on
many factors. But the suggestions give something to work for and
compare progress.

The Backyard
Homestead covers a range of topics, all geared toward those
of us homesteading on small acreage, such as: vegetable gardening,
fruit and nut trees, herbs, grains, poultry, rabbits, pigs, goats,
sheep, cattle, preserving, making wine, cider, vinegar, herbs, making
cheese, yogurt and butter and a lot more.

On the back
of the book, it tells you that on a 1/4 acre, you can harvest:

  • 1400 eggs
  • 50 lbs of
    wheat
  • 60 lbs of
    fruit
  • 2000 lbs
    of vegetables
  • 280 lbs
    of pork
  • 75 lbs of
    nuts

The Backyard
Homestead is a great book.

My only complaint
(I have to complain about something – no matter how trivial)
is that some of the suppliers mentioned are no longer in business.
This can be expected as businesses come and go and any such listing
is guaranteed to become dated. This isn’t a big deal as other
sources and alternatives are easy to find.

I also thought
it strange that there were no plans for composting
or homemade
composters
. This isn’t a big deal as this info is all over
the web and detailed in just about any book on gardening
or homesteading.

Would I recommend
this book? Yes; I would.

It is a gold
mine of information for those of us homesteading on small acreage.

What about
you?

What books
would you recommend for those homesteading on a small plot of land?

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June
22, 2010

M.D.
Creekmore [send
him mail
] is a full-time blogger and preparedness consultant.
He currently lives completely off-grid somewhere in the Appalachian
mountains and is currently working on his upcoming book The
Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat for Paladin Press. To connect with
M.D. Creekmore please visit his Survival
Blog
.

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