Thursday, July 30, 2009

Book Review - The Backyard Homestead

"Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!" I'm a sucker for any book that makes that sort of claim on the front cover! The Backyard Homestead, edited by Carleen Madigan, just came out recently and was on my wish list when I spotted it at the library Saturday! If you have a bit of land, small or large, and wish to grow more of your food, this book will inspire you! On the back cover it says "from a quarter of an acre, you can harvest: 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"! Wow! We have almost three acres, and though some of our land is quite rocky, this book sure demonstrates that we could be utilizing our property wiser!

This book covers everything from making sauerkraut to beekeeping, cheese making to bread baking, building a chicken coop to making sausage. My impression is that the goal of the book is to give you a vision of what your land can do. The vegetable growing section is rather comprehensive but the rest of the book just gives an overview. If you really decided to get a milk cow, I'd suggest reading some of the resources mentioned in the back of the book. Though there is a nice amount of information on chickens and eggs, there is nothing about how to butcher a chicken. The book isn't huge and is very readable. If it answered every question on every topic they introduce, it would take a volume of encyclopedias!

But if you wonder how you can make the most of your land and want some ideas that you may have never even considered, I'd heartily recommend this book! Just don't look for it at the library this week if you go to our local library, because I'm intending to keep it for a while!

Now I'm off to research nut trees...

5 comments :

  1. Thanks for the recommendation Gina :) This is exactly the kind of book I need. We have 5acres and I would love to have a garden, etc, but no idea where to begin.

    The other book you recommended to me "Animal, Vegitable, Miracle" just arrived in the mail yesterday. The cover photograph is beautiful and I can't wait to read it. I'm going to donate it to our library when I'm done as I think it's a message many need to hear.

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  2. I "bought" that book last month after it came out at Barnes & Noble. I bought it with some website points! As a daughter of a farmer/dairy man - I do know a lot about farming, it's a very good resource & I learned many good things. AVM is great too! Support area farmers!

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  3. HI Gina
    I can't find any of the archives for your blog...help!!! I wanted to DQ ice cream recipe, along w/other recipes you have shared and a sew project you had shared.
    Thanks,Jenna

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  4. Jenna - Are you still having trouble seeing the archives? One other reader told me they were having the same problem. But everything looks just fine to me! If it continues to be an issue, email me and I'll send you the recipes! Sorry! I'm too stupid about computer stuff to have any idea what the problem may be!
    Gina

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  5. Hi Gina-yes, I am still having trouble. When your blog uploads it only shows your posts and nothing else. And, the one about the butterflies is nothing but a picture!!! I don't know much about computers either but this is just strange!!! It does not even show your profile. I hope you can figure something out as there were so many recipes and sewing things I liked on there!!! thanks, jenna

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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