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

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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. Also available in this 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. Also available in this series: The Backyard Homestead Seasonal Planner, The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects, The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals, and The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How.


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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. Also available in this 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. Also available in this series: The Backyard Homestead Seasonal Planner, The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects, The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals, and The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    My sister has expressed an interest in "homesteading." Do you have a favorite book about homesteading that I could buy her for Christmas? My sister would like to stead a home. She's gonna farm. She's gonna live off the grid. She's gonna be one of those people who keep chickens for like two months until they realize that it's hard and annoying. She just announced this recently, that she's into homesteading, particularly with regards to "the camp in Canada," which I've literally never heard of - My sister has expressed an interest in "homesteading." Do you have a favorite book about homesteading that I could buy her for Christmas? My sister would like to stead a home. She's gonna farm. She's gonna live off the grid. She's gonna be one of those people who keep chickens for like two months until they realize that it's hard and annoying. She just announced this recently, that she's into homesteading, particularly with regards to "the camp in Canada," which I've literally never heard of - has she been keeping an entire camp secret from me? What even is a "camp"? Isn't that more of a verb? I thought it was only a noun when it was a thing you had to do during summer vacation because your parents wanted to get drunk in peace. You know what's a fucked up place is summer camp. Older kids made us younger kids show them our penises to "prove we were boys" once on the way to breakfast. You weren't even traumatized about it, you just sortof took it for granted that stuff like this happens at camp. It's decades before you look back and think hey, that was weird. The thing with all of this is that my sister lives in Wellesley, and when Wellesley people talk about things like "the camp in Canada" they generally mean more of a Camp David kind of thing, with servants' quarters with real servants, and...and waterskiing. But here she is, talking about homesteading, so. Waterskiing and chickens. The awfulest thing about this is that she'll probably be super good at it. She is generally good at things. We'll go visit her, as soon as we sleuth out the address of "the camp in Canada," and she'll say things like "Homesteading is such a hassle, I barely got the sheep sheared in time to knit these sweaters." She'll be casually waving a cocktail made with home-bathtubbed gin. Strangling a chicken with the other hand. "There was a whole chapter about chicken strangling," she'll say, "in that book you got me for Christmas."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bird

    This book didn't work for me for a number of reasons... 1. This book tries to do the old "everything for everyone" feat, and fails. Too many topics are (attempted to be) covered in the single volume, so that each is dealt with only superficially. 2. Related to the first issue, topics are given uneven consideration. Container gardening was given 1.5 pages. Choosing the right breed for laying/meat chickens was given 5. I'd bet good money that the number of people who would be interested in (and This book didn't work for me for a number of reasons... 1. This book tries to do the old "everything for everyone" feat, and fails. Too many topics are (attempted to be) covered in the single volume, so that each is dealt with only superficially. 2. Related to the first issue, topics are given uneven consideration. Container gardening was given 1.5 pages. Choosing the right breed for laying/meat chickens was given 5. I'd bet good money that the number of people who would be interested in (and able to utilize) information on container gardening greatly outweighs those considering adding poultry to their homes. Yes, there are books specifically geared toward container gardening (I happen to own a great one), and no, I don't expect this book to have everything I need (see #1). However, I think the book should have given weight to those topics most likely to appeal - and be applicable - to the reader base. 3. The book assumes the reader is familiar with basic gardening techniques. I'm sure there are many garden-savvy readers out there. I'm not one of them. 4. The book assumes that I own a lot of specific equipment, and gives no alternate ways of achieving results if I don't. How many readers have a scythe laying around for harvesting grain? Or a grinder to make apple cider? Or a dedicated ice-cream machine? 5. I really wanted there to be a "Problems" or FAQ section that dealt with common difficulties that can arise during homesteading, such as how to deal with pests, and what irrigation systems would be best. I'm disappointed with this book. I expected much more from it, and I'm glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gwen the Librarian

    I've been reading and playing around with this book for the last month and I really love it. The tone is totally accessible for those interested in gardening, raising grains, or animal husbandry. The author shows how to make the most of small spaces from 1/10 acre up to 1/2 acre. I used her raised bed diagrams to plan my own and suggestions about what things to plant next to each other. I'm thinking about getting a couple of chickens on my city property and she has great advice about that too. I've been reading and playing around with this book for the last month and I really love it. The tone is totally accessible for those interested in gardening, raising grains, or animal husbandry. The author shows how to make the most of small spaces from 1/10 acre up to 1/2 acre. I used her raised bed diagrams to plan my own and suggestions about what things to plant next to each other. I'm thinking about getting a couple of chickens on my city property and she has great advice about that too. This is the perfect how-to guide for beginners.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mark Geiger

    Although not a definitive guide to how to do everything to raise your own food, this book does touch on the basics, and gives you an idea of what to do and what is needed. After that, you can use some of the many other resources that are listed to get into whatever depth level you wish. That said, this is an eye-opening, very enjoyable book, one that shows just how easy itcan be to grow at least some of one's own food. I recently moved to a more rural area with just that in mind, but had no Although not a definitive guide to how to do everything to raise your own food, this book does touch on the basics, and gives you an idea of what to do and what is needed. After that, you can use some of the many other resources that are listed to get into whatever depth level you wish. That said, this is an eye-opening, very enjoyable book, one that shows just how easy itcan be to grow at least some of one's own food. I recently moved to a more rural area with just that in mind, but had no experience with doing any such activities. While I have been hampered by my work schedule, I have been making progress; we now have chickens, and the garden is laid out, although not yet in use (I have decided to go with actual raised beds, and their construction is not complete; I could have used traditional raised beds that don't require construction, but took a different route). There is a wealth of information in this book, and while those who were raised in the country may already know much of it, I would suspect that even they could learn something; there is that much in here! If you weren't raised hands-on with gardening, raising chickens, goats, cows, pigs, and/or cattle, if you didn't can, preserve, or brew, if you aren't familiar with growing fruit or nuts, or with keeping bees, then there is something for you in this book, at least enough to get you knowing enough to decide if any or all of those are something you not only would be interested in, but to get an idea of what it could take to do so, and where to go to get even deeper into a subject. This book is a cornerstone of my homestead library; if you are considering growing some of your own food, at whatever level, this is a great place to start!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy

    This is a good book for helping you to understand the potential of the lanscape that's available to you. There are some good tips on which vegetables, fruits, and herbs grow best in which climate regions, information on how to utilize space, and other helpful information. There are also pieces on making your own ice cream, apple cider, beer, wine, maple syrup, and other seasonal treats. However, I felt as though the author didn't go into enough detail or offer alternatives for folks that don't This is a good book for helping you to understand the potential of the lanscape that's available to you. There are some good tips on which vegetables, fruits, and herbs grow best in which climate regions, information on how to utilize space, and other helpful information. There are also pieces on making your own ice cream, apple cider, beer, wine, maple syrup, and other seasonal treats. However, I felt as though the author didn't go into enough detail or offer alternatives for folks that don't own the tools or machines necessary. For instance, if you don't have an ice cream maker, provide information on alternative ways of making ice cream. Or if you don't have an apple cider grinder, as most people don't, offer a different, creative approach. I felt as though the book was trumped up to be more than it was. It was helpful as a one-time resource for me, but I wouldn't see a need to reference the book in the future, so reserving it from the library was enough for me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    I'm ashamed to admit it, but graphic design, pretty colors, attention to fonts (type and size), nice line drawings, and boxed quotes in the margins made me eat this book right up. Funny thing is, the content is not much better than that of Deliberate Life, but I gave it 2 more stars.... Things I learned in this book: I can get my Brussels sprouts to get bigger by picking the leaves off the plant once the sprouts have developed. *THAT'S* how they do it.... It's too bad I don't drink beer, because I'm ashamed to admit it, but graphic design, pretty colors, attention to fonts (type and size), nice line drawings, and boxed quotes in the margins made me eat this book right up. Funny thing is, the content is not much better than that of Deliberate Life, but I gave it 2 more stars.... Things I learned in this book: I can get my Brussels sprouts to get bigger by picking the leaves off the plant once the sprouts have developed. *THAT'S* how they do it.... It's too bad I don't drink beer, because making home brew sounds like a lot of fun. Muscovies are known as "quackless" ducks because they are relatively quiet. There's tons of information on eggs - determining freshness, how their quality changes with the age of the hen and in relation to molting. And you can *freeze* eggs by cracking, slightly scrambling, mixing in either salt or sugar, and freezing individually. Also, Sex Link breeds of chicken are called that because they are certain hybrids whose chicks can be sexed (you can tell the gender) as chicks by either feather color or some other feature. I never thought I could actually grow wheat or rye in my backyard, but I could if I wanted. Landscaping with edibles (fruits, berries, etc) is called "luscious landscaping." Makes you wanna go plant something right now, doesn't it?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    I just finished flicking through this one again, and I'm dreaming of a slightly bigger piece of land, no hoa, and miniature dairy goats... I love this book. It really gets you excited about the potential of your backyard. It works as a quick primer for growing vegetables, making your own wine, cheese, and all sorts of great things, but the information on each of these topics doesn't get too deep. If you really want to know how to make wine, for example, you can read the section in here first to I just finished flicking through this one again, and I'm dreaming of a slightly bigger piece of land, no hoa, and miniature dairy goats... I love this book. It really gets you excited about the potential of your backyard. It works as a quick primer for growing vegetables, making your own wine, cheese, and all sorts of great things, but the information on each of these topics doesn't get too deep. If you really want to know how to make wine, for example, you can read the section in here first to see if it looks like a process you could see yourself dealing with, before you go elsewhere for all the nitty gritty. Also, I'd like illustrations on my how tos, and while there are illustrations in this book, they aren't instructive ones really. But! This IS a great encyclopedia of basic level knowledge for all sorts of homesteading techniques that can be used in your own backyard, it makes you feel like you can really do them yourself, it's very inspiring. So even given its lack of depth, I love this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This book is awesome. It's just what I needed. This was a gift to me from a friend and it is such a great resource. The second me and my husband picked this sucker up we started making improvements to our property. This book is never on my bookshelf, its outside with us, in my truck or on the kitchen counter. It provides just enough information for you to do it yourself. Many different projects and subjects in this book, but it doesn't leave you wanting - its not a complete encyclopedia on each This book is awesome. It's just what I needed. This was a gift to me from a friend and it is such a great resource. The second me and my husband picked this sucker up we started making improvements to our property. This book is never on my bookshelf, its outside with us, in my truck or on the kitchen counter. It provides just enough information for you to do it yourself. Many different projects and subjects in this book, but it doesn't leave you wanting - its not a complete encyclopedia on each subject either - there is room for learning experiences, but you'll get the job done. This book is a gold mine for anyone that wants to get more out of their property and be less dependent on "going to town" for everything you need.

  9. 4 out of 5

    KDV

    This was a little too basic for me but I appreciated it as a general overview of options and as a jumping off point. Yes, you will definitely need more detailed books if you want to pursue any of this stuff. And, it really does not cover any of the problems you will definitely encounter. But, I think that's a helpful thing for beginners! Who wants to read about every single plant disease and pest right away? Just try some of this shit and see what happens. That's definitely more useful. THEN you This was a little too basic for me but I appreciated it as a general overview of options and as a jumping off point. Yes, you will definitely need more detailed books if you want to pursue any of this stuff. And, it really does not cover any of the problems you will definitely encounter. But, I think that's a helpful thing for beginners! Who wants to read about every single plant disease and pest right away? Just try some of this shit and see what happens. That's definitely more useful. THEN you can read about problems as they come up. A good resource to get you started.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Suki

    A good overview book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor Bragdon

    Very informational, great place to start.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

    Good overview of a lot of different homesteading practices. More of a beginner's guide.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    Really good guide, very informative. Just didn't all apply to our situation (bill wont ket me get chickens and making yogurt sounds smelly) but really enjoyed the gardening aspect!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    This one is a good starting point for beginning homesteaders and/or gardeners.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Lines

    Going off the grid is still a pipe dream, but in the meantime, I'm working on learning on all the skills. Great intro level book. Current mission --> convince Morgan that raising our own rabbits for chow mein is a brilliant idea, because well, it is!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Robin

    The Backyard Homestead is an excellent resource for homesteaders of all stages. If you're a beginner you will definitely appreciate it as there is so much information in it. If you're an advanced homesteader than the book will serve more as a valuable resource for you to occasionally glance over and refresh your memory with. Within the covers lies a well of knowledge. The beginning includes some handy illustrations showing you how much food you can produce on one tenth of an acre, on a quarter The Backyard Homestead is an excellent resource for homesteaders of all stages. If you're a beginner you will definitely appreciate it as there is so much information in it. If you're an advanced homesteader than the book will serve more as a valuable resource for you to occasionally glance over and refresh your memory with. Within the covers lies a well of knowledge. The beginning includes some handy illustrations showing you how much food you can produce on one tenth of an acre, on a quarter acre, and on half an acre. Each map is detailed with where everything should be placed and planted. It's a great visual aid that you could totally get away with copying. And yes you read that right! You really can homestead on one tenth of an acre! Your shown how much you can get from small pieces of land. For example on a quarter of an acre you can get 1,400 eggs, 50lbs of wheat, 60lbs of fruit, 2,000lbs of vegetables, 280lbs of pork, and 75lbs of nuts. Thst's not including rabbit meat, chicken meat, honey, or other wild edibles you forage on your land. See you really don't need that much land to homestead so stop using a lack of space as an excuse. Don't sit around twiddling your thumbs for the rest of your life saying you'll become more self sufficient when you have a lot of land! Do it now! You can do it and The Backyard Homstead is your guide! The book is divided into seven main sections. They are •The Home Vegetable Garden •Backyard Fruits and Nuts •Easy Fragrant Herbs •Homegrown Grains •Poultry for Eggs and Meat •Meat and Dairy and •Food from the Wild. Each section isn't over the top detailed but there is enough information to get you started. In the section, 'The home Vegetable Garden' many graphs abound such as a visual on a garden layout. That is super handy for those needing a little extra help in planning where to plant things. There's info on planting dates for each part of the US, what grows best where, how to extend the season, helping your seeds germinate, and directions for making your own trellises for plants such as tomatoes. Throughout the book you'll learn how to store your harvest, recieve numerous examples of how to layout your yard so that it is edible and purposeful, how to thresh wheat, information on wheat grinders, how to butcher a chicken and carve it, what to do with the feathers, how to make maple syrup, how to brew beer or wine if you're into that, and even how to milk a goat. With each animal species the different kinds are discussed which will aid you in deciding the one would suit you better. Numerous recipes from jams to vinegars to cheese are shared. The book is a great starting place for beginners and as said earlier is a great resource for the advanced. At the end, tons of resources are shared for places to buy things, websites to check out, and other books to read. It's written in a down to earth style. You won't feel overwhelmed reading it but I do recommend having a journal close by so you can take notes. The layout is fantastic and while it lacks in details as far as how to care for animals and such it makes up for that as excellent guide to get you started. It's not meant to be a 'one stop get it all' book. But it is a 'one stop get more knowledge than you have' book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Johnson

    This book could be the only one that I need for my homesteading project. It is detailed enough to get you started and then I believe that your own experiences would get you through more and more. I was very interested in the goat section as I have only even owned one goat and she was never kidded nor milked. The chicken section was less than my current knowledge but it did raise some good points for beginners. I think this is an excellent book to start with if you have some knowledge but not a This book could be the only one that I need for my homesteading project. It is detailed enough to get you started and then I believe that your own experiences would get you through more and more. I was very interested in the goat section as I have only even owned one goat and she was never kidded nor milked. The chicken section was less than my current knowledge but it did raise some good points for beginners. I think this is an excellent book to start with if you have some knowledge but not a lot or you're starting all from scratch and need some information about some things that you want to do. There is also a great section in the back with some recipes that I might be trying out soon anyways. She also comes at the topic of homesteading wherever you are. It is more of a way of life than a specific place. But, for most of us we want that beautiful farm in our heads. You are only limited by your funds and the amount of work that you are willing to do. Good luck on your journey friends!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    What a wonderful reference for living as sustainably as possible on your own land - even if you only have a quarter acre! Although I cannot have livestock or even chickens in my city, this book provided a wealth of information about gardening, preserving, making cheese, growing and processing grains, baking bread, even brewing beer. I purchased this book to learn about gardening, and I was not disappointed. It has a handy reference for planting and caring for many kinds of veggies, fruits, nuts, What a wonderful reference for living as sustainably as possible on your own land - even if you only have a quarter acre! Although I cannot have livestock or even chickens in my city, this book provided a wealth of information about gardening, preserving, making cheese, growing and processing grains, baking bread, even brewing beer. I purchased this book to learn about gardening, and I was not disappointed. It has a handy reference for planting and caring for many kinds of veggies, fruits, nuts, and grains. If I desired, with the help of this book, I could turn my whole urban yard into a sort of mini-farm, providing my family with an abundance of food all year long. In addition to this, the book expanded my knowledge so that I will experiment with making my own cheese, yogurt, and jam, and perhaps someday consider owning dairy goats or chickens if I ever have the land for it. This book is a very handy guide to feeding your family as naturally as possible.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    I was disappointed in the Readers-Digest-type format of the book. Just when you get some good information, it's time to move on to something else. Plus, I'm not sure that I trust the accuracy of the information - there are much better guides (especially for animal care) out there. Lastly, I think this book would have been more useful if I lived in Massachusetts instead of in the south. Very little information about southern gardening; tons of info on cold-weather gardening. So, while this was I was disappointed in the Readers-Digest-type format of the book. Just when you get some good information, it's time to move on to something else. Plus, I'm not sure that I trust the accuracy of the information - there are much better guides (especially for animal care) out there. Lastly, I think this book would have been more useful if I lived in Massachusetts instead of in the south. Very little information about southern gardening; tons of info on cold-weather gardening. So, while this was somewhat interesting, it was not nearly as useful as I thought it was going to be.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Teleia

    When I think of homesteading, I think of being able to feed myself and of being self-sustaining. If that's your goal, I think John Seymour's "The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It" is a better choice. It's not that this is a bad book, but it covers just the very basics. It's very easy to read and goes quickly, but I would never use this as a reference guide. On the other hand, John Seymour's book is almost all you need.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lea

    This book is wonderful if you have dreams of getting "back to the earth". Full of detailed information, this book is a great resource to use when planning your backyard homestead -- it covers everything from growing vegetables and fruit to canning, raising livestock, even butchering (just touched on, but there is a list of further resources listed in the back of the book). Highly recommend.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    This is the first spring where I have a backyard and am planting a garden and I really love this book. Filled with great information and a great reference book. I can't wait till I have more space available and can make beer & wine from home grown barley, hops and grapes. And a chicken coop. And maybe a goat. Oh the possibilities!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    Inspiring as a basic overview of what can be done with a half acre lot. Unfortunately, the authors seem to count on the whole lot being usable and had no section on ecology or integration of natural ecosystems with your homestead.

  24. 4 out of 5

    La Fay

    I picked this up at the library, but it's definitely one I'm going to have to buy to keep around the house. Excellent instructions on how to do basically everything, from picking the right plants for your zone to making your own beer. I picked this up at the library, but it's definitely one I'm going to have to buy to keep ‎around the house.‎ Excellent instructions on how to do basically everything, from picking the right plants ‎for your zone to making your own beer. ‎

  25. 5 out of 5

    atiera

    I read it and read it and read it again. And I'll continue to use this as a resource each spring and an inspiration each winter:)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Great jumping off point for gardening and self-efficient practices. Wish it had more information about organic gardening though.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Too basic to be of much use. Try the Encyclopedia of Country Living instead.

  28. 5 out of 5

    KC

    Will defiantly need to refer to this book time and time again.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Neligh

    Every once in a great, great while I come across a book I want to give to everyone. This is one of them. I am in an apartment, but I am still using this book (and my standard-size balcony/kitchen counter) to grow limes, thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, mint, pennyroyal, and aloe. I want to add lemons, tomatoes, peppers, and garlic and amazingly it just might all fit (and that's with a table and two chairs out here). I could easily see getting carried away enough to remove the door to the balcony Every once in a great, great while I come across a book I want to give to everyone. This is one of them. I am in an apartment, but I am still using this book (and my standard-size balcony/kitchen counter) to grow limes, thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, mint, pennyroyal, and aloe. I want to add lemons, tomatoes, peppers, and garlic and amazingly it just might all fit (and that's with a table and two chairs out here). I could easily see getting carried away enough to remove the door to the balcony closet and grow stuff in there, too. What it’s not: a resource on getting off the grid (in terms of water, energy, etc) and the animal chapters are intended as an "introduction, not a definitive guide" though there is a fat resource section which includes referrals to materials that cover animal husbandry, slaughter, and so on. The gardening chapters, strangely, do not discuss companion planting, how to compost, or pest management. For those topics, I'll be turning to Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. I'm very excited that the book covers how to make your own vinegar and pectin. If it included how to grow peppercorns, make your own olive oil and baking soda, collect wild yeast and salt, and how to perform your own dentistry, I could run away into the wilderness never to be seen again. The Contents: 1. The Home Vegetable Garden Raised beds Crop rotation Succession planting Staggering planting Making a garden plan Self-watering containers Cool and warm season vegetables Planting phenology Extending the season Planting dates in relation to frost Growing from seed Double digging Sowing seeds indoors When to transplant Special seed treatments Sowing seeds outdoors High-yield gardening Tips for transplanting Growing plants vertically Harvesting vegetables Seed saving Characteristics of common vegetables for seed saving (a table) Vegetables A-Z (an illustrated guide) A primer on preserving Making sauerkraut Curing with brine Bring-curing pickles Storing vegetables in the garden Keeping onions Hot Pepper Jelly (recipe) Storing the harvest Freezing vegetables Springtime preserving of stored crops Start canning! Terms and processes What you’ll need A checklist of precautions Altitude adjustments for boiling-water-bath canning How to Can Tomatoes (recipe) 2. Backyard Fruits and Nuts Growing strawberries How they grow A fruiting glossary The best strawberries by region Planting strawberries Growth, care and harvesting Basic Strawberry Jam (recipe) Making pectin Raspberries and blackberries Classes of each Hardiness Each by region Starting a patch of raspberries Care and harvesting of brambles Steps for success in the bramble patch Freezing fruit Blueberries Planting and care of blueberries Blueberry Pie Deluxe (recipe) 10 great blueberries Pruning blueberries Grapes The best fertilizer for grapes Vineyard soil and grape quality A gallery of great grapes The secrets of great homemade wine Calculating the size of a vineyard Fruit trees Think small: planting a dwarf fruit orchard Fruit varieties for beginning growers (by zone) Encouraging pollination Planting a fruit tree in three simple steps Pruning a fruit tree in four steps Harvest time in the orchard Old Fashioned Peach Preserves (recipe) Pollination requirements of fruit trees The trick’s in the thinning Canning applesauce Storage of common apple varieties Consider luscious landscaping An overview of luscious landscape plants Subtropical fruits Drying fruits Country wines Winemaking equipment Basic steps in winemaking Bigger batches Peach Wine (recipe) Optimal serving temperatures Grape Melomel (recipe) Herb or Dried-Flower-Petal Wine (recipe) Wine Words Old-Timer Methods Flavorings for Herb or Flower Wine Cider-making Making apple cider Common apple varieties for cider-making (grouped by acidity) Apple cider equipment Vinegars Making flavored vinegars Base vinegar Making vinegar (from scratch) Raspberry Vinegar (recipe), with variations Using fruit vinegar Go nuts Improved Cultivars Your tree in a nutshell Planting and culture Plant in pairs Harvesting Other uses for nuts Nuts for the home garden (an illustrated guide) 3. Easy Fragrant Herbs Caring for herbs Grow your own ginger Herb themed gardens (an easy and fragrant kitchen border, a cold and flu garden) Preserving herbs Drying herbs A guide to dried herbs (herb, part dried, uses) Freezing, oils, and butters Herbal Broth (recipe) 32 Essential Herbs (an illustrated guide) Edible Flowers Make an Echinacea tincture Braiding garlic Herbs de Provence (recipe) Facts about herbs Bouquet Garni (recipe) Propagating Making herbal vinegars (recipes) Herbal tea Brewing by infusion Brewing by decoction Basic infusion of leaves, petals, and flowers (recipe) Lavender Mint Tea (recipe) Peppermint Punch (recipe) 15 herbs that make delicious tea Growing herbal tea (a chart of many facts for many herbs) Cooking with herbs (a similar chart) 4. Home Grown Grains Which grain to grow? (corn, wheat, rye, millet, barley, buckwheat, oats, rice) Planting the grains (a table) Backyard corn Growing corn (sowing, growing, harvesting) Corn for popping Field corn How to dry corn Storing corn for grinding Freezing corn Plant your own wheat field Selecting seed Commercial classes of wheat (a table) Planting wheat Harvesting (using a scythe, harvesting with a sickle, binding sheaves, making shocks from sheaves) Threshing Winnowing Storing Grinding Selecting a flour mill Cooking with grains Secrets of serving Sprouting grains and beans Nutritional values (chart) Cooking with cornmeal Corn Bread (recipe) Johnnycakes (recipe) Polenta (recipe) Topping Polenta (recipe) Basics of making bread About yeast Easy, Basic, and Good White Bread (recipe) Bread-making supplies and equipment Types of bread Quick breads Basic Quick Bread (recipe) Homemade pasta Simple Fresh Pasta (recipe) Cooking perfect pasta Grow your own beer Barley in your backyard Small plot, big yield Homegrown hops Basic barley malting Malting equipment Basic Homebrew (recipe: preparation, steeping and primary fermentation, secondary fermentation, bottling and storage) Basic brewing ingredients Brew talk Air is the enemy Serving beer Fresh Hop Ale (recipe) Dandelion Bitter (recipe) Pale Horse Pale Ale (recipe) Brown Ale (recipe) Modify recipes for homegrown ingredients 5. Poultry for Eggs and Meat Keep chickens! Getting started Comparing drawbacks and benefits Choosing the right breed (egg breeds, meat breeds, meat classes, dual purpose breed, endangered breeds, exhibition breeds) Egg production The life of a layer Layers versus lazy hens The bleaching sequence Replacement pullets Collecting and storing eggs Egg aging Nutritional Value Determining freshness Gauging egg quality How fresh is that egg/ Shell color Cooking with fresh eggs Seven ways to preserve and store fresh eggs Butchering Poultry weights at various ages How to cut up a chicken A simple chicken coop (the "poulet chalet"): building plans Turkeys for Thanksgiving Turkey varieties (standard bronze, bourbon red, narragansett, broad breasted white) Raising turkeys Wild turkey Butchering Evaluating degree of fat covering How to roast a turkey Approximate roasting time for stuffed turkey in preheated 350 degree oven How to carve a turkey Keeping ducks and geese All about ducks Getting along with geese Waterfowl names Choosing the right bird Ducks for eggs Ducks for meat Ducks and egg profile (chart) Duck breeds: average mature weight (in pounds) (chart) Goose breeds Goose breeds: average mature weight (in pounds) and egg production (chart) Feed conversion Ducks and geese for meat Using feathers from ducks and geese Feathering means butchering time Dressed weight Storing the meat Roasted to perfection Cooking methods 6. Meat and Dairy 7. Food From the Wild

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carlee

    If you are looking to start a homestead, BUY THIS BOOK! There is just so much indispensible information here. Of course, with the internet, a lot of this stuff could just be googled, but having all of that information in one place, from one source, whenever you need it, is always nice. Seriously, this thing has everything from growing herbs to cutting meat from a butchered animal to growing grapes to making your own beer. Really everything except for the building aspect of having a homestead is If you are looking to start a homestead, BUY THIS BOOK! There is just so much indispensible information here. Of course, with the internet, a lot of this stuff could just be googled, but having all of that information in one place, from one source, whenever you need it, is always nice. Seriously, this thing has everything from growing herbs to cutting meat from a butchered animal to growing grapes to making your own beer. Really everything except for the building aspect of having a homestead is detailed in this book. The diagrams are helpful and informative, not to mention pretty. While Backyard Homestead covers a lot of topics, it doesn't cover very many of them in depth. Each chapter gives you a taste, with basic descriptions, how-to, and details, and leaves it up to you to do further research. I would suggest this book to you if you were someone who wants to begin a homestead or work toward self-sufficiency,but doesn't know where to start. In this book, you are presented with the whole spectrum of possibilies, and this will give you a place to start. I would say that if you already have started your journey as a backyard farmer, this book isn't going to give you anything new.

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