Synopses & Reviews
Home-produced food almost always begins in the vegetable garden. So, too, begins The Backyard Homestead
, Planning charts and a thorough vegetable-by-vegetable growing guide are accompanied by simple techniques for canning, drying, and freezing the garden's bounty.
The plant section continues with the hows, whens, and wheres of growing fruits, herbs, and nuts. Hardworking food growers will be delighted to reward themselves with healthful herbal teas and homemade wines and cordials. Recipes and simple techniques are included for the beginning home winemaker.
For the truly dedicated, a chapter on grains offers an overview of growing wheat and corn, along with drying, storing, and milling solutions. Whole grains (homegrown or purchased) can be used to learn the craft of homebrewing, while milled flours are put to delicious use in pastas and breads.
Part two moves from plant to animal products, beginning with an overview of chicken keeping. Readers will find charts, lists, and helpful tips for collecting, storing, and using eggs, along with advice on butchering chickens and cooking the meat.
Additional chapters focus on raising larger animals, such as cows, sheep, and goats, either for their meat or for their milk. Milk producers will find plenty of information on making simple yogurt, butter, and ice cream, as well as all the basics on getting started with cheese making. Additional information on rabbits and pigs rounds out the meat-raising sections.
An overview of foraging and detailed information on installing and caring for honeybees wrap up The Backyard Homestead, Storey's trusted advice on gardening, cooking, brewing, cheese making, and raising animals proves once and for all that it truly is possible to eat entirely from the backyard.
"Bottom line is, even if you're not ready for complete self-sufficiency, in today's economic climate, it just makes sense to try to produce some of your own food. And this book is a great way to get your feet wet."
"The tone is sweet and accessible, and the well-organized chapters cover all the bases..." -- July 2009 Everyday Prepper
"This book delivers what it aims to sell. Its 368 pages of information on creating a successful, self sufficient, backyard homestead that will keep you and your family busy and eating all year long. 4.5 out of five stars, this is the book homestead enthusiasts have been looking for. Go buy this book!" Boston Sunday Globe
"The Backyard Homestead is a comprehensive and accessible guide to starting a vegetable garden, raising chickens and cows, canning food, making cheese, and a whole lot more. Editor Carleen Madigan...a homesteader in her own right, draws on the dozens of books about country living that Storey has published since its founding in 1983." New York Times Book Review
"Because you need to brace yourself for what's on the horizon: The Backyard Homestead. This fascinating, friendly book is brimming with ideas, illustrations, and enthusiasm. The garden plans are solid, the advice crisp; the diagrams, as on pruning and double digging, are models of decorum. Halfway through, she puts the pedal to the metal, and whoosh! At warp speed, we're growing our own hops and making our own beer, planting our own wheat fields, keeping chickens (ho hum), ducks, geese, and turkeys (now we're talking) and milking goats, butchering lamb, raising rabbits, and grinding sausage. Oh, and tapping our maple trees, churning butter, and making our own cheese and yogurt. Peacocks, anyone? Need I say more? Well, yes. Stock up on some knitting books because next winter, you'll want to grow your own sweaters, too."
In the information-rich tradition of "Storey's Basic Country Skills," here is a reliable compendium of advice on how to feed our families using plants and animals raised at home. Illustrations throughout.
Put your backyard to work!
Enjoy fresher, organic, better-tasting food all the time. The solution is as close as your own backyard. Grow the vegetables and fruits your family loves; keep bees; raise chickens, goats, or even a cow. The Backyard Homestead
shows you how it's done. And when the harvest is in, you'll learn how to cook, preserve, cure, brew, or pickle the fruits of your labor.
From a quarter of an acre, you can harvest 1,400 eggs, 50 pounds of wheat, 60 pounds of fruit, 2,000 pounds of vegetables, 280 pounds of pork, 75 pounds of nuts.
Homegrown Goodness for Table, Freezer, and Pantry
Your backyard homestead is a success! The vegetables and fruit are abundant and the fresh eggs are delicious, but they're more than your family can eat. Your pig is fattening up quickly; will you know how to fill out the cut sheet when it's time to call the butcher? A backyard bounty can be overwhelming.
Andrea Chesman's indispensable guide to gathering, processing, preserving, and eating the fruits of your backyard homestead ensures that nothing goes to waste. Her experience and clear instructions equip you with the skills to make the most of everything you harvest!
About the Author
Before becoming an editor at Storey Publishing, Carleen Madigan was managing editor of Horticulture magazine and lived on an organic farm outside Boston, Massachusetts, where she learned the homesteading skills contained in The Backyard Homestead. She enjoys gardening, hiking, foraging, baking, spinning wool, and knitting.
Table of Contents
GETTING THE MOST FROM FRESH FOOD
- Setting Up the Homestead Kitchen
- Fresh Vegetables: Harvesting, Handling, Cooking
- Fresh Fruit: Harvesting, Handling, Cooking
- Grains and Beans
- Homemade Sweeteners: Honey, Maple Syrup, and Apple Cider Syrup
- Eggs, Birds, and Rabbits
- Fresh Milk
- Meat: Goat, Lamb, Pork, and Beef
- Cold Storage
- Canning: Boiling-Water-Bath and Pressure Canning
- Making Fruit Preserves
- Culturing Milk and Making Cheese
- Curing Meats and Making Simple Sausage
- Breakfast and Egg Dishes
- Vegetable, Cheese, and Bean Dishes
- Poultry and Meat Dishes
- Desserts and Baked Goods
Appendix: Basic Cooking Methods
Metric Conversion Charts