The Backyard Homestead

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By Carleen Madigan (Storey Publishing, 2009)   

Find yourself enticed by the prospect of a food garden but have no clue where to start? Think you probably don’t have enough space or enough time? Think again. Whether you’re an urban apartment dweller or a suburban homeowner with acreage to spare, this jam-packed resource will provide nearly all the information and inspiration you might need to begin producing and preserving your own food.

The first chapter covers backyard gardening: watering, composting, seed-spacing and the like, along with how to make a garden plan with vegetables you will actually eat and that will actually grow in your region. It also covers the basics of canning and preserving. Subsequent chapters are more adventurous, but the techniques remain accessible: starting a mini fruit orchard, growing grains for flour, and raising chickens for eggs and livestock for milk and meat. You’ll also find contacts for gardening and other related suppliers as well as growing-zone maps and municipal codes that govern the keeping of backyard chickens in scores of U.S. cities.

Whether you want to learn how to milk a backyard goat or just preserve some farmers’ market veggies, this guide gives you step-by-step directions toward self-sufficiency.

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