Alison Furlong'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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Aug 24, 09

Read in August, 2009

Every now and then I wish there were a 4.5 star option, or perhaps separate ratings for writing and editing. The information in this book is fantastic - 5 stars definitely - but there are editorial gaffes that really annoy me. In particular, one chart is supposed to give you an idea of how much of a given plant you need to feed someone for a year. This is an excellent idea, but the execution is weak. For one thing, it falls into the (not uncommon) pitfall of conflating plant spacing and row spacing, in such a way that, if you are doing intensive plot gardening in raised beds (ie, no rows to walk between), and attempt to gauge spacing using only the plant spacing, you could end up planting things entirely too close together. Worse, there is a symbol (a colored bar) which I assume is intended to give you some sort of quick idea of either how abundant a producer the plant it, or how much space it takes up, or something, but the symbol is never explained.

All this complaining aside, the book is an invaluable resource, and has become my go-to housewarming gift for friends. It's also destined to stay on my "currently-reading" shelf for a good long time.
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