Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book Review: Backyard Homesteading by David Toht

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I checked out a book from the library several weeks ago that is an awesome reference book for those who are striving to become homesteaders!  The book is entitlted Backyard Homesteading : A back-to-basics guide to self-sufficiency.

For me, this book is everything I need to plan my homestead and to make it as efficient as possible!

The contents of the book include the following topics:

  • Getting Started
  • Raising Vegetables and Herbs
  • Growing Fruits, Berries and Nuts
  • Raising Chickens
  • Raising Goats
  • Beekeeping
  • Harvest Home
Because our garden is in full swing right now, there are several resources in this book that are priceless to me!  One of them being "How much should you grow?" which tells you how many pounds of each vegetable a person eats on average and then tells you how many rows of the specified vegetable you need to plant and harvest to feed that person.

Another valuable resource in this book is about companion planting, which I have not gotten into yet with my gardening, though I should!  There is also a section in the "Raising Vegetables and Herbs" chapter that explains each variety of vegetable, how to plant the vegetable, how much the vegetable will produce, and other instructions to make the most of your garden experience.

We now have a half dozen fruit trees around our yard and we have no idea how to prune them or when to prune them!  Backyard Homesteading spells out when we need to prune the trees (with photos), what branches to clip and which to leave alone. 

I was contemplating trying to raise bees this year, but decided to try to focus on a productive garden instead, not to mention my husband HATES bees.  Backyard Homesteading provides an abundance of great information on raising bees, and even a diagram on how to build your own bee hive!  One deterrent to becoming a beekeeper this year was the investment of the hives, bees and equipment.  If hubby can make the hive for me, the investment will be very small compared to what the bees would {hopefully} provide for us!

If you have a weakness for animals, I would skip the chapter on raising goats.  I so badly want to raise pygmy goats for the milk, however, we would have have 3 goats in the rotation to maintain a steady supply of milk.  Not to mention each goat can have anywhere from 2-5 babies per pregnancy! thanks.  That is a bit too much for our acre homestead.

The last chapter in the book is entitled "Harvest Home."  This chapter shows step-by-step how to can fruits and vegetables, dry fruits and vegetables, can meat, smoke meat, make beer, wine or apple cider and even how to make a simple mini root cellar (which I may try next year!) to help preserve the harvest of the season.  The only thing this book doesnt have that I am interested in is  identifying trees and how to tap them for syrup!

If you are even remotely interested in homesteading, or are looking for resources on how to begin your journey as a homesteader, I recomment checking this book out from the library.  I look forward to taking this out from our library every spring and fall to keep our homestead growing abundantly!

I was in no way compensated for writing this review.  I wanted to share information and my findings from this valuable resource so that others may benefit from it as well.  All views and opinions on this book are my own.

1 comment:

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