Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Backyard Homestead

As we see the prices at the gas pump climb up higher and higher, we'll see our grocery bill climb at the same rate.  It takes gas to deliver food to the grocery store and sadly, as gas prices climb, food prices climb!

To offset this, you may want to start a garden, plant some berry bushes, or you may even want to get a few chickens.  But you live on a quarter-acre lot and fear you don't have enough space.  There's a book that can help you get started!

The Backyard Homestead, edited by Carleen Madigan, writes on it's front cover that you can "Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!"  The back cover its reads that, from a quarter acre, you can harvest:

1400 eggs
50 pounds of wheat
60 pounds of fruit
2,000 pounds of vegetables
280 pounds of pork
75 pounds of nuts.  

The book contains wonderful illustrations showing the layout of a homestead on one-tenth of an acre, a quarter-acre, and half an acre.  These illustrations show how a small homestead can utilize every inch of space!

There are seven chapters cover; The Home Vegetable Garden, Backyard Fruits and Nuts, Home-grown Grains, Food from the Wild: Easy, Fragrant Herbs, Poultry for Eggs and Meat, and Meat and Dairy.  Within these chapters you'll find great recipes, pruning information, informative charts, chicken coop plans, how to milk a goat, and much more.  

This is a really great book for the new gardener or mini-farmer.  It's incredibly inspirational.  Having said that, I would like to point out that this book is a great starter book.  The gardening sections are clear and you may not need more information than The Backyard Homestead provides.  But, if you are interested in raising chickens, or other livestock, this book will get you started, then you'll want to find a more in-depth book on the subject.

"When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it.  If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant."  

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