Book Review: The Backyard Homestead


I know many readers are interested in setting up and running a small homestead on small acreage and The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre, can help to get you started in the right direction.

It doesn’t take a lot of land to have a self-sufficient homestead. I have five and a half 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, home 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, straight forward 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 your progress against.

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 for anyone interested in self-reliance on a small acreage. Copies of The Backyard HomesteadThe Encyclopedia of Country Living, and Barnyard in Your Backyard will cover just about everything that you will ever need to know when setting up and running a small homestead.

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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