Carrie's Reviews > The Backyard Homestead: Produce All the Food You Need on Just a Quarter Acre!

The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan
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Jan 29, 2011

really liked it
Read on December 02, 2010

This book doesn't satisfy my desire for homesteading knowledge, which the author states plainly in the beginning wasn't her goal. The gardening section of this book is definitely the main focus. I loved the diagrams of gardening plans but I wish there were more in this book on the planning and designing of the small homestead. The section of edible ornamentals was really interesting and helpful. I think she could have improved this book drastically by concentrating on SMALL, as in what you can do in a 1/4 of an acre (or less) as she says on the cover of the book. Instead she wastes space on large animal breeds that require much more grazing space than a 1/4 acre. She barely touches on the small breeds that are sustainable in smaller spaces like mini dairy goats, rabbits, chickens and pigs. The sidebars are helpful but hard to keep organized.

I did really enjoy this book but I don't think I would buy it as a reference because there is so much there that someone who is homesteading would already know, like how to bake bread (easy) but she doesn't talk about how to make a sourdough starter (duh? why didn't she include that?) or making your own booze. This book would have been better if she had taken the same amount of space and included more on the design and care of a 1/4 acre homestead rather than on what you do with what you get.

EDITED: Having read a bunch of other backyard homesteading books this one is definitely one of the better ones. I plan on buying this one when I get a chance and rereading it based on what I now know.
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